Location: Naxos, Ios and Santorini, Greece
Date: Saturday 26th July to Friday 1st August 2014
Summer holiday time! This time I jetted off to the Greek Islands with my friend EN. I met EN while I was travelling in the USA but I hadn’t seen her for two years as she is Australian and lives far too far away for a weekend break to be considered. But her long planned trip to Europe finally arrived and I joined her for her last (and best, duh) week in Greece.
We decided on 3 days partying and 3 days on the beach. So being a good English girl I suggested Kos for the party section. I was told in no uncertain terms that everyone went to Ios to party in the Greek Islands and who am I to complain! … Oh it was such a good choice!
We flew into Santorini, it being the only airport near by, and we were going to get a boat that day to Ios. However when we got to the port we were told the last boat to Ios had left …. and all hotels in Santorini were full. Humm. So we hopped on the next boat anywhere and ended up in Naxos. One of the most beautiful Islands I have ever been to. It’s quiet, peaceful, not too touristy and everyone is very friendly! A great mistake to have made.
Then we headed onto Ios, slightly apprehensive about what we would find. We were staying at the Far Out Beach Club which has a pool party that starts at midday every day …. Being English I was imagining your Magaluf/Tenerife/Ayia Napa type resort and wasn’t exactly looking forward to it. But the reason I had never heard of Ios is because it is pretty much exclusively full of Australian tourists and is as laid back and friendly as you would think because of that! There were no fights in the streets, people throwing up in the gutter, screaming matches or general ‘Brit abroad’ behaviour! There was however a lot of laid back drinking by the pool, sports on the beach and a selection of just about the most attractive people I have ever seen. Who never seemed to wear any clothes but swim shorts. Ever.
The bars were fun and social with a laid back vibe and tonnes of live music. If you’re going I definitely recommend Circus bar which always had something on to entertain, even if it was just the bartenders! If you wanted that full on night out feeling you had to wait until 2:30AM as that was the earliest time a ‘real’ club opened at. Honestly I never made it that far, late night swimming called instead. Our mornings *cough* afternoons *cough* were spent sitting on the beach soaking up the rays and swimming in the beautiful clear waters around the island, including taking a tour to swim through some of the island caves. I highly recommend Ios to anybody looking for a good fun holiday. Just don’t spread it around, we wouldn’t want too many Brits finding it!
Leaving Ios on 3 hours sleep and the 11:00AM ferry we headed to Santorini, got to the hostel and crashed for a good few hours… oh well, that was the point right? Fira (town in Santorini) ended up being a bit of a disappointment. It was full of tourists, shops selling crap to tourists and restaurants selling crap food to tourists … boo. But with a bit of digging we found a really lovely little restaurant with great (free!) wine and one of EN’s friends from her previous travelling.
Together the three of us explored the island. We spent the first day on your classic tour of a volcano which was alright, but honestly a little dull (and that’s coming from a geography graduate) and headed over to Ia to see ‘the world’s most beautiful sunset’. We set up camp on a street corner with a picnic to watch the sun go down with what seemed like the whole population of the island. It is a wonderful view from the edge of Ia over the jagged, broken rocks of smaller islands and out to the flat blue sea. You can see why people thought there was an edge you could fall off. You also get a wonderfully clear view of the sun sinking into the horizon however I don’t know if we just got a bad day but the sunset itself … Disappointing. I’ve seen better in London. I also think the mass crowds around you take away from the magical natural beauty if the moment. The next day we hired some of the broken and loud quad bikes you get all over the island and headed off on our own to see what we could find. This was a fab idea as we discovered the wonderful black beach and a little cove with the most crystal clear water I have ever seen.
The next day it was time to say goodbye and promise to see each other again soon (260 days to be precise) and get on a plane back home 😦
Naxos – yes
Ios – Yes!
Santorini – sorry, no