If you can be sure of one thing, Crete nightlife is never dull. Parties last the whole night long, DJs jet in to fill up dance floors and from sun set ’til dawn there’s a place to sip on a newly dreamt up cocktail. But there are also bars in Crete that cater to a slightly slower paced crowd. Globetrot your way around the world via extensive beer menus, get romantic in front of glittering views or let the day effortlessly slip into the night in an old town cafe bar. If you’re looking for a quick no nonsense rundown – party in Malia, chill in any of Crete’s quieter, sea front villages. For something in between? Rethymnon should do nicely.
Apollo Club - Malia
Malia nightlife is best described as wild. Or ‘lively’, if you’re trying to play down the hot, hot nights that happen at Apollo Club. Right in the heart of Malia’s party strip, Apollo is THE place to get your urban music fix, dance the night away at one of their Full Moon parties or let the Belvedere vodka flow in the VIP booth. Lasers, fire eaters and big name DJs make this club the closest thing to a super-club on the island.
Cabana Mare Beach Club - Chania
Add a little luxe to your late night revelry with a cocktail and VIP cabana at Cabana Mare Beach Club. This sprawling sand-based bar offers spaces on the shore from 9am right through until after midnight. The VIP option includes your own hot tub to vibe in, along with WIFI, satellite tv and a fruit basket. The bespoke requests are where things get really fancy. Ask for just about any champagne in existence and they’ll bring in it by helicopter. It’s worth noting though, that they really do pack in the sun loungers and seating at Cabana Mare, so while it’s upscale and lavish, there’s not much in the way of space. When night falls, the international DJs and theme parties bring the nightclub right to your cabana.
Zig Zag Club - Malia
Before his big break, DJ Joel Corry spent his Monday’s behind the decks at Malia’s Zig Zag Club. It could be quite the humble brag for Zig Zag – but their reputation needs little help at this point. Ousting Apollo from the number one spot on Malia’s club list, this house and RnB venue goes big on everything from lights and sound to the drinks list. Don’t be fooled into thinking Zig Zag’s cocktail lounge might be a chilled place for a shisha and a cosmo pre-9pm. Full tables, buzzing beats and amped up revellers get the party started early doors.
New York Beach Club - Hersonissos
For three decades, New York Beach Club has been bringing the neon-lit parties right to the shoreline in Hersonissos. Open 20 hours a day, it’ll serve you a toastie on a sunlounger or a slamming set from their resident DJs, depending on when – and how, you choose to party with them. It might not deliver the same luxe vibes and Cabana Mare, but their sunset to sun-up dancing – in the open club that looks out right over the ocean, is their USP.
Orbzii tip: Drinks can be a little pricey here, compared to other Hersonissos bars, so do shop around if you’re watching your travel budget.
There’s a lot to love about Carte Postale. This glam little outpost overlooking Chania lets you raise a glass in style. But, as you nestle under a chandelier in the indoor patio, you can also tuck into comfort food. An intriguing mix to pair with the panoramic views of twinkling lights and oceanscape, but it really works. Of course, the towering burgers do come with a dash of refinement but you’ll never feel any foodie fears in this bar and restaurant. Relaxed, genial and just the sort of spot to catch the sunset and contemplate staying for just one more cocktail.
Cul De Sac - Rethymnon
Spend more than 24 hours on the island, and you’ll notice Crete nightlife likes to segue day and night seamlessly with the help of a cocktail. In Rethymnon, the place to do just that? Cul De Sac. By day it’s a charming little nook to relax in, grab a coffee and plot your route through the old town. At night, elaborate cocktails – and a well-stocked wine cellar, start your evening off with a taste of what’s to come elsewhere in the town. Or, you could watch the night unfold around you. Cul De Sac has been known to trot out a live music act here and there. As if you needed any more reasons to stay.
Beer O’Clock - Heraklion
It would, perhaps, be unfair to say Beer O’Clock’s decor is soulless. Yes, it needs a smidge of character to put it on par with other bars in Crete, but few can match this drinking hole’s commitment to beer. 100 ales have been gathered from across the world for your drinking pleasure. Nip in, try a new tipple and chow on burgers that embrace all things American, including portion sizes. And, let’s face it, when was the last time you sipped on a pint and thought, if only this came with a dash of interior design pizazz?