Hydra isn't called the "Saronikos' Mistress" for nothing. With so many incomparably beautiful villas and picturesque alleys it's the ideal destination for those who wish to experience genuine Greek hospitality in a cosmopolitan way. Hydra has inspired dozens of intellectuals and artists, such as Picasso, Arthur Miller, Sophia Loren, Anthony Perkins. Despite its small acreage Hydra offers innumerable options to enjoy your self and have fun. There are quiet and crowded beaches, great entertainment opportunities and a superb service, that meets even the most fussy demands. The great history, the buildings' architecture, the absence of any motorized vehicle and the quiet routine promise an unforgettable accommodation, far away from modern life's lights and speed. This is one of the main reasons many celebrities from all over the world choose this island for their vacation. Hydra is a gifted land, as it's so close to Athens but still seems to be so isolated in past time. Comforts aren't missing, but the special government's treatment, the locals' low profile and the professionals' in tourism experience guarantee a time-travel far away from today, as they offer you a peaceful, relaxing, high-level vacation. Through the island's many historical and religious sights, museums and monuments you'll live this land's glorious history and get to know its heroes' life, people who played a leading part in Greece's Modern History. Among all these, Hydra won't disappoint you in outdoor activities, as it contains one of the biggest path-nets among Greek islands, offering countless opportunities to leave the city. So, you may find yourself enjoying a cocktail next to a Hollywood star on a hotel's pool and the next day find him on a hidden path on the way to a small paradise. Even nothing of these happens, the sure thing is, that your vacation here is something you'll talk about for years. The holidays in Hydra will be amazing so book your ferry tickets now and live unique moments on the magnificent island of Hydra.
Port of Hydra
The access to Hydra is very easy. There are flying dolphins from Piraeus with more routes added during summer, that brings you to the island in about 1,5 hour. For those who come from Peloponnese there are ferries from Ermioni and Metohi, two small ports in Argolida Province. You can book your ferry tickets online via aktoploika.gr for a journey more comfortable and carefree. Due to its physical terrain Hydra doesn't have an airport neither a helipad. Another way to get there, much more expensive of course, is to rent a sailing boat from Floisvos Marina or Mikrolimano Marina in Piraeus.
Connection With Other Islands
Hydra has a ferry connection with the following ports: Piraeus, Spetses, Poros, Porto Heli, Ermioni, Metohi
You can now book ferry tickets online for Hydra via Aktoploika.gr. If you plan to travel during July and August, it's best if you have booked several days or weeks earlier to avoid hitches. You should also know that round-trip/return ferry tickets come with a considerable discount.
In Hydra you can move by scooters, by donkeys, by bicycles or just walk. Any other kind of vehicles is prohibited in the city (the island's one and only settlement) to protect its architecture and quaintness. The city's biggest part is covered by alleys too narrow for vehicles, but this ban is one of the main factors this island is considered to be a fairy-tale destination.
Hydra: the proud mistress
The island owes its name to the ancient Greek word "ydor" (= water) and this has to do with the countless water springs during ancient times. Recent excavations prove, that the first people lived here on the Neolithic Period.
Hydra's historical continuity is very clear thanks to the countless findings and monuments, but its name is mainly connected to the 1821 Greek Revolution and the contribution the island had in the armed naval war against the Turks.
Every corner here contains History and Tradition, visualized by dozens of sights. The first one visitors can see when arriving, is the two rows of canons, each one in the port's edges, that kept invaders away. Villas and mansions – all of them more than 200 years old – are the island's trademark. The famous are Kountouriotis, Tsamados, Tobazis, Boudouris and Kriezis, all of them exceptional architectural and historical monuments. Most of them are used as museums. In Lazaros Kountouriotis Mansion you can visit the Historical Records and Museum with significant exhibits, some of them very rare books. The Meta-Byzantine Art and History Museum is housing in Georgios Kountouriotis Mansion. Finally, you will find the Art Gallery and Concert Hall "Melina Merkouri" in Tobazis Mansion and see how the island inspired Pablo Picasso.
There are more than 300 churches and chapels in Hydra. The most known is the Church of Koimisi Theotokou (17th century) and the "twins" monasteries of Agia Efpraxia and Profitis Ilias in Eros mountain. Other churches worth to be visited are Agios Konstantinos Ydraios in Kiafa peak, with it's gilded altarpiece, and the churches of Ai Yiannis Nisteftis and Ypapanti, famous for their architectural style.
Hydra's number of beaches is beyond satisfying, considering the island's small acreage. Almost all of them are rocky or have pebbles and are very clear. The most beautiful are Spilia, the magnificent Ydroneta, Avlaki, Kamini, Vlyhos, Palamidas, Agios Kyprianos, Molos, Agios Georgios and Mandraki, the only one that has sand. The best way to get on a beach is to get a sea-taxi form the city's port. Most of them aren't organized, so make sure you know the offered facilities before arriving there.
Hydra contains a huge path-net, about 80 kilometers long, a factor that makes it an ideal destination for vacation accompanied with activities in Nature. The island's colors and materials vary, thanks to the terrain. The east side has many rocky formations, while on the west side is full of vegetation. The paths' difficulty is average and it's impossible for someone to get lost, thanks to the many wooden signs.
Choices in food are countless and will surely satisfy even the most demanding visitors. Beside the usual Greek cuisine, available in most of the taverns and restaurants, Hydra has the privilege to offer a huge variety of West Culture tastes. The high-level service is something you'll meet anywhere you go, and that's another reason why so many celebrities choose Hydra for their vacation.
- Enjoy the sunset in Spilia Beach, where the sun's colors create a unique landscape-painting over the beach.
- Taste squid filled with cheese or hake with "skordalia" (garlic sauce) in "Paradosiakon" one of the island's most famous taverns, located at the port.
- Enjoy an "Enalion Cocktail" or a "Frozen Margarita" at the cosmopolitan "Enalion Bar" in Vlyhos.
Live the magic of a sunset in "Sunset -Bar-Restaurant" at the port's cannons, with its excellent Mediterranean cuisine. We are talking about the 2nd "restaurant with the best view in the World" according to the ABC's TV Network Top Ten List.
- Ride a horse from Hydra City to Profitis Ilias, a unique experience, that worth its money.
- The island's circumnavigation on a small yacht. You'll enjoy a daily cruise with 4-5 stops in secret beaches. The cost per person varies from 10 to 30 euros, depending on the type of the yacht.
- Taste and buy the famous "amygdalota" in Tsagaris Pastry Shop. It's the island's traditional sweet, a recipe over a century old, that amazed even Sophia Loren during the "Boy on a Dolphin" filming.
Hydra Island is a very clean place and locals are very sensitive in environmental issues. There are a lot of garbage-baskets in the city, but when you happen to be on a beach, make sure you have a bag with you, to throw them.
Happy Holidays at the beautiful Hydra!!!