Hydra is one of the Saronic Islands located in Greece, and those islands can be found within the Aegean Sea. It is quite small at just over twenty-four square miles, and possible for visitors to explore every bit of it in one day.
This island is incredibly tranquil. No cars are allowed on the streets. People can travel either on foot or by horses or donkeys. The reason there are no vehicles on the island, except for garbage trucks, is because a law was passed prohibiting them at any time. No one misses their car while in Hydra because they love the quietness of this island.
Hydra is a destination that many people love for its inspirational and relaxing lifestyle. In fact, Leonard Cohen, a Canadian songwriter lived on this island for many years, because it was an excellent place for him to write his songs and enjoy life.
Many people may not know or realize the genuine beauty of this island before they visit Greece. However, they end up here because it is the closest island to Athens. Almost everyone ventures over to Hydra by ferry, because it offers a spectacular view during the journey. A few people will choose to fly to the island, but that is not as picturesque as the boat ride.
Although Hydra is a tiny island, there is plenty for visitors to do for a day, a week, or even longer. One of the first thing that you can do on the island is to visit the museums. Hydra’s Historical Archives and Museum has more than twenty thousand original manuscripts, rare documents, codices books, and other materials inside. There are also numerous artifacts on display and paintings by well-known artists.
What to do in Hydra
The Ecclesiastical Museum is located inside the Monastery of the Assumption of the Virgin Mary, which is Hydra’s main cathedral. This cathedral was originally constructed in 1643, but in 1774 an earthquake destroyed it. The current cathedral has two marble bell towers, frescoes from the 18th century, and elaborate décor. Inside the museum, you will see displays of religious objects, vestments, textiles, and other treasures.
Wandering around the island is one of the best ways to see the sights and experience some of the eclectic architecture. You can stroll along the streets, find the hidden alleyways and Hydra’s secret beauty. You can get lost while venturing but since the island isn’t that big, you will always find your way back.
While walking around, you have to make the trek from Kamini to Hydra Town. Kamini is a great fishing village, and the path that leads to Hydra Town doesn’t have any of the typical tourist destinations. Instead, you may want to explore the sights, John the Baptist parish church, and the mansion ruins.
During your downtime on the island of Hydra, the best way to unwind is on the beach. Bisti Beach is full of pebbles instead of sand, and the water is quite shallow for a someone to venture out far. This beach is somewhat more relaxing than the others because there are not too many touristy things to do. Not many people go there, so it is quieter and more serene. You can spend time soaking some sun or sit under the pine trees in the back for more shade.
You will need to take a boat to get to Bisti Beach, and the trip takes approximately twenty minutes each way. However, it is an excellent way for you to see the northern coast of Hydra and all the hidden islets on the western side of the island. Of course, you can also hike to Bisti Beach instead of taking a boat, but it can be strenuous and an arduous journey that can take roughly four hours or longer.
On the south-west part of the island, you can visit the Agios Nikolaos Beach by taking a boat. Agios Nikolaos Beach is also an excellent place for kids to play in the sand and go for a swim. Not far from the beach, you can get delicious meals without leaving the area or worry about taking all your stuff with you.
Where to grab something to eat
Before leaving Hydra, you must grab dinner at one of their best eateries, either at the Sunset Restaurant or Kodylenia’s. Sunset Restaurant is known as an excellent place to watch the sunset on the island, but it also serves very unique dishes made with the freshest ingredients.
Over at Kodylenia’s, the sunset is just as lovely when you sit on the terrace on the waterfront. You can devour delicious Greek and Mediterranean cuisine as you listen to the music in the background and watch the local fishermen out in the harbor.
Time definitely goes by quickly on Hydra Island. You will leave with the desire to return either when you come back to Greece, hoping you can spend even more time on this beautiful island.
Have you been to Hydra and would you want to live there? Post your comments below and let me know.