We all love a good neighborhood pub. You know, the kind of place in stumbling distance from your home. The kind of place where the bartender knows your order, and everybody knows your name.
While we all love the accessibility and familiarity of these kinds of bars, most travelers also have a soft spot for more remote watering holes. Bars at the end of the world. The kind of places you can only access after a long hike, or a long drive—maybe even a boat ride.
Bars like this exist all over the world, from the rugged wilderness of Iceland, to the sprawling expanse of the Gobi Desert, to the sparkling waters of the Maldives. They’re never easy to get to, but the challenge of finding them unfailingly makes that first drink all the more refreshing.
Without further ado, here are five extremely remote bars you should consider checking out on your next adventure—if you’re savvy enough to find them.
Next time you find yourself trekking through Mongolia’s Gobi Desert, consider making a pitstop at the Three Camel Lodge, a rustic hotel that offers surprisingly elegant digs considering its remote location. Chief among the lodge’s many amenities is the Thirsty Camel, a beautiful bar built using traditional Mongolian techniques—no nails required—and offering the kind of expansive whiskey menu you’d expect to find at an upscale lounge in Edinburgh or Tokyo.
Perched on stilts along a narrow sandbar, roughly a mile off the west coast of Jamaica—and only accessible by boat—you’ll find Floyd’s Pelican bar. Surrounded by open water on all sides, it’s easily one of the most remote bars out there. It also happens to look like something off a postcard.
The bar keeps its drinks cold with daily ice deliveries, ensuring visitors find the refreshment they seek. Staff also encourage guests to literally leave their mark by carving their name into any exposed wood they can find. Just be advised: the only restroom available is the surrounding ocean.
Out on the Knoydart Peninsula, way up in the Scottish Highlands, you’ll find the Old Forge, a charming watering hole that can only be reached by ferry-ride, or by hiking 18 miles through the nearby mountains. While this bar is difficult to get to, the rewards are plentiful: delightful pints of local beer and the kind of scotch selection that simply can’t be find anywhere outside of the Scottish Highlands.
Of course, it’s worth noting that the on-site beer garden is occasionally cleared to serve as a helicopter landing pad. Hang into your hats!
Ever wanted to gulp back a pint of cold beer while watching the northern lights dance across a blackened sky? At the appropriately-named Northern Lights Bar at ION Adventure Hotel in Iceland’s remote Thingvellir National Park, you can do just that. Not only does the bar offer spectacular views of aurora borealis, it also provides an excellent opportunity for unwinding after a day of exploring nearby glaciers and hot springs.
Pro tip: if you’re feeling brave, try a shot of Brennivín. But maybe avoid the fermented shark meat.
There are some pretty remote bars on this list. Subsix is one of the most remote of them all. To get to this bar, you must first go to The Maldives, an isolated island nation 425 miles off the southern coast of India. Then, take a speedboat to the Niyama resort, and descend tree flights of stairs. When you’ve reached the bottom of the stairs, you’ve made it to Subsix: a ridiculously classy underwater bar with massive submarine windows, a drink menu that will quench any kind of thirst, and an impressive selection of bites to quell the appetite you developed on the journey.
It doesn’t get much more remote than Antartica, so it’s no surprise that Faraday Bar, one of the only places to get a drink on the entire, permafrozen continent, is on this list.
To find this extremely remote bar, head to Antartica’s island of Galindez, about 1000 nautical miles away from the nearest city. Easy, right? Once on the island, you’ll find the Vernadsky Research Base, which happens to include a ridiculously isolated bar where scientists, adventurers, and anybody else brave enough to traverse the rugged wilderness of the world’s southernmost continent go to quench their thirst. The drink selection won’t blow your mind, but they’ve got beer, they’ve got vodka, and they’ve got heat—all of which are welcome luxuries in a climate like Antartica’s.