7 Best Bars in Heraklion
Whether you’re travelling with friends or a partner, you need to experience a great night out in the largest city on Crete. We want to share with you our favorite local nightlife destinations in Heraklion that will certainly make your night.
1. Manitu Sunset Bliss
Leof. Sofokli Venizelou, Heraklion 712 02
Manitu is the newest ‘chic venue’ in the city of Heraklion and one of the best bars to be in during the sunset hours. Stylishly decorated with a bohemian theme and accompanied by a great view of the sea, it’s truly the perfect place to snap that Instagram story. Cocktails are inventive and tasty but on the pricier side. It’s an ideal place to come with friends if you want to dress to impress. They also hold sunset parties with live music performances which is an added bonus to the whole experience. Make sure to make a reservation to score the best seats.
Eleutherias Square 29, 5th Floor, Heraklion 712 01
With a goal to create an oasis in the city, Toucan is a new hidden gem that’s worth a visit. Not only does it provide an impressive view of the Heraklion city center, but the space takes guests into a visual journey to the jungle. They captured the essence of the rainforest using lush plants and wooden textures, combined with modern elements, which makes it a great bar to enjoy a drink if you care about the ambience. The drinks menu is a mix of classic and interesting signature cocktails that are well worth a try.
3. Wets & Drys Days and Nights
Korai 7, Heraklion 712 02
Wets & Drys is set in a renovated landmark building located in the heart of Heraklion city, and open for all day dining. Commendable for their wide selection of exceptional cocktails, this place is perfect for a night of casual drinks. Staff have an excellent knowledge of what they serve and can offer you the right cocktail choices depending on your taste. The cozy atmosphere of the bar makes it popular amongst locals and tourists.
4. Xalavro Open Bar
Milatou 10, Heraklion 712 02
If you want to feel the vibrancy of Heraklion, then you need to make room for this one. Xalavro is an all-day open space for coffee and drinks that emerged from the ruins of an old house right in the center of the old town. The bar prides themselves for honoring the rich tradition of spirits and cocktails with emphasis on fresh and local products. The ambience is lively, especially during the weekends, so it will surely put you in a good mood. In addition, Xalavro also operates an open kitchen restaurant, which stands right by the bar, that offers Mediterranean cuisine with an Asian flair. Whether you try the open kitchen or bar, you won’t leave disappointed.
5. Swing Thing
Arkoleon 13, Heraklion 712 02
If you care for superb cocktails and unusual cocktail creations, this is the place. Nominated as the one of the best bars in Greece at the Athinorama Bar Award 2020, Swing Thing aims to elevate the cocktail game of Heraklion. Although not as spacious as the other bars mentioned before, the mixologist at this bar has mastered his craft. The location also allows you to people-watch and be in a vibrant environment. So, for a no-fuss evening drink that’s worth every penny, this bar is not to be missed.
6. The Garden
Aretousas, Heraklion 712 02
The Garden is one of the hippest bars in town that attracts the trendiest crowd of Heraklion. The setting exudes a cool and relaxed vibe, great for a chilled hangout with friends. Open air, great music, and impeccable cocktails that gives justice to local ingredients, is what you can expect at this bar. Occasionally, you can catch live performances at The Garden. They also serve a fusion of Polynesian and Japanese cuisine to pair with signature cocktails and wine list. We recommend giving their sushi a try as they are often praised for their tasty sushi selection. Try coming in a bit early or call for a reservation to avoid a long wait.
Kapetan Charalampi 3, Heraklion 712 02
Opus is right up your alley if you’re a wine lover due to their extensive wine list with great options of local wines. The atmosphere is warm and charming, set in a courtyard filled with fairy lights, greenery, stoned walls, and wooden tables. It’s a perfect spot for couples who prefer to have a more laid-back night. They also do cocktails if you’re not too keen with the wine but would like to experience this place.
