Let’s face it, Zante’s strip has quite the reputation. Fishbowl cocktails are just the start of the foam-covered shenanigans in Laganas. But, this island has much more to offer than wild nights of DJ sets and dancing on the tables. Across the island you’ll find bars catering to a different clientele. Rare wines, sky bar views, sunset terraces and cocktail mixologists are waiting to be discovered. We’ve covered the best of both worlds to help you choose between paint parties and pairing your wine with dessert…
A night in Laganas…
Hedonistic doesn’t even begin to describe the shot-fuelled antics that play out on Zante’s strip, night after night. A place where turning the fire sprinklers on is considered a ‘rain party’ and the low, low prices see your attention flit from club to club and all the DJ sets star to blur into one, big bass thumping sound track to your stay. If you’re in the market for fast-paced mayhem, international DJs and more mojito flavours than you can handle… hit the strip.
Zante’s superclub is an institution. Rescue has been partying on the strip for over 30 years and shows no sign of stopping. Join 2,000 new friends every night to dance the night away in the main arena – or take your pick from any one of the 6 bars. The open air VIP lounge is THE place to see and be seen in Zante – though whether you’ll remember any famous faces in the morning is another matter. Get messy at the PaintGlow parties, dig out your finest swimwear for the Float Fest and make of the most of the hour-long free bar at Beach Fest. Rescue hosts some seriously big events – so expect to hear some familiar voices from Radio 1 and dance to mixes from the world’s top DJs.
Another Zante strip club with staying power, Cherry Bay is hot on Rescue’s heels for longest time served entertaining the hoards of Laganas party people. Great drinks, banging tracks and a round-the-clock vibe means this club literally doesn’t quit. Dance all night, refuel with a full English in the morning and rest up on one of their beach beds by day. If you really love to party, Cherry Bay make it hard to leave. The VIP area is a favourite for celebs. You don’t need to be famous to hire a spot though. The price tag on the bottles of 3ltr bottles of Grey Goose and Ciroc may make you wish you have movies star money though.
Orbzii tip: The strip is rife with scams offering everything from free bars to wristbands for VIP events. If it seems too good to be true it is. Especially the free drinks.
Curious about Zante’s strip? Head to Sirocco’s for a taste of Laganas – without the full-on clubbing experience. This Mexican steakhouse has an eclectic menu of eats – that occasionally come with free shots, but rarely will you spy a Mexican dish on the menu. That minor glitch aside, the racks of ribs, steaks and Jack Daniels burgers are big value meals that are a notch or two above the rest of the strip’s offerings. While the risotto, calamari and homemade steak pies give you a hint that there’s a decent chef working in this kitchen. Expect the strip to spill into to this spot, that’s better known as a pre-club drinks venue.
The rest of the island…
Zante’s nightlife has plenty of options away from the foam parties and events on the legendary strip. Head away from Laganas and you’ll find chic cocktail bars, legendary entertainment venues, sleek sky bars and newcomers looking to grab a slice of the Zante nightlife market.
Madisons - Zante Harbour
You may find yourself spending more than a few nights on the harbour side at Madisons. The chic terrace delivers on those all-important sunset views, while the drinks menu offers up some rare – and sought after, wines. The curated list features international vintages you’ll be keen to sip on – but do spend a while lingering over the Greek wines too. If you’d rather swerve the viticulture – the cocktail menu adopts the same ethos as the wine list. Rare spirits are used across the board – from the classics to in house creations. And, to round the evening off, the kitchen pairs Greek flavours with the drinks menu to great effect.
The Mill Bar - Alikanas
There’s a lot to unpack at The Mill Bar. Part bar, part beach club, part restaurant and part entertainment venue, it can be all things to all people. Families drop in by day for a splash in the pool and some bar-side shade. In the evenings, couples pop in for a romantic meal in front of stunning sunset views. Unless it’s ABBA night, Greek night – or indeed any evening when there’s a good old knees up planned. So, if you’re looking for a quiet one – with perhaps some traditional Greek food and wine, pick any other night than Friday. For the last 30 years, the evening has been dedicated to plate smashing, fire dancing, Mediterranean barbecue flavours and Greek music.
Movida - Bochali
You’ll find a few sky bars taking advantage of lofty outcrops on the island. And, taking advantage is the key phrase. For the most part – a great view, comes at great expense. And while Movida won’t be making an appearance on our best restaurants in Zante list, it does hit the mark for best bar. Refined, elegant and moody – in THE best possible way, this bar is the balance Zante needs to offset the neon-lit pubs in Laganas. Great cocktails, gorgeous views and the quiet Bochali location ticks all the night out boxes for couples that don’t want to end the night full of regret after a few too many fishbowl cocktails.
When it opened 2020, Bitters had one goal: to become the number one venue in Zante’s nightlife scene. And, slowly but surely, it’s ticking off those bar goals. Summers see patrons spilling out onto the pavements, quaffing drinks from Bitters eclectic cellar. Rare wines, fine champagnes, signature cocktails and a stellar spritz menu hint at something luxe and exclusive. But, the ambience at Bitters is far from pretentious or haughty. Here, everyone’s welcome to enjoy the finer sips in life. Which, presumably is what’s making this newcomer so successful.
Orbzii tip: Missing your morning macchiato? Bitters is building quite a rep on the coffee scene too. Frappes, Irish coffees, cappuccinos and Americanos feature on their reasonably large caffeinated menu. Do try to gloss over the Nescafé option though. It’s a blip on an otherwise perfect selection.