Ios Bars and Clubs
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Ios is internationally renowned for its nightlife, and rightly so as it has some superb bars and nightclubs. From fabulous cocktail bars to specialist shots, from people-watching in the square to dancing the night away. Ios offers music to satisfy all tastes and bars and clubs as varied as they are fun. The night gets going at around midnight but there’s nothing to stop you heading out earlier than that and taking in a few sneaky quiet ones to get warmed up. The partying continues until the early hours of the morning and then leaves the sleepy village deserted of revellers until early afternoon when people start emerging in search of breakfast and frappes. We include below a selection of some of our own faves, but there are many great nights out in Ios and if you are willing to explore a little you will find some real gems tucked away down little alleyways.
Charming, quirky and cool, Astra prides itself on making top quality cocktails in a funky and friendly environment. With a drinks list to rival many top London bars, you can choose from a variety of Astra originals such as their signature Green Destiny, made with fresh kiwi fruit, cucumber and plenty of vodka, or my new personal favourite, the Kyoto, a gin based cocktail with passion fruit syrup and fresh mint that totally knocks your socks off. They also offer plenty of classics, many with their own Astra slant, with the Apple and Raspberry Mojito being top of my list. Located at the front of the village, a stairway leads you up to an enticing terrace where old and new friends chat to each other over a cocktail or two. Inside is decorated in a plush deep red with vibrant designs on the walls, set to a soundtrack of the latest uplifting funky house played by DJ Branca. Owners Sinead and Jani go all out to make sure their guests feel at home and as a result Astra attracts a great crowd of chilled out people from all over the world. The perfect combination of great music, excellent cocktails and a relaxed atmosphere make Astra a truly exceptional place that you will want to come back to year after year. Like Astra on Facebook.
Newly opened in 2011, Baru brings a bit of upmarket chic to Ios. Beautifully done out and with a well turned out crowd of hot young things, you could be forgiven for thinking you had somehow chanced upon one of Athens’ trendy bars that the average tourist would never find. But Baru is located just a stone’s throw from the main square of Ios and offers something new and different to the strip of bars in which you will find it. Music is varied from house to R’n’B to popular classics, depending on the what the customers are most enjoying, drinks are well made and the décor is white brickwork arches lit with soft coloured intelligent lighting - a description which does not at all do this stylish bar’s interior justice - or sit out the front on Baru’s terrace if you like. With the ever smiling Plouton and Elizabeth meeting and greeting all that walk through the door, you feel welcomed from the moment you enter. Hanging out in Baru is a truly enjoyable experience and adds a touch of panache to any night out. Like Baru on Facebook.
One of the first stylish bars to have opened in Ios back in 2007, Coo brings elegant minimalism to a whole new level. Smartly decorated in crisp white, with tiny lights glittering away like stars in the bar and floor and colour changing ambient lighting, and the DJ playing R&B and hip hop favourites as well as plenty of lesser-known tracks, Coo is the ultimate in hip places to be. Revel in Coo’s excellent music or park yourself at the bar and work out which of Coo’s first-rate cocktails you want to try first. We loved the Choc Honeycomb Martini made with, amongst other things, delicious local Ios honey. Also luscious are the Lychee and Peach Martini and the Pineapple and Passionfruit Martini. Yes, it’s a martini orientated menu, which suited us just fine, but they will happily make these for you in a big glass with ice if martinis aren’t your thing. And they taste just as good! Owner Kyros and bar manager Danny, whose creative input is largely responsible for the inspired menu, have gone all out to make this a bar to enjoy and have succeeded in this on every level! Like Coo on Facebook.
Orange Bar offers one of the most unique drinking experiences you’ll find anywhere in the world. Tucked away in the back streets of the village, Orange attracts customers who return year in year out for their amazing shots menu and superb music. Playing a diverse selection of the best rock music spanning five decades, we challenge you to find a track that DJ Panos doesn’t have. And while you’re trying to work out who really was the greatest musical frontman of all time (well thought out posters on the walls will give you inspiration), you can work your way through the most ingenious and delicious shots menu I have ever seen. Handmade artisan delights await you as you browse what can only be described as a liquid sweet shop for grown-ups. Malteser vodka is famed throughout the island and is easily the nicest shot I’ve had. The menu includes a myriad well known chocolate bars turned intoxicating shots – bounty, twix and creme egg to name but a few, as well as a selection of ‘dessert shots’ such as chocolate brownie, key lime pie and Greek baklava. For the less sweet-toothed and perhaps slightly more hardcore, the rock-themed highway to hell, the cure or cobain’s brain may appeal. You will not get through the whole menu in one visit (I have tried!). See that as a challenge if you like, or just sit back and enjoy the journey through alcohol and music heaven on which Orange Bar will take you. Join Orange Bar's Facebook group.
New for 2013, in a joint venture from the ever welcoming owners of Astra Bar and two dashing Australian guys, comes sparkly, sexy and chic Pash. Opposite stylish Baru, Pash perfectly complements the touch of class that is making its way across the island. Done out in sensual red and black, with glam chandeliers adorning the bar area, a plush chill out area, and a sound system to die for, Pash is THE place to see and be seen. Resident DJ Camaro, and guest DJs including the legendary DJ Branca, play the very best pure and sultry house to a dance floor of vibrant young (and young at heart) revellers. Complementing all of this is a superb cocktail menu (we wouldn’t expect anything less from the people that brought you Astra) - we recommend the passion fruit centric Pash, served long or straight up, and the premium gin-based Lord Kashmir. Despite all this fabulousness, Pash is wonderfully unpretentious and friendly. With welcoming staff and a lively and bubbly atmosphere you can’t help but get your groove on here. Take the dance floor by storm or chill out in the VIP seating area and order bottles of bubbly, shots, or cocktails straight to your table. Either way you are guaranteed a top night at Ios’s newest nightclub. Like Pash on Facebook.
If you want to dance the night away, Rehab provides the perfect place to do it. Located close to the front of the village it couldn’t be easier to check yourself into Rehab for some late night fun, frolics and all important medicine: Jagermeister. Not to mention a fine array of mixed drinks, shots and cocktails. There is something amusingly outlandish about being served a cocktail by a bartender in a skimpy nurse’s uniform, but on some nights in Rehab that’s just what you’ll find. Music is upbeat, playing hip hop and R’n’B early in the evening turning to funky house later on. The club is done out in a clinical meets surreal style, with an interesting collection of ominous but arty photos adorning the walls, including an inspired homage to the late Amy Winehouse behind the DJ box. With pole dancing poles across the dance floor, which find themselves being put to good use by male strippers twice a week (Monday and Friday at time of writing), you can look forward to a titillating night out at Rehab……. keep an eye out for owner Nicklas – he’ll have you knocking back shots, dancing on the bar and having way too much fun before you know it. Like Rehab on Facebook.
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*Credit and thanks to Malcolm Kinnear, Coo and Pash the photos used on this page