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Santorini Nightlife Guide: 15 Best Tavernas, Bars & Clubs in Santorini

If Santorini was a drink, it would be Coca-Cola. Something about this island is so special that it literally made Thailand and the Philipines create a real-life replica of it! 

However, as it happened with all the attempts to copy the famous beverage, no one ever managed to get even close to the secret recipe of success. 

So many things are written about the island’s unique sunset. And of course, no one can deny that such a view will be a once-in-a-lifetime experience. 

 But life-after-sunset exists too and is without a doubt equally impressive!

So here’s a comprehensive guide with the best tavernas, bars, and clubs, where you can enjoy Santorini nightlife on the so-called Island of Love!

Santorini Nightlife Guide

The Best Tavernas in Santorini

The tavern (called “taverna” in greek) is not just a place for lunch for the Greek people. 

It is considered essential to Greek culture, and its roots can be traced back to the Ancient Agora of Athens — back in the 6th century BC. 

So, a taverna is not just a place where we, the Greeks, enjoy an abundance of delicious food and alcohol (while being very loud!)

On the contrary, tavernas are places where we enjoy life, socialize, and exchange ideas. Political conversations are the hottest topic usually, leading often to well-meaning… disagreements (which results in us being loud as stated before)!

While most tavernas are labeled as “restaurants”, the traditional way of visiting a night taverna (also called “krasadiko” or “wine place”), is to sit down, order a lot of alcohol and only some “mezedes”. 

“Mezes” (the plural is mezedes) is a small dish or appetizer and is common in the Balkan regions, as well as Turkey. For my Western European friends out there, who are usually thrilled by the act, I want to remind you that “meze” means a plate you put in the middle of the table and share

By that, I want to make clear that night tavernas are predominantly places where you drink. Mezedes function just as snacks!

Here’s a list of tavernas where you can get the authentic Greek experience in Santorini! 

Asterias 

Asterias is a well-reviewed tavern on TripAdvisor, by locals and definitely by me!

Its location can easily be described as idyllic for an unforgettable dinner. With tables exactly next to the seaside, the music of the waves will add an unforgettable note to your seafood. 

I suggest you visit this tavern right after you have a dive in the Red Beach. It’s a pretty long way to there from most accommodation hotspots, so you can combine those two perfectly.

Address: Red Beach, Akrotiri, Santorini, 84700

Rakadiko MeRaki

With virtually all of the tavernas created just to attract tourists, the authentic Greek personality of tavernas is often indistinguishable. That’s something that frustrated and motivated some locals to make their own traditional Greek taverna. 

And it worked! Rakadiko MeRaki turned out to be an original taverna, which a local would recommend and prefer for himself. 

Photo provided by Rakadiko MeRaki and reused with permission.

Don’t overlook the double “raki” reference in the name of the tavern. Raki is a local alcoholic beverage, which you will have to order along with your seafood!

Just a friendly reminder: go easy on it! Greeks are aware that most people are not used to drinks with 40–50% alcohol… but they don’t really care!

Address: Agiou Athanasiou, Thira 84700

The Cave of Nikolas

The Cave of Nikolas is another unique place on a unique island. 

As the story claims, in this cave, Captain Nikolas used to store his nets, fishing equipment, and a little boat. He would also often invite his friends over, for whom his wife prepared some snacks and drinks. 

Gradually, the couple turned the place into a taverna for hungry workers and passers-by. And it is currently one of the must-visit tavernas in Santorini!

Address: Akrotiri, Santorini, 84700

Kapari Taverna

There needs to be a little caution with this one, as there are some other places with the same name. That’s why I’m gonna add its website right here, for you to easily find it.

This is another authentic Greek taverna. You shouldn’t expect a caldera view, or anything fancy, but you get low prices and delicious options for dinner and local wine. 

And that’s what a local would prefer!

Address: 5is Martiou 401, Thira, 84700

The Best Clubs in Santorini

Santorini may not have the reputation of Mykonos for wild nightlife. However, I happened to be there with a group of friends for the first time and it really was a fortunate surprise that it’s not just a place for couples and honeymooners.

Clubbing in Santorini exists and it is far from disappointing! 

Fira is the center of nightclubs in Santorini. Walking through the millions of white alleys, you will bump into many small clubs and bars. 

In order not to let fate choose your club choice, here are some suggestions!

KOO Club

KOO Club is the most well-known mainstream club in Santorini. I bet all my money that if you ask someone on the street for recommendations, that’s where everyone will suggest that you go. (Yes, that’s how I went there for the first time).

KOO has a well-decorated garden with a two-story lounge space, which offers an upper-level cocktail bar and table seating that overlooks the more active lower-level bar area. There are also numerous options for cocktails and drinks. 

Photo provided by KOO Club and reused with permission

In general, KOO Club is the place that all singles that chose this island will visit. So there are good chances that you as well won’t stay single after a night spent there!

Address: 25is Martiou 404, Thira 84700

Murphy’s Bar 

Moving on with the rest of the club options, you have every right to be tired of the mainstream places and want something different finally.

That’s where Murphy’s Bar shows up. It’s an Irish bar that looks like a pirate ship from the inside. 

Photo provided by Murphy’s Bar and reused with permission

Of course, at this point, I need to remind you that you’re on one of the most famous Greek islands, so expect the prices to be high. I’ve heard a lot of people complaining about this, however, I had an amazing time in this place so for me, it was worth it!

Address: Erithrou Stavrou, Thira 84700

2 Brothers

For those of you that read about the high prices in Santorini and Murphy’s Bar and immediately went grumpy, no hard feelings! It’s time to explore a less pricey option.

2 Brothers Bar is famous for its happy hours, where you can get cocktails for just €5 as well as “Head Shots”. Just to make clear what a “Head Shot” in this place means: the barman will hit your head (protected by a helmet) with a bat, while you’re drinking your shot!

Photo provided by 2 Brothers and reused with permission

I am against violence and pro having a good time, so I skipped the Head Shots and went on with the rest of the menu. But I got a great dose of craziness in this bar, so I totally recommend it!

Address: Dekigala, Thira 84700

Enigma Club

They say you don’t go old, but classic. That’s probably the case with Enigma Club, one of the oldest clubs on Santorini.

Enigma is the right choice for dancing ’til the first morning hours with both foreign and Greek music.

Photo provided by Enigma Club and reused with permission

Enigma is also one of the few clubs which stays open throughout almost the whole year, so it’s a great choice for those who visit Santorini during the off-season months.

Address: 25is Martiou 103, Thira 84700

Mamounia Club

In my opinion, when you visit a foreign country, you should always try to find out how the locals actually define entertainment. 

If you ask me personally, I am more of a Black Eyed Peas-generation and hardly value Greek music. But it doesn’t matter. When we travel to Greece, we should at least pay one visit to an “ellinadiko”, meaning a club that plays only Greek songs. 

Mamounia will offer you the cult, Greek experience, also known as “Live your myth in Greece” and so on. 

Not many more things need to be said about this club, just that!

Address: 25is Martiou 303, Thira 84700

JOJO Beach Bar

You already have read about five different clubs in Santorini and still, there’s something missing there, right?

Of course, you didn’t plan a whole visit to an island in order to see only the city side! There’s got to be a beach around here, of course. Santorini is an island, after all.

JOJO is one of the bars that organizes beach parties and is located in Perivolos Beach. Many of you might be staying close to that, so it’s perfect! 

If you are lucky enough, you might catch an event with a Greek or foreign DJ, as they are often and very successful. (I still cannot believe I missed Claydee!)

Address: Perivolos, Thira 84700 

The Best Bars in Santorini

Let’s face it. Santorini is considered the number one destination for couples. And it’s completely understandable. 

When I arrange a trip with my friends, we are more interested in the vivid nightlife and exciting activities of place, rather than idyllic sunsets and dreamy settings, so we tend to look for clubs.

But couples tend to prefer more chilled out atmospheres, and you can find those aplenty in Santorini. That’s why there are many more options for bars than clubs, where you can chill and enjoy the company of your other half, in front of an amazing view and refreshing drinks. 

And don’t forget, you can just enjoy the company of your drink in case your “other half” is missing!

Tropical Bar 

Tropical Bar is located in Fira, among the rest of the island’s bars. It offers a balcony with an amazing view of the caldera and a variety of music selections. 

Photo provided by Tropical Bar and reused with permission

Many visitors choose to visit the bar every day during their stay before their night outings.

I cannot blame them, as there are “Happy hour” offers ’til 11 at night and you cannot really enjoy Santorini’s view in the center of Fira in a better way!

Address: Marinatou, Thira 847 00

Franco’s Bar

Franco’s bar is another hidden gem in Fira. The setting is as romantic as it can get and the view equally marvelous as that of Tropical Bar. 

It’s more on the pricey side, but still not the most expensive it can get. Expect cocktails to be around €15 and bottled beers around €7. (Fair warning to the ones – like me – who would prefer not to spend €7 on a beer). 

A visit is worth it in my opinion and I would guess it is a great stop for couples on their honeymoon. 

Address: Agiou Mina, Thira 84700

MoMix Bar

Photo provided by MoMix Bar and reused with permission

If you’re not aware of the “MoMix” philosophy, let me introduce you to that. MoMix stands for “Molecular Mixology,” and it is a concept that started in Athens. 

Its inspirers envisioned cocktails that would change color when you shake them, mojitos that can be eaten, and many more!

A visit is a must, whether you’re in Athens or in Santorini. This is your chance to impress your travel partner with the bar gem that you dig up on the Internet! 

Go ahead! And of course, I expect your grateful messages later. 

Address: Marinatou, Thira 847 00

Kira Thira Jazz Bar

Kira Thira is a place for those of you with a “good ear”. If music is completely unimportant to you, you may skip this one. But for the rest, keep reading!

This jazz bar is one of the oldest bars in Santorini and is decorated with a long wooden bar, wall paintings, and musical instruments. 

The drinks are proper, meaning they are as strong as they should be. If you’re aiming for value, you know what I mean. The music, though, is what this bar is about. 

Expect a wide selection of jazz sounds and occasionally live performances. Enjoy the music, as well the vibes of the staff and the tourists that choose to visit. 

