There’s party cities, and then there’s party islands. Because nothing is much better than being semi-stranded in a tropical oasis with 4,000 other people dancing, drinking and eating local cuisine in the most remote parts of the world. From Texas to the wild islands of South East Asia, we’ve rounded up the world’s most badass party islands that are worth checking off your bucket list. This week we’re fixated on a dreamy Greek Island where the beach parties don’t stop until the sun rises.
Where you need to party: Ios, Greece
What it’s known for: Beautiful beaches, boating, wild nightlife
Where you should stay: Skip the resort and get a rental with a private beach on the Aegean Sea, like this HomeAway property
Music you can expect to hear: Known for its clubs, you’ll come across a lot of DJs spinning house and remixes
What you should eat: If you go to a coastal Greek town like Ios and don’t get seafood such as octopus or fish, you’re doing it wrong
What you should drink: A cold glass of Ouzo or Metaxa, Greek’s official brandy
Why you need to go: Even though most people talk about Mykonos being the ultimate Grecian party island, Ios, one of the Cyclades’ islands off the Aegean Sea, is a hidden gem that holds its own when it comes to nightlife. Sandwiched between Naxos and Santorini, the hilly island with cliffs down to the sea is hard to ignore, and so are its all-night parties. You’ll find water sports at south of the island at Valmas beach or Kolitsani beach and tourists day-drinking on docked boats. But at night, the ancient cobble streets of Chora become packed with visitors heading to its renowned clubs and bars. Famous spots include Aftershock, Disco 69, Blue Note and Scorpion Nightclub. But if you’re looking for a beach party, you should head to Mylopotas Beach for Far Out Beach Club, which doubles as a resort. The contrast of the island is also something travelers can play to their advantage. One side offers tranquility with over 365 ancient churches and quiet cafes, where the other half allows you to get weird. Hey, everyone has a dark side.
Between joy riding on boats and roaming the ancient streets of Chora nightclub to nightclub, Ios is the ultimate summer hot spot.
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Nicole Theodore is an editorial assistant at Playboy. Ouzo runs through her veins. Follow her on Twitter.