Discovering Aegean beauty has become my favorite thing to do while in Greece. The Greek territory has around 6000 islands and islets in the Aegean and Ionian Sea from which only 227 are inhabited. I’m on a mission to discover most of them and today I will talk about Hydra island and what you need to know.
Why go to Hydra island?
Wanna escape the noise, the traffic and the people? I have the perfect place for you as I’m hunting down the best spots in Greece. Hydra island is relatively small, you can walk almost anywhere and it feels incredible not to have cars around. It’s a bit like traveling back in time. The small picturesque island is ideal for those that look for peace, tranquility and a total shift of environment. Practicing slow living has been my favorite thing ever and being on islands like these I can relax completely and live without stress and rush.
Every day we rush to work, we rush to get the bus in time, we rush to take the kids to school, we rush for everything. This style of living is slowly killing us by making us extremely stressed, anxious and sick. Becoming aware and making small changes towards what we seek to obtain will ultimately make us happy. We should always be happy where we are in life, but never become complacent with how the situation is. We can achieve anything we put our mind to. I can write motivational speeches all day haha, but back to the topic.
What to do in Hydra island?
- Explore Hydra Town
This is the main town of the island populated with lots of colorful houses, restaurants and shops. The lovely Venetian architectural style plays a big role in shaping the face of the town. Walking the narrow cobbled streets you will discover lovely bakery, jewelry and clothing shops which offer a variety of summer linen clothes. In restaurants you can find traditional Greek and Mediterranean cuisine. As you walk up into town you can get lost in the maze. Nevertheless the spectacular view over the bay is totally worth it. Reserve one day to explore this main area in detail and also to take those nice pictures.
2. Explore the surroundings
After seeing the main area of the island go right and left of Hydra town. There are paths along the sea where you can walk to the nearest beach, have dinner at one of the restaurants overlooking the sunset or simply sit on a bench enjoying the views and putting your thoughts in order. I walked to Mandraki beach and on the way there I spotted the most amazing looking water. See below. Also, on the other side of the island I walked up to Vlychos beach, took a swim there and came back to town at night. For the sand lovers, like me, there’s no sandy beaches. But still enjoyed the pebbled ones.
3. Take a water taxi
Since cars are not allowed, the only form of transportation is either donkey or a water taxi boat. You can actually walk across the island to go to Limnioniza beach, or take a water taxi to Bisti, Mpisti and Agios Nikolaos beach. The boats are always up and down taking people from one place to another
4. Spend the day at the beach
The further you go from town the less people you will find. And if you travel at the beginning of the summer or the end, there won’t be so many. You can enjoy having your private beach. You can take a water taxi and spend the whole day sleeping on the beach like me, or reading, doing crochet, writing or any other activity.
5. Sail around
Another option would be to rent a boat and sail it yourself if you have the knowledge or go with a qualified person. Get a group of friends together and have the best time of your life swimming in the clear waters of the Aegean Sea. There are many boats positioned in the bay and outside of it.
Steps to take when you have decided to go to Hydra Island
- Buy a ferry ticket
With every travel that I take, the first thing that I do when I decided where to go is to find out how to get there. If you are like me and want the cheapest option possible you will search extensively. In the case of Hydra you can only go there by ferry. I went from Piraeus Port and it took a bit over 1h. The trick of buying cheap tickets at their normal price with no fees added is to buy them straight from the ferry company.
Some websites might be a bit misleading and you might think that you are buying the ticket from the company itself when in reality you aren’t. If you do not see at checkout a 10 Euro fee, then it means you bought the ticket from the right place. For example, if you want to check Alpha lines, go on their website and book the ticket there. The price difference when booking through intermediaries can be up to 30 Euros depending from where you buy.
Another tip and trick which I had to go through in order to learn is to never take a taxi from the street. At least not in Athens/Piraeus area. The taxi drivers are big scammers and they can claim after you paid them that you only gave 5 euro instead of 20. They will try to manipulate you and play mind games with you. The best thing to do is to book your taxi through an app like Uber or other that you know of. Like this you are sure that you cannot be scammed.
2. Search for accommodation
Sometimes it happens that I find a really cool location that I wanna go to and I don’t search any information beforehand and I proceed straight to buying a ticket. After I get to the accommodation part I realize, oops, it’s kind of expensive. Well, Hydra is like that. The cheapest accommodation that I could find was 50 euro/night. Thanks to Facebook groups I was able to find something quite fast since here you can talk with the owners and even get a discount as they do not have to pay a third party.
- no cars
- expensive accommodation
- back in time feel
Thank you for sticking around till the end. This is what you need to know about Hydra island. I hope I was able to convey the main idea and the vibe of the island. If you’re looking to go to other Greek islands, check out my other posts on Santorini. And stay around for the next explorations as I discover more Greek islands. Also, you can follow me on Instagram to see more of these magical islands.