Hydra is a beautiful Greek island located in the Saronic Gulf, just a short ferry ride away from Athens. The island is known for its charming town, beautiful beaches, and tranquil atmosphere. Hydra’s town is a maze of narrow streets and alleys, lined with beautiful houses and quaint shops. One of the best ways to explore the town is on foot, wandering through the streets and taking in the charming architecture.
You can also hike the island’s trails to enjoy breathtaking views of the sea and surrounding islands. Also it is home to some of the most beautiful beaches in Greece that include Vlychos Beach, Mandraki Beach, and Kaminia Beach. All of these beaches offer crystal-clear waters and are perfect for swimming, sunbathing, and relaxing.
Getting There: To reach Hydra, you will need to take a ferry from Athens’ port of Piraeus. The ferry journey takes about 2 hours, and there are several departures daily. You can also reach Hydra from other nearby islands like Poros, Spetses, and Aegina.
Accommodation: Hydra has a range of accommodation options, from luxurious hotels to traditional guesthouses. The island’s town is car-free, so most accommodations are located within walking distance of the ferry port.
Here are the Best Things to do in Hydra:
- Explore Hydra’s Town: Take a leisurely stroll through the picturesque town of Hydra, where you’ll find narrow cobblestone streets, whitewashed houses, and charming shops and cafes.
- Visit the Hydra Museum Historical Archives: This museum showcases the rich history of the island, including its naval history and cultural heritage.
- Take a Boat Tour: Discover the beauty of Hydra’s coastline by taking a boat tour around the island or to nearby islands, like Spetses and Poros.
- Hike to the Monastery of Profitis Ilias: This hike takes you to the highest point on the island, where you’ll find the beautiful Monastery of Profitis Ilias and breathtaking views of the sea and surrounding islands.
- Relax at the Beaches: Hydra is known for its crystal-clear waters and beautiful beaches, like Vlychos Beach, Mandraki Beach, and Kaminia Beach. Spend a day swimming and sunbathing, and enjoy the natural beauty of the island.
- Explore the Hydra’s Mansions: Hydra is famous for its beautiful mansions, built by wealthy ship owners during the island’s prosperous years. Some of the most notable mansions include the Kountouriotis Mansion, the Tombazis Mansion, and the Voulgaris Mansion.
- Attend a Festival: Hydra hosts several festivals throughout the year, including the famous Miaoulia Festival in June. These festivals are a great way to experience the island’s culture and traditions.
- Take a Donkey Ride: Donkeys have been used as transportation on the island for centuries and are still a common sight in the town. Rent a donkey to explore the island, or take a ride up to the Monastery of Profitis Ilias.
- Watch the Sunset: End your day by watching the sunset over the sea from one of the island’s many vantage points. More details below in the separate section on Sunset.
- Enjoy the Local Cuisine: Sample some of the delicious local cuisine, like fresh seafood, traditional Greek dishes, and the island’s famous almond sweets.
Best Villages and Towns in Hydra
Hydra is known for its charming and picturesque villages, each with its own unique character and atmosphere. Here are some of the best villages or towns in Hydra that are worth visiting:
- Hydra Town – The main port and capital of Hydra, with its iconic architecture and bustling waterfront, is the heart of the island.
- Kamini – A tranquil village located on the other side of Hydra’s main harbour, known for its beautiful beaches, fishing shelter and traditional tavernas.
- Vlychos – A small fishing village located just a short walk from Hydra Town, with a peaceful atmosphere and stunning views of the sea.
- Episkopi – A small village on the eastern coast of Hydra, known for its historic Episkopi Church and beautiful stone houses.
- Molos – A remote village located on the northern coast of Hydra, accessible only by boat or on foot, with a beautiful beach and a few tavernas.
Overall, each village in Hydra offers a unique experience and a chance to immerse yourself in the island’s traditional culture and natural beauty.
Discover Hydra Visually in the Travel Documentary on Hydra by DW Travel
“Discover Hydra: The rocky, Greek island is a car-free haven surrounded by brilliant waters. Its cosmopolitan flair has attracted stars and artists from all over the world. Public transportation there means donkeys, mules, and water taxis. DW’s Theodora Mavropoulos brings you five things to do on Hydra ” – DW Travel
Sunset Points in Hydra
Hydra, with its stunning scenery, is an excellent place to enjoy a beautiful sunset. Here are a few of the best sunset points in Hydra:
- Sunset in Kamini: Kamini is a picturesque fishing village located on the west side of Hydra island. It’s a great place to watch the sunset, with its quiet atmosphere and beautiful views of the sea.
- Sunset in the port: The port of Hydra is a popular place to watch the sunset, with its many cafes and restaurants offering a relaxing atmosphere to enjoy the beautiful views.
- Sunset from the Monastery of Profitis Ilias: Located at the highest point of Hydra, the Monastery of Profitis Ilias offers a panoramic view of the island and is an ideal place to watch the sunset.
