Greece Travel Guide logo

Greece Travel Guide


 Greek Island Guide


Hotels of Greece



Getting Hooked: Barhopping in Angistri


THE ISLAND of Angistri was the first to invitingly call me away from this crazy city and its sinister everyone's-going-on-holiday tune and introduce me to its quaint but quizzical night-life. It's not often you can walk out of a bar tanned and refreshed from marvellously endless hours of swimming in some of the country's cleanest waters.

Angistri (which means hook), located just after the island of Aegina (southwest of Athens), is only one hour away from Piraeus by Catamaran or Flying Dolphin and two hours by ferry. It's the perfect getaway for anyone who wants to leave the city and find genuine wilderness, beauty and calm.

In only two days of visiting, my dear visiting friend (from depressingly rainy England), Alexia Petsalis and I swam plenty, enjoyed the most delicious varieties of fresh, melt-in-your-mouth calamari, squid and marides, trekked among the beautifully savage pine-tree-lined rocks and chilled out over a game of backgammon with iced coffee at sunset.

The perfect way to end the day? Bar-hopping of course.

A friend with perfectly reliable taste for travel locations recommended we stay at the Angistri Club hotel, only 15 minutes from the port. At night here, you can melt into a deck-chair with a cocktail and be kissed by the sultriest of moons as it gloriously ascends above the black velvet water. But above all, it's the meeting point for a colourful and vivacious crowd of Greeks and foreigners alike, who gather there nightly to delight in succulent dishes and to drink together as if for the very first time. "That's all we do here! " chortles cosmopolitan owner Brian Robinson, who has been on the island for some 20 years.

Margaritas, with their city-life association, lost their lure here, and we opted for the naff-sounding but nonetheless excellently prepared Pina Coladas (barman Allan kindly divulged his secret recipe, as listed below), with their creamy cool feel and warming after-tang.

During the dinner that followed, piquant conversation was abruptly broken off to gape at the flaming red moon, which ordered us to imbibe chilled retsina like there was no tomorrow. But we were on the island to investigate all its night-life, and thus had to unhook ourselves from our company and follow the grey cement road.

With insider's tips from Brian & Co, we proceeded to Aquarius Bar, a big, wood-and-glass thronging club which promised to be the place to be. We were wrong.

Aquarius was host to a bunch of non-fastidious tourists - dusty sandals, over-heated blondies snaking around with the local kamakia, and bored, frappe-drinking islanders armed with a disapproving stare directed at all us corrupt invaders.

But the music (70s disco, 80s pop and early 90s rave with a touch of modern-trash Greek) was excellent and, picking a corner, we bounced along nonetheless. The wine we ordered (white, by the glass) was as foul as it was cheap, at only 450 drs each.

There's a limit to any overwhelming, er, pleasure and, still following our host's advice, we moved on to Copa Cabana, where the atmosphere is far less rowdy and a tad more sophisticated. There you can listen to 50s jazz or 60s smoothies and unwind in the dark. Locals of the foreign kind seem to favour this place and end up here from late to even later. Which brings us to Hook, a tiny café surrounded by the sea which remains open for an astounding 24 hours daily.

Hook too has its loyal customers and will welcome the presence of one person as much as it will of 30. Uninterested in drinks, we chose this bar for our final swim of the day, which was appropriately refreshing after smoky, sweaty noise.

If you want to be asked whether you've "got your land-legs back yet", visit a moving bar.

Robert, a rugged Briton who has inhabited the island for 11 years, is not only an exceptional chef, sea-captain (or rather, according to his friends, "a pirate") and skilful story-teller but also a barman.

For a very reasonable price he will take you and up to six or seven of your friends on a four-hour tour around Angistri and its dramatic nearby islands, during which you can stop for a heavenly swim in a secluded cove.

We planned our journey around a sunset finale, which, accompanied by a glass of exquisite chilled wine or ouzo and a mouth-watering boat-made meze, is enough to make you fall in love with life all over again.

Arrange your stay at Angistri Club with the sweet and funny Hugo Kay-Berghan, at Angistri Club


* Regardless of our eloquence and Greek-speaking, we were cheated by the 'Superfast Ferries' agency in Pireaus, where we were sold Minoan Lines Catamaran tickets to Angistri (4,000 drs rtn) for what turned out to be a Minoan Flying Dolphin to Aegina . From Aegina , we had to wait for the Keravnos catamaran boat, which costs 2,000 drs rtn and gets you to Angistri from Piraeus in just an hour. Upon being confronted after our return about this ominously party-pooper event, Ms Stella of the port-based agency instantly apologised (Not), and sagely said "You can't expect boats to go wherever you want!"

* We visited Angistri mid-week. Weekends are crowded as the island is gaining more and more fans.

* Angistri is said to have got its name because everyone who visits it gets hooked.

top drink


In a shaker, place:

a handful of ice

a splash of malibu

a splash of batida de coco

Bacardi poured to a count of four

secret ingredient: a splash of Nounou milk

pineapple juice.


For more on Angistri see

Return to Alexia's Articles

Help Support Matt's 
Do you enjoy using my site? Have you found it entertaining as well as useful? If so please show your appreciation by booking hotels through the travel agencies and the links found on my
 Athens Hotels page. The small comission I make on the bookings enable me to keep working and in most cases you won't find them any cheaper by searching elsewhere. You can also book at's Athens Page and they give me a small percentage on each booking.

Return to Athens Survival Guide