It's the fantasy which keeps us going through the dark, cold winter months: that little bar, perched on a secluded white sand beach - a hidden secret known only to the initiated. Imagine yourself sitting with a view over the water, a long cool drink in hand, listening to the waves lapping at the shore as you dig your toes into the sand. We've rounded up a handful of gems that can make that fantasy a reality...
Best Bar None
A film set-worthy, secluded island devoted entirely to relaxing, refueling and enjoying a never-ending happy hour - Moro Beach bar and restaurant in Stupe is found near Korčula on the stunning Dalmatian coast. Led by two talented chefs, Moro Beach offers up long lunches, all-day beachside cocktails and even fine dining in the evening. Hire a boat and venture over to this idyllic isle, complete with a swing set in the sea and sunsets that will leave you speechless.
Only open during the summer season, the Rum Bar at Cornish café Surfside is tucked away in the far corner of Polzeath beach. When the surfing’s done and the moon rises, the outdoor bar comes to life. Fill up first on lobster rolls and fresh Porthilly mussels, then head out back to find the lively cash only bar, comparable to a pirate’s cove, serving up delicious rum and tiki cocktails to the sound of live music.
Technically not a beach bar but definitely off the beaten track, the Pelican Bar resides a mile off the Jamaican coast in the dreamy turquoise sea of Parottee Bay. Made from scrap wood and built on sandbar by a local fisherman named Floyd back in 2001, it’s literally a hut in the middle of the ocean, which welcomes anyone and everyone who can get there to beers and unbeatable seafood.
Accessible only by boat from St Florent - or as a reward for the three-hour trek there on foot (really), and a walk along a winding sandy path, La Cabane Du Lodu on Corsica's northern coast is a hidden dream. You know it's special from the moment you walk through the floating doorway. Hammocks swing lazily between trees and wicker chairs around shaded tables invite you sit down, laze, order a drink, and soak up the astonishing view over azure waters.
Where better to enjoy a Bahian cocktail than from an antique wooden boat-turned-bar looking out across an untouched mangrove-boarded beach? Part of the infamous UXUA casa hotel and spa in the tiny tropical town of Trancoso, the hotel’s old fisherman bar has been beautifully restored into a pretty exclusive watering hole – surrounded only by rustic sofas on white-sand and topped with a handy sun-shading thatch roof.
Nestled on a natural Caribbean cove, concealed from the rest of the world, you’ll stumble upon The Naked Fisherman Beach Bar – aptly named after three local fishermen, who bathed ‘au naturel’ every day in the secluded cove’s crystal clear waters. Serving up locally caught snapper and strong drinks - it’s the type of place you plan to visit for an hour and end up staying all day.
There are three ways to arrive at Banana Rock Bar on Koh Tao island, set on stilts above the Southwest coast. Either a beautifully scenic (albeit very long) coastal walk followed by a touch of rock climbing, a pretty treacherous motorbike ride or by boat. All routes however, make the first sip of cold beer (or their killer Mojito) all the more deserved in this most idiosyncratic of bars.
(Photo credit: John Everingham)