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Things To Do In Hydra Island – A Guide To Hydra, Greece
One of the prettiest and best-known islands close to Athens is Hydra, in the Saronic Gulf. However, it may be near Athens, but you may wonder how to get to Hydra from Athens?
Small and easy to visit in just one day, Hydra is a cosmopolitan destination that can be reached from Greece’s capital by ferry in a short ride that usually won’t last more than two hours.
For this reason, Hydra offers an excellent opportunity for a one-day trip from Athens.
However, considering that the island of Hydra in Greece is so unique and picturesque, many people decide to spend more time and even stay for a week or enjoy the tranquil atmosphere and the beautiful shores that Hydra offers.
Where Is Hydra
Home to a unique charm and character, the Greek Island of Hydra is located at the center of the Argo Saronic Gulf, just a few nautical miles from Athens.
How To Get To Hydra
The answer to the question “how to get to Hydra?” is straightforward. There is only one way to get to Hydra Island, and that is by ferry from Athens.
Daily ferries depart from the Port of Piraeus to Hydra and other islands in the same Saronic Gulf. Additionally, getting to Hydra is also possible on ferries from the nearby coasts of the Peloponnese, which have a lesser frequency and often cover the route in summer.
How Long Should You Stay In Hydra
Frequently described as one of Greece’s most charming islands, the island is an inviting destination no matter how much time you have to visit.
The place is relatively small so a one-day visit can give you a good idea of the main places to see in town but, as it’s often the case with Greek Islands, a longer stay will provide you with the chance to know better spots and unique hidden gems. An ideal visit can take from two to four days.
Hydra For Families
Although one wouldn’t describe Hydra as the perfect family destination, the island has lots of characteristics that would appeal to the interest of kids.
First of all, cars, motorbikes, and bicycles are completely forbidden on the island. This has made donkeys and horses the main means of transport which definitely draws the attention of kids.
Besides, the island is so tiny that it’s reasonably easy to explore on foot; one more thing that kids love about a visit to Hydra.
Finally, there are pristine coasts and beautiful beaches, some of them truly safe for children, inviting for lovers of snorkeling and swimmers too.
Best Places To Stay In Hydra
Being such a small island, there’s not much choice when it comes to places to stay. If you don’t love walking long distances and given the fact that renting a car is not an option, the best thing to do is to stay close to the port.
Where To Stay In Hydra – Best Hydra Hotels And Resorts
Despite the reduced size, there are plenty of accommodation options for those who want to spend a few days on the Greek island of Hydra. Visitors who only visit for the day might even change their minds and decide to stay longer.
No matter if you’re traveling with friends, with children, or with your partner (yes, Hydra is a perfect romantic escape…), there’s always a great spot on the island where you can experience an unforgettable vacation.
Compared to other Greek islands, Hydra holidays are not known for being the cheapest in terms of food or accommodation. However, if you book in advance, you can always find great offers.
These are the ones we recommend:
Best Budget To Mid-Range Accommodation In Hydra
On The Port Mansion Studio
The Port Mansion Studio is a family-friendly accommodation in a very central position with a great atmosphere and beautifully decorated.
Glaros Guesthouse is conveniently located right in the heart of Hydra, only meters from the port. The Guesthouse is close to all the best traditional restaurants, bars, and shops, and it’s great for a family as well as for couples.
Hydra Hotel can also be a great mid-range place to stay in Hydra with a romantic vibe and ideal for couples. It features eight tastefully decorated rooms with panoramic views of the island. The hotel is in a tranquil location too.
Luxury Hotels In Hydra
Keresbino Hydra is a beautiful mansion you can rent on the island, just 500 m from Avlaki Beach, a popular Hydra beach, and 400 m from Hydra Port. The villa has a beautiful garden with a terrace and a refreshing garden.
Arokaria Boutique Apartments
Arokaria Boutique Apartments a gorgeous boutique stay in Hydra featuring minimalistic decoration and every comfort and facility. Every apartment features beautiful balconies with astonishing sea views.
