We left the island of Paros on the 18th of June 2003 on another super fast catamaran ferry. This thing could almost fly. I spent the first forty minutes standing by the read door in amazement of just how fast the water was rushing past. The trip only took a little over an hour and as we slowed to approach the port I studied the island ahead and was re-energized. Ios was different from Samos and Paros. It seemed more alive. As before on the other two islands, as soon as we were clear of the ferry we were immediately approached by countless men and women trying to convince us that they had the best rooms to rent on the island. Here on Ios we had already made arrangements to stay at a hillside hotel/villa.. The Katerina. I walked a few meters along the ocean and came to a motor scooter rental shop. After a few moments of negoiations, I had wheels. I left the crew and with my small island map, I was off to find our hotel.
The island was gorgeous. White stucco buildings lined the small lanes. Riding on, I soon came to a steep drive on the left and saw the sign for the Katerina. At the top of the drive, built on the top of the highest hill, was this welcoming assortment of white stucco, rock and timber Greek structures. I parked the scooter and walked up the four steps to the landing. All around me were young energized people from every corner of the globe. A beautiful pool lay glimmering in the afternoon sun only a few meters from the hotel bar, which also served as the cafe. The pool and deck were sitting on the side of a sheer cliff, leaving nothing to block the magnificent view of the bay. The full exposure of the rolling hills, the deep blue sea and the sandy beaches all lay below. I knew that this was going to be a great place!
As I was standing there, in awe, a pleasant looking man approached and said hello in fairly good english. He introduced himself as “Pedro.” He was the owner of this beautiful rustic paradise. Him and his family run and operate the hotel. A young Canadian man named Peter was the bartender. Peter came over from Toronto to work with his friend, Pedro, for the summer. The owner’s sweet and friendly wife, Maria, his Mother, Katerina and his gorgeous five year old son, George, I renamed him “George of the Jungle,” all contribute to the success of their vision of dreams.
Pedro grabbed some keys and walked me to our rooms. Then he drove me back to the port to pick up the crew and our bags. On our return we all stood looking out at the bay from the deck by the pool and knew for certain that we had surely found the best hotel on the island. The rates and the food were very reasonable and it amazed me at how much they were giving for such little money. Our rooms were comfortable and they each had a small patio with table and chairs that opened to the bay. Later, and on many occasions, I would sit on this balcony for long moments watching the sun set and just staring at the quiet world below me. This was indeed one of the Earths most visual locations. I really can’t remember feeling so safe and yet so alive.
Pedro’s and his family took good care of us, as they do all of their guests. The only rules they have is that everyone must have fun…lots and lots of fun. Peter, the bartender, made sure that you were quickly supplied with drinks. If you could name it or describe it…Peter could mix it. Maria, Pedro’s wife, made sure that your laundry was cleaned and that you are well fed. The menu was huge and the food was great, but you must try one of their custom omelet’s in the morning. Lil’ George, five, entertained you with his youth and good looks. Their pool made sure you remained cool and the view was always there to astound you. The beach, just one bus stop away at the bottom of the hill, called out to you and of course the 24 hour a day party life of the Village was only a few minute stroll. The Katerina Guest Hotel is the only place from which to truly experience Ios.