The Complete Guide
Crete is the largest and most populous of the Greek islands, the 88th largest island in the world and the fifth largest island in the Mediterranean Sea, after Sicily, Sardinia, Cyprus, and Corsica. It bounds the southern border of the Aegean Sea. Crete is the largest island in Greece, while it has charming villages galore, Crete has something that no other Greek island can claim – a city. What’s more, Crete has five of them, all adorning the north coast.
Here, you can admire the remnants of brilliant civilizations, explore glorious beaches, impressive mountain escapes, fertile valleys and steep gorges, and become part of the island’s rich gastronomic culture. Crete is, after all, a small universe teeming with beauties and treasures that you will probably need a lifetime to uncover! Here in this article, we are going to take a deep look into such features of the city of Crete which will make your journey a wonderful nightlife experience:
Apart from the Cyclades Islands which are world famous for their party vibes, Crete Island is also an island with wild nightlife options in some spots. It offers a wide plethora of options to spend amusing nights for all tastes and ages. From wild parties to traditional Greek nights with Cretan musicians, Crete has it all.
Live music events generally don’t start early, so take it ‘siga siga’ (slowly slowly) as locals do: head for a tsipouradiko (taverna) for raki with meze, then head out at around 10 pm for live music or anywhere after midnight to go clubbing. Here we have gathered some of the best and frequented venues of Crete to make your journey really an unforgettable:
Often cited as one of the world’s best beaches, Elafonisi Beach has to be seen to be believed. The beach is a nature reserve on the channel between the mainland and Elafonisi, a rectangular island famed for the pink sand on its beaches and dunes. The water between the mainland and the island is very clear, shallow and lagoon-like, and often you can pass from one to the other on sand bars without getting your feet wet.
There is an enormous natural pool where you can paddle or lie back and float in shimmering water no more than ankle or knee deep. Add to this the white sand, turquoise water, azure sky and views to Crete’s mountainous southwest coast and you have got a small patch of paradise.
Sissi is one of those villages that are laid-back attitude and charm is totally contagious. Pop over to the village and experience some of that relaxing attitude that’s every holiday should include. Just remember to pack your swimming gear too, there is a really tiny beach where you can chill out after a few hours exploring.
The third-largest city in Crete also has what may be the best preserved old town on the island. Originally behind walls, the city’s tight cobblestone alleys were laid out in the 14th century when Crete was in the hands of the Republic of Venice, and has held onto its Renaissance mansions, arches and catholic churches. If one building can sum up Rethymno’s tumultuous history it is the Neratze Mosque.
From the eastern end there is a mole, several hundred meters in length, leading all the way to the lighthouse, a symbol for the city. This was built at the turn of the 17th century and got its minaret-like form in the Egyptian period in the 1830s. The western part of the harbor was where goods were brought ashore, while the more sheltered eastern pocket was for ship building and maintenance.
This unusual body of water is ringed by boats, coffee shops and restaurants in the eastern town of Agios Nikolaos. Lake Voulismeni is no longer strictly a lake as in 1870 a channel was laid connecting it with the town’s harbor and the sea. You may notice from the darkness of the water that it is extremely deep, despite the lake’s width. Stop by for a coffee by day to watch the fish, or see the lights on the water over a meal in the evening. On the Saturday night before Orthodox Easter most of the town gathers on the water’s edge for a fireworks display and to light their own firecrackers.
The wildest scenes for nightlife in Crete are the region from Malia and Stalis to Elounda. There are many clubs in Malia and Stalis, the two places that are mostly frequented by British tourists. In the rest of the tourist places of Crete, there are lounge bars with soft music and exotic cocktails. These bars usually stay open till midnight or 2-3 o’clock in the morning the most.
Concerning Crete nightlife in Chania Town in Chania, you will find plenty of bars and clubs, some well-hidden in the picturesque alleys of the old town and others lining the waterfront with a gorgeous view to the night sky. So, if you have had a long day out experiencing the city’s wonderful attractions and other things to do, you probably deserve a drink to satisfy your thirst, so check out our recommended options here for the best venues available in Crete and all are ready to make you happy and kill your liquor desire:
Miniatoura is a small cafe-bar situated in Chania, on the attractive square of Agia Aikaterini. This cozy place offers pleasant coffee, snacks, as well as full meals, from burgers and salads to club sandwiches and meze dishes. A special thing about this place is its rich wine menu, with more than 100 labels, including some amazing local wines. The music is alternative and depends on the time when you are vising during the day. Miniatoura also hosts a number of special cultural events.