Address: Erithrou Stavrou, Thira, 84700

The Wine Bar

The Wine Bar is another chance for you to enjoy the sunset in a more relaxing and private way. 

This funky Santorini bar used to be a stable, which was turned into a wine cellar, and after that into a bar – finally! It’s a natural cave, and that’s what everyone is going for in Santorini anyway – that natural and wild beauty. 

It’s mostly on the pricey side, but it’s worth every penny spent. 

Address: Heliotopos Hotel, Imerovigli, 84700

Where to Stay in Santorini

Not sure where to stay in Santorini? If you want to be around the best nightlife, your first choice should be Fira, followed by Imerovigli.

Greece - Santorini - Pixabay

Where to Stay in Fira: Aura Cave

This is probably one of the most authentic cave suites in Fira. Most of their caves were just renovated, and they used to be inhabited in the late 18th century. They only used local and traditional building materials to refurbish it into a hotel.

The property is run by a family, and past guests have loved how they were extremely hospitable and attentive to their needs. Almost all guests have given them excellent feedback for their services. They can also give you recommendations for places and attractions if you haven’t really planned your Santorini itinerary down to a T.

They have two types of cave rooms – the Passion Cave and Winery Cave. The first one is bigger and has its own private tub with 6 seats – perfect for a bigger family or group. It also has a kitchen, two double beds, and two sofas. The latter (Winery Cave) is a bit smaller but has two rooms perfect for a family of 4 or two couples. The walls and floors are covered with lava plaster, which is a hard-wearing and waterproof material.

>> Check prices, availability, reviews, and photos here

Where to Stay in Imerovigli: Caldera Premium Villas

If you are looking for a budget-friendly accommodation and the typical dug-out-looking cave studios and suites that Santorini is famous for, then Caldera Premium Villas is a wonderful place to stay.

It has all the basic features you need for your stay, and some even more so — some rooms even have private tubs for a more romantic feel. Most of the furniture used is wood and wicker, full of natural texture, and the rooms are painted in white to complement some modern pieces of décor. Each room has a working desk and a coffee table, so there’s plenty of space to spread out. Couples celebrating a memorable anniversary or honeymoon can even get their special honeymoon cave suite!

The private bathrooms are really unique. It is almost like the walls are melting, and you are walking inside a mosaic-tiled shower area. The showerheads are also on the ceiling – the closest thing to a true ‘rain shower’ you can imagine!

Other amenities they have include an outdoor pool with sun loungers and a terrace where you can just sit and be mesmerized by the dreamy views. Another convenient feature of the property is its mini-market on-site, which is a lot less hassle than looking around for shops to buy something you need at the moment.

>> Check prices, availability, reviews, and photos here

Essential Things to Bring with You to Santorini

Greece - Crete - Heraklion - Old Venetian Harbor Luggage

If you’re planning a trip to Greece, you’ll want to pack all the normal essentials, but here are a few things we strongly recommend bringing that may not have crossed your mind. For more packing tips, check out our complete Greece packing list.

– A physical guidebook, in paper or on Kindle. We love Lonely Planet Greece for this region and strongly recommend it to supplement blogs. Blogs are great, but a combination of a blog and a guidebook is key to having the best access to information easily at your fingertips.

– A water bottle with a filter. We generally recommend using a water bottle with a purifying filter to reduce your plastic consumption and ensure you won’t drink any funny-tasting water on your stomach that could make your trip unpleasant! We recommend the GRAYL water bottle – it filters water perfectly in an instant so that you can even drink from lakes, bad taps, etc.

– Motion sickness pills. Santorini roads are winding, especially around the coast and hills! If you have a weak stomach like we both do, save yourself and bring some non-drowsy motion sickness pills. This will also come in handy on Greek ferries and other Santorini must-dos like a catamaran cruise!

 Travel safety items. We think Santorini is safe to travel, but at the same time, it never hurts to be prepared! Some people like to carry money belts, but neither Stephanie or I use these. Instead, we both carry the same PacSafe anti-theft backpack.

It has locking zippers, slash-proof construction with metal mesh hidden in the fabric, and tons of other smart security features — all while being cute and stylish enough to be our everyday bag. We recommend it highly for both male and female travelers, as it’s neutral enough to be unisex. We also strongly recommend travel insurance! Our recommendation is at the bottom of the post.

Read More: Essential Greece Packing List: What to Wear & Pack for Greece

More Greece & Santorini Resources

First read our guide to planning a trip to Greece, which covers visas, budgets, vaccines, and much more.

Next, you’ll want to read our all-season Greece packing list.

We’re still working on the rest of our Santorini content, but to get you started, we have a guide to the best Santorini cave hotels for all budgets as well as how to visit the Akrotiri archaeological site.

If you are still trying to figure out your Greece itinerary, check out our guides on where to go in Greece, the best places for island hopping in Greece, and when is the best time to visit. 

We publish new content about the Balkans almost every day! For more information about traveling to Greece and the Balkans, bookmark our Greece and Balkan travel pages so you can find out what’s new before your trip.

Don’t Forget About Travel Insurance!

I’m sure you’re aware that it’s a good idea to have travel insurance for traveling in Santorini, Greece in general, or anywhere in the world!

Stephanie and I have both been paying customers of World Nomads for the last three years. We love the peace of mind it gives us in case of emergencies, accidents, illnesses, theft, or trip cancellation or disruption. 

While Santorini is safe, there’s always a risk inherent in everyday travel like pickpockets or injury, so it’s better to play it safe.

>> Get a travel insurance quote for your trip here <<

Pin This Guide to Santorini Nightlife Below!

Planning to visit Santorini, and want to know what there is to do in Santorini at night? This Santorini nightlife guide shows you to all the best Santorini tavernas, Santorini pubs, Santorini bars, and Santorini clubs, so you can have the ultimate Santorini itinerary, full of the most fun things to do in Santorini at night!

13 Awesome Things to Do in Ios, An Epic Cycladic Island

Having me write a blog post about Ios can be a tricky case, as it is my number one favorite destination in Greece. I love this island to the point that it could be considered propaganda!

While this could lead to a strictly one-sided approach, I’ve aimed for a fabulous list of tips for the best things to do in Ios from a Greek perspective.

And who are we kidding? Ios is the best party-on-a-budget option someone can have, if not in the world, at least in the Mediterranean.

So, since I’ve visited the island more than three times already, let me guide you step by step on the places you should visit and the best things to do in Ios in order to have an unforgettable time.

Aerial bird's eye view photo taken by drone of beautiful tropical beach of Mylopotas

The Best Things to Do in Ios

Visit or even book your stay in Far Out Beach Camping

It’s not a secret to anyone who has visited – or at least searched a bit about Ios – that Far Out is the most famous and visit-worthy destination on the island.

Far Out’s story begins way back, when it started out as a regular camping spot. Today, it has evolved into the best location to party in Ios on a budget.

While it started as a campsite, it offers stays for all kinds of travelers. Whether you are aiming for the cheapest spot to rent for your tent or for a luxurious villa with a panoramic view of Mylopotas Beach, you can book it at Far Out. And you won’t be disappointed!

Check out rooms at Far Out here!

 Far Out Beach Camping has an everyday schedule with afternoon DJ parties and even wet T-shirt contests (we’ll assume you already know what that’s about!). Last but not least, you should, by all means, try its special icy cocktails. And if you want an insider’s tip, don’t forget to ask for the cocktail “Purple Rain”!

Take a dive at Mylopotas Beach

Sandy beach of Mylopotas beach, Ios with hill and white houses in background

When you have finished settling in your room/tent or when the party’s over, step outside Far Out and dive into Mylopotas. Mylopotas is the main sandy party beach on Ios, but it’s not only that.

Sure, you may stumble upon a huge party or a surprise game event on this beach, but it can also surprise you by being an absolutely calm and quiet place to relax after the hustle and bustle of the parties.

Usually, Mylopotas is full of people in the late afternoon hours with various events going on, such as team games with prizes, organized by Meltemi Watersports. However, in the early morning hours and late afternoon, it’s an idyllic refuge, perfect for those who have had a bit too much of partying.

Visit the island’s center, Chora

Chora, being the capital town of Ios, is the main center where everything happens. It hosts a really big number of small bars/clubs, souvenir shops, accommodation rentals and all kinds of different restaurants.

Here you can find some of the most iconic bars of the island, such as the Slammer Bar, which is famous for the Slammer shot. Hold on, I’m going to explain later what that means!

Other bars worth mentioning are Sweet Irish Dream, Traffic Bar, Baru Bar and a bunch more, which you will discover by yourselves, just by taking a stroll around the town’s alleys.

Try the most iconic shots on the island

Multicolored alcoholic shots on the bar counter

Ios has a reputation for shots. And that’s easy to understand, as on many bar doors, you will see signs advertising “SHOTS FOR 1€” or “7 SHOTS AND A SINGLET”. It’s easy to get lost and not know where to start. So here are my tips, as an Ios veteran.

My first shot was the “Bounty” in Orange Bar and I will never regret it. There you can have a nice start with unique handcrafted shots, which I’m sure cannot be found in many other places.

And of course, it’s time to explain what the famous Slammer shot is. I’m just going to quote a Tripadvisor review of a visitor:

“You order it, the bartender will prepare it, place a helmet on your head, slam the drink on the bar so it gets frizzy, ask you to drink it, and then kaboom! They slam either a skateboard, or a hammer, or a fire extinguisher on your helmet. That’s how you literally get hammered!”

Yep, in case you didn’t realize it so far, Ios is a pretty crazy place!

Get your adrenaline pumping

As if the Slammer shot wasn’t enough, the most exciting thing to do on this island is coming… Hold your breath! No, really, I meant that, hold it… because it’s time for scuba diving!

Mylopotas Beach wouldn’t be a party beach without its share of watersports. So get prepared, because you and your friends can start with some peaceful kayaking till you jump on the “Flyfish” in Mylopotas Watersports.

Then again, if you’re not that much into action, you can choose to rent a boat for the whole day and visit the hidden bays of the island. Of course there are also boat tours for those of you not ready to “drive” yourselves around.

Last but not least, you can pay a visit to Bikini Bottom and check if Ios is as pretty underneath the water as it is on the surface. Scuba diving courses for all levels of divers are being offered on the beach.

