Hydra, one of the most charming Greek islands, is placed in the heart of the Argo Saronic Gulf. One of the main reasons why Hydra is a popular destination is its proximity to Athens, as a ferry from Athens to Hydra, will get you to the beautiful island in just 2 hours. It’s the perfect option for a quick getaway! So are you ready to discover where is Hydra, how to get there, beaches, villages, things to do in this beautiful Greek island, what to to around it, where to stay and find best budget friendly hotels in Hydra, lets keep reading!

Having been a filming location of “A girl in black” and “Boy on a dolphin” movies, as well as a holiday destination for Leonard Cohen, Hydra stands out for its classy beauty!

In Hydra island, you won’t see any cars! Everyone uses their foot, boats or donkeys to get around the island. The cars ban, along with the elegant stone mansions of the island, create a charming atmosphere and make the island one of the most serene destinations near Athens.

Kamini Port, Hydra, Greece
Kamini Port, Hydra, Greece

More about Hydra Greece

Located in the heart of the Argo Saronic Gulf, pretty close to Athens, Hydra is, hands down, one of the most quaint Greek islands.

The charming atmosphere of the island has seduced many international jet setters and has been a retreat for famous personalities, such as Leonard Cohen, Maria Callas, Aristotle Onassis and many more! Elegant stone mansions, narrow alleys, donkeys walking around, churches, little shops, and a picturesque waterfront set the scene of an island fairytale! Given that there are no cars in Hydra and people usually get around by foot, the island’s roads are not clogged with traffic and fumes.

One of the best things to do in Hydra is to visit its museums. The Byzantine Museum, the Historical Archive Museum, the Post-Byzantine Art and History Museum and the National Historical Museum are some of the best museums to visit!

Moving away from the main town, you’ll discover picturesque villages, such as Kaminia and Vlichos, where you will immerse yourself in the traditional side of Hydra. Don’t miss to sit at the traditional taverns and taste fresh fish and local delicacies!

As for Hydra beaches, they are the ideal places to escape the summer heat! The best beaches in Hydra are Vlichos, Kaminia, Bisti and Agios Nikolaos, which you can reach by boats departing frequently from the main town!

Hydra island: Popular Holiday Destination in Greece

Hydra is the most impressive island in the Argo Saronic Gulf. Due to its close distance to Athens, it gets very popular as a summer weekend destination. The town is constructed on the slopes of a hill around a port and impresses visitors at first sight with the elegant stone mansions. The special thing about Hydra island is that cars and other motor vehicles are entirely prohibited in all the island, so all transport is done on foot, by boat or riding the donkey. In fact, the donkeys are very characteristic figures of Hydra Greece. Beaches on the island are actually small coves with crystal water and green surroundings. Agios Nikolaos, Bitsi, Vlichos and Kaminia are the most beautiful beaches on the island.

Hydra, a cosmopolitan, cultural island, once inhabited by revolutionaries and forever favoured by jetsetters. Discover the beauty of this tiny Greek island that has enchanted international jet setters, as well as artists like Chagall and Picasso. Close to Athens, this small, mountainous, arid island has for many years mesmerised travellers with its rich history and cultural allure. This island in the Argo Saronic Gulf nurtured a revolution, and won independence for an entire country. Hydra Town, Kaminia, Vlichos, Molos, Episkopi and Mandraki: Hydra in its entirety, in one small stroll.

Water taxis buzz around the island like bees. When you arrive you instantly feel the change of pace. The main port is cosmopolitan and elegant, with its 18th century mansions, captains’ homes, old churches, wells, and marble-cobbled lanes that fan out everywhere. A trip to take you back in time.

Where is Hydra

The island of Hydra is situated approximately 44 nautical miles south-west of from the Athens port of Piraeus in the Gulf of Saronikos. The hills of the Peloponnese can be clearly seen across the Saronic Gulf to the north of the island. Hydra is about 23km long and at its widest point almost 5.5km. The total area is approximately 48km2.

How to get to Hydra

Travel to Hydra island, Greece: Hydra is without a doubt one of the most unique destinations in Greece. On this page, you will find out in which ways you can reach this wonderful island!

Ways to travel to Hydra by ferry

There is a regular ferry connection between Hydra and Athens. Ferries depart from Piraeus port daily, almost 5 times per day. The trip lasts approximately 2 hours and the route is carried out by a high-speed vessel. Hydra is also connected by ferry with Poros, Spetses and the eastern part of the coast of Peloponnese.