“Cuckoo” is a popular bar in the city of Heraklion with it’s excellent service, warm environment and nice music. It hosts countless events in order to create a vivid atmosphere but also promote the local cultural production, from student parties to live concerts and acoustic performances. Unfortunately it is closed during the summer, but if you come by during any other time of the year you are guaranteed a good time over there.
It is indeed a wonderful place located on the picturesque old port street of Chania that serves excellent dishes and drinks under the sounds of relaxing jazz music. Here you will taste some delicious gourmet dishes and flavors that melt in mouth, and all offered at reasonable prices. Colombo Kitchen and Bar often hosts artistic and cultural events, including live concerts and international poetry evenings. The service and the atmosphere are friendly.
Tertipi is being operational as a typical Greek tsipouradiko in Chania. Located in a small narrow street of the city, away from the noise of the touristy Chania, it serves a wide range of drinks that include the local tsipouro or the Cretan tsikoudia, which are accompanied with free large meze dishes. This cozy place is decorated in great taste and offers an interesting exploration of the Cretan cuisine and lifestyle.
Eukalyptos is situated in an amazing location under the shade of huge eucalyptus trees and the Venetian walls of Heraklion. It is a great place to drink a coffee during the day time, but it’s highlight is at night, when it becomes a hot-spot for people of all ages who want to enjoy a cocktail of their personal choice or a standard drink available at bar’s counter. And, if you are hungry, it also provides a number of tasty choices, from burgers to local salads and ice creams.
It is an elegant and warm wine bar inside the walls of the old city of Heraklion, hosting artistic events and live music concerts all year long. It serves dishes of the Mediterranean and the Greek cuisine, like lamb chops and fried chicken, perfectly accompanied with wines from all around Greece.
Located in the heart of the touristy Heraklion, Plastelina is widely known for its tasty cocktails, the nice pop-rock, electro and funky music and its young friends that create a vivid atmosphere, especially on Fridays. The bartender is always friendly and is always willing to recommend a drink according to your preferences.
The largest island of Greece has a rich history and a great presence. Its visitors are thrilled by its countless archaeological sites, as well as by the famous local hospitality and the vivid nightlife. Here are some of the best options for a culinary night out scene in Crete, situated within the old towns of Crete there are a couple of cafés, souvlaki, Greek tavernas and renowned restaurants along with live Greek music and fine cuisines to satisfy your hunger desire. Chania, Crete is one of the best places in all of Greece for food, where you will not only find your favorite Greek dishes, but also local Cretan specialties as well. So let us have a look at it:
Located in the heart of old town Chania, The restaurant is renowned for the lamb, as Enetikon is known for their roasted meat dishes. Or, like most of the restaurants on the island, you can’t go wrong ordering seafood dishes, including a dish of Cretan snails in rosemary! And for those who are less adventurous but still in a seafood mood, look for the steamed mussels there.
Located in Agios Titos Square right in the heart of the city, the Dish Cafe Bar Restaurant It is a favorite of the local nightlife, with its delicious local and Mediterranean dishes and rare whiskey labels, vodka, liquor and appetizers. Excellent service, the relaxed atmosphere and the selected Greek music guarantee a good dose of fun.
The menu is full of not only classic Greek and Cretan dishes, but also some interesting twists on those classic cuisines. The restaurant has two tiered outdoor seating on top of their indoor restaurant dining area. If you are in for an early dinner, ask to be seated on the upper tier, where you can catch some impressive sunset views. Be sure to try the tomato fritters, stuffed zucchini flowers, grilled octopus and fava – all favorites. And don’t forget to order some house wine to enjoy with your meal.
You will likely pass Tamam while you are exploring the streets of Chania’s old town. When you pass, go ahead and pop in to make a reservation, as this place fills up at quickly at night. The menu at Tamam is inspired by the traditional Greek Sunday dinner, meaning you will find traditional, home style meals made from top quality local ingredients. Try the rabbit cooked in sweet wine with rosemary, basmati rice flavored with dried fruits and vegetables, or one of their several perfectly executed seafood dishes.
The restaurant is situated a bit out of the way but is well worth the effort to find. This is a great place for neighborhood dishes with a menu that is not extensive but does feature some classic Greek favorites. The portions are large – if you are dining alone, you definitely do not need a salad, appetizer and a main. Be sure to ask about half portions if you are a solo diner or your table does not want to split.
The restaurant has recently been fully renovated and has introduced a brand-new menu for their visitors. Hidden away in a relaxed setting, the restaurant offers a range of fresh, traditional and delicious Italian dishes, made using sustainably sourced, entirely native ingredients. This popular Crete restaurant offers something especial for everyone, the dress code here for dinner is casual chic and reservations are also recommended to avoid hassle.
