Hydra Island in Greece
The picturesque island of Hydra is one of the Saronic Islands located between the islands of Poros and Spetses, just off the mainland of Greece. In addition to being a popular island for the holiday homes of wealthy Greeks, Hydra is a prime international tourist destination and a haven for artists. The island can only be reached by water, and ferries regularly travel between the port of Hydra and the port of Piraeus adjacent to Athens, as well as the port of Nafplion on the Peloponnese coast.
Motorized transportation of any kind is not permitted on the island. On arriving at the port, which forms part of the island’s main village (called Hydra), visitors have their luggage carried by donkeys up the steep stone streets leading from the crescent-shaped harbor area. Most of the local residences and hotels as well as restaurants, shops, markets and art galleries line the streets from the harbor. Because everything in the town is close together, there is no real need for motorized transport and most people just walk to where they want to go, or use donkeys to transport goods. Hydra village is protected by a special preservation order and is a beautiful blend of traditional white-walled, red-tiled houses with narrow stone-paved alleyways running between them.
Rocky hills with occasional farmhouses and isolated Greek Orthodox monasteries dominate the island’s landscape. Taxi boats are used in order to get to the stunning pebbled beaches and small settlements along Hydra’s coast-line. The water around the island is crystal clear and perfect for snorkeling.
Hydra has a reputation for having the best night-life of all the Argo-Saronic islands and during the summer season, which runs from April to the beginning of September, the clubs and bars are open right through the night. After an all-night party, revelers can enjoy a relaxed breakfast at one of the many cafés in the town. For a quieter evening out there are numerous taverns that offer good food and traditional music.
Greece is renowned for its beautiful islands and friendly people. Visitors to the island of Hydra will come to appreciate that this excellent reputation is well earned.