Hydra is one of the Saronic islands, close to Athens. It is considered the
most cosmopolitan, and many celebrities from Greece and abroad own
houses here, or spend their vacations on this pretty island. Even though
it has a good nightlife, it is quiet since cars and motorbikes are not
The people on Hydra live off tourism to a great degree, but there are also fishermen and farmers on the island. Hydra also houses a large amount of artists, and many foreigners have settled down on the island. Because it is so close to Athens Greece, many islanders also work in Athens during the winter
Hydra has been inhabited
since pre historic times, and some believe it was the home of the
- the horrible monster
Heracles killed, thus its name.
Not much is known about the island's ancient history, but it played an important role in the 15th century, when people from the mainland and the islands sought refuge here from attacking pirates and Turks.
Hydra had an important fleet in the 18th century and it was sometimes called "Little England" because of its European flare and commerce. It was one of the strongest island during the war of Independence which began in 1821, and contributed with its huge fleet of 130 ships.
What to see
Hydra town is a
lovely place just for strolling around. Many of its buildings date back
to the 18th century, and is built around the harbour. Here, you can
visit many art galleries, the churches of St. Constantine (ag.
Konstantinos), the Virgin Mary (with a tall clock tower) and St. John
(Ag. Ioannis) for example.
There are many monasteries on the island open for visitors. Note: you must dress appropriately to be let in: long skirts and covered shoulders for women, long trousers for men. The nunnery Ag. Efpraxia and the monastery of the Prophet Elias (Profitis Elias) are both situated on Mt. Eros and both have breathtaking views to offer.
Other monasteries are Agia Trias, Agios Nikolaos, Agia Matroni and Ag. Zourva. The two latter are nunneries.
What to do
:Apart from relaxing by the sea and perhaps doing a few watersports or
snorkeling, you can also take daytrips to the neighbouring islands and
Athens, as well as the ancient sites of Delphi, Mycenae and Epidavros.
The beaches on Hydra are pebble beaches, and the most popular ones are Molos, Palamida and Kaminia, which are more sandy.
Hydra town has a very good and varied nightlife. Most places are quite sophisticated and relaxed, but there are also clubs and discos where you can party until the morning.
You can eat both traditional Greek and international food in the many restaurants on Hydra.
Although you can find almost everything here, the most typical thing to buy on Hydra is gold jewellery and precious stones.
Almost all vehicles are prohibited on Hydra, so you'll have to settle with walking, taking a ride with a horse and carriage, or take a donkey ride where it is offered. There are also excursion boats that can take you to some of the beaches.
:The easiest way to get here is to take a direct flight to Athens and then the ferryboat or hydrofoil from Piraeus. The island also have boats to and from Spetses and Poros.
Facts about Hydra
HydraSize: 50 sq. km
International code: 0030
Local code: 22980
Internet cafe: Yes
Port Police: 52279 (01/4511311 Pireus)
Price rate: Above Average
Telephone company (OTE):