Incredible beaches, bustling nightclubs and gyros everywhere; this is Ios. We had arrived in paradise to swim, dance, drink, eat and live our “best lives” for the next four days.
Located between Naxos and Santorini, Ios is often used as the perfect stopover by way of the ferry for a party binge before moving on to the romantic chalk-dotted hillsides of Santorini. And, while it’s one of Greece’s smaller tourism highlights, as the saying goes – size doesn’t always matter.
Speeding into port on a ferry from Mykonos packed to the brim with people, that didn’t get off at our stop, should have been the very first sign of what was to come. However, with our accommodation shuttle driver sign in hand and ready and waiting, it seemed that all was as it should be.
A short 10-minute drive around the bend to Mylopotas Beach sits Far Out Beach Club, a beachfront property and one of the more affordable options for travellers looking for a good time, not a long time.
* World’s 50 best beaches – New Zealand didn’t make the cut
* The best Greek island for every type of traveller
* The last unspoiled Greek island – welcome to Folegandros
Helping us lug our bags to reception was one of the shuttle drivers who also seemed like he ran the place. After we covered the basics most travellers ask when scoping out a new destination, he told us it was a shame we hadn’t arrived a few days earlier. Curious, we asked him why that was.
He then mentioned the unthinkable. Something we weren’t expecting to hear, and something that would change the entire course of our next four days on the island: off season.
And there it was. The very reason no-one got off the ferry at our stop and the very reason most of the beachfront bars and restaurants sat vacant. Hundreds of tourists littering the streets and beaches of Ios for months on end, gone in what felt like the blink of an eye.
Hardly anyone was here, and there wouldn’t be many more people coming for a very long time. The road well travelled had metamorphosed into the road less travelled overnight, with the high season ending just one day before we arrived.
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After grappling with the cons for a quick minute, a free accommodation upgrade soon opened the doors to a world of perks we didn’t realise our new situation could offer.
While the low season generally means there are not that many people, it also means, well there are not that many people. An entire Greek nirvana at our disposal to discover in a completely different, yet more grounding and authentic way. Paradise found.