I woke up fairly early, feeling well rested and ready for another travel day, this time heading to the party island of Ios! I must admit to being slightly apprehensive about it, as I’m not really a party person and I had decided to include the island on my itinerary before I knew its reputation! However, life’s all about adventure and pushing your boundaries so part of me was excited to try somewhere a bit different.
After another nice Livadia breakfast, I stayed in the restaurant drinking coffee, updating my blog notes and going through some more of my holiday photos in Lightroom – working out which ones I wanted to share on Facebook and Instagram, and which would make good additions to my blog. My ferry wasn’t until 14:25 so I had time to kill – I could have done some sightseeing but I wanted to stay cool and just enjoy some quiet time.
Checkout was at midday so I went back to the room, showered and packed my bags, then headed back towards the harbour, suitcase in tow, to wait for my ferry to arrive. In hindsight, I wish I’d booked an earlier ferry, as the 2-hour wait was very hot and sweaty, despite finding a good seat in a cafe under the shade. It also felt a bit like wasted time, but I did some more reading and it was fun watching the people come and go – harbours are always busy places in Greece, especially in high season.
At 14:20 I wandered across to the port but there was no sign of the ferry yet. I started to get a bit nervous as all my previous crossings had been on time, and I had read some mixed reviews about Seajets’ reliability. Champion Jet 2 did eventually arrive and only 15 minutes late, so, not a big deal really. I think it just seemed worse because I’d already been waiting for 2 hours!
Champion Jet 2 arriving in Paros harbour.
The crossing was smooth and uneventful – we stopped off at Naxos on the way to drop off and pick up additional passengers – and by 16:15 we had arrived in Ios harbour. I had planned on getting a taxi to the hotel after realising that although the 3k walk might look feasible on Google Maps, I worked out that it would be a very hilly walk and not something to be attempted on a hot day with a suitcase! However, I couldn’t see any taxis around when I got off the ferry but did stumble upon the bus stop and sure enough, the timetable confirmed there would be a bus to Mylopotas beach leaving shortly, so I waited and hopped on, feeling pleased to have saved a few Euros into the bargain!
Unfortunately, the bus didn’t stop outside my hotel – Holidays Inn Ios – which is set back from the beach up a fairly steep road, so I got off at the bottom and had to drag my case back up the hill. Sweaty work, but still better than walking from the port! I’d seen my hotel on the way down so I knew it wasn’t far to go. Once I had the keys to my room, I quickly dumped my luggage, threw on some swim shorts and went straight to the pool for a much needed cool off! The pool was quite nice, not too large but there were only a few people around and it has a nice view down towards the beach, which I could already tell was fairly busy.
The pool at Holidays Inn Ios.
Mylopotas beach from my hotel balcony.
Not really knowing what I was going to do with my time here, I decided to get out of the hotel and try to make some friends so I packed up my towel and some water and walked down to the beach and all the way along it, looking for somewhere to stop and have a drink and/or sunbathe for a bit. I found myself at the bottom end of the beach at the Far Our Village, which is part of the Far Out Beach Club and campsite. They have a pool, bar and lots of sun loungers so I got a beer and sat at a table for a bit, watching people coming and going to see if I could spot any English speaking people to chat to. After about 15 minutes, and onto my second beer (I needed some Dutch courage to start chatting with random strangers!) two girls arrived and sat on some loungers just in front of my table. I could just hear them enough to work out that they were American so I went over, introduced myself and asked if I could join them. Thankfully they said yes and turned out to be very friendly!
After another drink and chatting for a while, Anya, Erin and I agreed to meet up later on at the same place for some more drinks and then to head into Ios town together to see what the nightlife would be like. Arrangements made, I walked back to the hotel feeling pleased that I’d made some friends and had even managed to make plans for the evening into the bargain!
With a few hours to kill, I chilled out in the room for a bit, then got showered and dressed ready to meet my new transatlantic friends. We’d arranged to meet at a supermarket along the beach where they sold fairly cheap drinks, so bought a few bottles of Rekorderlig cider as they both liked it, but it’s not easy or cheap to buy in the US. We then walked back to the Far Out Village and sat drinking our cider and chatting. When we got hungry we shared a couple of pizzas which were very nice.
Later we got the bus into Ios town which was packed even though it was nearly midnight by then! Nightlife in the town is pretty much what you would expect – lots of bars along narrow streets full of people, each one offering various deals for alcoholic drinks: €5 for two cocktails, 3 Jäger bombs for €5, that sort of thing. We found a few nice places and had our share of drinks, which I’m sure were heavily watered-down as my tolerance for alcohol isn’t great, and yet on the walk home I still felt pretty good. Getting back to the hotel was about 2.5k from the town, but in the early hours it was cool enough to be enjoyable and there were still plenty of people around.