Known as the "museum" island, this horseshoe-shaped harbour is one of the most picturesque in all of Greece. It is an island of rich villas, artists, and writers. It is the island where famous movies were made. Hydra offers steep donkey trails, prickly gorse and some of the best spring and fall hiking in Greece. At Easter time, the island is carpeted with flowers, some of which exist nowhere else on earth. The sunsets are magical and astonishing.
Hydra Town, which is the only town of the island and which has been declared scheduled, is outspread on two rocky hills and offers traditional houses with red tiled rooftops and vivid blue windows and doors, as well as fenced-in flowered yards. Add its stone-paved narrow alleys and Hydra becomes a little oasis.
Hydra is an extremely scenic island that bears an extremely important nautical history that is reflected on the renovated mansions, the old picturesque port with the loopholes and the canons, the museums, the naval academy and other elements that show that Hydra is a historically important island.
The beautiful three-storey bell-tower of the Church of the Assumption of the Virgin is one of the oldest buildings. There is an interesting museum and some old mansions worth visiting. Here, you can also visit many art galleries, the Churches of St. Constantine and St. John. There are many monasteries on the island open for visitors. The nunnery Ag. Efpraxia and the monastery of the Prophet Elias are both situated on Mt. Eros and both have breathtaking views to offer. Other monasteries are Agia Trias and Agios Nikolaos. Agia Matroni and Ag. Zourva are nunneries.
(Note: you must dress appropriately to be let in: long skirts and covered shoulders for women, long trousers for men.)
Souvenir shops and cafes are housed in old warehouses and modest seamen’s houses, which are lining the waterfront. Behind the first row of buildings more shops and cafes can be found, scattered around the whitewashed streets and alleys. The main street is called Odos Miaoulis and is extending in a ravine cut into the mountain during prehistoric times by the sea and is boarded by a small stone wall.
Although there are ten beaches in Hydra, they are not the main attraction here. Mandraki is one of the few true beaches of Hydra. It is a pebbled beach with clear waters, which offers windsurfing, water-skiing, beach volley and more. Vlyhos Beach is another. It too is a small-pebbled beach with crystal-clear waters. A few taverns are available nearby. Hydronetta is a rocky swimming area with cemented sun decks and exquisite blue waters. Be sure to visit the sea cave of Bariami, as it has been converted into a swimming pool. Swimming, fishing, snorkeling, diving, windsurfing and water skiing are many of the outdoor activities, which are available to you.
In Hydra you will find plenty of rooms for rent, small hotels housed in renovated old mansions, shops, banks, pharmacies and a plethora of various types of eating establishments.
Hydra 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 wee hours of the morning.
If you are interested in spending your vacations at an extremely picturesque and traditional and at the same time cosmopolitan and much-frequented resort, seize the opportunity to visit the island of Hydra in order to relish an unforgettable experience.