What to do
Hydra is the most impressive island in the Argo Saronic Gulf. Due to its close distance to Athens, it gets very popular as a summer weekend destination. Explore the wild beauty of Hydra Island with its rough and rocky scenery that comes in contrast to its romantic and noble side, creating a unique combination. Renovated mansions, the old picturesque port with the loopholes and the canons, the museums, the monasteries, the naval academy and other attractions reveal the historic background of Hydra.
Once on Hydra, be aware that NO CARS are allowed ! Island transport only by pony or taxi-boats – no buses, no scooters for hire. Baggage is transferred to the villas by hand-cart or taxi-boats.
Soon various foreign personalities (including Leonard Cohen) bought property here, joining prominent Greeks who have been long impressed by the island’s beauties. Beautiful mansions and and traditional homes are arrayed amphitheatrically around the picture perfect harbour.
Activities in Hydra
Day trip to Spetses
The obvious off-island one is to Spétses, a very posh islands with the Greek elite, that boasts imposing mansions, excellent dining options and nice beaches.
Walking and trekking
Apart from the hot summer months, Hydra is an ideal destination for walkers; there are four marked, recognised long-distance routes, You don’t need a map for the coastal path to Vlyhós (35min from port) and beyond to Plákes Vlyhoú (45min away). This route is ideal for the whole family, offering amazing vistas to the nearby islands.
Worth visiting some mansions that used to belong to sea captains families and now have become museums (best of these the Lazaros Koundouriotis and up on the westerly hillside, March-October 10am-2pm and additionally in summer 5.30pm-8.30pm Tuesday-Sunday; €4)
Hydra is also an interesting scuba diving destination. The sea bottom around Hydra has many interesting reefs and underwater caves, ideal for scuba divers. Diving trips are also organized in close islands, like Dokos and Spetses, and in the neighbouring coasts of Peloponnese.
Food and Dining
Psaropoula Taverna (+30 22980 52573) : established in 1911 this fish tavern right on the port serves traditional fish dishes and fresh catch – the owners have this business for 4 generations
Enalion Restaurant (+30 22980 53455) : located right on Vlychos Beach, only accesssible by speed boat, this all day restaurant opens up early and serves breakfast / lunch and dinner.
Sunset Restaurant (+30 22980 52067) : one of the island’s most tranquil and dreamlike terrace views of the sea and the sunset. A menu carefully balanced with seafood, Mediterranean meat dishes, traditional vegetarian specialties, pastas and salads.
Bratsera Restaurant (+30 22980 23971) : In the restaurant of the hotel with the same name, in a verdant courtyard by the pool, chef Nikolas Maragakis prepares creative dishes, that place its cuisine among the best of the island. Try cheese pies with apple and honey sauce, frumenty with shrimp and orange, penne with caramelized onions and Cretan cheese, grilled lamb chops with spinach, mashed potatoes and sauce with fresh rosemary. Very polite service and a decent list of wines from the vineyards of Greece.