Hydra has a rich history and is of great archaeological interest. This cosmopolitan island of the Argosaronic Gulf is full of mansions that are 200 years old or more, bastions with cannons, monasteries and hundreds of churches. Visitors from around the world come to Hydra to walk on its prehistoric and Mycenaean paths.
Where to go
The cobbled streets and the houses of Hydra have their own colour and add to the island’s character. Visit mansions belonging to historic families like Kountouriotis, Miaoulis, Tsamados, Kriezis and Sahinis. At the monastery of Profitis Ilias you will see the cell in which Theodoros Kolokotronis was imprisoned, and at the old settlement of Kiafa you’ll admire the stone arches. At Periptero you can enjoy the sunset and the best view on the island can be enjoyed at the spot of the Miaoulis statue.
How to get there
There are two ways to travel to Hydra: by boat or by car. You take the boat from the port of Piraeus. Depending on what boat you’re travelling in, regular or flying dolphin, the trip may last from one to two hours. There are no cars or motorcycles allowed on the island, both for locals and visitors. However, you can get to the island by car. Drive to Metochi, Ermioni, and cross over to Hydra in a sea taxi or a small boat.
Where to stay
Hydrea Exclusive Hospitality: This five-star hotel is 400 metres from the harbour of Hydra. It combines traditional architecture with modern decoration, and it will surprise you with its furniture, floors and colours. In its large rooms you’ll forget you’re in a hotel, and feel like you’re a house guest, maintaining all the comforts of a five-star hotel. Hydrea is at an amazing location and offers a lovely view of the harbour. You can enjoy the view while you’re having your breakfast on the veranda. (2298052920, https://www.hydrea.gr/)
Bratseta Traditional Hotel: You’ll never forget about this hotel once you visit it. At Bratseta stone and wood are the dominant materials and its decoration is unique in Hydra combining tradition and luxury. This four-star hotel has an aristocratic vibe and offers the perfect holiday. You’ll have great moments at the pool, the gardens and the sunroom. (2298053971, https://bratserahotel.com/)
Four Seasons Hydra Luxury Suites: Another four-star hotel in Hydra. Four Seasons Hydra is right on the beach. Its rooms are filled with light and are nicely decorated, while the staff is friendly and helpful. Try its Greek dishes and the fresh fish and seafood on the à la carte menu at the restaurant and ask at the reception desk about the hiking trips and the boat rides. (2298053698, https://www.fourseasonshydra.gr/el/)
Cotommatae 1810 Boutique Hotel: A traditional 19th century mansion renovated and turned into a four-star boutique hotel that will take you on a trip back in time. Cotommatae 1810 has a rich history that can be seen on its stone and wood. Breakfast includes homemade pies and local sweets. The mansion is spacious and beautifully decorated and has a great view. (2298053873, https://www.cotommatae.gr/)
Where to eat
Sunset: You’ll find Sunset near the mansion of Pavlos Kountouriotis. They specialise in seafood, like the seafood arancini and the sea bass ceviche. Sunset has repeatedly been awarded as one of the restaurants with the best view in the world. Taste their dishes and drink one of their unique cocktails. (https://www.sunsethydra.com/)
Caprice: An old sponge storage warehouse has been turned into a restaurant that will reintroduce you to Italian cuisine. Traditional Greek products give a new aroma to favourite Italian recipes. Enjoy Caprice’s dishes in their beautiful traditional space. (http://www.capricehydra.eu/photo/)
Lulus: This tavern has been in operation since 1864 and is one of the oldest in Hydra. Every Greek cuisine dish is available here: traditional dishes cooked in olive oil, casserole dishes, grilled meat and of course fresh fish. Many people come to Lulus for its moussaka, its stuffed tomatoes and its calamari. (2298052018)
Plakostroto: Choose Plakostroto for breakfast and brunch but also for lunch or dinner. They offer a great variety of dishes, mostly Greek and Mediterranean, and also offer vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free dishes. Plakostroto’s garden, where you’ll enjoy your food and cocktail, is covered in green and ideal for breaths of fresh air. (https://www.facebook.com/plakostrotohydra/photos/?ref=page_internal)
What to see
Hydra is full of mansions and some of them have been turned into museums or house museum annexes. Georgios Kountouriotis’ mansion houses the Post-Byzantine Art and History of Hydra Museum, while at the historic mansion of Lazaros Kountouriotis you’ll find an annex of the National Historical Museum. At Emmanouil Tompazis and Xanthi Sahini’s house you’ll find an annex of the School of Fine Arts. If you love art, you can also visit the Melina Merkouri hall that houses works by famous artists.
There are six monasteries and three hundred churches in Hydra. At the churches of you’ll find remarkable 18th century murals and domes with marble arcs. Visit the monasteries of Profitis Ilias and of Agia Efpraxia to see where Kolokotronis and the other freedom fighters were imprisoned.
Where to swim
Bisti: Bisti is at the southernmost bay of Hydra. Its waters are turquoise and very clean, while the beach is surrounded by a dense lush forest that offers shade and amazing cool. You can reach Bisti in small boats that go there daily. This is a beautiful place, but the ground is pebbled, so wear comfortable footwear or sea shoes to avoid hurting your feet..
Avlaki: You’ll find this small beach with green waters, just 10 minutes away from the port of Hydra. On the rocks there is a small pier with a ladder that will make your swim easier and safer, while the sea here is so clean that you’ll swim with the fish and octopi. People who come to this beautiful spot in Hydra keep returning.
Kamini: After a 20-minute-walk from the port of Hydra, next to the small village of the same name, you’ll find Kamini beach. The beach is serviced with umbrellas, sunbeds and a small café for coffee or snacks.
Spilia and Hydroneta: Two rocky beaches ideal for diving into their deep, crystal clear waters. The two beaches are right next to each other. Artificial piers have been built on its rocks so you can bathe in the sun, while there are small cafés where you can have a coffee or a light meal.
What to do
Hydra is not famous for its beaches but for its nature, its history and its art. If you’re not in the mood for visiting museums and art spaces, you can choose outdoors activities and sports. If you like hiking choose one of the eleven hiking trails and enjoy the nature and the view from above. Catch one of the caiques and go on a tour of the island to discover beautiful bays, grey rocks and caves. On Hydra you can canoe or kayak, and you can also go spear gun fishing in the rocks, go scuba diving, or horseback riding.
What did Sofia Lauren enjoy the most in Hydra when she was filming Boy on a Dolphin? The traditional almond desserts, ‘amigdalota’ from the Tsagkaris pastry shop. The historic café and pastry shop was founded in 1930 by Aristeidis Tsagkaris and the traditional amigdalota that until then were prepared at home on festive occasions, have been available for sale to sweeten both the locals and the visitors. This pastry shop will satisfy your sweet tooth, like it did for Sofia Lauren.
Kouloureio Hospital: 2298053150
Multipurpose regional medical center of Hydra: 2298052420
Port Authority: 2298052279
Municipality of Hydra: 2298320200