And if you’re wondering how you’re going to know if someone’s a scuba instructor on Mylopotas? As a joke says, don’t worry, they’ll tell you within the first few minutes!

Dedicate a day to Pathos

Photo provided by Pathos Club & Restaurant and reused with permission.

Pathos literally translates in Greek into “Passion” and is definitely one of the highlights of the island. It’s both a lounge bar and a restaurant and offers one of the most impressive Aegean views I’ve ever seen.

As a sunset spot, it can also be considered equivalent to the magnificent Oia sunset in Santorini, one of the most famous attractions in Greece.

With its two infinity pools, be sure that you’re going to make some followers seriously jealous on Instagram with your #vacation posts!

So if you’re planning a day lounging in Pathos, visit Koumpara Beach earlier in the morning, where there are plenty of beach bars and later in the afternoon you can start heading uphill for an amazing experience in this resort.

Take an excursion to Manganari Beach

Colorful kayaks on Manganari Beach

Manganari Beach is considered to be the best beach on Ios. You can reach it either by public or private bus, with a small fee in both cases.

You should arrange to go to Manganari when you feel that it’s time for that “lazy day”, where you need peace, crystal-clear waters, and the sun. That’s all. If you want to make it more active, you can kayak.

Don’t forget your sunscreen and make sure you book your return, as the transport is limited. On the beach, you can find some tavernas, which provide sunbeds and umbrellas as well.

Make sure you’ve brought your own umbrella in case you don’t plan to use these ones, as we’re talking about some serious Greek sun!

Taste some authentic Greek flavors

Taverna with daily menu on beach front with cat on patio

We don’t expect you to trust us for financial decisions, but there’s one thing you cannot deny: we Greeks sure know how to eat.

I can guarantee genuine Greek cuisine on the island and some local, not-known-by-many specialties, which will thrill your tastebuds. So please, pay attention to the following tips and make sure you’ve noted them down before entering any Greek tavern.

1. Always order a Greek salad and make sure you’ve specified to the waiter that you want it to be served with Xino (Ksino or Xinotiri) cheese instead of feta. It might be hard to pronounce it but it’s worth it, trust me on that.

2. You should also not leave Ios until you’ve tasted Tsimetia, Matsi, Mermitzeli and at least one type of traditional pie. You can ask kindly any waiter to suggest and explain what all of these hidden specialties consist of.

3. As far as where you should start discovering the culinary masterpieces of the island, we can suggest the following: Polydoros tavern near Koumpara Beach for the authentic Greek experience, Drakos restaurant on Mylopotas Beach for higher quality seafood, The Nest in Chora for a dose of warmness and Greek hospitality, and of course any tavern which offers a quick and tasty Souvlaki, for those of you who are trying to stay on a budget.

[Editor’s Note: Lastly… a frappe a day keeps the doctor away!]

Watch the sunset from the highest point of the island

Panagia Gremniotissa is a Greek Orthodox church in Ios. The church is located almost on the top of Chora’s cliff and it’s dedicated to the Virgin Mary.

The name Gremniotissa means ‘of the cliff’, so altogether “Panagia Gremniotissa” can be roughly translated into “Virgin Mary of the Cliff”.

Church with grass blurred in foreground at sunset with ocean

You should grab a bottle of water, your camera (a partner is also recommended, if you have one available) and start hiking up the hill of Chora, preferably a bit earlier before the sunrise.

The Aegean view will compensate for the extra cardio you’re going to do!

Add some mystery to your trip by visiting the Tomb of Homer

Rocks piled on stop of stones to mark a tomb of Homer the poet

As weird as it might sound, there’s an international superstar originating from Ios. More specifically, Homer is allegedly buried in Ios, the place of origin of his mother, Klymeni.

If the name “Homer” doesn’t ring a bell, let me remind you of Brad Pitt in the movie Troy (2004), portraying Achilles.

Well, Homer is the one who wrote the “Iliad”, which is an epic poem, on which Troy was based. The “Odyssey” is the second epic poem attributed to Homer, which focuses on Odysseus’s ten-year journey home. As you can understand, Hollywood would be a much poorer place without Homer!

You can enrich your trip in Ios with a cultural aspect by visiting the mysterious location of Homer’s tomb in Plakoto.

Learn about windmills and see some in real life

White typical Greek windmill with thatch roof and wooden spokes

A windmill is a small white cylindrical building that converts wind power into rotational energy by means of vanes. While today’s windmills generate electrical power, these windmills were used specifically to mill grain.

Windmills exist almost on every Greek island, and they are no longer used for their initial purpose (milling grain), but rather as ornaments of each place.

Some are even rented as Airbnb rooms and I’m sure it would be a great experience to stay in one of those!

But surely, you cannot leave the island without some selfies in front of Ios’s windmills.

Have some quiet fun in a silent disco

Neon lights and headphones that read 'silent disco'

Some of you might have heard before what a silent disco is. For me and my friends, it was the first time we encountered something like that, while being on this island. And of course, it is an unforgettable experience!

Shush Bar is somewhere hidden in the little alleys of the island, so look out for it, because, well… it cannot be heard!

The entry fee includes a drink and a pair of wireless headphones. There are 3 different channels playing R&B, house, and techno and you can see which channel your friend is listening to, by the color their headphones are showing.

The neon colors and Alice in Wonderland inspired decorations set up the mood. But what you will definitely love is tuning to the same station as the rest of the bar and singing your lungs out to “Fresh Prince of Bel Air”!

Say a proper goodbye to the island

The famous old white church of Agia Irini, at the entrance of Yalos, the port of Ios island, Cyclades, Greece.

After a bunch of crazy days on the island that never sleeps, it will be unfortunately time to say your goodbyes.

How the drill usually goes is that you go to the port 1-2 hours before your ship arrives and have a coffee right across the departure spot. On the port, you can find many souvenir shops, in case you need a last-minute emergency gift for someone you forgot back home.

It is also recommended to arrive at the port 3-4 hours earlier and have a last dive in the beach right next to it, called Yalos. That way you’ll make the most of your last day on the island!

How I personally say farewell to the island though is a bit different. Usually the night before, after partying in the city center, I refuse to take a cab and start walking back to Mylopotas Beach.

At this time, usually everyone is asleep and I get to enjoy the view of the moon shining right above the bay in total silence. As I reach the beach, I take some time either alone or with my company, to reflect on the awesome memories we gained. Of course, a night dive too never hurt anyone!


Where to Stay in Ios

Budget | Far Out Camping

If you’re on a budget, our local writer Ioanna recommends you stay at Far Out Camping! Right on Mylopotas Beach, you have access to a swimming pool and free sunbeds in your stay.

You can choose from simple canvas tents or more upscale bungalows with a patio and private bathroom (the tents have shared bathrooms with showers).

There is a restaurant on-site which serves meals, plus a pizzeria, sushi bar, mini market, and even BBQ facilities! This is a bit of a party destination: there are 3 bars on site, perfect for socializing with other travelers and getting your night off to a good start!

>> Check prices, reviews, and availability here

Boutique | Levantes Ios Boutique Hotel

This charming boutique hotel features a lovely sun terrace area with plenty of loungers and a gorgeous infinity pool, perfect for sunning yourself and getting some wonderful vacation photos.

The rooms at Levantes Ios Boutique Hotel are minimalist and white-washed, with ‘cave suite’ style elements like exposed stacked rocks brushed with white paint. Soft elements like gauzy curtains and cozy textiles add a lovely textural interest.

The hotel has a spa center with massages available, as well as a pool bar, soundproofing, free parking, and several other wonderful perks to make your stay as comfortable as possible. There’s no on-site restaurant, but several restaurants are just down the street, giving you ample opportunity to try the Ios dining scene!

>> Check out prices, reviews, and availability here

Luxury | Liostasi Hotel & Suites

A member of the exclusive Small Luxury Hotels of the World group, this exquisite 5-star hotel is perfect for a more luxurious stay in Ios.

With a gorgeous pool (with infinity hot tub!) with sun loungers, a spa center providing therapies with all-natural products, and rooms with sweeping sea views, it’s hard not fall in love with Liostasi Hotel.

The rooms are designed with an elegant loft style, each with their own private patio or balcony area. The style is minimalist, with white with black and blue accents. It has an overall bohemian feel with artistic pieces selected for added personality.

A tasty Greek breafast is served daily, and the lovely on-site restaurant, Grandma’s Restaurant, serves unfussy and delicious Greek food with a Mediterranean view. There’s also a phenomenal cocktail bar by the pool for poolside drinks.

>> Check prices, reviews, and availability here

What to Pack for Ios

Greece - Crete - Heraklion - Old Venetian Harbor Luggage
Our trusty PacSafe bag is on the right

Mosquito repellent: Mosquitos in the summer can be nasty! You can bring ones with DEET or without DEET, or I love having some of these mosquito repellent wipes that I can keep in my bag in case I suddenly start to get swarmed and don’t have my regular repellent with me.

Sunscreen: You can buy sunscreen in Greece, but it’s likely cheaper at home or bought online in advance. I love this solid Neutrogena sunscreen. Who doesn’t love a good solid for liquid swap? Great to keep in your bag without worrying about sunscreen explosions.

Water shoes: Ios has both sandy and pebble beaches. The thing is that pebble and rocky beaches in Greece are a double-edged sword. On the one hand, the pebble seafloor is what creates that gorgeous deep turquoise-colored water that is hard to beat, as the lack of sand means you have incredibly clear water. However, on the other hand, pebble beaches and rocky shores can be downright painful!

Our friend recently cut his foot on a rocky beach in Croatia; had he been wearing water shoes, he’d have avoided such unpleasantness! We suggest these unisex water shoes. They’re not sexy, but they will make your trips to the beach far more pleasant!

A secure backpack: We both carry the CitySafe backpack by PacSafe not only on our travels but in our day-to-day lives. It’s cute, it’s functional, it’s comfortable, and it’s secure. We’re talking about interlocking zippers (which you can then put through a second clasp for two layers of security), slash-proof wire mesh construction, and RFID blockers to keep your personal data safe.

