The Greek islands during July-August easily rival the Balearic islands having full moon parties, world-famous DJs, and drinks promotions but it’s not just the islands that have the best parties – Consider hitting up the mainland too, particularly if you’re visiting pre-June when island party life is just starting to hot up or after the first week of September when it’s calming down again.
The best party islands in Greece
Well known as being one of Europe’s hottest party islands, the cosmopolitan island of Mykonos is to Greece what Ibiza is to the Spanish Balearic islands, perhaps with a splash more class. Mykonos isn’t your typical 18-30 club hangout as it attracts the older and more sophisticated crowd with people generally in their 20’s-40’s. Top DJs from around the world play at the open-air beach clubs with the beats pumping out nearly 24/7 during the height of the Summer season, the night time tunes carrying on through the day too.
Start your night in the heart of Mykonos Town, perhaps enjoying dinner at Little Venice then heading to a cocktail lounge such as the 180 Degrees Sunset Bar which, as the name suggests, kick starts your evening with the most amazing view of the sunset. Afterward, head to Paradise Club, it has 3 stages and a pool but you’ll also want to check out La Notte, Space Dance, Scandinavian Disco, and Cavo Paradiso complete with its go-go dancers. For daytime beats, head to Paradise Beach, Super Paradise Beach, or Paranga Beach. Just make sure you have the cash to splash as Mykonos is one of the more expensive party destinations in Greece.
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Loved by locals, the tiny island of Ios isn’t such as well-known a party island to Europeans as nearby Mykonos is but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t deliver. Equally as classy as Mykonos, yet a little more laid back, this idyllic island is wild at heart between the months of July-August. Loved for its bar crawls around the narrow winding backstreets of Chora where you’ll be served shots, you’ll also find epic clubs such as Scorpion, Lemon, Pegasus, Disco 69, and of course the top-rated Pash Club.
During the day, Mylopotas Beach is the place to be seen as you alternate between tapping your toes to the beat and sinking them into the sand, this beach also home of the Far Out Beach Club, the epi-center of wild times with its night and day pool parties. July is the time to be seen on Ios with its Full Moon Parties and Aussie Day which takes place 26th July each year – No, it’s not the celebration of the official Australia Day, but is the day when the Aussies descend Ios – Fun times!
Kos Town is quiet and cozy during the day but Bar Street and the backstreets surrounding this port area soon come to life once the sun goes down, enabling you to party till dawn as you move from bar to club.
The same can be said for Kardamena, Kos’ very own party resort town, perfect when you love to party but prefer your partying to happen during the hours of darkness rather than daylight. Kardamena is predominantly the base for young Brits abroad whereas Kos Town is more multicultural but wherever you choose you’ll find music for all tastes whether you prefer hardcore EDM, modern pop, jazz, or even Latin!
If you’re based in Kardamena spend the day at the Aquarica Water Park then kick start your evening at the Stone Roses bar before heading to one of the larger all-night clubs such as Downtown Club who don’t close the doors until 6 am. Meanwhile, for a night on the tiles in Kos Town, head to the Sky Bar for sunset or stay on the beach at Mylos Beach Bar, then do a bar crawl down Bar Street before dancing under the stars at the Full Moon Party of Kos which actually takes place every Saturday night, no need to figure out moon dates!
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The seaside resort town of Malia is known as being Crete’s place to party, famous during the ’90s for the 18-30 club crowd and the place where ‘The Inbetweeners’ movie was filmed, things might not be quite as wild as they once were, but it’s still Crete’s party capital with most of the action happening along Beach Road and the Strip.
During the daytime Malia is like a ghost town, with the party-goers either recovering from the night before in their hotel rooms or out on one of the boats enjoying a booze cruise but come midnight, the main strip is full of bright neon lights and a party atmosphere with groups of guys and gals strutting their stuff. Full moon parties, paint parties, foam parties, but also silent discos can all be found in Malia with plenty of 2-for-1 and free shot offers.
Start your night at Petrino’s a 24-hour bar or Help with its cheap cocktails served in goldfish bowls before you head to the wild bar that is Reflex Malia. For discotheques, you’ll want to get down to The Candy Club, alternatively, hit up Zig Zag, or The Camelot, Malia’s largest club and home of the foam party.
An alternative to Malia is the nearby beach resort of Hersonissos which attracts a more cosmopolitan crowd unlike Brit-central Malia whilst also catering to families – most of the clubs being located on the street parallel to the beach. During the daytime you might head to the Star Beach Water Park where you can enjoy a daytime foam party and/or some go-karting fun then, once the sun has set and the neon lights are lit, The New York Club, amongst others, await.
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Zante / Zakynthos
The nightlife hotspots on the Ionian island of Zante aka Zakynthos are Tsilivi and Laganas, these 2 places being where the majority of young Brits party the night away though of course, Zante Town has its fair share of bars to choose from. Cheaper by far than Mykonos yet equally as beautiful, Zante is a good party destination for those on a budget yet its party places do get rowdier due to those cheap drinks on offer.
The seaside resort of Laganas in the South is the largest and most popular party place on the island, most of the nightlife concentrated on the strip, yet the smaller resort of Tsilivi in the North-east also caters for all musical tastes and doesn’t disappoint. Switch between the two as you enjoy nights out at Ghetto, Medousa, Rescue, and the Waikiki Club.
When night turns day, the party continues with beach parties and booze cruises – Be sure to pre-book your tickets for the wet and wild Raybans Boat Party which lets you party all night long on the water with competitions, games, and plenty of shots served aboard Europe’s largest boat party each Wednesday during the Summer months – It’s always a sell-out!
