The island of Hydra is situated approx. 44 nautical miles south-west from Athens in the Gulf of Saronikos. It is famous for its fine architecture, vivid nightlife, and cosmopolitan character. The main harbor and town, also known as Hydra, is built amphitheatrically around the port. The landscape is rocky with many hills, the highest being Eros at approx. 500m.
Landmarks and Museums
- Historical Archives Museum was founded in 1918. It displays artifacts and documents related to the historical, traditional, and cultural aspects of the island from 1708-1865.
- The Bastions with Cannons were used for the protection of the harbor from assault by the Ottoman fleet and pirates during the War of Independence.
- Merchant Marine Academy was founded in 1749 and is the first naval academy in Greece.
- Ecclesiastical Museum hosts ecclesiastical items, clothing of priests, and other holy items that date from the 18th century and the 19th century.
- Melina Merkouri Auditorium is used for art exhibitions and as a conference center. It has become a popular tourist spot for its display of paintings by famous artists.
- Koundouriotis Mansion was built in 1780 and is dedicated to Lazaros Koundouriotis, who played a vital role in the War of Independence. It features beautiful interiors, paintings by Greek artists, and jewelry and furniture belonging to the Koundouriotis family.
- The monastery of Agia Efpraxia is located on top of a hill and was built in 1865. Only a few nuns live in the monastery today. They also run a small embroidery workshop. There is a hiking trail from Hydra Town, 40 min on foot.
- The monastery of Prophet Elias is located at an altitude of 500m and is the only male monastery on the island. It was established in 1813. In 1825 the leading Greek revolutionary figure, Theodoros Koloktronis, was kept a prisoner in the monastery for 4 months.
- Church of The Assumption was established in 1643 and is located in the port of Hydra Town. It has a tall bell tower made of marble from Tinos.
As there are no motor vehicles allowed on Hydra, hiking is very popular. There are many old footpaths across the island, leading to secluded beaches and old monasteries. Diving is another activity that is developing in Hydra. There are many interesting reefs and caves around the island, ideal for divers.
Dokos Island is a small island between Hydra and Spetses that attracts mostly nature lovers and free campers.
Hydra Beaches: Most beaches in Hydra are pebbled and have beautiful green surroundings. Mandraki Beach is a pebbled and organized beach with various sports equipment for hire. Vlichos Beach is a small lovely beach with pebbles and crystal-clear water. Kaminia Beach is a small pebbled beach with shallow waters close to Hydra Town. Bisti Beach is run by the diving center of Hydra. Organized activities are kayak, snorkel, and scuba diving. Spilia is a beautiful rocky area with deep blue waters, ideal for diving. Hydroneta is a rocky swimming area. It has a popular bar hanging from the rocks with a magnificent view! Avlaki is a lovely tiny pebbled beach on the northern side of the island. Molos is another quiet, pebbled beach on the western side of Hydra. Limnioniza is a peaceful and beautiful beach, partly organized.