This Gorgeous Greek Island Is One Of The Best Party Destinations In The World

Choosing which Greek island to visit could make or break a trip — and there are more than 200 of them. Some, like Hydra or Folegandros, are for the bohemians. Others, like Santorini or Ithaca, are for the lovers. But what about the party animals? Luckily, there's an island just for you! Nestled in the heart of the Cyclades, Ios is an island of nightlife that dances until dawn. Often overshadowed by its more famous neighbors like Mykonos, Ios proudly and loudly claims its status as one of the best party destinations in the world.

Ios harbors a unique duality. By day, it is the picture of serenity, with its whitewashed buildings, narrow paths, and tranquil beaches. Come sunset, however, the island transforms. The streets of Chora, Ios' main village, come alive with a party energy that rivals Dionysus himself. Bars, clubs, and restaurants open their doors to lively crowds drawn by the promise of unforgettable nights. Ios is especially popular among young travelers and backpackers due to its affordability, from drinks to entry fees.

The island's 24-hour party culture peaks from June until September. Nights out start at around 10 p.m. and can go on until the early hours of the morning, with some bars and clubs not closing until the sun is well up. There's something for every type of party animal, from chill rooftop bars serving boozy cocktails to high-energy dance clubs that feature world-renowned DJs. Ios lives up to its reputation: The nightlife is legendary.

Ios: The party capital of Greece

Among the must-visit spots is the iconic Far Out Beach Club, located on Mylopotas Beach. By day, it is a relaxing beachfront spot, but by night, it becomes one of the island's craziest raves. For those who prefer something more intimate, the Pathos Lounge offers stunning sunset views and 10 different party zones, from VIP tables to romantic nooks. Other nightclub venues include Scorpion, Disco 69, and EREGO.

Ios has bars and pub crawl experiences galore. The most popular and infamous is the Ios Bar Crawl Greece. Tickets cost around 30 euros ($33) and offer participants VIP entry to venues, five free shots, one free drink, and lots of games and prizes. If a pub crawl sounds too excessive, check out classy beach bars like Karma, Cantina Del Mar, and Click for a more laid-back drinking experience at your own pace. Once the night is over, if you can, crawl over to Panayia Gremiotissa Church, which overlooks Chora, for a tranquil sunrise.

To balance your party experiences with some daytime adventures, Ios will deliver. The island has more than 35 beaches, ranging from the bustling Mylopotas Beach to secluded coves accessible only by boat or hike. If you're dealing with a hangover from one too many Mythos' (the most popular beer in Greece), a swim in the ocean might just do the trick! Watersport enthusiasts will also find plenty to keep them entertained, including flyboarding, snorkeling, and jet skiing. 

What to do in Ios after the party's over

Despite its reputation as a party hub, Ios maintains a strong connection to its cultural roots. The island is dotted with historic sites, including the tomb of the epic poet Homer, who is said to have been buried here, and Skarkos, a prehistoric settlement dating back to the early Bronze Age.

Adventurous souls can explore the island's hilly terrain, discovering hidden churches and breathtaking viewpoints. The hike to the top of Paleokastro, an ancient Venetian castle, rewards with panoramic views of the Aegean Sea, making it a perfect spot for sunset watchers. Check out Ios Paths for curated routes and detailed maps.

No visit to Ios is complete without indulging in Greek cuisine. The island's tavernas and restaurants offer fresh seafood, locally produced cheeses (try kefalotiri, xinotiri, and skotiri), and authentic Ios dishes, like tsimetia (stuffed zucchini blossoms) and mizithropitakia (cheesy pie with honey). For a quick bite between beach and party, don't miss the gyro stands.

Accommodations in Ios cater to a range of travelers, from backpackers looking for a hostel bed, like at Francesco's, to luxury seekers in search of an exclusive stay at Calilo. Many accommodations offer stunning views and easy access to both the beaches and nightlife, ensuring you're never far from where you want to be. The island's hospitality is safe and welcoming, reflecting the Greek tradition of philoxenia, or love of strangers. So, if you love to party, of all the 200+ Greek islands, set your sights on Ios.