Faliraki is the classic party town that has put Rhodes on the map for its epic 24/7 nightlife. The place where you party like it’s 1999, this busy Summer seaside resort is where the 18-30’s flock and is well developed with beach parties, bars and tavernas, booze cruises, an array of nightclubs, and hotels and rooms to suit most young budgets. Unlike other islands known for their 18-30 club resorts, Faliraki enjoys a multicultural crowd of youngsters and doesn’t just attract the young badly-behaved Brits abroad. Kick start your evening off the right way as you make your way down Bar Street being sure to drop in at the Bliss Cocktail Shicka Bar before you head down Club Street to one of Faliraki’s best; Liquid Night Club. Be sure to try out the Taj Mahal, Fabric-Sting, and BedRock, one of Faliraki’s oldest running clubs too.
In Rhodes Old Town you’ll find plenty of cocktail bars to choose from as well as some dance clubs around Hippocrates Square, a great choice if you want to let your hair down but in a slightly more refined way, away from the crazy capers of the 18-30 crowd.
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Known as the Mykonos of Northern Greece, this island of the Sporades has a lively party atmosphere in its town called Chora during the Summer when famous DJs work their magic at the bars and clubs. If you’re in Skiathos to party there are just 3 areas you need to focus on; the area around the old port which is home to an array of cocktail bars, the backstreets around Trion Lerachon Square, home of more bars plus clubs, and the stretch of pubs and clubs along the airport road.
The area around the old port, on the Eastern side of Chora, is where you’ll find the lively bar street (pop into sophisticated Ice, get a selfie in Pink Cadillac, and then get comfy on a colorful cushion as your evening truly kicks off at the Rock n Roll bar) before bar-hopping your way across to the old town as the streets around Trion Lerachon Square is alive with nightlife. Here you can dance the night away whether inside or outside listening to rock, pop, jazz, or shouting ‘yammas’ as you mingle with the locals for a night of bouzoukia. If you’re still standing and ready for more, jump in a taxi after midnight and dance until dawn at Kathlua Club located on the seafront airport road, there you’ll find a multitude of bars in one and can even enjoy some belly dancing.
For daytime parties, the only place to be is at Banana Beach, more specifically, Big Banana Beach as here you’ll find DJ’s pumping out music, beach bars ensuring the flow of drinks never ends, sunbeds, and water sports – What else could you need for a Summer beach party?!
Best party places in mainland Greece
Greece’s 2nd largest city might not be an idyllic island but it’s excellent when you want to combine nightlife with some luxury shopping and time spent at one of Europe’s most prestigious casinos. This vibrant city has an eclectic music scene, anything and everything from live rock concerts, hardcore punk, to house, modern pop, Latin, and urban blues plus the essential Bouzouki evenings. The majority of nightclubs are located in converted industrial spaces around the port but the heart of the city is awash with bars to suit every taste.
Start the night right at the Hoppy Pub with views of Thessaloniki’s iconic white tower then go on a bar crawl as you wait for opening time at Bedroom, a club located close to the port. You’ll also want to check out the very attractive Club Vogue whilst the spacious W club can hit the spot if you were feeling crowded on the dance floor before.
Popular with both locals and Europeans throughout the Summer months, Thessaloniki can be easier and cheaper to get to than the islands so it’s well worth considering if you want to avoid the 18-30 club shenanigans of the islands without breaking the bank on Mykonos.
Chalkidiki (Kassandra Peninsula)
Otherwise spelled Halkidiki, there’s only one peninsula out of the three that you need to visit for nightlife during the Summer and that’s the first one, Kassandra. Well known and loved for its international music as well as pure Greek Bouzouki, Halkidiki’s Kassandra Peninsular is a crazy Greek party place that doesn’t get the recognition it deserves due to the islands stealing the limelight.
There are two places on the Kassandra Peninsula that are known for their nightlife, the first, and most popular, is the vivid resort of Kallithea with beach bars, nightclubs, wine and cocktail bars galore including the premium clubs of Peal, Aqua, and Ahou. Attracting international visitors, Kallithea is as beloved for its outdoor adventures as it is for its nightlife and its name means ‘the beautiful view’ so you can be assured of some stunning sunset selfies as you sip on your first (or fifth!) drink of the evening!
Alternatively, cosmopolitan Pefkohori with its beach bars and clubs including Kavo Paradiso, Sushi Club, and Orca Bar Club, ensure your toes are kept tapping after dark with the sounds of Greek and Serbian party music.
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The capital of culture but also the capital of sophisticated nightlife, Athens is the city that never sleeps and it has it all! Each neighborhood of Athens has a distinct vibe and beat to it so consult a map, and pick the area that’s right for you.
Exarchia is the area where the young Athenian’s head for a night on the town, think gritty urban vibes mingled with glam hipster-dom and a never-ending choice of bars whether you people watch on the street or head indoors to better hear the music. For more sophisticated bars, Koukaki, close to the Acropolis, is your neighborhood but you might also want to explore the lively backstreets of the areas known as Metaxourgeio and Keramikos which are full of hidden gems and alive with young local’s having a good time. Super-clubbers seeking Rebetiko (urban blues) need to hop in a cab and head to Gazi, the old gasworks precinct which is also the home of Gazarte where live music performances take place on the rooftop stage.
You might start your evening in Athens just before sunset and go to the 360 Bar above Monastiraki Square so that you can take in the 360-degree views of the Acropolis and surrounding city, alternatively head to the close by quirky City Zen bar before heading over to Koukaki for a stint of bar hopping. Where you end is up to you, just keep saying ‘Alo ena parakalo’ meaning another one please and your night will continue!
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