Ionian island Lefkada might be known for its photogenic beaches, trickling waterfalls, watersports and ancient churches, but it would be a crime not to explore its bars to get to know the locally made wines. Here are some of the Greek island’s best drinking spots.
Originally a peninsula, Lefkada was cut off from the rest of Greece via a manmade canal in the 8th century BC. Today, a narrow bridge connects Lefkada – one of the smaller Ionian islands – to the mainland, meaning that it’s one of the only Greek islands that you can drive to. Despite this, it’s surprisingly not overrun with tourists, instead, retaining a laid-back ambience popular with kitesurfers, windsurfers and beach lovers – and is reflected in its post-beach nightlife culture. Many of Lefkada’s drinkeries are concentrated in Lefkada Town and Nidri, with a handful of beach bars scattered along the coastline. Cheers.
Venture just off the main road in the village of Ligia on Lefkada’s east coast and you’ll more than likely find Spiro – the owner-barman at Art Club – lining up shot glasses and exchanging banter with the locals and tourists as they knock back the local firewater or sip a craft beer. It’s a cluttered, unpretentious place where you come for the good company, inexpensive drinks and excellent bar snacks served by Spiro’s wife, Denise – eventually parting as solid friends.
Overlooking the yacht marina in Nidri, Lefkada’s original wine bar is the top choice among Greek wine aficionados. The owners spend the off-season travelling around Greece, handpicking wines – including organic, sparkling and dessert varieties – from small producers around the country. Settle in on the seafront terrace and choose from over 70 wines – many available for purchase, along with Greek craft beer – including sparkling wines by the glass. Need more wine? Tasting sessions take place at 6pm nightly.
Just off the main drag in Lefkada Town’s centuries-old heart, a historic stone house dating back to 1800 has been sensitively restored and turned into a characterful wine bar. The bartender will help you choose from over 80 carefully chosen Greek wines – including rare vintages – while the cocktails are made with distilled spirits from all over Greece. Then there’s the crostini, traditional pies, local sausages and other nibbles, best enjoyed in the outdoor courtyard or small garden and washed down with several glasses of your chosen poison.