- Location: Archipelago of Argo-Saronic, Greece; between the Saronic islands of Poros and Spetses
- Significance: Historic Island
- Attraction Type: Beaches, Churches, Activities, History
- Best Time to Visit: Springtime, between April and July
- How to Reach: No motorized vehicles are allowed in Hydra, so taxi-boats are the only option. By Ferry, you can reach Hydra from Piraeus. About 180 km by car from Athens.
- Nearest Airport: Athens International Airport
Hydra is the quintessential holiday travel destination in Greece. The red-tiled 18th-century buildings of the island, along with yachting activities and a large number of events and exhibitions held throughout the year make Hydra a favorite Greek travel destination. It is visited by thousands of tourists every year, which include international and Greek celebrities. Hydra has always maintained a comparative low-profile in various parts of Greek history. Inhabited mostly by Greek refugees during the Ottoman rule and very small fishing and farming community, Hydra shot to prominence only during the twentieth century. However, once it developed into a major tourist destination, it never had to look behind and now relies solely on tourism for its economy.
History of Hydra
Hydra attained a very clearly cosmopolitan and urban profile during the 18th century. Because of its importance in the trading community and its vigorously cosmopolitan look, Hydra came to be renowned as ‘Little England’. Even now, the quaint atmosphere of Hydra with its beautiful old red-roofed houses gives this island a very unique feel, much loved by the tourists.
Hydra, for a very long time, has been a favorite with artists, largely because of its picturesque quality and its quaint life. The creative individuals who have taken up lodgings in Hydra include both painters and poets. The charm of the island has been a source of perpetual inspiration for the resident artists over here. Chagall was one of the artists who took up habiliments in the island, as well as Leonard Cohen in more recent times.
Things to do in Hydra
Hydra is full of beautiful views and places of attraction. Some of the most popular landmarks that you must not miss seeing while in Hydra include:
Sunset from Peripteo and Spilia: It is one of the most beautiful sights on the island and something that has been a source of inspiration for artists for centuries. You must check it out while on the island.
Manors of the Island: The view of the harbor is wonderful from this spot.
Monasteries and Churches: There are six monasteries and over three hundred churches in Hydra. Mostly conforming to the Greek Orthodox faith, these religious buildings add a unique brand of charm to the island. Of particular beauty and historical value are the twin monasteries of Saint Eupraxia and Prophet Elias. Other monasteries are also equally beautiful.
Beaches of Hydra: There is a number of excellent beaches in Hydra. Some of the most popular beaches in Hydra include Hydronetta, Spilia, Mikro, Vliho and Saint Haralampos. The sand beaches of Palamidas and the rocky beach of Molos right next to it form a great study in contrast. For water sports, skiing and other beach activities, visit the beach of Mandraki towards the east of the island.
Accommodation in Hydra
There is no dearth of accommodation options in Hydra. Both short term tourists, as well as tourists who plan for a longer holiday, have exceptional places to stay on the island. Minstrel Hotel, Greco Hotel, Hydroussa Hotel, and Hotel Miranda are among the most popular hotels on the island. If you want to spend your Hydra vacation in style and in the very lap of luxury, you can contact Mira Mare bungalows in the Mandraki region. Apart from the above facilities, there are a large number of apartments to let in Hydra Island.