Area: 50 sq. Km.
Hydra is a
cosmopolitan island, located 35 miles from Zea port (Pireaus)
where transportation is only by foot, donkeys, or sea taxis,
while cars, motorcycles or even bicycles are not allowed,
offering an active nightlife. Beaches are at Kamina, Molos,
Palamida, Bisti and Mandraki and the sea cave of Bariami has
been converted into a swimming pool. Many beaches are more
easily reached by boat.
The island does not allow any
motorized transport. There is only a small number of hotel
rooms and most visitors hire or own their accommodation. A
large monastery is centered at the highest point of the
island. If you go, Ferries and Flying Dolphin hydrofoils
run frequently from Piraeus - the port for Athens - to Hydra.
Ferries take approximately four hours.
The buildings are in traditional style, decorated with wooden
painted ceilings, marble fountains, and furniture that brings
you far in the past.
There are fantastic spots for swimming, fishing, snorkeling,
diving, windsurfing, water skiing, as well as walking and
climbing. Places to visit are old monasteries, old
mansions, the Historical Archives Museum, the local branch of
the school of fine arts and the merchant marine Academy.
Eighteenth Century mansions that line the harbor front of this
beautiful town are testimony to the wealth accumulated by a
merchant fleet that transacted trade as far a field as
America. These, and the steep hills that encompass Hydra Town,
assault the eye as one disembarks from the hydrofoil after a
short crossing from Piraeus.
that there are no motor vehicles in any shape or form on
Hydra, save the refuse collection lorries, lends the island a
distinct advantage over its more popular, well known and noisy
neighbors Poros and Spetse. Luggage transportation is
undertaken by willing donkeys that line part of the harbor
front. Away from the waterfront, narrow tracks and alleyways
form a warren of exploring opportunities and eventually lead
to tracks and pathways that are not surfaced and lead to the
island's uncoil interior.
There is no
shortage of restaurants, taverns, bars and discos on Hydra.
Evenings are vibrant. Not having to dodge the ubiquitous
mopeds and motorbikes that are omnipresent on other Greek
Islands is bliss. Just be careful to avoid the "donkey
On the minus
side, Hydra is not blessed with great beaches. Unless you are
prepared to swim from rocks on the southern side of the
harbor, the nearest sandy beach is 2km away at Mandraki.
There is also a daily influx of day-trippers from Athens that
disembark for an hour or two, normally afternoon.
hoppers will be able to have a trip over to Aegina, Poros and
Spetses for the day.