Ios’ image has long been linked to holiday sun, sea and sex, with a reputation for nonstop booze-fuelled partying. It’s partly true: there’s no denying that from June to August, the island is the much-loved stomping ground of youth and hedonism. But it’s so much more – if you want it to be – and the partying doesn’t infiltrate every village or beach.
Spend your days exploring the winding footpaths of the traditional hilltop old town or ensconced on a sandy beach. Discover the isolated interior or sandy beaches such as Manganari in the south, and then return to town in time for the party. Or visit in the shoulder season for a quieter pace, when Ios draws families and more mature travellers. It’s pretty easy to escape the crowds: simply rent a car and venture into the countryside of goat farms, honey boxes and dramatic views.