Ios is the island I associate most with my teenage years when I used to come with my Greek and English friends, camp out in the open and swim naked on Mylopotas beach. It was the youth island par excellence, rivalled only by Mykonos.
Sadly, around the turn of the century, things deteriorated: drunks caused havoc, stabbings started and drug dealers tried to convert the island into a new Ibiza. Just like in Ayia Napa in Cyprus, the authorities turned full circle and waged war against the lifeblood of their tourism: all young backpackers. Instead of embracing their culture and eradicating only the bad apples, they chopped off the whole tree: no late night music, no nudism, classical concerts and plays in a new theatre, an archaeological museum. Huh?
Well, families didn’t come; backpackers moved elsewhere; and ferries stopped anchoring as frequently. Ios still attracts a predominantly young crowd, but as in Ayia Napa, things aren’t what they used to be. Pity, coz the island is still one of my favourites in the Cyclades.
Have a look. [click on photos to enlarge]