Hydra is perhaps the most beautiful port village in all of Greece
Located at the beautiful Argosaronic bay (see map), a very sincere and warm welcome awaits you as soon as you step onto the island.
The calmness and the traditional feel that it gives you as you walk through its streets as well as its locals and their hospitality, will surely make you fall in love with the charm of this traditional Greek island.
The calm and warm weather of the Argosaronic Bay is perfect for a week vacation with a yachting carter expedition at its blue waters that will undoubtedly give you a blissful and luxurious trip!
Hydra is the favourite destination of locals living in Athens as well as travelers since they can visit the island within one day.
Regularly, commercial boats leave Athens from Piraeus with the final destination being Hydra, only 1.5 hours away and the fare at 28 euros (return price!). You can also drive from Athens to Metochi and hop on a twenty-minute ferry ride to the island.
With the geology of the island mostly being bare rocky hillsides and valleys filled with pine trees, it blends right in with the neighboring Peloponnese, only being separated by a thin strip of water.
Cars, bikes and any kind of vehicle are not allowed so the area can be as quiet and as eco-friendly as possible.
If you want to travel across the island you can get a ride with the adorable donkeys who also carry the guest's luggage to the hotels, located up in the hills.
Cost of living
Compared to the other islands, Hydra can be a little pricey depending on your tastes.
A nice meal for two can be at 25 euros for those on a tight budget although there are food options on the island that can cost about 65 euros.
A small ride with a donkey can be about 25 euros while you can find the best cocktails for 10 euros each.
Like we said before, Hydra is a car-free zone! You can reach other parts of the island or the surrounding islands with the water taxis that wait patiently in a corner of the harbor. These work just like taxis, without a specific timetable for your carriage, and it’s a transportation method found on the other Saronic islands as well.
With a (not cheap) price, they will take you to all the beaches of the island of Hydra, the nearby islands or even across to the Peloponnese.
We definetely recommend that you get one for a ride to some of the most beautiful beaches of the island!
Yachting in Hydra
Every year, near the 25th of March, a sailing race from Athens (Faliro) to Hydra is organized.
The yachts arrive at Hydra with the race committee recording the arrival time of each boat to the port, which of course crowds up. Big celebrations follow organized by the Municipality of Hydra with music, food, traditional dancing and lots of local wine!
The next morning at 9, the crews depart heading to Faliro to complete the 2nd part of the race.
You can schedule your participation in this nice race with your own boat or even as a crew on one of the raceboats. In this case you should ensure that you find accommodation on the island in time.
Berthing in Hydra
Although the marina is relatively small, there is always a way to tether your boat.
If the harbor is full, you can tether at the outer side of the jetty. In the rare case of absolute capacity (due to a celebration) you can kindly ask other boaters to allow you to tether on them, making sure you respect their space whenever you need to board or disembark.
When approaching, make calculated moves so that your chain is well spaced from the chains of other boats to avoid anchoring the anchor. But don’t worry! If you miss your anchor in Hydra, there is always someone available to help you for a small price.
Amongst all the beauties of this island you definitely don’t want to miss the magical beaches!
If you're looking for something mystical and hidden, Spilia, with its mesmerizing cave, and Avlaki, with its large boulders surrounding it, are the perfect beaches for you.
But if you want to relax in the sun and enjoy the magnificent sunset then, Vlychos, Plakes and St. Nikolas are there to fulfill your expectations.
All beaches mentioned above except Spilia have a safe environment for your children.
Settlements & Places
Part of the town of Hydra lies by the harbor. There you will find everything you need to have a reposing and fun day.
Cafeterias to have a cup of coffee or to grab some delicious breakfast, shops with souvenirs, jewelry and clothes, grocery stores for your essential supplies, museums, taverns and bars!
In a dazzling sight to watch, every Easter the Epitaphios of Good Friday is led from the port church to a nearby beach with the crowd following behind it holding lit candles.
Once at the shore, this symbolic tomb of Christ that’s completely covered in carnations enters the water along with its escorts making up a truly unique ceremony.
Cathedral of the assumption of the virgin Mary
Any person coming to Greece should have a taste of the orthodox religion. You can visit this beautiful Monastery located at the inner part of the island as long as you are wearing the appropriate clothing.
Even though you would want to take hundreds of pictures of this island sadly cameras are not allowed in the Monastery. You can still ask the bishop for permission but they will most likely not allow it. Not a lot of ceremonies are hosted there except funerals and baptisms.
Sailing and fishing is a very popular profession among locals so most of Hydra’s traditional cuisine consists of:
- kalamaraki which is cooked squid usually pared with fries,
- htapodi which consists of fried octopus glazed with lemon,
- and the old time favorite pita gyro and souvlaki.
These can all be pared with a the sweet known Greek drink, ouzo and with the famous Greek salad.
Sailing around the island is quite popular (and for a reason) but if you're looking for some more amusing activities then no worries! Hydra has a handful of them.
The Lazaros Kountouriotis mansion and the Historical Archives of Hydra, are two museums that will bring you a sense of enjoyment, but if you’re still looking for something more thrilling the option for horse-riding is available.
Though walking through the streets of the island and observing its buildings and nature could be the most heart stopping!