The Best Bars in Hydra, Greece

Hydra is a charming Greek island where life moves at a slower and relaxing pace
Hydra is a charming Greek island where life moves at a slower and relaxing pace | © funkyfood London - Paul Williams / Alamy Stock Photo
Rebecca Hall

Hydra offers a unique Greek island experience. About two hours from Athens, this charming island is where musician Leonard Cohen had his holiday home. The island is 65sqkm (25sqmi) and completely traffic-free – locals walk, use water taxis or ride donkeys. Life is slow here. Indeed, you won’t find huge nightclubs; instead, you can visit the harbourside drinking dens, which often draw a bohemian, arty crowd.

1. The Pirate Bar

Bar, Cocktail Bar, Cocktails

HYDRA, GREECE - AUGUST 29, 2016: Boats at town Hydra on Hydra island in Greece. Hydra is one of the Saronic Islands of Greece.
© Goran Bogicevic / Alamy Stock Photo

The Pirate Bar is an old favourite – open since 1976 – sitting inside a traditional two-storey old stone merchant’s house. It’s open from morning to night; stop by for a light breakfast or club sandwich at lunchtime while taking in the harbour views. At night, it takes on a party atmosphere, where the mixologist will shake up a cosmopolitan – or cocktail of your choice – while you tune into the latest DJ set and rub shoulders with the island’s younger crowd.

2. Hydronetta Cocktail Bar

Bar, Cocktail Bar, Wine Bar, Cocktails

Hydroneta beach, Hydra island, Argo - Saronic gulf, Attica, Greece
© Hercules Milas / Alamy Stock Photo

Cliff-perched Hydronetta – open from morning through to the wee hours – is known locally as the Cannons due to its location just below the cannons that guard Hydra’s yacht-lined harbour. It lingers, encircled by the sea, with a small swimming platform where you can while away the day. Return at dusk to watch the sunset, accompanied by discrete classical music or jazz as you sip a negroni or a chilled glass of white wine. Full-moon parties are its trademark, with resident DJs bringing you the latest tunes.

3. Amalour

Bar, Cocktail Bar, Cocktails

Attracting a thirtysomething crowd on Hydra’s quayside, Amalour offers excellent cocktails and an eclectic playlist of Latin, jazz, reggae and soul – guaranteed to fill up the small dance floor inside. It’s the perfect place to chill and party with friends or make new ones. It sits inside a traditional whitewashed building, with tables that spill out onto the street during warm summer evenings.

4. Red Club

Bar, Nightclub, Greek

Despite Hydra being a quieter, more sophisticated island choice, Red Club is the closest you’ll get to a late-night dance joint, sitting right on the quayside (look for the, yes, red exterior). If you’re a fan of ’60s and ’70s rock music and the occasional Greek pop tune, be sure to come here to kick back with your Mythos or Alfa beer.

5. Papagalos

Bar, Cafe, Coffee Shop, Smoothie Bar, Coffee

At the quieter end of the harbour, Papagalos is more of a cafe bar and a great spot to relax and people-watch before or after a swim. Try its Greek frappe, refreshing home-made lemonade with mint and cucumber, or coconut smoothie.

6. Spilia Beach Bar

Bar, Cafe, Restaurant, Contemporary

Spilia Beach
© Ian Dagnall / Alamy Stock Photo

Spilia Beach is a short walk from the harbour, where the rocks have been smoothed over to create a relaxing haven at Spilia Beach Bar. Hang out all day and eat your breakfast of Greek yoghurt and fruit or an omelette for brunch. It’s one of the places on Hydra where you can sunbathe while sipping your bloody mary or delicious home-made cucumber and ginger lemonade.

Sort your stay on Hydra and book one of the best hotels on the island now through Culture Trip. It isn’t too far from Athens, so why not take a trip to the capital, too? Book one of the best hotels in Athens, visit some must-see historical sites or chill out on the best beaches nearby before heading to a rooftop bar for a well-deserved drink.

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