SARONIC GULF ISLANDS GREECE
Pronunciation: 'ee-dra' Tel. code: 2298/ Hydra Port Authority: Tel: 52 279/Tourist Ploice: 52 205
How to get to Hydra
Many every day to other islands of the Saronic Gulf and up to 12 hydrofoils daily from Piraeus Marina Zeas. Many more to The Pelopnnese's ports of Naufplion, Porto Heli and Ermioni. Less often to Monemvassia and Kythira.
HYDRA: GENERAL CHARACTERISTICS
Hydra is the third major island of the Saronic Gulf and is almost over-run by tourists on weekends and in late summer. All the same Hydra's unique cosmopolitan charm gives it an identity all its own, so much so that many international artists, writers and jet-setters call it home at least part of the year.
Hydra's main town and port is distinguished by several large mansions and its streets by distinctive cobblestones. In past years the local population built up a large merchant fleet and many of the mansions are homes of successful ship owners. Chic boutiques and crafty stores line the limani (harbor) along with excellent restaurants serving a wide variety of international and local cuisine.
At night Hydra comes ito its own with a vibrant taverna, bar and disco scene and many languages can be heard. You'll have no problem making yourself understood on Hydra but will have a problem with accommodations if you don't reserve well in advance. There is a yacht marina on Hydra.
Where is Hydra
Map of Hydra
HYDRA: REGIONAL FEATURES
Hydra has a land mass of 50 sq. km., 56 km. of coast and a population of about 3000 people. Piraeus is 36 miles away. Primarily hilly, rocky and barren Hydra suffers from water shortages much of the summer and water is brought in by boats towing fresh water filled submersible rubber cylinders. Potable water is readily available in bottled form. Many of Hydras beaches are rocky and its sandier ones are organized for resorts. Caiques (sm. water taxis) are available to transport you to nicer swimming spots around the island notably Mandraki.
There are no cars or motorized vehicles allowed on the island. Donkeys and by foot are how you'll get about.Hydra Town is the only major population center but Kamina, 2 km NE of Hydra town has a small harbor with one or two tavernas and shops. Swimming is possible off the rocks as well.
Mandraki, 4 km NE of Hydra town is a small village with Hydras best beach which is comprised of small pebbles. There are facilities for windsurfing and paddle boats for hire.
Due to Hydras close proximity to the Peloponnese it has many connections to other island locales including: Poros, Aegina, Spetses and Methana and other ports of the Peloponnese including Naufplion.
HYDRA'S HISTORCAL IMPORTANCE AND SITES
Two of the stone built mansions have been converted into public institutes and are available for public viewing.
The Great House of the Tsamados Family has been converted to the School of the Merchant Marine and is the oldest such institution in Greece.
The School of Fine Art is housed in the Mansion of Emmanuel Tombazis.
Several monasteries occupy the island and are an hour or two away by donkey ride. the Monastery of the Prophet Elias and the Convent of Aghia Efpraxia being the two most notable.
HYDRA: DINING AND DRINKING
The Xeri Elia-Douskos is one of the oldest restaurants on the island and is situated in an attractive square under the trees. The Ouzerie, 'To Laikon' on the ground floor of the Merchant Marine Mansion is a traditional style watering hole renown for its mezedes (appetizers) and before dinner clientele.