It’s neutral enough to be unisex, it’s roomy enough to fit a small laptop, large camera, and tons of odds & ends, and it fits under the plane seat in front of you. We’re obsessed. Check it out for yourself!

Grayl Water FilterTap water is not always safe to drink in Greece. On the islands, many taps provide water from desalination plants, but quality varies and therefore it’s safer to drink filtered or bottled water. To both be safe and not buy dozens of plastic water bottles, you can get a reusable water bottle that comes with a water filter so that you can reduce your plastic waste.

Seabands: If you get seasick easily, pack some Seabands or seasickness pills so you don’t miss out on the best parts of Greece – being on the water! A trip to Greece isn’t complete without a quick boat trip, so make sure you’re prepared to enjoy it to the fullest!

More Greece Resources

Chania - Greece - Colorful buildings, chairs, doors, alley ways, harbor entrance and street scenes

Headed to Greece? We have some great travel resources to help you with your trip. First read our guide to planning a trip to Greece, which covers visas, budgets, vaccines, and much more. Next, you’ll want to read our all-season Greece packing list.

If you are still trying to figure out your Greece itinerary, check out our guides on where to go in Greece, the best places for island hopping in Greece, and when is the best time to visit. 

Many people combine a trip to Ios with a trip to Santorini. We’re still working on our Santorini resources, but for now, you can check out where to stay in Santorini and our guide to Akrotiri in Santorini.

We publish new content about the Balkans almost every day! For more information about traveling to Greece and the Balkans, bookmark our Greece and Balkan travel pages so you can find out what’s new before your trip.

Pin This Guide to Things to Do in Ios for Your Trip!

Looking for the best things to do in Ios, plus tips on Ios nightlife? This guide includes Ios travel tips for the best restaurants in Ios and delicious food to try, beaches in Ios, clubs and bars in Ios, and the best sunset views in Ios.

Is It Worth Visiting Meteora? Here’s 5 Reasons Why I Say Yes!

Due to its tucked away position in the very center of Greece’s mainland, Meteora is a bit out of the way, especially when you compare it to other sites closer to Athens that are more obvious stops for a day trip, like Cape Sounion or even Delphi.

But I’d argue that Meteora is definitely worth a visit, for an overnight or two if possible, but it’s equally worthwhile as a day trip for the time-strapped visitor.

If you’re not sure if Meteora is worth visiting, here are 5 reasons we think the answer to “is it worth visiting Meteora” is (almost always) yes!

Is it Worth Visiting Meteora?

Meteora is worth visiting any time of year, but it shines in the off season

Greece - Meteora - Winter Monasteries
I visited Meteora in January – just look at that lovely snow (and no crowds!)

I went to Meteora in January and it was exquisite. There had just been a snowstorm all over Thessaly and Macedonia, and as a result, the landscape was dusted in a glittery white snow that made the monasteries even more beautiful.

Add this to the fact that there were almost no other tourists – maybe one or two other small minivans full of day trippers – made Meteora all the more magical.

Meanwhile, Stephanie went to Meteora in October, and she found it not to be too crowded and well worth it as well.

However, we have both heard from various tour guides in Greece that Meteora can be a bit of a nightmare in summer.

Tour buses park everywhere, making getting in and out of monasteries difficult; if you’ve rented a car, parking is all but impossible. Lots of people climbing the steep monastery steps (what, did you think there was an elevator? Well, there is, but it’s really just a rope-and-pulley system across a ravine, and definitely not for tourists…)

If you truly want to visit Meteora and your Greece trip is during high-season (June to August), you should go anyway, but you should be aware that it’ll be quite crowded and it may dull the magic a bit. If you’re wondering if Meteora is worth visiting in the off-season…. well, I’ll let my winter in Meteora photo essay do the talking.

It’s really easy to get there on a day trip

Greece - Meteora - Day Tour from Athens with Meteora Thrones
About a 3-hour drive from either Athens or Thessaloniki, Meteora is a worthwhile day trip, despite the long travel times

While Meteora looks to be out of the way, in reality, it’s an easy day trip from two of the most popular mainland Greece cities: Thessaloniki and Athens.

I visited Meteora on a day trip from Thessaloniki; Stephanie visited on a day trip from Athens. Both were easily doable on a guided tour (a rental car would also work, but try the Greek train system on a day trip at your own sanity’s peril…) I’ll link to both the tours we did at the end of this post, so you can book for yourself if I’ve convinced you that Meteora is worth visiting!

While certainly, we could have enjoyed a bit more time around Meteora, enjoying the scenery and visiting more monasteries, we both found that one day was plenty when it came to taking in the sights, not getting monastery fatigue, and still getting a good overall impression of Meteora.

… But the surrounding area makes it easy to stay longer

Greece - Meteora - Stephanie
Stephanie enjoying Meteora on a day trip from Athens

That said, while Stephanie and I both visited Meteora on a day trip from different cities in Greece, there are plenty of people who plan to stay in the area around Meteora for a few days and explore the area.

From hiking to paragliding to rock climbing, the area around Meteora is phenomenal for people who want to stay a couple of days and truly experience this one-of-a-kind landscape for all its magic and wonder (and get to see several sunrises and sunsets too — a major plus for photographers, and something that we didn’t get to experience as day-trippers).

Other activities near Meteora include rafting, Jeep excursions, canyoning, and more, so if you’re looking for an active side to your Greece trip, it’s a fantastic place to stop.

The landscape is like something out of Avatar

Greece - Athens - Meteora
The landscape is like something from a make-believe planet!

You may have an odd sense of deja vu when arriving in Meteora — it’s been used as a film backdrop in several movies, from Game of Thrones (where it was digitally rendered to be the Eyrie) to the James Bond movie For Your Eyes Only.

When arriving in Meteora, I was shocked at just how beautiful it was. I’d dare say the landscape outshines the monasteries.

Here, rock formations erupt from the ground, almost like the karst limestone islets in Thailand… but emerging from the earth, which made it even more otherworldly.

The formation of these pillars is fascinating from a geological perspective, so I highly suggest visiting Meteora with a guide who can elaborate on how this landscape formed over many millions of years; I can’t hope to describe it properly with my lack of scientific vocabulary, but it’s a fascinating history.

And the monasteries (and their history) are truly spectacular

Greece - Meteora - Monastery Winter
The detail of the monasteries is exquisite!

But of course, the real reason why you’re visiting Meteora is not just to see its otherworldly landscape but its monasteries for which the landscape has become synonymous!

The history of these monasteries dates back to 1344, when a monk from Mount Athos brought his followers to Meteora, where he later founded Meteoron Monastery about a decade later. They built it on a rock where they could control access to the monastery, by drawing up the long ladder whenever political issues reared their head.

And that would happen sooner rather than later: Turkish forces continually raided northern Greece, and the Byzantine Empire began to form the cracks in its foundation that would eventually be its undoing, when the Ottomans later took over all of Greece.

However, due to their inaccessibility and their ingenuity, the monks of Meteora were allowed to continue their religious practice and maintain their monasteries, despite Ottoman attempts at converting its subjects to Islam. Still, during this time, some of the original monasteries fell into disrepair or disuse.

Six of the 20 original monasteries have survived the erosion of centuries of wind and rain, but also human chaos: from the Ottoman invasions to the World War II bombings, these monasteries stand proudly, just as beautifully as the day they were erected, if not more beautiful for their age.

The Logistics

You can get to Meteora easily from either Thessaloniki or Athens. It takes about 3 hours in each direction from either city. Contrary to what you’d expect, taking a group shuttle tour is actually more economical than taking public transportation, as trains in Greece can be a little pricy.

In Thessaloniki, I took this exact guided tour to Meteora. You can read my full write-up here.

Stephanie took a guided tour when she visited from Athens a few years ago, which is similar in terms of time and what it offers, but it departs from Athens. This is the tour she recommends for seeing Meteora from Athens.

Greece Travel Resources

Greece - Meteora - Stephanie

Here are a few things to know before coming to Greece. First, you can read our article on planning a trip to Greece to make sure you’ve thought about each of the travel planning steps on our eleven-point checklist.

Second, if you’re planning to explore the islands as part of your trip here, we have recommendations in our Greek island hopping guide and our Greek destinations guide. 

Basing yourself in Athens? You’ll want to read our tips for safety in Athens, our recommendations for where to stay in Athens (or our related post on Athens hotels with Acropolis views!), our guide to visiting the Acropolis, and our favorite Instagram spots in Athens.

Or will you be based out of Thessaloniki? In that case, check out our Thessaloniki Instagram guide, Thessaloniki in winter, or Thessaloniki cafes.

Don’t Forget Travel Insurance!

Finally, make sure you always travel to Greece or anywhere in Europe with a valid travel insurance policy. Greece is a very safe place to travel, but accidents and theft can easily ruin your trip if you don’t have the travel insurance coverage to recover the losses.

For travel insurance, I use World Nomads. I’ve been a happy customer of theirs for almost three years, and I’m happy to refer them to anyone I meet.

Get a travel insurance quote for your trip here.

23 Best Things to Do in Alanya (+ Day Trips!)

Alanya was one of the stops of our long road trip on the south coast of Turkey – the so-called Turquoise Coast – when I was a teenager.

I still remember the dazzling Mediterranean Sea and all the salt left on our bodies when we came back to our hotel from the seaside. That’s how salty the sea was and still is! Having the best tan I have ever had… well, it simply summarizes that summer!

A spectacular mixture of tranquility, adventure, nightlife, and history, there are things to do in Alanya for every type of traveler.

Located between the Taurus Mountains and the Mediterranean, Alanya is set on a peninsula made of rocks, and the city dates back to almost the 13th century. With sweeping beaches and stunning sights, this lovely seaside town has several gems to discover.

The Best Things to Do in Alanya

Visit Alanya Castle and the Red Tower

Traveler in black dress exploring the city of Alanya and its castle in Turkey

On the tentative list for UNESCO World Heritage Site designation, legend says that the fortifications of Alanya Castle have been there since the 3rd century BC.

Giving 360-degree panoramic views of the city, this castle is a must-see in Alanya when you are in the city center.

After you have completed your visit to Alanya Castle, continue walking to the harbor. The Red Tower is a hexagonal structure that was once built to protect Alanya Castle as well as the Old Shipyard nearby against the cities’ enemies, and it’s well worth visiting this icon of Alanya.

Check out the Alanya Archaeological Museum

The small but well-curated museum that was renovated in 2012 is worth a visit if you are into local history.

One of the exhibits includes a bronze statue of Hercules dating back to the 2nd century AD. There are also jewelry, coins, letters, jugs, and tools.

The museum is open everyday between 8:30 AM and 5:30 PM.

Address: Saray, İsmet Hilmi Balcı Cd. No:2, 07400, 07400 Alanya/Antalya

Try stand up paddleboarding

Man trying stand up paddleboarding in Turkey's sea

Even if you have never done stand up paddleboarding before, you should give it a try in the clear waters on Alanya — all the better with Red Tower views behind you!

It’s an amazingly relaxing activity once you find your balance on the board. It’s best to enjoy the sea when it is calm, before all the boats take off, so therefore I recommend to start paddling in the morning. It’s also good to get out there before it gets too hot! Stand up paddling is also a great and fun way to get a tan.

Take a jeep tour by day or night night

With illuminated 4 x 4 Land Rover Safari Jeeps, you can enjoy the mountain wilderness and feed your adventurous soul on the 1200 meter peaks of the Taurus Mountains.

If you like group excursions, going on a jeep safari especially by night can be a great idea!

Of course, there are tours during the day, as well, so if you want to go during the day, take sunscreen and plenty of water with you as the vehicles are open top. It becomes a challenge to take pictures on the bumpy off roads, but it is where the fun is!

Relax on the göbektaşı

Alanya has great hammams, a must-have traditional Turkish culture bathing experience.

Here’s some hammam 101. First, get into the sauna and then into the steam room to get your body ready to handle the hammam’s hot temperature. By doing so, the pores on your skin will open, and you will be able to clean your skin more easily.

When you get accustomed to the heating, lay down on the göbektaşı, the marble heated central platform in the hammam to relax.

If you have made an arrangement with one of the ladies who work there, she will come and scrub your body with fluffy soap and then give you a back massage. (Men, don’t feel left out – there are hammams for men as well, as they are separated by gender)

Once you are done, relax in the lounge and enjoy your herbal tea, feeling brand new.

Paraglide over Cleopatra Beach

If you are into adrenaline-pumping sports, paragliding is another great thing to do in Alanya. I can’t think of a better way to enjoy the photogenic scenery of the city and the sea!

After reaching the mountains, you can take off on a flight of 20 minutes. Be careful while choosing the company; some of them lack licenses!

Be sure to pack a proper, sturdy selfie stick if you want a good photo. Having the right photo equipment is also very important in order to take good pictures during your flight!

Take a pirate boat trip

Red pirate style boat on the sea at sunset

If you are traveling with your kids, and if your kids love Pirates of the Caribbean… this activity is perfect for you!

You will depart from the harbor by a ship almost identical to Jack Sparrow’s pirate ship and sail away. I am sure your kids also love the entertainment activities in the ship, which includes dancing and some games led by an actor who impersonates Johnny Depp’s Pirates character!

The boats generally stay close to Alanya, as there are no islands or bays to discover nearby. There are some caves, though, which I will mention below!

Make a wish at the Phosphorus and Lovers’ Cave

Turquoise water with cliff and cave in middle

If you sail away from Alanya harbor, you will probably pay a visit to Phosphorus Cave. The area near the cave is a favorite swimming pit stop for the boats carrying tourists out on excursions.

It is a tradition to make a wish in the caves in Turkey by throwing a coin into the water; this cave is not an exception!

Another popular cave near Alanya is the Lovers’ Cave. Supposedly, the legend says that Lovers’ Cave was the lair of old pirates. The entrance of the cave is 8 meters high and if you are brave enough, you can dive right into the water from up there! 

Take a bath like Cleopatra

Beautiful white sand beach with turquoise water and cliff

There are several beaches in Alanya with the European flag, meaning these beaches are in the standards of the international control administration, a very high rank to earn.

One of the most popular of these white sand paradises is obviously Cleopatra Beach, taking its name from the famous Egyptian Princess Cleopatra, who allegedly took a bath with the Roman Emperor Mark Anthony (Marcus Antonius) here!

Spanning two kilometers west of the city, the entrance to the beach is free. There are sunbeds and umbrellas to hire in case you cannot bring your own.

Cleopatra Beach is extremely popular, so do expect crowds especially in the high season!

Visit the wooden houses in Ehmedek

Wooden Ottoman houses on hill with vegetation and trees

Ehmedek was once a neighborhood where the Turkish lived during the rule of Seljuk and Ottoman empires. After a short walk from Alanya Castle, old wooden houses start to appear in the streets where you can also visit Ehmedek Castle and Süleymaniye Mosque.

There is also a bedesten, a market place, you can shop traditional souvenirs as well as 13th-century mausoleum called Akşebe Türbesi where you can pray or make a wish.

Visit the Alanya Shipyard (Tersane)

Landscape of ancient shipyard near of Kizil Kule tower in Alanya peninsula.

The tersane (shipyard) is another thing you should not miss, simply because it is the only shipyard to remain in Turkey that was built by Seljuk civilization.

Last time I checked, the tersane was under renovation, therefore it might still continue, as these things are taken seriously and take time in Turkey.

Bargain in Cuma Pazarı

Food market in Turkey selling peaches at the Alanya friday bazaar.

The local market takes place every Friday (hence the name Cuma Pazarı, which means Friday Market in Turkish!) where you can stroll among various fruits and vegetables that look and smell so fresh!

The area is especially famous for its citrus trees, so definitely buy a jar of orange jam. You can also have a pomegranate juice during your stroll.

These markets have also textiles sections you should check out. There are 100% organic white T-shirts and dresses made from şile bezi (gauze), a perfect clothing choice for the extremely hot summer months of Alanya.

Another tip, please do not forget to bargain. Locals love it and expect it from shoppers, whether foreign or local!

Day Trips from Alanya

Have lunch at Dimçayı River

Located 22 kilometers from Alanya, Dimçayı River is a great escape from the sun with its cooling waters.

The river runs in a valley surrounded by cliffs where you can shelter under the shadows and breathe in the fresh air.

Lunching here is also a good idea, and there are restaurants located above the river which have traditional Turkish pergolas to relax.

Swim in the cold waters of Sapadere Canyon 

Canyon with waterfall emptying into blue pool

Cutting through the mountains, Sapadere is a true gem with its cascading waterfalls and green forests. There are walls made of limestone on each side of the canyon, as well as wooden roads through the canyon.

You will see some stairways that lead to some swimming spots. However, like I said in the title, the water is freezing cold regardless of the season! If you are courageous enough, though, take a dip!

I still remember the winding road that leads to Sapadere. I had gotten sick because of turning all the time (so bring your motion sickness pills!). It’s a 40-minute drive from Alanya, and you can reach the destination by jeep or motorbike. There are also tours available if you don’t want to drive.

Breathe easily in Damlataş Cave

Cave with stalactites coming from ceiling

One of the first caves to be opened for tourism in the country, Damlataş Cave was accidentally found in 1948 while construction workers were taking stones for Alanya harbor. Inside the cave, you can see stalagmites and stalactites dating back 15,000 years.

For years, thousands of visitors come to Damlataş Cave to find a cure for their asthma, thanks to the unique atmosphere of the cave. The percentage of carbon dioxide is quite high, 12 times more than the air we breathe outside, and the humidity is 95%: ideal conditions for breathing easily!

Whatever the season, the temperature of the air in the cave is 22–23 °C (72–73 °F). You can visit Damlataş Cave everyday between 9:00 AM and 5:00 PM.

Alanya Restaurants to Try

Eat girit ezmesi at İskele Sofrası

Balls made of feta cheese, walnuts, and parsley

A short walk away from Alanya harbor, there is a restaurant run by three generations of the same family who are into slow food.

Book your table in advance to have a taste of meze menu, one of which is girit ezmesi – a mash made from feta-like cheese, olive oil, and walnuts.

Kuzu güveç, their delicious lamb hot pot, is also to die for. Do not forget to order your rakı, the local favorite alcohol. The restaurant is open until 1 A.M.

Address: Çarşı, Tophane Cd., 07400 Alanya/Antalya

Have fresh fish at Kaleiçi Meyhanesi

The restaurant presents an impressive selection of shellfish and fish dishes as well as 30 types of meze plates just above the harbor.

The restaurant is on the waterfront and has a traditional Turkish meyhane (taverna) concept with a cozy decoration. It opens after 4 PM.

Address: Çarşı, İskele Cd. No:80, 07400 Alanya/Antalya

Have a rosé at Bistro Floyd

Once belonging to an Ottoman Empire-era family, the house has been renovated and turned into one of the hippest hangout spots in the city center.

The menu presents dishes from both Turkish and European cuisines. Order a glass of rosé to cool off after a day under the Alanya sun. 

Address: Çarşı, Damlataş Cd. No:19, 07400 Alanya/Antalya

Alanya Nightlife & Bars

Alanya at night with lights reflecting in harbor

Dance to live music at the Sky Lounge Bar

This is a multi-story venue both locals and foreigners prefer, where you can listen to soft chill-out music in the early hours of the night.

Sky Lounge Bar turns into a mix of house and club after midnight. On some nights, you can dance to live music on the 6th floor after 10 PM.

Do not forget to check out the program before you hit the venue! Just a kind reminder, most clubs in Turkey do not accept single men without company.

Address: Çarşı, İskele Cd. no: 80, 07400 Alanya/Antalya

Club Summer Garden

If you want to dance until the first light of the sun, this is THE place.

The best open-air disco in the country, Club Summer Garden is extremely popular. There are spectacular music and stage performances to enjoy!

Address: Konaklı, Gazi Mustafa Kemal Blv. No:24, 07560 Alanya/Antalya

Havana Club

Young Turks come to party until morning in Havana Club, a venue capable of accommodating up to 1,000 partiers!

The DJ programs differ but mainly play a mixture of R&B, Turkish pop hits, techno, and club. Again, most clubs do not accept solo men, so keep this in mind if you’re a man traveling Turkey alone.

Address: Çarşı, Müftüler Sk, 07400 Alanya/Antalya

Crazy Horse

If you feel like eating sushi, this is the place! The menu also has Latin cuisine options.

After dinner is served, the place turns into a real party venue full of young people. You can hit the bar until 3 AM!

Address: Şekerhane, Hükümet Cd., 07400 Alanya/Antalya

Queen’s Garden

If you would like to dance with your family, you can head to Queen’s Garden. Just follow the music from the city center, and you will reach there. 

Address: Müftüler Caddesi Demirciler Sk. No 99 07400, 07400 Alanya, Antalya

Where to Stay in Alanya

Beautiful white sand beach with turquoise water and cliff

We’re in the process of creating comprehensive guides on where to stay in various Turkish cities, but for now, here are our recommendations for Alanya!

Budget | Miray Hotel Kleopatra

This budget-friendly hotel offers a stunning (almost) beachfront location at a low price, a brief walk from the stunning Cleopatra Beach.

The rooms are spacious for the price, with en-suite bathrooms and balconies with partial sea views.

Other amenities include an outdoor swimming pool, sun loungers, a children’s area, ping pong tables, and breakfast AND dinner included in your room rate! Now that’s budget-friendly!

>> Check prices, reviews, and availability here!

Boutique | Ozgur Bey Spa Hotel

In the hip Oba part of Alanya, at Ozgur Bey Spa Hotel, you’re just 100 meters away from the pristine ‘Orange Beach’ with its own private beach.

The rooms are decorated in modern colors, with white walls, warm wood accents, and turquoise pops of color. Rooms feature modern amenities – A/C, TVs, electronic safes, minibar, workdesk, wardrobe – that make you feel instantly at home.

There’s also an outdoor pool, an on-site restaurant, and a Turkish spa center that offers hammams, saunas, steam room, massages, and other wellness treatments.

>> Check prices, reviews, and availability here

Luxury | Alaaddin Beach Hotel (Adults Only)

This chic luxury hotel is perfect for couples and groups of friends looking for an upscale escape from the more family-friendly nature of the rest of the resort city of Alanya.

Right on Cleopatra Beach, rooms have balconies offer a sweeping view of the sea, with beautifully tended gardens, an outdoor swimming pool that’s lit up beautifully at night, and air conditioned rooms.

It’s a mere 15 minutes from the center of Alanya, so it’s easy to walk into town to enjoy meals and nightlife in the city center. But if you just want to relax at the hotel, the restaurant at the hotel offers Mediterranean and international cuisine as well as live music on certain nights!

>> Check prices, reviews, and availability here!

What to Pack for Alanya

Greece - Crete - Heraklion - Old Venetian Harbor Luggage

We have a guide of what to pack for Turkey, but here are five things you definitely want to bring with you!

The Lonely Planet Turkeya good guidebook can help you with the kinds of safety tips you need if you’re out in the city and feel a bit lost, especially if you don’t have internet or a cell signal. These also have specific neighborhood information that will help you in different parts of the city, and it’s a great supplement to blog posts like this one!

Unlocked Cell Phone: Stephanie and I both have unlocked cell phones that we bought in Europe (Stephanie uses a Samsung and I use an iPhone). This allows up to get sim cards when we travel so that we always have the internet. This has gotten us out of so many jams! If you don’t have an unlocked cell phone that can use a Turkish sim card, you can buy a cheaper unlocked phone online and bring it with you!

Pacsafe Citysafe or Other Anti-Theft Bag: This is the bag both Stephanie and I use for all our travels. It has a pouch with RFID technology so our credit cards can’t get scanned from afar, interlocking zippers to make it harder to pickpocket, and it’s roomy enough to be a perfect sightseeing day bag, yet it’s still quite stylish for all of its security features. If you’d rather bring something smaller, you can pack a money belt instead. 

Grayl Water FilterWhile the water is *technically* safe to drink in much of Turkey, I would still avoid it. If you don’t want to be buying millions of plastic water bottles, you can get a reusable water bottle that comes with a water filter so that you can stick to the tap water and reduce your plastic waste. If you’ll be traveling outside of the major tourist centers, check if the water is potable locally.

Seabands: If you get seasick easily, pack some Seabands or seasickness pills so you don’t miss out on the best parts of Turkey – being on the water! A trip to Turkey isn’t complete without a cruise or at least a quick boat trip, so make sure you’re prepared to enjoy it to the fullest!

More Turkey Travel Resources

Allison in Turkey drinking pomegranate juice

We have a ton of resources to help you plan your trip to Turkey!

If this will be your first time traveling to Turkey, check out this guide to planning a trip to Turkey (including visa information) and this guide beautiful places to visit in Turkey. You can also check out our Balkan currency guide, which explains how the Turkish lira works and guidelines for tipping in Istanbul.

If you’re spending time on the coast, we have guides to Antalya and Fethiye, and Bodrum, Marmaris & more are on the way.

If you’re heading to Istanbul, we have you covered. Start with our essential Istanbul Travel Tips and guide to staying safe in Istanbul

We’re working on our massive things to do in Istanbul post, plus you can check out our guide to the best Instagram spots around Istanbul, tips for shopping in Istanbul, the best Turkish food to eat, how to plan an Istanbul honeymoon, and what to do in Istanbul at night.

If you want to be in the city for just a few days (four or less), check out our Istanbul city break guide, which breaks down the best of the city so you won’t miss anything!

Headed to Cappadocia? If you’re curious about the most Instagrammable places in Cappadocia, we’ve got you covered. We also have posts on the best things to do in Cappadocia, and how to plan a perfect 3 day Cappadocia itinerary, plus how to get to Cappadocia from Istanbul.

We have tons more Turkey and Balkans resources, and we publish new content nearly daily. Bookmark our Turkey and Balkans travel pages so you can find any new resources that come out before your trip!

Don’t Forget About Travel Insurance!

If you’re planning a trip to Turkey, make sure to travel with a valid travel insurance policy. While we feel safe in Turkey, it’s a good idea to be covered in case of an emergency. Travel insurance covers you in case of theft or an accident, which can save your trip if there’s an incident.

For travel insurance, we both use World NomadsI’ve been a happy customer of theirs for almost three years, and I’m happy to refer them to anyone I meet.

>> Get your free quote from World Nomads here <<

Pin This Guide to Things to Do in Alanya Here!

Want to visit Alanya, Turkey in summer? Here's our guide to visiting this gem of Turkey's Turquoise Coast aka the Turkish Riviera. Here are all the best things to do in Alanya, Alanya restaurants and nightlife, Alanya day trips, Alanya attractions and of course - Alanya beaches!

How to Visit the St. Vincent’s Day Wine Festival in Štrigova, Croatia

We love visiting the Balkans in winter, and there are many great winter festivals you can attend to make a winter trip here even more lovely! One festival you should make sure to add to your Balkan itinerary is the celebration for St. Vincent’s Day in Strigova, Croatia. 

We spoke with Ivana Kelner Tkalčec from The Tourist Board of Štrigova to help you get everything you need to plan the perfect visit to the Celebration for St. Vincent’s day on Međimurje Wine Road.

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St. Vincent's day on Međimurje wine road

How to Celebrate St. Vincent’s Day on Međimurje Wine Road in Strigova

Here’s everything you need to know to plan your trip!

What are the dates and times for the 2020 Celebrations for St. Vincent’s Day on Međimurje Wine Road?

Photo provided courtesy of the The Tourist Board of Štrigova

Photo provided courtesy of The Tourist Board of Štrigova

The festival is on January 18th, 2020 and begins at 8:30 am.

Where is the festival located?

The festival is held In the center of Štrigova and on the Međimurje Wine Road.
 

What kind of entertainment will there be for adults?

Photo provided courtesy of the The Tourist Board of Štrigova

Photo provided courtesy of The Tourist Board of Štrigova

Each year hundreds of participants come from all over Croatia and neighboring Slovenia and Austria for a walk over hills and vineyards. That always becomes a day to remember. Nature, people, customs and traditions of the past become one, united.

It is an old saying that on St. Vincent’s day, January 22nd, tenants go into their vineyards just to cut off two or three twigs with three buds. Then they put them in a glass, place it into the window and storage during fall and winter. When vine buds break out, tenants will see how fruitful of a year it will be.

Our St. Vincent’s ceremony always occurs in a vineyard, outdoors. We decorate vines with sausages, we play and dance to call for good fruits. We don’t forget our wine cellars in which a droplet of God’s drink is served together with traditional dishes.

We start in the center of Štrigova and go on the trail on which we will visit winemakers of Međimurje wine road and they will offer us their best wine.

On the trail, we visit four of the winemakers and every year it is a different trail and different winemakers which we are visiting. A good mood will be taken care of by the tamburitza band “Podrumari”.

What kind of entertainment will there be for children?

Photo provided courtesy of The Tourist Board of Štrigova

Photo provided courtesy of The Tourist Board of Štrigova

Older children can also join because it is a hiking trail which is not difficult. Snacks include tea and bakery products.

What kind of goods will be for sale?

You can buy bottled wine from winemakers which we are visiting on the trail.
 

What kind of food and drinks will be available?

Photo provided courtesy of the The Tourist Board of Štrigova

Photo provided courtesy of The Tourist Board of Štrigova

Wine, mulled wine, and tea on the trail and food at the end of the trail are included in the ticket price, but all sorts of bakery products which you can eat on the trail are for free.

Is there a ticket price to get into the events?

Photo provided courtesy of the The Tourist Board of Štrigova

Photo provided courtesy of The Tourist Board of Štrigova

Yes, tickets need to be purchased to attend. They cost 7 Euros (about $8 USD) and can be purchased in the center of Strigova on the day of the festival. Bring cash to pay for your ticket and any extras you want to purchase during the day. 

Are there any other special festivities in Strigova this December or January that travelers might want to attend?

Croatia - Strigova - Church of St. Jerome

While here, Štrigova is a small and beautiful destination full of cultural and natural heritage. It is the birthplace of St. Jerome, so you can also visit the church of St. Jerome. You can enjoy New Year’s Eve on Mađerka’s hill.

How can travelers learn more?

We have our own recommendations and resources for visiting Croatia below. I want to thank Ivana from The Tourist Board of Štrigova for helping to answer our questions about this spectacular event! For more detailed information about the market, check out The Tourist Board of Štrigova’s website.

Where to stay in Strigova, Croatia

We are in the process of creating comprehensive guides on where to stay in various Croatian cities, but for now, we recommend checking out Booking.com as early as possible since this is a popular time to visit Strigova. If you’ll also be spending time in Dubrovnik, check out The Best Hotels & Accommodations in Dubrovnik Old Town.

What to Pack for Croatia in Winter

Greece - Crete - Heraklion - Old Venetian Harbor Luggage

We have a full Croatia packing list here with winter sections for men and women, but here’s the quick version!

A Guidebook – While travel blogs are great, we also definitely see the benefit of having a good paper guidebook in hand to refer to in your on-the-ground travel. We recommend the Lonely Planet Croatia book.

Winter accessories: Bring a winter scarf like this one (women’s) or this cashmere scarf (men’s) to help block out the wind. We recommend women’s gloves like these which are compatible with your smartphone (for a men’s version, check these). You also lose a lot of heat from the top of your head and ears, so a fleece-lined knit hat (women’s) that you wear tight, like a beanie, is a fantastic choice. Pick a colorful one for cute photos! Here’s a men’s version as well.

An ultra-light down jacket: You can wear this on its own or pair it with a warmer jacket for colder days. This rolls up and packs easily in your day bag so it’s good to bring along – I have one similar to this (women’s) but there’s a men’s version as well. If you want to be warm, I recommend a winter jacket like this North Face parka which I’ve owned for years and years.

Winter boots: It can be snowy and icy throughout Croatia even at times in the south, as it can snow in northern Croatia and get below freezing. For snowy days and super cold weather when you still want to be comfortable, I love these knee-high waterproof Blondo boots and have owned them for over a decade. For men, I suggest a waterproof boot with good traction, like these Timberlands.

Motion sickness pills: Great for bus rides if you’ll be visiting any mountains – I buy these non-drowsy ones. You can also try these natural motion sickness bands which use acupressure to reduce nausea – they work pretty well.

Read more: Essential Croatia Packing List: What to Wear & Pack for Croatia

More Croatia Travel Resources

Croatia - Zagreb - Stephanie

Headed to Croatia? We have some great travel resources to help you with your trip. First read our guide to planning a trip to Croatia, which covers visas, budgets, vaccines, and much more. We also have a Croatia packing list with a detailed section for all seasons.

If you’re going to be in Dubrovnik, check out our favorite Dubrovnik Instagram spots, the best Dubrovnik day trips

If you’re still putting together your itinerary, here’s a great list of places to visit in Croatia, our Croatia national parks guide, and the Croatian waterfalls guide to help you choose. We also have a guide to the best day trips from Spit if you’re to be visiting Split as well.

If you’ll be spending time in Zagreb, check out our list of the city’s best photo destinations. We also have a guide to visiting the famous Plitvice Lakes from Zagreb.

Next, check out our Balkan currency guide which explains how money works in Croatia and local tipping customs.

Of course, if you’re coming to Croatia you’ll have lots of opportunities to shop! Read our guide to shopping in Croatia so you know which souvenirs are truly local gems.

If this will be one of your first trips in the Balkans, check out our massive list of things to know before traveling the Balkans as well as our Balkan busroad trip, and itinerary guides. 

We publish new content nearly every day! Bookmark our pages on Croatia and the Balkans so that you don’t miss out on any new info or resources that we publish before your trip!

Don’t Forget About Travel Insurance!

I’m sure you’re aware that travel insurance is a good idea for traveling in Croatia (or really, any part of the world)! We have both been paying customers of World Nomads for the last three years. We love the peace of mind it gives us in case of emergencies, accidents, illnesses, theft, or trip cancellation or disruption.

While the Balkans are perfectly safe to travel around, there’s always a risk inherent in everyday travel – especially during the winter! – so it’s better to play it safe.

>> Get a travel insurance quote for your trip here <<

Pin this Guide to Visiting Strigova for the St. Vincent Day Celebrations Your Trip!

St. Vincent's day on Međimurje wine road

13 Cool Things to Do in Korcula, an Island Paradise in Croatia

Korčula is one of the most beautiful gems of Croatia, and over time, because of its remarkable beauty and its strategic position, everyone wanted to live there…. and now everyone wants to vacation there.

But first, a little history. First, it was settled by Mesolithic and Neolithic peoples (the evidence of which you can find at Vela Spila and Jakas Cave). After that, Greeks formed two colonies on the island. Artifacts such as carved marble tombstones can be found at the Korčula town museum, and the oldest written stone monument was found in Lumbarda. Also, this little island was promised to Italy during the First World War (luckily, Croatia still has it!)

Amazing history, isn’t it!? While Korčula was coveted in the past, now it’s firmly part of the Croatian tourism scene, and it’s on many tourists to Croatia’s bucket list. So, before you start packing your bags: here I present you with the 13 best things to do in Korčula!

What to Do & See in Korcula

Admire the towers of Korcula

Main tower leading into walled city with steps

Korčula was one of the finest fortified medieval towns in Croatia. Due to its strategic position, the town was built of thick stone walls and towers. In fact, you can still see the impressive defensive structures which dominate the skyline of the old town of Korčula.

On the edges of the town, you can see eight remaining towers (there used to be twelve towers) that were built in the Middle Ages. Heading from north to the west you can see Zakerjan Tower, Kanavelić (the name was given after poet from 16th century Petar Kanavelić), and Sea Gate Tower (a small, crumbling tower with inscription in Latin from 1592 declaring that Korčula was founded after the fall of Troy).

There is also the Small Governor’s Tower and Large Governor’s Tower (these two towers are in front of each and they were built in 15th century to protect Governor’s Palace), Revelin Tower (it represents the southern entrance into the old town)Tower of All Saints (nowadays, only basement has left of this tower that was built as part of twelve towers in 1493).

Lastily, on the hill above the Old Town of Korčula is Forteca the English name for the tower is Fort Wellington. The tower was built in 1813 on the place of the Venetian fortification from 1616.

Explore the remarkable Old Town of Korcula

 Rough stone houses, facades with windows, green plants, flowers in Dalmatia, Croatia.

This historical town was built up from local stones on a rocky peninsula, and it represents an outstanding symbiosis between man’s work and the natural environment.

In this exceptional town, you can indulge in a stroll through streets designed in a fishbone pattern. The longest street is like a spine, and it is crossed by about a dozen shorter streets. This pattern allows free circulation of air but at the same time it protects town against strong winds.

One interesting thing about the Old Town of Korcula is that almost every street has steps and Charity Street (Ulica javne dobrotvornosti) is the only one without… for that reason, it’s been given the nickname ‘the Street of Thinkers’ (I suppose because you can be lost in thought while walking, as you don’t need to look out for stairs).

All those stone walls and picturesque streets will arouse your imagination and take you to back to Korcula’s olden days (plus, they make for great Instagram photos as well!)

Immerse yourself in the local culture

Old wall with towers and sea in background

Korčula has a captivating history and culture. You can take a guided city walking tour or you can just visit on your own the amusing museums or churches to learn something interesting and new about this charming place.

Korčula also has the longest tradition of knightly tournaments in the Mediterranean! Their moreška – a traditional sword dance and drama from the 12th and 13th century is something you have to experience as well as harmonious singing of klapa (a group of friends) – traditional a cappella singing which has earned a place on UNESCO’s  Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.

Moreška has become a regular event during the summer season, held every Monday and Thursday in Ljetno Kino (summer cinema) – a small open-air stage right on the edge of the old town and on rainy days, it is held in the Dom Kulture (cultural center) in the heart of the town.

Visit Marco Polo’s House and Museum

Old house with bell on top of roof, supposedly Marco Polo's birthplace

It is believed that the legendary explorer, writer, and traveler Marco Polo was born in Korčula. The house was rebuilt, but it preserved its old charm.

This museum allows you to delve into the life of this remarkable explorer and his travels. Through seven remarkable scenes and surprisingly realistic puppets, this museum showcases the life of Marco Polo.

Here you can also find shops with over four hundred authentic products.  In addition, you can get some great views of Korčula here!

Visit St. Mark’s Cathedral

Facade of 15th century church with white stone walls

An unmissable historical building, St. Mark’s Cathedral is a Roman Catholic cathedral from the 15th century. It was built and painted by Italian and local masters (Tintoretto, Jacopo Bassano, and Bonino de Milano, to be specific) in a Gothic and Renaissance style.

On the door pillars you will notice the naked figures of Adam and Eve, and on the triangular gable cornice at the very top, there is some intriguing detail, specifically a two-tailed mermaid and elephant.

Inside, you can find the sarcophagus of St. Theodore, the protector of Korčula, an icon of the Virgin from 13th century, cannonballs and weapons from wars with the Ottomans, and paintings by the aforementioned Italian master Tintoretto.

The cathedral is located in the heart of the town, on the highest point which means it provides the most alluring view of Korčula and the Adriatic Sea. It is not easy to go up, but it is well worth the effort.

See the town museum

Just across from the cathedral, you will see the 16th-century Gabrielis Palace, which now houses the Town Museum. This museum traces the history and culture of Korčula from ancient history to nowadays.

The building has three floors. On the ground floor, you will find ceramics dredged up from ancient Greek and Roman shipwrecks, shipbuilding tools and drawings, etc. The most important display is a replica of a 4th century Greek stone tablet called the Psephism from Lumbarda. This is the oldest written document found on the territory of Croatia. 

On the second floor, you can see furnishings through the ages, various artifacts from typical Korčula house, portraits, drawings, and paintings. Finally, in the loft is a reconstruction of a traditional Korčula kitchen, as in the old days, it was common for kitchens to be situated in the loft.

Explore St. Anthony’s Hill

Old stone church amidst trees and vegetation

From the heart of the city, the road along the sea leads to St. Anthony’s Hill. At the top of the hill is St. Anthony’s Church, dating back to the 14th century.

You need to go up two hundred steps through a wonderful cypress alley (planted in 1708) to reach the top… but you will be rewarded with stillness, peace, and a wonderful view. This hidden gem is a religious monument, but also a protected area of natural beauty.