5 Best Winery Experience in Crete
Are you a wine enthusiast or simply want to have a vineyard experience? Then, you’re at the right place since Crete houses some of the biggest wine producers in Greece. It’s a perfect activity for your beach day-off. But, beware you might have to purchase extra luggage because of temptations over taking home some delectable local wines. These are a few of our favorite wineries in Crete that are guaranteed to make your day.
1. Lyrarakis Winery
Alagni, Heraklion, Crete 703 00+30 6971539300
Lyrarakis is family-owned winery estate which has been in business since 1966. They produce high quality wines with strong emphasis on unusual local varieties. Known for helping revive and preserve regional selections, Lyrarakis will let you discover that exquisite local taste. Coming here will not only satisfy your taste palate, the estate has an idyllic setting of the vineyard and the Lasithi mountains which makes it a perfect way to enjoy nature’s finest. You can book a wine tasting starting at €10/person and we recommend pairing it with one of their food platters. In the summer months, a picnic can also be booked which lets you enjoy a meal in a tranquil spot in the heart of the vineyard.
2. Dourakis Winery
Alikampos, Apokoronou, Chania, Crete 730 07
Established in 1988, Dourakis is a boutique winery that produces quality wine using scientific care and respect of traditional methods. The stone winery is located in Alikampos Village with a scenic view of the mountainous Apokoronas. They are open year round to visitors who wish to indulge in a relaxed atmosphere and taste the richness of the wines made out of traditional Cretan grape varieties. Here, you can enjoy cooking lessons, art exhibitions, and a pleasant stroll at the botanical garden and ancient winepress. The winery also offers different meal options whether you prefer a light lunch, a full meal or simply a cheese board.
3. Manousakis Winery
Vatolakkos, Chania, Crete 730 05
Located 20 minutes drive away from Chania city center, Manourakis is a boutique winery that produces organic wines. Committed to the sustainable development of their vineyards, the winery practices earth-friendly methods of farming, which is also their way of showing respect to nature. On your visit to the winery, you can savour a wine tasting experience at a serene terrace and sit amongst the olive trees and orange groves. There is also a restaurant open for lunch and dinner during the summer season where you can satisfy your appetite with a simple yet succulent meal. A winery tour can be booked separately as well as cooking lessons and a jewelry-making workshop.
4. Karavitakis Winery
Pontikiana Village, Chania, Crete 730 02
A delightful location for a wine tasting session. Karavitakis estate consists of 150 acres of vineyards mindfully selected terroirs for each and every variety. The boutique winery produces wine using local varieties of grapes, and also international ones including some rare varieties. The surroundings is picturesque surrounded by olive groves on the hilltops of Kolimbari area, and a church between two vineyards. A wine tasting experience cost €9/person including a tour of the winery and a platter of small bites. This is certainly a great stop even for non-wine drinkers to experience a charming atmosphere with palatable wines.
5. Douloufakis Winery
Dafnes, Heraklion, Crete 700 03
The Douloufakis family has a long tradition in viticulture and wine making, which dates back to the 1930s. The grandson of the founder then took action to reconstruct the vineyard and cultivate new varieties, and they have continued to flourish ever since. Certified organic farming methods are being practiced in this 20 hectares vineyard. The terroir of the Dafnes region is known as an ideal place to grow quality grapes, and where a rare red wine of grape variety called ‘Liatiko’ is being produced since ancient times. The winery is open to guests all year round and a full wine experience can be purchased starting at €8/person. They are commendable for their warm, friendly and above all professional tasting. Not only that, you can get to experience the breathtaking views of the vineyards and a scrumptious snack along with your wine.
7 Best Bars in Chania
Chania is not only known for its beautiful nature and surroundings but also for its unique Cretan nightlife. We all want to unwind after a relaxed day at the beach doing nothing, and what’s the best way to do that without a cocktail? We have limited our favorites down to seven to offer you the best nightlife experience this city has to offer.
5 Best Romantic Restaurants in Chania
Finding the best romantic dining experience in Chania could be tricky due to the amount of ‘touristy’ restaurants serving almost the same types of Cretan dishes that lack that special factor. We have done the work for you by providing our top picks for that ‘one fine night’ tailored to your own preference: