Frozen in time yet a top modern jet-setting hot spot, Hydra has not only managed to keep its legacy intact over the centuries, but has become a trendy destination in doing so. Its classic profile as the home of several shipping-magnate families hasn’t changed much, as it still enjoys an aristocratic following and sees many second and third-generation natives visiting large family mansions throughout the summer here.

Fear not: everyday folk and travelers from all economic backgrounds are welcome here and sure to find something, (if not everything) to love about this island. The characteristic which stands out most about the island is the absence of motor vehicles, aside from a couple municipal garbage and service trucks. Anyone who is visiting the island after a stay in Athens is sure to appreciate the lack of traffic and noisy motorbikes!

But Hydra is so much more than what it lacks. Magical stone mansions paired with cobbled alleyways under the quiet spell of time, transport visitors to another era and stir both the imagination and the desire to explore and wander around the town. Your wanderlust will pay off, as some of the island’s best seafood restaurants are tiny, unassuming venues tucked away into labyrinthine alleyways. The fact that you’ll be walking everywhere acts as an extra incentive to enjoy not only in the island’s well-known and revered cuisine, but also to indulge in its trademark sweet, almond marzipan known as “Amigdalota”.

If the walks within the harbor and wider town area are intriguing, those into the island’s verdant countryside will not disappoint even the most seasoned explorers. With one of the most intricate and complex trail systems throughout the Greek isles, you could spend months before traversing them all. Hidden valleys, old goat farms, centuries-old monasteries and secret beaches are just some of what walks on Hydra have to offer.

The most of the island’s numerous mansions have either been turned into museums or unique accommodation options, offering a high dose of authentic culture and class which is reflected throughout Hydra as a whole. It’s an ideal place for romantics, nature lovers, artists and old souls, regardless of what age you are. And situated just a three-hour boat ride from Athens, it’s the perfect excuse to escape the capital for an unforgettable getaway.

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Location - Hydra Island

Route 1: Profitis Ilias to the harbor

This uphill journey begins from Hydra Town harbor and meanders its way up the island’s highest point, a hill where the monastery of Profitis Ilias lies. You’ll need to follow the town’s main street (Miaoulis). Past the horse stables, a road with three lanes and lined with trees, leading to the Church of Agios Konstantinos. Instead of reaching the church, take the first left (almost a U turn) upwards and follow along until you notice a vague trail veering off towards the left.

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Spilia, Hydroneta and Avlaki, Hydra

Though technically not beaches, these three spots offer a place to swim not far off from Hydra town. A ladder leads the way into the water from the rocky coast.

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It should come as no surprise that this island devoid of cars and other vehicles is a top hiking spot throughout the country. Its many diverse paths offer walkers of all abilities some of the best routes in Greece, particularly during spring and autumn. Along the way, the island’s beautiful scenery and rich flora can be enjoyed just about everywhere, be it along the coast, through the meadows or up in the mountains. Many flower species are endemic to the island and found nowhere else.

The downside is that the path system is so intertwined and complicated, that finding your way around can be time-consuming and confusing. Many trails aren’t even included on most hiking maps, and other are misrepresented with either a complete lack of, or inaccurate signage. But this is also what makes walking so exhilarating here: hidden valleys and secret beaches pop up unexpectedly and new paths converge with the old so that you can never truly say you’ve seen it all. Thankfully, once you learn the three main trails, venturing off along the smaller, intersecting paths is much easier and enjoyable.

Route 1: Profitis Ilias to the harbor

This uphill journey begins from Hydra Town harbor and meanders its way up the island’s highest point, a hill where the monastery of Profitis Ilias lies. You’ll need to follow the town’s main street (Miaoulis). Past the horse stables, a road with three lanes and lined with trees, leading to the Church of Agios Konstantinos. Instead of reaching the church, take the first left (almost a U turn) upwards and follow along until you notice a vague trail veering off towards the left.

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Route 2: Zourvas Monastery to the Lighthouse

This is one of Hydra’s most challenging yet beautiful trails. It takes a while, so plenty of water and snacks are ideal. Due to difficult signage and overall difficulty, it is highly recommended that you take the water taxi to the monastery and begin your hike from there, rather than arduously trying to reach it and being exhausted before the real route even begins!

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Route 3: Hydra Town to Episkopi

This is a great path to take in the warmer months, as it’s the flattest of all three and it passes several beaches along the way. Leave Hydra Town by following the coast towards the coastal hamlet of Kamini, and once you reach its beach, continue along the dirt road to Vlihos.

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Agios Nikolaos beach, Hydra

This beautiful beach features clear, blue waters and is partially organized. You can reach it by boats which leave from the harbor. It’s located on the island’s southwest side.

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Bisti beach, Hydra

Within Hydra’s most northwestern gulf lies the beach of Bitsi, with blue-green waters and several pine trees. The beach is accessible by boat.

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Kaoumithi beach, Hydra

This pristine beach lies in the northwestern section of the island, with pine trees surrounding its turquoise waters, and offering bathers calm and serenity.

