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, or hike the little-trodden trails to the island's hilltop monasteries. 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 some wheels and venture into the countryside of goat farms, honey boxes and dramatic views.