Take a bike tour

Bicycle in front of Korcula marina at sunset

If you are tired of walking you can just hop on the bike and explore the coastline or some other incredible part of this charming island.

From the heart of Korčula town, you can cycle in any direction of the coastline. One option is to head west towards the youngest settlements Račišće and follow the sinuous coastal road. On this route you will find a great number of stunning places where you can take a break and enjoy the view or have a swim.

Or you can head east towards the small fishermen’s village Lumbarda. On this road, you will pass through a picturesque area of pine woods, olive groves, and a lot of sandy vineyards.

If you are an adventurer (you will have a lot of hills to cope with), you can cycle towards the Defora region (a great area to savor the sunset) on the south-east side of the island and make your way to some of the most stunning hidden beaches of Korčula.

Rent a kayak or boat to explore the Adriatic

Unrecognizable family kayaking in Vela Luka

This part of the sea is wonderfully calm, crystal clear, and perfect for some water sports. You can rent a boat or kayak and enjoy stunning views or you can sail to one of the many charming archipelagoes where you can find a piece of paradise just for yourself.

The enchanting colors and clarity of the water will lure you to freshen up and explore the depths of the sea. So why don’t you just dive in whilst you are here?

In addition, here you can have a sailing or windsurfing course, or you can book one of their many tours – sailing, kayaking, snorkeling, night boat tour, and more.

Enjoy the stunning beaches

 Aerial view of Korcula island beach in Pupnatska Luka cove

This charming gem is blessed with plenty of alluring beaches. In the southern part of the island, you can find some sandy beaches nestled in isolated bays, or you can have one of the pebbly beaches on the northern side of Korčula.

If you like popular beaches with a lot of crowds, head to the Borak area where you will find the oldest beach in the town Banje beach or Zakrjan Beach, a rocky beach in the center of Korčula. 

But if you want to spend some quiet time away from the crowds, head to the Lenga Beach located in the vicinity of Lumbarda. Nestled in the intact northeast coast of the Korcula Island, this beach is made up of large white and golden rocks and slabs.

Lenga Beach is perfect for snorkeling as is Ražnjić Beach, located on the eastern horn of the island. Select the beach of your choice, and enjoy the warmth of the sun and the beauty of the sea while you are lounging on warm sand or rock.

Other beautiful beaches include Pupnatska Luka Cove (pictured above), Zitna, and Proizd, an island near Vela Luka.

Taste some of the best wines

A woman waiting at a table ready to enjoy a meal with a view of a sprawling wine vineyard growing the local grk grapes with the small town of Lumbarda

What’s better than a glass of good local wine after a long walk through the city?

It is well known that the southern Dalmatian region is the best wine growing area…and Korčula can be proud of its heavenly white wine, Grk.

This wine is produced only in Lumbarda (which is a community of fisherman and farmers) and nowhere else in the world.

There are several wine tasting tours that will take you to various spots to try the local wines. And this wine goes best with some seafood. So, what are you waiting for?

Feast on fresh seafood

It’s time to savor the sea with all your senses!

If you want to indulge yourself in some delicious local dishes, it is best to start with fresh fish and makaruni – a unique island specialty, handmade pasta served with rich sauce.

The most popular fish dish is lešada or popara – a special kind of fish stew…or you can try the octopus cooked in its own juices!

The humming sound of the sea, a slight gentle breeze, crisp fresh flavors, and a heavenly wine… what else you can ask for on a summer day?

Experience Korcula’s nightlife

This may not be the most popular place for crazy parties and wild nightlife, but it certainly does have its own unique charm.

If you want to loosen up a bit and dance head straight to Dos Locos – a popular open-air bar or Gaudi Night Bar – a disco located in one of the oldest arsenals on the Adriatic.

But if you want to chill and just have some wine or cocktail with friends, the perfect place for you is Massimo Cocktail Bar. This unique bar is located on the top of a 15th-century tower (Zakerjan or Berim Tower) and it has the most stunning view and fabulous drinks!

Where to Stay in Korcula

Budget | Apartments Milion

Located right next to St. Mark’s Church in the heart of Korcula’s Old Town, Apartments Milion is a cozy place to stay in Korcula that won’t break the bank, a mere 50 meters away from the ferry port.

Rooms have en-suite bathrooms with showers, cable TV, and bathing amenities like a hairdryer and toiletries. Some rooms even have a balcony or a small kitchen (or both), so do check the room types to ensure you’re getting what you want.

Since it’s so close to the heart of Korcula, you’re surrounded by restaurants, bars, and wonderful sights worth seeing — the location can’t be beat, plus the hosts’ kindness and hospitality was remarked on by nearly all previous guests! All that at a budget-friendly price, and you have a winner for budget-conscious travelers in Korcula.

>> Check prices, reviews, and availability here

Boutique | The Fabris

For a boutique stay in the heart of Korcula’s Old Town, look to The Fabris Luxury Inn. This exquisite hotel has kept its historic features like stone walls and wooden elements, but it’s modernized it to make it comfortable for the modern-day traveler who expects a touch of luxury, like flat-screen TVs and luxe linens.

Enjoy some time on the sun terrace, grab a coffee at the on-site coffee shop, or indulge in the delicious provided breakfast. And best of all, you’re never far away from any of the beautiful attractions of the Old Town of Korcula, since you’re literally right inside of it!

>> Check prices, availability, and reviews here

Luxury | Hotel Liburna

For an exquisite luxury hotel in Korcula, look no further than Hotel Liburna. Located just a 10-minute stroll from the Old Town of Korcula along a beautiful seafront promenade, you’ll temporarily escape the crowds as you immerse yourself in total 4-star luxury.

Rooms offer a stunning seafront view, with modern furniture design and spacious layouts (this is something you won’t get in an Old Town room, no matter how luxe!).

Amenities include a beautiful pool with sun loungers, a semi-private beach area, massage center. For the active among us, there are tennis courts and windsurfing schools nearby.

>> Check out prices, reviews, and availability here

What to Pack for Korcula

Greece - Crete - Heraklion - Old Venetian Harbor Luggage

Mosquito repellent: Mosquitos in the summer can be nasty! You can bring ones with DEET or without DEET, or I love having some of these mosquito repellent wipes that I can keep in my bag in case I suddenly start to get swarmed and don’t have my regular repellent with me.

Sunscreen: You can buy sunscreen in Croatia, but it’s likely cheaper at home or bought online in advance. I love this solid Neutrogena sunscreen. Who doesn’t love a good solid for liquid swap? Great to keep in your bag without worrying about sunscreen explosions.

Water shoes: Pebble beaches in Croatia are a double-edged sword. On the one hand, the pebble seafloor is what creates that gorgeous deep turquoise-colored water that is hard to beat, as the lack of sand means you have incredibly clear water. However, on the other hand, pebble beaches and rocky shores can be downright painful!

Our friend recently cut his foot on a rocky beach in Croatia; had he been wearing water shoes, he’d have avoided such unpleasantness! We suggest these unisex water shoes. They’re not sexy, but they will make your trips to the beach far more pleasant!

A secure backpack: We both carry the CitySafe backpack by PacSafe not only on our travels but in our day-to-day lives. It’s cute, it’s functional, it’s comfortable, and it’s secure. We’re talking about interlocking zippers (which you can then put through a second clasp for two layers of security), slash-proof wire mesh construction, and RFID blockers to keep your personal data safe.

It’s neutral enough to be unisex, it’s roomy enough to fit a small laptop, large camera, and tons of odds & ends, and it fits under the plane seat in front of you. We’re obsessed. Check it out for yourself!

Grayl Water FilterTap water is generally safe to drink in Croatia, but if you’re not used to drinking tap water from other countries, the typically harmless bacteria found in all water can cause some gut irritation.

To both be safe and not buy dozens of plastic water bottles, you can get a reusable water bottle that comes with a water filter so that you can stick to the tap water and reduce your plastic waste. If you’ll be traveling outside of the major tourist cities, check locally before drinking from the tap without a filter.

Seabands: If you get seasick easily, pack some Seabands or seasickness pills so you don’t miss out on the best parts of Croatia – being on the water! A trip to Croatia isn’t complete without a quick boat trip, so make sure you’re prepared to enjoy it to the fullest!

More Croatia Travel Resources

Dubrovnik - Croatia - Boats in the harbor with view of old town in background

Headed to Croatia? We have some great travel resources to help you with your trip.

First read our guide to planning a trip to Croatia, which covers visas, budgets, vaccines, and much more. We also have a packing list for Croatia in all seasons that will surely be of help!

If you’ll be visiting Dubrovnik, check our guide to the best Dubrovnik day trips and Instagram spots.

For Zagreb, check out our Instagram spots, as well as our guide to visiting Plitvice from Zagreb.

For Split, check out our guide to the best day trips from Split.

For Hvar, check out our guide to things to do in Hvar.

If you’re still putting together your itinerary, here’s a great list of places to visit in Croatia, our Croatian islands guide, and our Croatian waterfalls guide to help you choose.

Finally, you’ll want to read our guide to shopping in Croatia so you know which souvenirs are truly local gems.

If this will be one of your first trips in the Balkans, check out our massive list of things to know before traveling the Balkans as well as our Balkan busroad trip, and itinerary guides. 

We publish new content nearly every day! Bookmark our pages on Croatia and the Balkans so that you don’t miss out on any new info or resources that we publish before your trip!

Don’t Forget About Travel Insurance!

I’m sure you’re aware that travel insurance is a good idea for traveling in Croatia (or really, any part of the world)! We have both been paying customers of World Nomads for the last three years. We love the peace of mind it gives us in case of emergencies, accidents, illnesses, theft, or trip cancellation or disruption.

While the Balkans are perfectly safe to travel around, there’s always a risk inherent in everyday travel, so it’s better to play it safe.

>> Get a travel insurance quote for your trip here <<

Pin This Guide to Things to Do in Korcula

Planning to visit Korcula? This beautiful Croatian island is full of unique travel experiences. From wine tasting to nightlife to seafood restaurants to churches and towers, here are the best things to do in Korcula,  best Korcula beaches, and where to stay in Korcula - your ultimate Korcula travel guide!
Planning a trip to Sofia? Check out our best free trip planning resources