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Greece's insider take:

Yes, summer can still be backpacker bedlam on this isle of crazed repute. But like many backpackers of summers past, Ios is growing up. Witness it best just out of the high season, in May and September, when voices around the pool at the 22-room Liostasi Ios Hotel & Spa are seldom raised higher than a glass. And even at the much bigger, and livelier, Ios Palace, which sits above the scene-by-the-sea at Mylopotas Beach, an hour on your balcony can be as much about contemplation as celebration. Excepting the bar-jammed port and the village that rises above it, the surprisingly bucolic island is inhabited mostly by goats and the ghost of Homer, who is purported to be buried here. Even among Odyssey-reading, feta cheese–appreciating grown-ups, though, Ios's primary appeal lies in beaches—some so secluded they are accessible only by boat—as pretty as any in the Aegean.—Bob Payne

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