Hydrea Exclusive Hospitality
Hydrea Exclusive Hospitality is a five-star venue in the proximity of the main port of Hydra. The place dates back to the 19th century and boasts an elegant bar and a terrace with panoramic views over the port and the scenic town. Here, you can indulge in beautiful suites with spa baths and panoramic views over Hydra Town and Port.
Top Things To Do In Hydra
Often seen as one of the most beautiful islands in Greece, Hydra is a heavenly Greek destination with an impressive history and interesting aspects every visitor should consider before a visit.
The island’s most remarkable characteristic is that no cars are allowed on the island as it has been for centuries on other islands. The primary means of transportation are mules and donkeys, water taxis… or your own feet (pack comfy shoes).
Hydra has long been a coveted destination in the country. It has been a place loved by international figures, including the musician Leonard Cohen and the Italian actress Sophia Loren.
If you’re curious to know what is so magnificent about this island that has caught the attention of so many important visitors, why not checking some of the best things you can do in Hydra for a fantastic adventure in Greece!
Ride a Donkey!
A famous and fun thing to do in Hydra is to go donkey-back riding! The island, known for the characteristic view of mules and donkeys at the port waiting for passengers, offers different donkey tours.
These rides take you to explore different corners of the island, from monasteries in the hills to beautiful beaches that can be hard to reach on foot.
Tours can span from one to 6 hours, and many are on the market to choose from.
Check The Religious Buildings
Despite its small size, the island boasts over 300 churches and monasteries. You can devote one morning to visit the island’s main cathedral close to the port.
Hydra’s monasteries have an ancient history. They are truly worth discovering for that reason and because they often stand in strategic positions with awe-inspiring views of the island and the sea.
If visiting a church or a monastery is part of your travel plan, remember to dress accordingly, covering shoulders and legs in respect of the Greek Orthodox tradition.
Go Scuba Diving
As a top seaside destination, there are lots of interesting submarine landscapes that you can explore in Hydra. Most of the coastline is rocky and features reefs and caves that are fun to explore.
Different diving centers are offering open watercourses and rental of all the necessary equipment. For the most adventurous public, it’s possible to engage in a thrilling night diving trip too.
Check Hydra’s Museums
There are very informative museums you can visit on the island. It’s a good idea to start by exploring the Historical Archives Museum, which exhibits documents regarding the local history and the culture of the island.
Unwind In A Local Bar
The island has a beautiful seaside promenade dotted with lovely restaurants and cool bars where to go for a coffee in the afternoon or for a drink at night.
Check all of them and choose the one that better goes with your style and mood.
If you like them all and can’t make up your mind, why not spending some hours in The Pirate Bar?
This legendary bar has been Leonard Cohen’s favorite refuge on the island during the many years he used to be Hydra’s most famous visitor.
Best Beaches In Hydra
Even if you plan to stay in Hydra for just a day, you can still visit some beautiful bays and shores along the coast of Hydra. These are some of the most beautiful beaches you can check on the island:
The beautiful cove of Avlaki is just steps from the main port and easy to reach with a short walk. The beach is not organized, so try to buy snacks and cold drinks at the pier to spend the day in Avlaki.
Although it can be hard to access the water due to the pebbles and rocks by the sea, the calm and crystal clear waters of Avlaki make it a great seaside shelter for couples and adventurous swimmers.
Only 2 km from the center of Hydra you’ll find Vychos, a small village with a spectacular coast which you can visit either walking there or hiring a water taxi.
The beach is outstandingly beautiful, with impressive crystal and utterly tranquil waters, ideal for all the family.
This is another small beach you can check when spending your days on Hydra Island. This beach is very shallow and therefore great for families with children.
The place is also convenient as there is a nice restaurant on the coast too serving delicious traditional Greek food and often also selling cold drinks to beach-goers.
The most remote beach of Hydra is a sandy shore with some organization, including umbrellas and sunbeds to rent.
There are some tavernas and bars serving food as well as nice cafés to relax at sunset. The best way to reach Agios Nikolaos is with a taxi boat from the port of Hydra.Share