Hydra Greece (Ύδρα in Greek) is an island that first saw a rise in popularity in the 1950s, as scenes of the famous movies “A Girl in Black” and “Boy on a Dolphin” were shot there. Later, many foreign celebrities, including the late Leonard Cohen, chose to buy properties on the island for their summer holidays.
The island is full of aristocratic mansions and is known for its wealth, but it retains its authenticity. It’s actually forbidden to construct new buildings on Hydra, so it’s known as an architectural reserve. Hydra is also free of every motor vehicle except for two small fire trucks and some garbage trucks. Hydra is the place where you can see more donkeys than cars and escape from the noise of the big cities.
Thinking of visiting this island for your relaxing and peaceful vacation? We present you an insider guide to the best things to do in Hydra, the attractions, and the best beaches:
Some of the aristocratic mansions of ship captains have turned into museums of late. The best of these house-museums is Lazaros Koundouriotis inland. Admire the classic architecture of the building with its marble wellhead and wooden ceilings.
Hiking in Hydra
Hydra is a great place for hiking lovers. There are four marked, long-distance routes, and you can find a map of them on the main jetty. You won’t need one for the coastal path to Vlychos Beach or the way to Profitis Ilias Monastery through the stairs.
But, you will need a map if you choose one of the most challenging routes, like the 90-minute hike to Limnioniza Beach on the south coast, or the 4-hour route from the Monastery of Geniseos tis Theotokou at Zoirva in the north-east. The favorite course of all hiking experts in Hydra is to the bays of Agios Nikolaos or Bisti. During this hike, enjoy the view of the calm blue waters, small islets, and the yachts.
Hydra Island Beaches
Hydra is not an island that is famous for its beaches, as they can’t be compared with those of the Aegean or the Ionian Seas. But, some beaches won’t leave you disappointed! The most famous is Limnioniza Beach (as above). We also recommend you visit the Avlaki Beach and Kastillo Beach (or Mikro Kamini) that are near the main town.
If you prefer comfort and sunbeds, choose Vlychos Beach which is sandy and pebbled, or Plakes Vlychou Beach with small pebbles. The most beautiful and best Hydra beaches are Agios Nikolaos and Bisti – located in the southwest part of the island. However, accessing them may not be so easy – either hike or take a boat taxi there.
Day trips to Hydra Island
If you want to dapple in Saronic Greek island hopping to visit another nearby island while you are in Hydra, then go to Spetses. Spetses is a more remote island of Argo-Saronic Gulf with similar mansions and architecture to Hydra, but has better beaches. Another option is the less popular island of Poros, which is closer to Piraeus.