Hydra Travel Guide: Everything You Need to Know about the Small Island in the Saronic Gulf
Where Is Hydra Located?
Hydra, also known as Ydra or Hidra, is an island located in the Saronic Gulf, specifically in the Aegean Sea and south of Athens, the capital of Greece. It is also close to the Peloponnese peninsula, both points separated by the Gulf of Hydra.
This island is almost entirely dedicated to tourism and its older visitors are usually Athenians, thanks to the island's proximity to the Greek mainland. Between the port of Piraeus and the port of Hydra, there are about 70 km.
Hydra was one of the major naval powers in the world during the modern period and its ships played an extremely important role in the Greek War of Independence.
In addition, famous movies such as A Girl in Black or Boy on a Dolphin were filmed in Hydra. According to many tourists, Hydra is the most authentic Greek island and in Greca we recommend you to know why.
Map of Hydra, Greece
Map of Hydra, Greece
Main Attractions of Hydra
Hydra is well known by travelers for being an island that offers a completely different experience from the rest of the Greek islands. It is a territory where time seems to have stopped, with architecture from another era, without roads or cars, where the entire landscape invites you to reflect and take a break from the modern world. Below, we tell you about some of the most important attractions of Hydra for you to take into account when planning your trip.
Historical Archives Museum of Hydra
It is a museum founded in 1918, which is located inside a very luxurious mansion that belonged to Gikas Koulouras, a prominent Greek sailor. There you can find multiple elements that are linked to naval tradition, such as anchors, navigation maps, and nautical prints, among others. You'll also be able to see manuscripts, traditional clothing, and books dating back to the 19th-century Greek Revolution.
Ecclesiastical Museum of Hydra
This is a museum for history buffs. Here you can see objects from all kinds of cultures, from Byzantine icons and Christian relics to gospels from ancient times. This museum is part of the Church of the Assumption, also known as the Cathedral of Hydra. This construction was completed in 1648, so visiting it will give you a great view of past times.
Hydra Cathedral, Greece
Agia Eupraxia Monastery in Hydra
It is a monastery for women, which was built in 1865 next to the church that bears her name. It is located on top of a hill that has a height of 500 meters above sea level. In addition, visiting this monastery is of great interest to tourists, due to the number of allusions to the Greek and religious culture of ancient times. At the same time, it is very particular in the eyes of visitors, thanks to the colors that highlight its Hellenic-style construction among the entire mountainous landscape.
View of the monastery of Agia Eupraxia in Hydra
With similar views and characteristics, you can visit the monastery of the prophet Elijah, a building that dates back to 1813. It is located 100 meters below Mount Eros and two hours from the port of Hydra. Similarly, we recommend that you go to the Agia Triada monastery, whose construction dates back to 1821 and is located on a hill near Mandraki Bay. If you are more adventurous, you can consider going to the Zouvras monastery, which is located two hours from the center of Hydra, in the northern part of the island.
Also known as the Hydra Cannon Bastions, this is a particular tourist attraction, dating back to the 18th century. This construction served as protection against possible attacks by Turkish troops, which were vastly superior in number at the time compared to the Greeks. Concerning this fortress, we recommend that you visit the Merchant Marine Academy in Hydra if you are interested in naval matters.
Hydra Bastions, Greece
Donkey ride in Hydra
If you want to enjoy a quiet afternoon on the island of Hydra, we recommend that you take the typical donkey or horse rides through the city.
Donkey in Hydra, Greece
These animals are world renowned for being found on multiple Greek islands, wearing colorful clothes, and leading different tourists around steep or mountain streets.
Scuba diving in Hydra
If you are passionate about water sports, visiting Hydra is your opportunity to do some activity of this style, especially the well-known scuba diving or diving. Being a rocky island, Hydra is perfect for diving among its stone walls and underwater caves. And not only that! You can also see a shipwreck from the proto-Helladic period, called the Dokos shipwreck. It is an attraction of cultural and archaeological interest discovered in 1975, which attracts thousands of tourists passing through Hydra. In fact, you can visit a small island with the same name, Dokos Island, on a free afternoon.
Scuba diving in Hydra
Travel to Hydra, Greece
If you want to know how to visit Hydra, the island of Greece, we provide you with two possible ways here.
