Ios is a brilliant Summer away in College. It's close to home, the weather is perfect, it has a beautiful beach and the nightlife is some of the best fun you'll ever have. I would highly recommend it, here's a few things you should know before you go.
1. Book your flights now
They might be cheap now but they'll get very expensive, very soon. Book a lateish one and stay in Athens for the night so you'll be fresh for an early boat to the island.
2. Go early
If you're planning on getting a job, try and get there as soon as you can i.e early June
3. Stay in Hotel Annita in Athens
It's cheap and they organise your ferry and for you to be taken to the port in the morning.
4. Wear sunscreen
On the ferry, the Grecian sun is very strong and it would really ruin your first day if you were roasted.
5. Don't miss your stop!
The boat will be going to loads of islands and they don't come around waking you up for Ios!
6. Don't take the first offer
When you get off the boat you'll be bombarded by people offering you deals. We stayed in Sunrise and it was the best place to stay as far as we were concerned but do a bit of research before you go. Try and negotiate the price down at the port, often times they will go lower. Agree on a price and make sure it doesn't increase as the summer continues.
7. Don't stay down at the beach.
It might seem like a good idea but it's a serious trek at night from the clubs and you don't want to be relying on taxi's since there's only a bout 3 on the island.
8. Go to Escape for breakfast
It's the best place for breakfast on the island, you can get a full Irish, nice coffee and it's owned by a lovely Irish family.
9. Pre drink in Sunrise
Buy your vodka in the market and set yourselves up outside. Be nice to George!
10. Don't spend all your time in Sweet Irish Dream
It might be the first place you go, they set the bar on fire and the music is fun but don't make the mistake of going there every night. Too many Irish and far more to see.
11. Stick with Smirnoff
The alternative is Ostrov which has been renamed 'Stab' by the Aussies. The story goes that a guy who drank a bottle of it went so crazy that he stabbed his mother. It's pretty intense stuff, be careful!
12. Try and get a job in Harmony
Hardest place on the island to get a job because it's the best. If you get to Ios early enough and they like you, you might have a chance.
13. Get a job at the water sports
It means you get to spend all day on the beach, in the water, and you have your nights free. Plus you get to drive around in a speed boat all day, flinging people into the air!
14. Do a tequila slammer is Slammers
Put the helmet on and let him bang your head with a hammer. Yes it looks dangerous but it's really not.
15. Get to Circus bar to see the fire show and hear Matt sing
He puts on quite a show
16. Eat in Pomodoro
It's a little pricey but great for a special occasion. Really good food and a beautiful view.
17. Make friends with hospitality staff
Wherever you go, be nice and try and make as many hospitality friends as you can. They essentially run the show and it's very easy to get a good/bad reputation.
18. Get involved in the Fun Pub
They do a movie every night, you can sit on couches and eat your baked potato while you watch Shrek 3. It's awesome. They also have pool, table quizzes and jenga tournaments, great place to meet people.
19. Paint yourself blue for the Midsummer party
The Swedish midsummer will be on June 20th this year, and like every year, will start around noon in Flames Bar and finish at Far Out at the end of the beach. The Swedish people are ridiculously good looking and it's always a great day. Watch this video before you go any further!
20. Don't forget to eat on Irish Day
Irish Day is on the 17th of July every year and it starts at Escape. Everyone then marches down through the town singing 'The Fields Of Athenry' and 'Ole Ole Ole' . Sounds horrific but it's actually one of the best days of the Summer.
21. Get the Malteaser shot in The Orange Bar
It is phenomenal.
22. Get a gyro
They are essentially a Greek kebab. They are delicious.
23. Eat in Lord Byron
Pricier than most places but excellent food.
24. Bring Dioralytes
Re-hydration sachets that got us through the Summer. They taste like soapy sea water but it's worth it.
25. Go to Scorpion
It's only open for part of the Summer, it's a bit of a walk but it's the only real club on the island. Definitely worth a visit.
26. Get involved in Watersports
So much fun, perfect way to kick a hangover but make sure you're wearing a secure bikini.
27. Be careful at the Wet T-shirt comp
It's a great day and if you're brave enough to enter then more power to you, just be aware of all the camera phones!
28. Be prepared to think you're going to die on every bus journey to the beach
There is a turn that the bus takes which is so dangerous, it's better just to close your eyes.
29. Be nice to the mountain goats
30. Respect the locals
They could literally fuck you up.
31. Get a chicken pie at the bakery
It is one of the best things you'll ever put in your mouth.
32. Do a Flaming Lamborghini in Flames
They're surprisingly very tasty!
33. Girls - don't bring high heels
Even if they're wedges, there is literally no point. They'll weigh down your luggage and you'll only break your ankle if you attempt to put them on.
34. Don't stay in
You might think you have to, your body is wrecked, you're feeling sick.... worst idea ever. Suck it up, have some food and stop being a baby. Every night in Ios is a great one.
35. Dance on the bar in Rehab
Preferably to the Amy Winehouse song.
36. Go to Astra for a cocktail
They are the best in town
37. Get a job in a club
They'll make you go around promoting on the beach for a couple of hours a day. It might seem like hell but it's actually the best way to meet people.
38. Be prepared for a free for all
If there's anywhere in the world I would say that monogamy doesn't exist, it's Ios. Scoring is plentyful and if you're not single, you should really consider it before this holiday.
39. Don't ask every bar tender for free shots
If they like you, you might get lucky, but constantly asking is just annoying
40. Spend days wandering the town
Ios is beautiful during the day, it also has great little shops to pick up a new outfit.
41. Bring sunglasses on a night out with you
You go back to an after party or you get lucky - the walk of shame home is far easier if you're wearing sun glasses.
42. Spend evenings listening to live music in Harmony
They will be among the best evenings of your summer.