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Limnioniza beach, Hydra

The beach of Limnioniza can be found along Hydra’s southeastern coast and can be reached by foot along a trail. It isn’t organized and doesn’t offer any natural shade, so bring an umbrella if you plan on staying a while.

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Molos beach, Hydra

In the northeastern section Hydra, this beach offers bathers deep blue waters and blissful views of the opposite islet of Kivotos.

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Palamidas beach, Hydra

Deep within a gulf just northwest of Hydra’s main harbor, this small beach is a great place to relax and enjoy its crystal clear waters. It’s right next to the Voulgari Mansion.

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Spilia, Hydroneta and Avlaki, Hydra

Though technically not beaches, these three spots offer a place to swim not far off from Hydra town. A ladder leads the way into the water from the rocky coast.

Find Out More

Route 1: Profitis Ilias to the harbor

This uphill journey begins from Hydra Town harbor and meanders its way up the island’s highest point, a hill where the monastery of Profitis Ilias lies. You’ll need to follow the town’s main street (Miaoulis). Past the horse stables, a road with three lanes and lined with trees, leading to the Church of Agios Konstantinos. Instead of reaching the church, take the first left (almost a U turn) upwards and follow along until you notice a vague trail veering off towards the left.

Find Out More

Spilia, Hydroneta and Avlaki, Hydra

Though technically not beaches, these three spots offer a place to swim not far off from Hydra town. A ladder leads the way into the water from the rocky coast.

Find Out More

Historic Archives – Museum of Hydra

Athens & Nearby Islands / Hydra Island
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Monastery of Agios Nikolaos

Athens & Nearby Islands / Hydra Island
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Athens & Nearby Islands / Hydra Island
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The remnants of several castles and fortifications can be seen while exploring the island of Hydra. Some of these include the small castle aptly named “Kastraki” which dates back from the 17th century and stands along the island’s coastline.

Photo: www.hydra.gr

Continuing onward, the island’s former naval station and original harbor are found at a site known as “Mandraki”. They date back to the 16th and 18th century, respectively, and today have been turned into the Mira Mare Hotel. Along the way, the fortified structure known as “kastro” becomes visible. It dates back to the 16thcentury, though its present form is a result of reconstruction undergone during the years of the revolution of 1821.

Agia Evpraxias Monastery

Athens & Nearby Islands / Hydra Island
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Church of Ipapanti

Athens & Nearby Islands / Hydra Island
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Church of the Dormition of the Virgin Mary

Athens & Nearby Islands / Hydra Island
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Monastery of Agios Nikolaos

Athens & Nearby Islands / Hydra Island
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Monastery of Profitis Ilias

Athens & Nearby Islands / Hydra Island
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The Church of Agios Konstantinos

Athens & Nearby Islands / Hydra Island
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The Monastery of Agia Triada

Athens & Nearby Islands / Hydra Island
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Lighthouse of Zourvas

Athens & Nearby Islands / Hydra Island
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Athens & Nearby Islands / Hydra Island
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Statue of Adonis Oikonomos

Athens & Nearby Islands / Hydra Island
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Statue of Andreas Miaoulis

Athens & Nearby Islands / Hydra Island
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Statue of Antonios Kriezi

Athens & Nearby Islands / Hydra Island
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Statue of Nicolas Jorge

Athens & Nearby Islands / Hydra Island
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Tomb of Pavlos Koundouriotis

Athens & Nearby Islands / Hydra Island
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Windmills, Hydra

Athens & Nearby Islands / Hydra Island
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Ecclesiastic and Byzantine Museum

Athens & Nearby Islands / Hydra Island
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Historic Archives – Museum of Hydra

Athens & Nearby Islands / Hydra Island
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Mansions, Hydra

Athens & Nearby Islands / Hydra Island
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A remarkable number of wildflowers grow on Hydra, including several rare species. Common varieties to the island include daffodils, cyclamens, and poppies which dot the countryside along with cypress and pine trees, thyme and other bushes, as well as century-old olive trees.

The olive and sage, have been held in high regard due to their nutritious properties down through millennia, and grow in abundance throughout Hydra. Aromatic Thyme leaves are made into a medicinal oil as well as used in various aromas. Without a doubt, the pine tree is the island’s most abundant plant, and it can be seen growing in various places throughout the island along with the cypress tree. Both are typically found along the limestone bluffs around Hydra.

Historic Archives – Museum of Hydra

Athens & Nearby Islands / Hydra Island
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Monastery of Agios Nikolaos

Athens & Nearby Islands / Hydra Island
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Rafalias Pharmacy

Athens & Nearby Islands / Hydra Island
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Hydra is home to several types of migratory as well as permanent bird species, including thrushes, turtle doves, quails and partridges. Several small mammals including wild hares and rabbits, the unique wild goat of Hydra and a large variety of amphibians and reptiles complete Hydra’s rich ecosystem.

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Cotommatae 1810 4 *

Athens & Nearby Islands / Hydra Island
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Cotommatae 1810 4 *

Athens & Nearby Islands / Hydra Island
Book with booking.com

Cotommatae 1810 4 *

Athens & Nearby Islands / Hydra Island
Book with booking.com

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