- Sunset in Vlichos: Vlichos is a small village located on the east side of Hydra, and it’s a great place to watch the sunset over the mountains and sea.
- Sunset from the sea: Take a sunset cruise around Hydra, and enjoy the magnificent view of the sunset from the sea. It’s an unforgettable experience and an excellent way to end your day on the island.
Best Beaches in Hydra
Hydra has several beautiful beaches that offer crystal-clear waters, stunning views, and a relaxing atmosphere. Here are some of the best beaches in Hydra
- Vlychos Beach: Located near the village of Vlychos, this beach is one of the largest on Hydra and offers a wide range of amenities, including sun loungers, umbrellas, and beach bars.
- Mandraki Beach: This small, secluded beach is accessible only by boat or on foot, making it a peaceful and relaxing spot to unwind and enjoy the natural beauty of Hydra.
- Bisti Beach: This beach is located on the north western side of Hydra and is known for its crystal-clear waters and stunning scenery. It’s an ideal spot for swimming and snorkeling.
- Agios Nikolaos Beach: This picturesque beach is located near the Monastery of Agios Nikolaos and offers stunning views of the sea and the nearby islands of Dokos and Ermioni.
- Limnioniza Beach: This secluded beach is accessible only on foot, and the hike to get there is well worth it. The beach offers crystal-clear waters and stunning natural scenery.
- Hydroneta Beach: It is a unique and pebbly beach (named after restaurant Hydroneta) which is built into the rocks above the beach and offers stunning views of the sea. It offers access to the Hydroneta Restaurant, which has several terraces built into the rock face overlooking the sea.
- Avlaki Beach: This quiet beach is located on the central side towards the east of Hydra and offers a more secluded and private setting. It’s a popular spot for swimming and sunbathing.
- Kaminia Beach: This is a secluded beach located on the northeastern coast of Hydra. It is accessible by boat or on foot through a hiking trail, making it a peaceful and tranquil spot to enjoy.
- Molos Beach: This is a quiet and secluded beach located on the northwestern coast of Hydra. It can only be accessed by boat or on foot, and there are no facilities on the beach, making it a great spot for a more natural and secluded beach experience.
- Palamidas Beach: This is a small beach located near the village of Kamini, which is accessible by boat or on foot. The beach is surrounded by lush greenery and offers crystal-clear waters and a peaceful atmosphere.
- Niszia Beach: This is a small pebble beach located on the South Western Coast of Hydra near the area of Episkopi. Nisiza Beach can be reached easily from the Hydra port, and on the way, you will pass through the area where Episkopi Church is located.
- Spilia Beach: It is a popular rocky area located near the main harbour of Hydra, Greece. The beach is known for its unique setting, with grey crags that have been cleared and replaced with sun decks made of cement. The crystal-clear water surrounding the area boasts a beautiful deep blue hue, making it an ideal spot for swimming and sunbathing.
Day Trips from Hydra
Aegina and Poros are wonderful Islands for Day Trips. You can explore nearby Islands of Aegina and Poros by Ferry and enjoy the beauty of those islands.
- Aegina Island: Aegina is a picturesque island located just a short ferry ride from Hydra. The island is famous for its stunning beaches, ancient ruins, and delicious pistachios.
- Poros Island: Poros is another beautiful island located near Hydra. It’s known for its stunning beaches, charming villages, and rich history.
- Spetses Island: Spetses is famous for its rich history, stunning architecture, beautiful beaches, and vibrant culture. It has a long maritime tradition, and its naval heroes played a significant role in the Greek War of Independence.
- Learn More About Day Trip to Aegina, Poros and Hydra from Athens.
Hiking Trails in Hydra
Hydra offers several hiking trails that allow visitors to explore the island’s natural beauty and stunning coastline. Here are some of the popular hiking trails in Hydra:
- Hiking Trail 1: This trail takes you from the port of Hydra to the Monastery of Profitis Ilias. It’s a steep climb, but the views from the top are worth it.
- Hiking Trail 2: This trail takes you from Hydra to the Village of Vlychos. The trail offers stunning views of the island’s coastline and the nearby island of Dokos.
- Hiking Trail 3: This trail takes you from Hydra to the beach of Limnioniza. The trail is relatively easy, and the beach is a beautiful spot to relax and swim.
- Hiking Trail 4: This trail takes you from the town of Hydra to the Village of Episkopi that houses the historic Episkopi Church, which is said to date back to the Byzantine era. The church is located on a hill overlooking the village and provides stunning views of the surrounding countryside and the sea.
- Hiking Trail 5: This trail takes you from the town of Hydra to the Village of Palamidas. The trail passes through olive groves and offers stunning views of the sea and nearby islands.
Things to Know About Hydra Island – A Travel Guide by Daniel Lugo
- 00:00 – Introduction
- 03:03 – Facts about the island
- 05:39 – Beaches
- 09:44 – Cats and Doors
- 10:50 – Food, Food and Food
- 12:49 – How to get to Hydra
- 14:56 – Epilogue