I spent a wonderful weekend on Hydra, one of the closest islands to Athens.
Weekend on Hydra: 48 Hours
Well, my weekend on Hydra was more like 30 hours. In those hours, it was enough time to feel the island vibe and simply relax.
The island is located in the Saronic Gulf. A ferry boat ride from the port of Piraeus gets you there in about 1.5 hours. Here’s what you can do with a limited amount of time on the island.
Hydra Donkey Rides
The use of cars are forbidden on the island. I think that gave the island a real sense of calm. So how does one get around?
How about a donkey?
Don’t worry about finding them. Donkeys were everywhere on the island. The ones you can ride are stationed right in the center of the main harbor town. I got to hitch a ride on one by the name of Popi while Nectarios the donkey handler led the way.
Walk Around Hydra Town
If the donkey isn’t for you, just walk through charming Hydra Town which is the largest village on the island. Everything you might want is within walking distance.
The quaint stone paths of the town were lined with lovely traditional homes with brightly painted doors. The nice surprise was noticing gorgeous purple or pink bougainvillea flowers hanging over balconies and gates. Occasionally, I had the pleasure of catching the deliciously fragrant smell of pikrodafni flowers.
There were also some nice little boutique clothing and jewelry shops which I enjoyed browsing through. I can’t forget the charming stray cats that hung around every corner.
Go for a Swim on Hydra
I didn’t go swimming, but the water did look inviting. During the first afternoon, I watched some Germans take the plunge. They jumped off some stone steps that lead down to the sea. There are a few of them built right off the footpaths around town.
Have a Delicious Meal on Hydra
Hydra had a great selection of places to eat and have a coffee with a view. Check out my full list on my post: Where to Eat in Hydra.
Enjoy the Sunset
During my overnight stay on Hydra, one particular hour definitely stood out. I relaxed with a drink, felt the summer evening breeze on my skin. I simply enjoyed just being in the company of others who also appreciated watching the brilliant golden-orange sun set down into Greece’s calm sea.
Hydra Travel Tips
Cars are not allowed on the island. You can get around the way locals do: by foot, by donkey and by water taxi.
Beaches are best accessed by water taxi. You can find water taxis that stop at nearby beaches at the docks.
How to Get to Hydra
You can hire a private boat or helicopter.
However, the easiest and most economical way to reach Hydra is by ferry from the port of Piraeus. The trip is 1.5 hours long.
The companies called Flying Dolphins and SpeedCat have many ferries departing each day from the port. You can check www.openseas.gr for updated timetables. The tickets cost around 10 Euro/one way.
Have you ever spent a weekend on Hydra or any island?