Discover the secluded beauty of a Greek island that captivated Europe and attracted artists such as Chagall, Picasso, Leonard Cohen. It’s an island of Argosaronic, characterized as infertile and introverted but also very picturesque and attractive. It is ideal for nearby excursions from Athens, romantic walks, historical tours and diving in blue waters!
Escape the intense rhythms of the city and travel to a faithful representation of life of the 18th-19th century! Are you ready to discover together its unique beauty?
1. Take a walk along its scenic alleys
It’s like walking in a different era! The road is paved, there are no means of transport other than donkeys, trolleys, and sea taxis. Wherever you look, nothing will remind you of the 21st century. From every corner of the island, you will notice that the houses are stone-built, traditional while the whole city gives off a history scent. Busts of admirals, ramparts with cannons are everywhere in the city to capture their long naval history in the Aegean. See the places where rebels lived like Miaoulis and Kountouriotis, while faces of cosmopolitan history have been present over the years. Onassis, Callas, Rex Harrison, Peter Ustinov, Eric Clapton, Sophia Loren, the Rolling Stones, Hydra often attracts the most famous people of this world.
2. Swim in the most beautiful beaches of the Saronic Gulf
Blue-green waters, endless view and relaxation. Do you want a rocky or a sandy beach? Do you want water sports? Kid-friendly? A pier to dive from? Romance? Isolation and tranquility? Hydra has it all! Indicatively, the nearby Spilia and Hydronetta, Mandraki, Vlychos, Agios Nikolaos, Kaoumithi are beaches that will surely justify your choice. Enjoy diving!
3. Traditional cuisine overlooking the sea and the sunset
Tradition and taste meet on your plate, with fresh ingredients to make it exquisite. For example, “Xeri Elia”, the oldest, beautiful, traditional tavern, counts 200 years on the island and transfers you with the most delicious, local, traditional recipes to a different century. Do not miss the “Sunset” restaurant if you want to make a romantic trip overlooking the sea, the sunset and the stars in the evening. Try the fresh seafood, desserts and special wine. Other equally delicious destinations are “Caprice Restaurant-Bar” and “Omilos”, and eat as much as you can!
Tip: Do not forget to try the traditional recipes of amygdalota before you leave but also the authentic Tiramisu!
4. Night excursions to the best destinations
Are there vacations without all-nighters, drinks and hanging out until the morning? “Pirate bar” offers you all this! One of the oldest ones of the island that exists since 1976, on the main road, with very nice view to the harbor and the island’s traffic. Outstanding music options and live music every night with jazz, blues, rock ballads to accompany your drink. Other hotspots of the island are “Amalour”, “Castello Hydra” and “Hydronetta”.
Tip: (At the Pirate Bar) See the vinyl with the inscription by Eric Clapton from the 70s, in the bar where important celebrities such as Leonard Cohen and Alexis Mardas were hanging out.
5. Events – Festivals
The island is particularly active, so there are many options! Here are the biggest events organized each year: “Miaoulia”, the largest event of the island, takes place at the end of June and includes activities around Andreas Miaoulis’ action, such as municipal dances, boat races and athletic competitions. On the last day the event ends with fireworks and a representation of the Turkish flagship burning. Miaoulia is of course free for everyone. But the events are not over here… if you think you are good and strong in running, why don’t you try the Hydra’s trail event? Surely the Eros mountain Trail from the highest mountain of the island will enchant you and impress you!
6. Mount Eros
Are you ready to climb the tallest and most erotic mountain of Hydra? It is 600 meters high, with its panoramic view embracing the whole island, Argosaronic and Myrtoan Sea. This is a unique experience, as you will see beautiful churches, such as St. Constantine of Hydra and the monastery of Prophet Elias. Make sure to buy food and plenty of water and definitely wear appropriate shoes for rough and rocky surfaces. It’s a long way but it is worth it.
7. Visit the Mansion of Kountouriotis
It is the jewel of Hydra, and perhaps one of the most famous and most historic settlements of Hydra, a sample of traditional Hydra architecture. It was built in the end of the 18th century and is located on the west side of the harbor. Because of the political prestige of Lazaros Kountourioti, this mansion has held important debates on issues of 1821 and hosted prominent personalities of the time. Its content is related to rare paintings painted by Pericles and Constantine Byzantium, as well as rare historical relics, personal belongings, mirrors, family portraits. On the upper floor are exhibited folklore collections of the National Historical Museum such as island costumes and more from all regions of Greece.
8. Visit the Historical Archives Museum of Hydra
It was founded in 1918 and is housed in a building located east of the harbor, near the port authority. Its collection is divided into three sections, the Archival section, the Museum section and the Library. On the ground floor you will find a variety of exhibits from the Balkan wars and World War I and II. On the first floor there is a historical gallery with works of great painters and heirlooms from the Revolution of 1821. The building houses the library with old precious historical manuscripts of the 18th and 19th centuries, while all around you can see the traditional costumes of Hydra, constructional models, weapons and lithographs of the ships of the Revolution. Art with the story come together here.
9. “The red house”
Megalo Kamini is a very picturesque village, full of beauty, tradition and history, since it’s where the people of Hydra repaired their boats. It is a point of intersection according to historical sources, which state that during the Revolution, large ships were also there for the battle to freedom. Just follow the road to the west of the main harbor and you will see the parish church of Agios Ioannis Prodromos, the building of the Nursing home and the House of Miaoulis, known as the “Red House”, where exhibitions are held each year.
Tip: On this sandy beach every year, at Easter, on Good Friday, the custom of Embracing the Epitaph is celebrated in the seawater so that its blessing follows the seafarers and helps them in their travels. Hydra is a great place to visit all year round anyway! source: http://hydraspoliteia.blogspot.com/2010/12/blog-post_07.htm
10. Horseback riding in Hydra
What’s better than an afternoon hike with Harriet Jarman’s horses? Start from the center of the port and tour the scenic alleys of the island as long as you want! Are you an adult? Are you a child? It doesn’t matter! Harriet’s horses have grown with much love and care, so ride them and enjoy your ride over the beautiful parts of Hydra. What are you waiting for?