Saronic Gulf, Greece
Hydra is a cosmopolitan island in the Saronic Gulf, close to Athens. On Ferryhopper, you can find the best holiday tips and recommendations about Hydra, including the top beaches, activities and attractions, as well as all available ferry schedules. Plan the trip of your dreams and book ferry tickets to Hydra on Ferryhopper in just a few clicks!
Quaint paved alley in Hydra
Vacation in Hydra
Hydra is in the southern part of the Saronic Gulf, off the coast of the Peloponnese. The island is known as the “Lady of the Saronic Gulf”, due to its exquisite old mansions and quaint alleys. The island of Hydra charms visitors at first sight and takes you back in time with its unspoiled beauty and architecture. The use of cars and motorcycles is not allowed on the island to preserve its original character.
During your holidays in Hydra, you can explore its tranquil port, follow beautiful hiking trails around the island, dive into deep blue waters and taste delicious dishes. Hydra is popular among travelers looking for a peaceful vacation on an island where time moves slower, allowing you to cherish the beauty around you.
How to get to Hydra
The best way to get to Hydra is by ferry from the port of Piraeus in Athens. There are daily connections all year round that last 2.5 hours on average. You can also catch a ferry at the ports of Ermioni and Porto Heli in the summer. These two port towns of the Peloponnese are rather close to the island of Hydra. You can drive or catch a public bus from Athens to get there easily.
What to do in Hydra
The beautiful island of Hydra is a great destination for a relaxing vacation. There are small beaches with rocks, pebbles and crystal-clear waters, where you can swim and bathe in the sun. For history enthusiasts, the island is full of opportunities! You can visit interesting museums, old mansions and amazing monuments.
Maria Callas, Leonard Cohen, Greek poet Giorgos Seferis, famous painters Pablo Picasso and Nikos Hadjikyriakos-Ghikas, as well as other international celebrities, loved spending time on the island!
Hydra is also a perfect place to have fun at night at one of the energetic bars by the port. You can also try delicious Greek food, such as almond biscuits and fresh fish at one of the cafés and restaurants.
Discover below the best of Hydra, along with its many wonders!
Beaches in Hydra
Most beaches in Hydra are rocky and quiet with pebbles and diving platforms. They are perfect for diving and sunbathing under the warm Greek sun. You can get to the beaches either on foot or by water taxi. Here are some of the most popular beaches and diving spots in Hydra:
- Avlaki: this is a small pebble beach with emerald green waters and concrete diving platforms for sunbathing on the rocks! It is a 10-minute walk from the port of Hydra and it’s great to visit at night, as it is beautifully lit.
- Mikro Kamini: this is a small pebble beach with clear waters, visitor amenities and a beach bar. It is located by the village harbor and it’s great for kids. There are traditional tavernas and accommodation options in the area.
- Vlychos: it is one of the most popular beaches in Hydra. It’s covered in small gray pebbles and its crystal-clear waters are great for families. There are seaside restaurants, cafés and holiday rentals in the village of Vlychos, as well as a water sports center.
- Molos: Molos is a small wind-protected cove with sand. It’s great for secluded swimming and you can get there by water taxi.
- Mandraki: Mandraki is a small cove with inviting blue waters and sand. There are visitor amenities and water sports facilities on the beach. You can get there either on foot (a 30-minute walk from the port) or by boat.
- Bisti: it’s one of the prettiest beaches on the island with small pebbles, emerald green waters and visitor amenities. The beach is right next to a pine tree forest and it’s surrounded by tall rocks, perfect for diving and snorkeling.
- Agios Nikolaos: this wild pebble beach has visitor amenities, such as umbrellas and a café. It has blue waters and it’s one of the largest beaches on the island. You can only get there by boat, but make sure you arrange for your return before you catch the water taxi from the port of Hydra.
- Spilia: the coast of Spilia is close to the port of Hydra and it consists of several diving platforms among rocks, where you can dive in the beautiful waters and enjoy the sun as you arrive in Hydra!
- Hydronetta: the coast of Hydronetta is close to Spilia and it is a popular diving spot where you can enjoy the magical sunset, drink at the bar, and dive into the blue from the rocky steps.
The beautiful beach of Avlaki with emerald waters
Sightseeing in Hydra
Hydra is a Greek island of great historical significance. Apart from the impressive manor houses, there are more beautiful buildings and sites of historical and cultural value on the island, echoing the rich past of Hydra. Ferryhopper suggests that you visit the following attractions in Hydra:
- Historical Archive - Museum of Hydra
- Ecclesiastical Byzantine Museum of Hydra
- Monastery of the Assumption of the Virgin Mary
- Lazaros Kountouriotis Historical Mansion
- Manor of George Kountouriotis
- The “Red House”
- Andreas Miaoulis Monument
- Hydra School of Fine Arts
Activities in Hydra
The island is a favorite destination for nature lovers and art enthusiasts. The peaceful island is often called the “island of artists”, as several Greek and international artists have spent time in Hydra. During your vacation, you can explore the unspoiled nature of the island and attend cultural events. Here are some of our favorite activities in Hydra:
- Visit Hydra during Greek Orthodox Easter to attend the ceremonial funeral procession of Christ. Locals carry the bier of Jesus Christ right into the sea!
