Saronic Gulf, Greece

Hydra is a cosmopolitan island in the Saronic Gulf, close to Athens. On this page, you can find useful information about the trip to the regal island, the best beaches, activities and attractions, as well as all ferry schedules. Book cheap ferry tickets to Hydra on Ferryhopper in just 4 clicks!

Stone houses at a quaint alley in Hydra

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 unspoilt feeling. The use of cars and motorcycles is not allowed on the island to preserve its original character. 

During your holidays in Hydra, you can walk around the old town and the port, hike in the beautiful nature, dive in deep blue waters and taste delicious dishes. Hydra is really popular with travelers looking for a peaceful vacation in a virgin destination. Maria Callas, Leonard Cohen, Greek poet Giorgos Seferis, famous painters Pablo Picasso and Nikos Hadjikyriakos-Ghikas, as well as more international celebrities loved spending time on the island!

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 routes all year round, and the journey duration is 2.5 hours on average. You can also catch a ferry from mainland Greece at the ports of Ermioni and Porto Cheli during the summer season. The port towns of the Peloponnese are really close to the island of Hydra. You can drive or catch a public bus to the 2 towns from Athens.

What to do in Hydra

The beautiful island of Hydra is a great destination for relaxing vacation. There are small beaches with rocks, pebbles and crystal-clear waters, where you can swim and take in the sun. For history enthusiasts, the island is full of opportunities! You can visit interesting museums, old mansions and amazing monuments. 

Moreover, Hydra is a perfect place to have fun by night at one of the clubs and hippie bars by the port and try delicious Greek food such as almond biscuits and fresh fish at one of the cafés and restaurants.

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: Mikro Kamini 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 vacation apartments in the area.
  • Vlychos: It is one of the most popular beaches in Hydra. It’s covered in small grey pebbles and its crystal-clear waters are great for families. There are seaside restaurants, cafés and holiday rentals in the village of Vlychos.
  • Molos: This 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 (30-minute walk from the port) or on 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: The 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.
  • 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.

Avlaki beach in Hydra with rocks and emerald waters

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, which speak volumes about 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 unspoilt nature of the island and attend cultural events. Here are some of 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.

The statue of Greek war hero Andreas Miaoulis by the sea

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 with a focus on simplicity and intense flavors. The cuisine of the island mainly focuses on fresh fish and seafood, which are cooked in a number of 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
  • Kiafa
  • Avlaki
  • Kamini
  • Vlychos
  • Molos 
  • Mandraki
  • Episkopi

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.

Quaint harbor in Hydra with clear waters and small boats

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! Motorized vehicles such as cars and motorcycles are not allowed on the island and you can only get around on foot or by water taxi. The port of Hydra has many visitor amenities such as pharmacies, super markets, ATMs and a hospital. Most travelers stay at Mandraki, Vlychos and Hydra Town. 

The island is quite popular during Easter and the Miaouleia Festival, so make sure you book ferry tickets and accommodation well in advance if you’re planning to visit.

Useful phone numbers for your stay in Hydra

Here are some useful phone numbers for your trip to Hydra:

  • Port Authority of Hydra: +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 walking or using a water taxi service. The island is relatively small and easy to get around, so you will not miss your vehicle and you’ll have the chance to experience an eco-friendly vacation!

Ports in Hydra

The port of Hydra is located on the north coast of the island in Hydra Town. The port serves ferry routes from mainland Greece and nearby islands. There are accommodation options, super markets and restaurants at the port.

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 neighboring islands such as 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!

Content cat sitting at the entrance of a beautiful old house in Hydra

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 from the port of Piraeus. You can also catch a ferry to Hydra from Porto Cheli 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 2.5 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 Cheli - Hydra: The sailing from Porto Cheli to Hydra is available twice a day during the summer and it lasts approximately 1 hour.

Where to book ferry tickets online to Hydra

The weekend is approaching and you want to get away from the city for a few days? Find information about the trip to Hydra in 2021 and the Saronic Gulf, compare ferry companies, see real-time ferry schedules and book ferry tickets online on Ferryhopper with no extra fees

Travel tips & links

Frequent ferry connections

Nearby destinations

Hydra has direct ferry connections with 6 ports :

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