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Hydra Island Greece

Hydra Island Greece - The Island of Artists

Hydra Island Greece is a special island as there is no mechanised transport. Donkeys and our own feet do the work. The island thus maintains its timeless qualities and peaceful atmosphere.There is something special in the air here, and artists have been drawn here for centuries.

Looking down the steep mountain to the little harbour below (Image by Rosino)

The port of Hydra Ύδρα has to be one of the prettiest ports in Greece, with a crescent-shaped, small bay surrounded by steep hills with white houses, terracotta roofs and local stone sea captains' mansions.

Rooftop View over the port (Image by Karol m)

The unique architecture of the island is evident upon approach to Hydra port. Large stone manors dot the hillside. These are natural grey of the local rock, and represent the height of the trade and shipping wealth of the island in the late 18th Century. These imposing houses stand four storeys high and command wonderful views over the gulf to the Peloponnese.

The island is not far from the mainland of the Peloponnese, and is easy to access from Athens, making it a destination for many Athenians. The wealth of the island over centuries has resulted in a unique and cosmopolitan town.

Artists and jet-setters alike discovered the island in the fifties and sixties, and the mixture of characters and nationalities in its varied community makes for a very interesting culture of arts, drama, fine arts and music.

"This rock is a living rock, a divine wave of energy suspended in time and space, creating a pause of long or short duration in the endless melody. Hydra was entered as a pause in the musical score of creation by an expert calligrapher.Henry Miller about Hydra in his book The Colossus of Maroussi.

The movie Boy on a Dolphin with Sophia Loren was filmed in Hydra in 1957, and Girl in Black was filmed here in 1960 by Michaelis Kakogiannis.

In 1962, Melina Mercouri and Anthony Perkins starred in Phaedra filmed on the island, these films giving rise in that era to an international reputation for the island.

Beloved Greek writer George Seferis has lived on and written about this island, and writer-singer Leonard Cohan also lived here.

Accommodation in Hydra

Harbour Views from guesthouse right near the port
Lotus Home Sweet Home - Hydra
Villa Ostria Hydra

The character of the port of Hydra is in its little thin lane ways and courtyards, its higgledy piggledy collection of houses climbing back from the harbour.

We have chosen small guesthouses close to the port.

And some beachside accommodation away from the port.

Yes Hydra can be expensive, it is very close to Athens and popular with international and Greek visitors. It is best to visit during the shoulder seasons of spring and autumn, this is the best time to enjoy the flowers blooming and take in the quiet of the town without too many summer visitors.

Make sure to book ahead to grab your ideal accommodation at the price you want. There are many lovely affordable places to stay on the island. Be aware that the hills around the port are quite steep so any houses a few streets back from port could mean a steep walk.

Explore Hydra

A horse shoe shaped by ringed by steep sides (Image by misviajes)

Looking around town, enjoy

  • the narrow lane ways
  • horse or donkey rides
  • local museums
  • distinctive architecture
  • the Virgin Mary Cathedral
  • visit the Lanzaros Koundouritis Historical Mansion
  • take a historical walking tour

Further from the port, explore

  • Spilia rocky seaside swimming very close to port with a cafe of the same name
  • Walking west around the headland to the village of Kamini
  • Stroll around to the bastion to enjoy the views back to Hydra port
  • Further from Hydra explore Ermioni seaside village on Peloponnisos or nearby ports of Spetses, Porto Heli or Poros
  • Take a yacht charter to nearby uninhabited islands with crystal clear waters

Hydra Beaches

Vlichos Beach is 2 km west of Hydra port - get there by water taxiVlichos Beach is 2 km west of Hydra port

Hydra Island Greece - explore many beautiful swimming spots, with stunning clear waters, those easiest to reach from the port are:

  • Spilia - on the rocks west of the port - swim from the rocks and relax at the cafe of the same name
  • Hydronetta - just a little further around the point - swimming off the rocky shore and just chillin at the cafe, under the canons
  • Avlaki - a small pebbly cove beach at the bottom of some fairly steep steps, worth the visit for the blue green clear sea
  • Kaminia Beach - To get from Hydra Port to Kaminia seaside village, take a very pretty stroll along the coastline for about 15-20 minutes to the west of Hydra port. Or take a water taxi, perhaps walk one way and take a water taxi back to the main port.
  • Vlichos Beach (as pictured above) is a 20 minute walk from Hydra port along the coastal pathway, or get a water taxi, or perhaps walk one way and get a water taxi back
  • Limnioza Beach - this secluded beach is one of the most beautiful on Hydra, is on the eastern side of the island, reached by water taxi, hiking or donkey across the island
  • Bisti Beach - get there by water taxi

Hydra Greece Images

Below are some beautiful Hydra images:

Hydra Greece - one of the prettiest harbours on the Med
Arriving by ferry - terracotta rooftops and grey stone mansions (Image by Shane Gorski)
Blue wooden door on stone restored home (Image by Byrdiegirl)

On the Map

Here is an interactive Hydra map with our accommodation choices marked:

Getting to Hydra Greece

From Crete: a simple journey is to take the ferry to Pireaus then another ferry to Hydra Greece, however a more interesting route is to take the ferry from western Crete (Kissamos) to Gythion, then buses through the Peloponnese to Nafplio, Spetses or Ermioni, from where there are multiple daily ferries.

From Athens: several ferry services depart from Athens port of Pireaus each day. These are hydrofoils and are very quick, some take only 1.5 hours.

From Peloponnisos: from Ermioni and Porto Heli, there are several ferry services per day, and sea taxis are also available.


We trust you have enjoyed these tips from the We Love Crete team. Evíva!

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