On the one hand, you must bear in mind that Hydra does not have an airport, so it is only possible to travel to Hydra by ferry. However, you can take a flight to a nearby city and from there buy a ticket, for example, for the ferry from Athens to Hydra.
On the other hand, the ferries from Athens to Hydra have a frequency of around five times a day. The ferry ride from Athens to Hydra takes approximately two hours.
Shopping in Hydra
The island of Hydra is the ideal place for local shopping, especially in its capital. Most businesses are located inside traditional buildings, so you'll need to pay attention to the windows and look at items that might be of interest to you. In most cases, the items being sold are related to the Greek fashion market, jewelry, gifts, and works of art. All these items are of the finest carving, made by craftsmen and artists who are experts in their field. Nor can you miss walking through its beautiful and colorful street markets, especially linked to Mediterranean cuisine.
As we mentioned before, the way to get to the island of Hydra is by ferry (the only way) or plane to Athens and then ferry. You can go, in this case, on a ferry from the port of Piraeus to the port of Hydra. You can also go to Hydra from Aegina and the ferry takes around two and a half hours.
Do not forget that Hydra is part of the Saronic Islands, so you can move from one island to another without any problem during the day. Another route that many tourists ask about is the trip from Milo to Hydra by ferry, although here it will take approximately eight hours.
The number of days to visit Hydra really depends on the activities you want to do there. If you can allocate between 2-3 days to enjoy the days at the beach, the gastronomic proposals, and the aquatic activities. However, visiting the island of Hydra for one day is enough to get to know its main attractions.
The best months to visit the island of Hydra are from April to June or from September to October since the weather during this time is warm and rainfall is scarce. The perfect month to get to know the island is May, due to the combination of temperature, little rain, and calm winds.
As we mentioned in the post, to go from the port of the island of Hydra to the city center you can do it on foot, by donkey, horse, or boat to your accommodation, since motorized transportation is not allowed on this island.
The clothes you should bring to Hydra will depend on the time of year in which you travel. However, if you are not a person who suffers from climatic extremes, we recommend that you always dress lightly and, at most, wear a simple coat for the night.
The prices on this island of Hydra tend to be somewhat high, as in most of the Greek islands. We recommend that you think about spending around €100 per person each day, between accommodation, food, and crossings.
The costs of packages to Hydra depend on what you are planning to do on the island. You can talk with Greca to know more about travel packages to Hydra.
The best area to stay in Hydra is without a doubt the capital of the island, due to its availability of accommodation, geographic location, and the number of services it offers. However, if you are looking for a quieter place, we recommend that you stay in the small towns on the island, which also have the same amenities, but are somewhat simpler.
You can eat on the island of Hydra different dishes from fresh fish from the Ionian and Mediterranean. The island also specializes in harvesting fruits, such as lemons, orange trees, apples, almonds, among other options. In turn, you can enjoy typical sweets and desserts, especially pistachio. Don't forget to try the delicious Greek breakfast, its olive oils, and a rich local wine!
If you are looking to stay more than one day on the island of Hydra, we recommend you book your accommodation about 3-4 months in advance, since the demands of tourists are high on this island and prices vary considerably according to the proximity to the island. the date of entry. Do not forget that it is an island very close to Athens! So Hydra can be a good weekend getaway and many Athenians choose to visit it.
Among the activities to do on the island of Hydra we can mention some for you to take into account:
- Visit other nearby islands (one of the most famous excursions in the area is to go to Athens)
- Do nautical activities
- Take walks around the city and the beach.
The island of Hydra, unlike other Greek islands, is renowned for its laid-back nightlife. If what you are looking for is a romantic dinner, visiting a tavern with a sea view, or going out with family and friends, we recommend that you go to the center of the island.
The island of Hydra has very good beaches. This location has emerald water coasts, with beautiful vegetation surrounding the panorama. You can take tours of the different beaches with ferries that stop at the most interesting ones. The most popular beaches in Hydra are Agios Nikolaos beach, Bisti beach, Kaminia beach, and Vilchos beach.
Among them, Agios Nikolaos, Bisti, and Vilchos have umbrella facilities for visitors and food services around, while Kaminia is a wilder beach, with no facilities and much less populated.
Traveling to Hydra is extremely safe. We recommend that you pay some attention to your belongings in public places. However, the risk of theft is extremely low.
To book your trip to Hydra, you can contact one of Greca's sales representatives or contact us through our official page, completing the form on your site and date of interest.