- Attend Miaouleia Festival in June, a local festival celebrating Greek war hero Andreas Miaoulis.
- Visit a cultural exhibition by DESTE Foundation.
- Attend a concert at Melina Merkouri Hall.
- Catch an exhibition at Sachtouris Mansion.
- Go hiking on Mount Eros. You can walk on impressive hiking trails among picturesque churches and admire the view from the mountain.
- Sail around Hydra on a boat day trip.
Statue of Greek war hero Andreas Miaoulis
Nightlife in Hydra
Nights in Hydra are fun, colorful and vibrant! There are laid-back entertainment options, such as lounge bars and family restaurants, as well as lively clubs and beach bars, where you can dance and enjoy a drink until early morning hours.
Most nightlife options are at the port of Hydra, but there are also some beach bars in Mikro Kamini and Vlychos. There are also music festivals taking place during the summer months with a plethora of music options.
Food in Hydra
Hydra is famous for its fresh products and traditional recipes, defined by their simplicity and intense flavors. The cuisine of the island mainly focuses on fresh fish and seafood, which are cooked in numerous different ways. You can also try local desserts typical of the Greek island tradition. Ferryhopper suggests that you try the following dishes:
- Cod with garlic puree
- Amigdalota (almond biscuits with honey)
- Grilled calamari stuffed with peppers and herbs
- Mussels with parsley
- Fresh fish
Tip: visit the traditional taverna Xeri Elia, where Leonard Cohen used to enjoy his meals and write lyrics.
Villages in Hydra
Seeing that motorized vehicles are not allowed on the island, the villages of Hydra are mostly at a close distance from the port. You can visit the villages either on foot or by boat. Here are the major villages in Hydra:
- Hydra Town
- Kala Pigadia
Good to know: you can also visit the small islet of Dokos opposite Hydra. The islet has very few inhabitants and it’s a favorite among campers.
Small boats at a picturesque harbor in Hydra
Useful information for Hydra
Before you plan your trip to Hydra, make sure you’re ready for a vehicle-free vacation! Motor vehicles, such as cars and motorcycles, are not allowed on the island. You can only get around on foot or by water taxi.
Most accommodation and entertainment options, as well as visitor amenities, are located at the port of Hydra (or Hydra Town). Some travelers also stay at Mandraki and Vlychos.
Useful phone numbers for your stay in Hydra
Here are some useful phone numbers for your trip to Hydra:
- Hydra Port Authority: +302298052279
- Citizen Service Center of Hydra: +302298320930
- Police Station: +302298052205
- Municipality of Hydra: +302298320200
- “Kouloureio” Hospital of Hydra: +302298052208
- Multipurpose Regional Medical Center of Hydra: +302298052420, +302298029720-1
Transportation in Hydra
There’s no public transport on the island, as the use of cars and motorcycles is not allowed. You can explore the small island by walking or using a water taxi service. The island is relatively small and easy to get around, so you can still explore every corner at your own pace and experience an eco-friendly vacation!
Ports in Hydra
The port of Hydra is located on the north coast of the island in Hydra Town, serving ferry connections from mainland Greece and nearby islands. The port of Hydra has many visitor amenities, including pharmacies, supermarkets, ATMs and a hospital.
Island hopping from Hydra
Hydra is a great starting point for island hopping in the Saronic Gulf. There are direct ferry routes from the port of Hydra to the neighboring islands of Spetses, Aegina and Poros.
On Ferryhopper’s Map of ferries, you can explore all ferry routes in the Saronic Gulf to easily plan your island-hopping trip!
Cat relaxing by a beautiful old door in Hydra
Hydra ferry: schedules and tickets
Hydra is the perfect destination for short trips and weekend retreats from Athens, as the island is frequently connected by ferry to the port of Piraeus. You can also catch a ferry to Hydra from Porto Heli and Ermioni in the Peloponnese. Find more information on the ferry routes to Hydra below:
- Piraeus - Hydra: the easiest way to reach Hydra is to catch the ferry from the main port of Athens. There are frequent daily routes from Piraeus to Hydra with an average sailing duration of 1.5-2 hours, depending on the type of vessel.
- Ermioni - Hydra: the route is available twice a day during the summer. It only takes 25 minutes to reach Hydra from the port of Ermioni.
- Porto Heli - Hydra: the sailing from Porto Heli to Hydra is available 2-3 times a day during the summer and it lasts 45 minutes to 1.5 hours.
Where to book ferry tickets to Hydra online
The weekend is approaching and you want to get away from the city for a few days? Find information about getting to Hydra and the Saronic Gulf, compare ferry companies, browse real-time ferry schedules and book ferry tickets online on Ferryhopper!