There are a lot of activities for every taste and style while in Athens but one of our favourites that combine mostly all that Greece has to offer is a day visit to Hydra, the island where motor vehicles do not exist!
The picturesque island of Hydra is often chosen by writers, painters, poets and filmmakers these many decades past as their favourite place in Greece.
The island lies in the Aegean Sea, just as the Saronic Gulf turns into the Argolic Gulf. Only 90 minutes by hydrofoil or catamaran journey from Piraeus, Hydra is an easy place to get to.
First shown to the world thanks to the famous 1957 film “Boy on a Dolphin”, Hydra quickly became a gathering place for jet-setters. Up to this day, Hydra is one of the most cosmopolitan destinations in Greece.
From the moment you reach the port, a strange magical feeling will surround you. You will probably be surprised by the many donkeys waiting at the landing quays. Remember, in Hydra, no motor vehicles are allowed, so your options are your feet, a donkey ride or a bike…
We recommend you start your visit with a stroll through the town’s picturesque cobblestone streets.
Then, if the weather permits, get ready for a long walk (or a shorter donkey ride), leaving the town and heading southwards to the beach of Palamida, one of the very few sandy beaches on this small paradise.
It will probably take you longer than most guides say, simply because you will enjoy the scenery along the way.
If you want to do something more after the fun of sun and beach, do continue your exploration by visiting the Captains’ Mansions.
That of Tsamadou on the left-hand side of the harbour is now a Maritime Academy. The Tombazi one is now part of the School of Fine Arts. The Kountouriotis mansion operates as an extension branch of the National Museum of History, while those of Boudouris, Kriezis, Voulgaris and Miaoulis are all worth visiting as they have delightful collections of 18th-century island furniture.