is one of the most charming islands in the Saronic Gulf known for its beauty and light. The island has captured the imagination of international poets, painters and celebrities, inspired by the landscape, to create a haven of creativity. The tranquility of the port without cars provides the backdrop for lively activities. Magical things happen on Hydra. As Hydra is a car-free island, you can instead ride a donkey; there are more than 1000 on the island that provides a means of transportation, in addition to water taxis. You can also ride a horse through the town’s cobblestone alleyways, with the shortest excursion at 45 minutes. Hiking is popular on Hydra with many organized routes through the scenic countryside filled with wild flowers, cypress, pine and olive trees.
There’s also Hydra’s Trail Race, one of the most popular trail running activities in Greece. The island is famous for its many quality art galleries and exhibitions. The unique architecture of the port town, on the slopes of a hill, is distinguished by the old traditional stone houses and elegant mansions built by the island’s noble ship-owners; prominent figures in the Naval Heritage of Greece and the Greek War of Independence (1821). With 300 churches and six monasteries on the island, the Easter tradition on Hydra is celebrated with a unique in Greece ‘maritime Epiphany’ in the sea and spectacular Resurrection, with the sky filled with thousands of colored fireworks.
Visit the picturesque fishing village of Kamini, with the adjacent, beautiful pebble beach (Mikro Kamini) with a choice of traditional taverns to savor the taste of the freshest fish. A scenic walk back from Kamini to the harbor (about one kilometer), follows the coastal path with marvelous views. The sparkling beauty of Hydra town is unforgettable. The charm of the narrow streets, lined with handicraft and jewelry shops, galleries and lovely, colorful bougainvilleas in pink, deep purple, white and orange, capture the mood of Greek island life. A cultural highlight of the island is the Lazaros Koundouriotis Mansion (National Historic Museum), the restored mansion of Lazaros Koundouriotis, an important political figure before and during the Greek War of Independence with exhibits of family heirlooms and historical collections.
One of the most inspirational activities you can do while visiting Hydra is the Hydra Walking Tour. The walk begins at the Merchant Marine Academy, dating from the 18th century, and the statue of ‘Miaoulis’ representing the island’s modern history and strong presence in the War of Independence (1821). There’s the possibility for a donkey ride (the island’s traditional mode of transportation) before visiting a traditional patisserie (1930) and enjoying its famous macaroons. You’ll delve into local history with a stop at the local flag and its symbolism and visit the square where scenes from a ‘James Bond’ film were shot, as well as square dedicated to the Prime Ministers of Greece originating from Hydra. Other highlights include ‘Rafalia’, one of the oldest pharmacies in Europe, housed in a renovated 19th century neoclassical building, the Monastery of the Assumption of Mary, as well as the Ecclesiastical Museum and the cannons of the island, with a view to the small island where the oldest shipwreck in the world (2,200 BC) was discovered in 1975. The tour lasts about 45 minutes and can be combined with other tours in a combo-tour package. You can either purchase the tour on board, as it is not included in the ticket price, or contact us to help you choose the best package.