Ways to travel near Hydra by flight

There is no airport in Hydra. The closest one is Athens International Airport “Eleftherios Venizelos”, which receives both domestic and international flights all year round. Upon your arrival at the airport of Athens, you need to reach Piraeus port and embark on the ferry to Hydra.

What to do in Hydra

An island without cars

As soon as you step onto the cobblestone harbour, you understand the allure. Hydra’s daily life hardly feels like the 21st century. Everything on this island (including your luggage!) is carried by mule, cart or hand. Cars don’t exist and aren’t allowed. The pace slows down. The well-preserved mansions and manors are like the set of an old movie.

Celebrities and movie stars … then and now

Hydra’s long naval history is apparent at every point of the harbour. Cannons still target the Aegean Sea, busts of admirals abound, and captains’ homes line the port. This is where revolutionaries lived, great men like Andreas Miaoulis and Georgios Kountouriotis. Alongside its rich history, is its cosmopolitan fame. On this is island in the Argosaronic Gulf, “Boy on a Dolphin”, starring Sophia Loren, was filmed.

Hydra has always been a favoured retreat of jetsetters and rock stars: Aristotle Onassis, Maria Callas, Rex Harrison, Peter Ustinov, Leonard Cohen, Eric Clapton, The Rolling Stones… as well as famous personalities of Arts & Letters, among them Picasso, Chagall, and Miller.

The big blue, incredible views and great food

The Periptero (kiosk), Spilia (cave) and Idroneta are three must-sees. At Periptero stop and take in the view and admire the huge cannons. At beautiful Spilia, leisurely sip your coffee and dive off the rocks into the Aegean. At Idroneta’s pier, dry off from your daily swim and rush to book a table for dinner.

Kaminia, an ‘artsy’ fishing village

Walk from town to Kaminia (furnaces), a picturesque marina. Discover the Red House, a significant attraction on the island, built in 1786, inhabited by Admiral Miaoulis, and now used for art exhibitions.

DESTE, the international avant-garden

The internationally renowned Greek collector Dakis Joannou chose the old slaughterhouses to create a showroom and exhibit space called DESTE Foundation for Contemporary Art. Innovative exhibits, hip happenings and events with international appeal attract famous visitors from all over the world each summer.

Things to do in Hydra island

A view of the Aegean from the Windmills

Climb to the oldest township in Hydra, Kiafa, located high above the harbour. This gem of a town is made up of narrow alleyways, impressive mansions, old grocery stores and boutique hotels. Move on to the seven windmills at the top of the hill of Agios Athanasios. You’ll be rewarded with the view.

Rafalias pharmacy

The Rafalias family has a history of 400 years on the island. And the pharmacy they founded in Hydra’s alleyways has been maintained the way it was in 1890, when it first opened.

The Prophet and Eros

Walk all the way up to the monastery of the Prophet Elias (1 hour if you’re fast) and from there, to the top Klimakio of Mount Eros. The panoramic view of Hydra and the Aegean will enchant you.

Beaches in Hydra

Most beaches in Hydra are pebbled and have picturesque, green surroundings. Excursion boats depart from the port and make the tour of the island, stopping at many Hydra beaches along the way. Most popular Hydra beaches are Vlichos, Kaminia, Bisti and Agios Nikolaos. You will find below a list with the best beaches in Hydra island. Except for the beaches, there are also many places for sightseeing.

List of all beaches in Hydra island

  • Vlichos
  • Kaminia
  • Spilia
  • Hydroneta
  • Avlaki
  • Bisti
  • Molos
  • Limnioniza
  • Mandraki
  • Agios Nikolaos

Villages of Hydra

The only village, and also the capital of the island, is Hydra Town, known for its traditional architecture with the stone houses and the paved streets. Other settlements on the island include Kaminia and Vlichos, but they are mostly tourist places with plenty of facilities. Some hotels and accommodation are located around these villages.

Discover our guide to 3 Hydra villages. They are all presented with a detailed description, photos and their location on a map of Hydra. For the most popular ones, we also provide information about sightseeing in the area, a selection of hotels and reviews.

Where to stay in Hydra

You will find below our selection with the best hotels on Hydra island! Want to see more? View all hotels in Hydra.

The most convenient hotels in Hydra are found in the main town, as they are located in the centre of all activities. These Hydra hotels have easy access to tourist facilities, nightlife spots and the port. Boats depart from the port of Hydra to various beaches around the island.

See Also: Where to go in Greece | Travel Destinations

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