Discovering Crete After Sunset

    Crete at Night
    Britrob / CC BY-NC

    If you are on holiday in Crete, then the ideal antidote to a relaxed day spent lounging around your villa and pool, is the Cretan night-life. There are a huge array of things to do throughout the island after sunset. All across Crete, there are activities aimed at people who want a romantic date, an evening of culture, or a night of partying till dawn. Once the sun has finished for the day, Crete is just getting started.

    Crete is very peaceful during the daytime, regardless of whether you are visiting charming villages, relaxing in your villa, or exploring the ancient ruins of the island. However, by night-time, Crete offers tourists a vibrant mix of nocturnal entertainment, and there are many restaurants, clubs, bars and live music venues available in numerous areas. From folk dancing and authentic Greek tavernas, to harbour-side restaurants and bars, everyone will find something to tickle their fancy after the sun has set over Crete.

    Cretan-Style Romance

    Following a hard day of swimming and sunbathing at the beach, Crete ups the tempo and offers you a plethora of options. For an evening of romance beneath the Mediterranean sky, go to the quaint town of Hania. Locally, it is traditional to have a “volta”, which is a stroll that has no fixed destination planned, during the early part of the evening. Then, you may enjoy a romantic horse drawn carriage journey down to the harbour of the town, where you can try some of the local cuisine (this is famous for its’ life-extending qualities). At various times of the year, you can see movies being screened outside in public parks, and this is always a popular choice for couples.

    Sunset in Hania
    otakuchick / CC BY-NC

    Authentic Crete at Night

    When you visit Crete, you should definitely go to see some live performances of Cretan music, which is an unforgettable experience of energy and wit. The lyra (a 3 stringed instrument similar to a violin) is the primary instrument. The lyrics used in the live songs are frequently humorous and relate to nature, current affairs and love.

    Often, the lyrics are improvised by the singers to poke fun at audience members, or the band. The Chania and Rethimnon tavernas are the top venues for hearing authentic Cretan music. Also, there are many Cretan folk dances which are locally performed as well. Frequently, these are based on wedding dances, or war dances. In-conjunction with the authentic costumes, these dances make for an exciting visual spectacle.

    Hersonissos Nightlife, Crete
    marcoqf73 / CC BY-NC

    Partying the Night Away

    In many quarters, Crete is regarded as the party island of Greece, so if you want to find somewhere to boogie the night away, there are no shortage of options. You will find lots of themed nightclubs and bars throughout the island, although the most famous areas are Agios Nikloas and Heraklion. Be sure to bring your most comfortable shoes for dancing, because things really start moving at about 01:00am, and carry on right through to dawn. As you will discover, the local people are very good at throwing a party.

    Heraklion Harbour After Sunset
    bongo vongo / CC BY-NC

    The best way to recuperate and recharge your batteries after an evening out, is to chill out on a deckchair at your villa. There are many superb villas in Crete, and most of them come with lovely swimming pools. These villas are ideal for catching the lovely rays of the Mediterranean. However, fear not. If your day has been spent relaxing in your villa, Crete will serve it all up once more, after you have recuperated. From authentic dancing and music, to trendy nightclubs for visiting Athenians, there is something for everyone when dusk falls on this delightful island.

    About the Author: Steve Laws is a travel enthusiast and the owner of His website provides top travel information and insight, aimed at inspiring holiday-makers to explore different parts of the world.

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