Besides local ski centres, nearby bars and all-day café restaurants also liven up during winter at the country’s more renowned mountain villages. For total satisfaction, a winter-season getaway needs the full package, from traditional cafes and tavernas to stylish bars for relaxed nightlife, drinks and good cocktails.
We present a list of the country’s most renowned bars at mountain locations, beginning with proposals at Greece’s leading winter destination, Arachova, northwest of Athens, in the Viotia region.
Yuki, meaning snow in the Japanese language, is a new venture launched by entrepreneur Ilias Gogos (2Mazi, 2Mazi Suites, K8 Point), who collaborated with Tasos Pantazis for the development of this new spot, in the heart of Arachova, at the square. It adds to the nightlife offering of this town, often referred to as the “Winter Mykonos” in Greece.
Yuki, housed at a traditional mansion, has strong up-market character, offering Japanese cuisine and – exclusively – premium label drinks. Its style is shaped by the old stone building, Chesterfield sofas, trendy décor, large windows offering views of Arachova’s celebrated square, heavy curtains, carefully designed lighting and large-scale decorative elements on the walls.
The spot’s large bar, nearly 14 metres long, is a bonus. Guests can enjoy dozens of label choices in the vodka, tequila, whisky and gin categories, as well as cocktails, the gamut numbering between 8 and 10 cocktails. The drinks menu also includes a limited number of wines, both Greek and imported. Champagnes are also available. Japanese cuisine, including sushi, sashimi and nigiri, is served until the early-morning hours.
Yuki is open every Friday, Saturday and Sunday from 20:00 until the early morning hours. DJs set the mood, the snow-covered mountain serving as a backdrop.
Info: +30 22670-29158
One of the first cafes and all-day restaurants to have emerged in Arachova, previously a quiet town that was transformed into a popular winter destination, Cine Celena, a much-loved spot, has become an institution over the years. The spot, refurbished two years ago, is open from 08:00 every day.
Cine Celena, situated at Lakka Square, is a great thoroughfare viewing spot courtesy of its tables set outside. It serves top-quality coffees, rich breakfast, including carefully prepared omelettes, waffle-type sweets and croissants, as well as savoury choices such as club sandwich dishes. The music is turned up during the nighttime hours, creating a party atmosphere.
Info: +30 22670-31401
One of the liveliest and cosiest bars to be found in Arachova, Sehre, a long and narrow space, features wooden fittings as well as ski-related décor items, including trophies and skiing equipment, making clear the skiing involvement of its proprietors. A mountain vibe prevails here, while a gigantic painting at the door, depicting a deer, has become a trademark.
Sehre is also situated at Lakka Square and is open from the morning hours. It was recently refurbished by gifted interior designer Georgia Tiligada, offering extra warmth to accompany the spot’s cocktail, coffee and rakomelo innovations. Food choices include street food, homemade pies and breakfast.
Sehre also caters to nightlife interests, playing deep house music, exclusively.
Info: +30 22670-31518
Pyxida, meaning compass, leads the way in all-day and all-night entertainment at Agoriani, 25 kilometres from Arachova. Housed at a stone building with a timber façade and large windows, the bar features impressive sculptured elements and a large fireplace, all offering a chalet style.
Pyxida offers an instant winter-time feel. The bar’s character is enhanced by its location, next to the renowned village waterfall, while, on sunny days, tables set outside are in high demand. The spot serves special handmade dessert such as orange cake and chocolate cake, as well as exceptional coffee, club sandwich dishes, burgers as well as pizza. At night, the rhythm picks up at Pyxida, especially during holidays and weekends, when live events are also offered. Open Tue-Sun.
Giorgos and Ioanna were previously active in Arachova’s hospitality sector but decided to relocate to quieter Polydrosos, formerly known as Souvala, to establish their own business, Petrino, one of the country’s most elegant mountain bars.
Polydrosos, at a 350-metre altitude on the northern side of Mt Parnassos, is renowned for its rapid and abundant snowfall. Petrino bar is on the right-hand side of the main village road heading up Mt Parnassos. It is open from morning until very late at night. The bar, featuring stone and dark-coloured wood elements and relaxing furnishing, is welcoming, tempting guests to settle.
Occupying two levels, with a fireplace at the top floor, Petrino also sets tables outside. It offers a range of snacks and drinks, including some savoury dishes, handmade sweets to accompany beverages, excellent coffee and hot chocolate, as well as exceptional drinks and cocktails.
The fine service with a smile, omnipresence of the proprietors, as well as the exterior space at the top floor, offering civilised conditions for smokers, are other bonuses at this place. Petrino may not let loose at night, but it does remain open until late, offering fine music selections.
Info: +30 22340-51294
Anna, Na Ena Milo
Images of Elvis Presley, Marilyn Monroe as well as old advertisements, including ones showcasing Olympic Airways and Papadopoulos biscuits, both symbolizing the Greece of old, adorn the retro-style walls at the all-day café bar Anna, Na Ena Milo, at the village Milies, on the Agria-Milies regional road.
The spot serves superb apple pies, refreshing lemon pies, homemade pies, coffee, as well as drinks and cocktails, all prepared with skill and devotion. Anna, Na Ena Milo has become a hangout for artists but its elegance is alluring for all.
The decorated veranda is a magnet that can lure passersby into the bar’s main room, filled with small frames, photographs, vinyl records and other memorabilia from the 1960s and 1970s. At night, the music picks up momentum and cocktails flow freely. This bar is open until 02:00.
Info: +30 24230-86889
Ta Pano Kato
This all-day café bistro & craft cocktail bar, as its two proprietors, Thefi and Irini, describe Ta Pano Kato, has become an institution in lovely Dimitsana, central Peloponnese.
The spot, located at the town’s main market area, is housed at a building now a century old. It starts the day by offering coffee and amazing breakfast, prepared using local products. The lunch meals at Ta Pano Kato are carefully prepared. Drinks at night can often be enjoyed with live music, frequently arranged by the co-proprietors.
Organic local products are used for creative dishes prepared with great devotion by Thefi and Irini, a duo with a formidable track record. Dishes include mushroom soup, served inside a walnut bread loaf, as well as more classic selections, including pasta and smoked pork. The bar offers creative cocktails resulting from thorough exploration.
Info: +30 27950-29216
Thanasis, the grandson of Mrs. Paraskevi, running the old Karvelis galaktoboureko confectionary shop at the main square of Megalo Horio in Evrytania, central Greece, has opened a new spot, To Rakomelo, across the road. It serves various sweets with Greek coffee as well as other beverages, at a fireplace setting with music. Naturally, galaktoboureko (semolina custard baked in filo) is a feature. Other sweets include ekmek and local sweet preserves.
The décor’s stone and wood elements are distinctive features, the bar is formidable, while the large windows ensure a view of the snow-covered mountain tops. On a sunny day, this view can be enjoyed from tables set outside. Visitors may relax at Rakomelo during the day. The music is turned up at night for rakomelo and other drinks.
Info: +30 22370-41339
To Palio Kafeneio – Ta Glyka Tis Fofos
Just steps away from the main square at Paleos Panteleimonas, in northern Greece’s Pieria region, To Palio Kafeneio – Ta Glyka Tis Fofos, is a truly authentic old village café that also serves special sweets, as indicated by its name. At night, the café livens up as the spot’s younger generation takes over, serving drinks to music, for a nightlife option beyond the village’s more customary tavernas and grills.
The owners of To Palio Kafeneio – Ta Glyka Tis Fofos have shown great affection to preserve the property’s features, including old wooden ceilings, as well as a fireplace and wood heaters, for a nostalgic feel.
Info: +30 23520-22278
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