Hydra Island

Information about Hydra Island

(Area: SO sq km – Coastline: 56 km – Distance from Piraeus 38 n.m. – I.s. 593 m)
Hydra is certainly one of the most unusual places in Greece. This rocky island with no
vegetation and no beaches fascinates visitors from all over the world with its unique town,
a perfectly preserved sample of 18th- and 19th-century architecture. The picture-perfect
harbour and the beautiful stone houses create a romantic atmosphere, which is further
enhanced by the fact that no cars are permitted on the island.
Hydra became a major naval power in the 18th century and played a critical role in the
Greek War of Indepedence in 1821. The wealth of the local shipowners was reflected in
their stately mansions, many of which have been transformed into cosy hotels and inns.
The romantic atmosphere exuded by the old town, has made Hydra a favourite with
painters who come to the island not only to work but also to exhibit their creations in the
Municipal Art Centre and the galleries of the town. This place has also been popular with
the rich and famous since the ’50s, the time it was discovered by film makers as a perfect
shooting location.  Hydra soon became one of the most fashionable and cosmopolitan
islands of the Mediterranean with a unique mix of visitors ranging from amateur painters to
movie stars and is still frequented by celebrities who have bought houses in the old town.
Amongst the sights  not to be missed in fhe town of Hydra is the  island’s richly
decorated cathedral (Mitropoli) with the beautiful marble tower. Worth a visit are the
churches of Ypapanti and Aghios Ioannis as well as the church dedicated to the local
saint Aghios Konstantinos of Hydra  with its beautiful wood-carved  sculptures. Some of
the old mansions stand out for their architecture such as the houses of Boudouris,
Voulgaris and Tombazis, the latter of which is used as the summer campus of the Athens
School of Arts. Also of interest is the historic Lazaros Kountouriotis mansion, housing a
collection of the National Historical Museum with memorabilia from the Greek War of
Independence in 1821.
The outlying monasteries can be reached either by foot or by donkey. A two-hour walk
up the mountain will take visitors to the monasteries of Profitis Elias and Aghia Efpraxia at
an altitude of 500 metres. A more  demanding walking tour leads to Episkopi in the
western part of the island, where the remains of an abandoned Byzantine town can be
seen. This tour includes the beaches of Kamini, Vlyhos and Molos. Visitors can also head
eastwards to reach the Aghia Triada and Zouiva Monasteries.
The island’s role in the Greek War of Independence in 1821 is honoured annually in
late June with the Miaoulia Festival The fireworks, street parties and dance performances
attract many visitors from Greece and abroad, The festival’s highlight is the re-enactment
of a naval battle. Another worthwhile  experience is the traditional Easter celebration with
the Epitaph litany on Good Friday and the “Burning of Judas” on Easter Sunday.
Hydra is a popular cruise denstination and a highlight on many yachting itineraries.
The town features numerous  shops and boutiques selling handmade jewellery, clothes,
pottery, embroidery and other artefacts. Also on sale are the almond-based sweets called
“amygdalota”, a local speciality.
There is an abundance of restaurants and tavemas offering fish and  other traditional
dishes.  Those visitors interested in a more active  nightlife can opt for  one of  the
fashionable bars, and there are, of course, the quayside cafes dotting the picturesque
harbour, the ideal spot for people watching.
The main modes of transportation on Hydra are sea taxis and donkeys, as there are no
cars permitted on the island.  The sea taxis will take visitors to the outlying beaches but
also to destinations on the mainland Peloponnese and to neighbouring islands.
Beaches: Several rocks near the  town have been transformed into bathing platforms,
which become lively meeting spots during the summer. There are also a few small sandy
and pebble beaches to be found in the more remote parts of the island. Closest to town is
Mandraki to the east and Kamini to the west. Both beaches can be reached by a 30-minute
walk along the shores or within a few minutes by sea taxi. Other beaches can be found in
Molos, Bisti, Limnioniza, Vlyhos near Kamini, and Aghios Nikolaos.
How to oet there: There  are frequent high-speed boat and ferry services  to Piraeus
and the other Argo-Saronic Gulf Islands, making Hydra easily accessible. The trip from
Piraeus by high-speed boat takes approx two hours. Spetses, Poros and several ports of
the Peloponnese are only minutes away. Motorists can also drive to Ermioni, just opposite
Hydra on the  coast of the Peloponnese, where they can park before taking the boat to

Hotels in Hydra Island

HYDRA Idra Town IDRA Traditional Hotel Apart.
ANTONIOS Idra Town IDRA Traditional Settlement
ARGO Idra Town IDRA Hotel
BRATSERA Idra Town IDRA Traditional Hotel
DELFINI Idra Town IDRA Hotel
DINA Idra Town IDRA Hotel
EFIE Idra Town IDRA Rooms to let
ELEKTRA Idra Town IDRA Pension
GRECO Idra Town IDRA Hotel
IPPOKAMPOS Idra Town IDRA Traditional Hotel
LETO Idra Town IDRA Hotel
MIRA MARE BEACH Mandraki IDRA Hotel Bungalows
MIRANDA Idra Town IDRA Traditional Settlement
MISTRAL Idra Town IDRA Traditional Settlement
NEFELI Idra Town IDRA Hotel
ORLOFF Idra Town IDRA Traditional Settlement
PITEOUSSA Idra Town IDRA Guesthouse
SAVVAS Idra Town IDRA Rooms to let
SIDRA Idra Town IDRA Traditional Hotel
SOPHIA Idra Town IDRA Traditional Hotel
SPALIERIS Idra Town IDRA Rooms to let
THEANO Idra Town IDRA Rooms to let
VILLA SUNSET Idra Town IDRA Traditional Settlement

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