It is an ideal place to mingle and socialize as you sip on your cocktail and soak up the relaxed atmosphere of your surroundings. The main bar offers a varied menu of international and local alcoholic brands, cocktails, draft beer, soft drinks, refreshments and coffees.
In celebration of Crete’s UNESCO – protected food heritage, this new Cretan restaurant focuses on authentic local cuisine in a wonderful atmosphere. They are offering their guests a true taste of the island’s traditional food culture. Discover the culinary heritage in this new Cretan restaurant. Enjoy a vast range of drinks, including a selection of Greek beer, wines, ouzo and raki, in addition to mineral water; soft drinks and juices.
Whether it is wild Cretan glendis (parties) with lyra and lauto music – where people sit at long trestle tables eating a tasty fixed menu and raki flows freely – or hip nightclubs and stylish bars, age is just a number in Crete and you will find as many teenagers at the glendis as you will also find parents in the nightclubs too.
If you have the chance, do not also miss the well-known panigiria events of Crete that include traditional music and dancing till the sunrise. There are also countless places where you can hear the bouzouki, traditional Greek musical instrument similar to a mandolin, you must refer our recommendations here for some best nightlife options available there:
The Star Beach Water Park & Club is the most famous of Hersonissos. Open during the day, the place offers pools, slides, hire sunbeds and umbrellas, loud music and fun foam party, while at night the party continues with techno music until dawn. There is also a go-kart and the possibility of bungee jumping too. Indeed, it is a well-known and ideal place to party in Hersonissos.
The Palm Beach Club It is a beach club open day and night and just a few steps away from the beautiful beach of Hersonissos, just over the road on the harbor. Within the area full of palm trees there are 2 pools and 3 specially designed bar to relax and enjoy the sunny days in Crete. It is the perfect place to spend the hot summer holidays, the bar offers a wide selection of music and a friendly atmosphere.
One of the most demanded and well known nightclubs in Crete, the Mylos It tends to be crowded during the summer months, when the crowds of vacationers looking to party occupy Chania and its surrounding villages. Open from midnight until the early morning hours, this club organizes events every night with DJs from around the world.
This lively bar and club located in Platanias invites tourists to fun evening of drinks and dancing throughout the summer season. The atmosphere is quite informal, the vibrations gradually move from the bar at the club as the evening progresses.
The vibrations are felt in the party day and night to Ammos & Hlios, with DJs that spin groovy music and vacationers sun-kissed living on the beach, cocktail in hand course. At night, the structure is transformed into a club full blown hosting festivals throughout the summer.
The Ice Club It is a dynamic exclusive bar & club in the town of Rethymno. The place attracts many local young people and tourists who like to party until late at night under the loud sounds of Greek and foreign music, especially at weekends. Loud music, theme nights, live entertainment, and great DJs complete his profile.
Located in the middle of Malia Beach Road, the Club Apollo, it has a massive dance area and 3 bars where people flock from around the world. This club is one of the reference points for nightlife in Malia, and it is one of the last clubs to close.
Beach Club located across from the beach with a beautiful pool surrounded by palm trees creating an exotic atmosphere. Much music with DJs, beach parties and great creative cocktails, created primarily using fresh organic products mixed with alcohol.
Metropolis Society Bar
The Metropolis is a club located near the Venetian harbor of the old town and is especially loved by locals. Open all the year, it attracts many young people with its great drinks, as well as live music evenings and fun karaoke evenings. The playlist consists of a mix of Greek music, dance, disco and rock music.
Let us sum up the topic here, it can be said that the Crete has various historical places. We went through a brief history of it’s towns along with the details of how it came into being. We then discussed several places to hang out with your friends and loved one in the night time during your journey.
Coming to the adult nightlife of the Crete, we established how easy it is to find a good bar to enjoy the best drink of your choice with your friends, family or a date. Such bars could really offer some great pre-made cocktails for you or you could just ask for a superior drink to be served specifically for your booze desire.
You don’t feel hungry during your tour that is why we also suggested some of the finest restaurants in Crete that offer exotic and delicious food along with your favorite drinks, where you can actually enjoy the taste of good food along with some great booze.
And lastly, we went through a comprehensive list of Nightclubs being scattered in it’s old town areas that offers great music with some delightfully exotic options of drinks, cocktails, music, and dance that will polish your overall experience of nightlife at Crete.
The places mentioned in this article represent but a small fraction of what Crete has in the way of nightlife. Be assured that if you choose to visit this wonderful location you will find no shortage of places that suits your particular preferences when having a night out in the towns.