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Hydra - Saronic Gulf Islands - Greece



Hydra Island

Hydra is one of the Greek Saronic Gulf Islands, located 65 kilometres south of the mainland port of Piraeus and just 20 kilometres off the Peloponnesian coast. One of the island's most appealing features is its traffic-free tranquility - even bicycles are banned here and the only motorised vehicle you'll come across is the occasional rubbish truck. The horseshoe-shaped harbour is one of the most picturesque in the whole of Greece and provides the gateway to the island's beautiful port town with its imposing stone mansions adorning the rocky hillsides behind the waterfront.

Hollywood put Hydra on the map in the 1960s when the island was used as the location for a number of films including A Boy and a Dolphin starring silver screen siren Sophia Loren. Artists, writers and Bohemian types began arriving here in droves followed by vast numbers of wealthy Athenian weekenders and island-hopping foreigners who transformed the island into one of the most exclusive (and expensive) holiday spots in Greece .

The island is served by daily ferries to and from Piraeus (three and a half hours) and frequent Flying Dolphins which normally go via Poros making a total journey time of one and a half hours.

The whole island has been declared a national monument and comes under the protection of both the Greek government and the EU. Strict controls on the construction of new properties and the renovation of old ones have enabled Hydra Town to retain much of the old-world elegance and grandeur of its glory days as a major maritime power. Turn a blind eye to the ATMs, Internet cafes and chic boutiques and you'll be transported back in time to the late 17th century when the islanders' shipbuilding and trading skills earned them great riches. Wealthy sea captains spared no expense when it came to building their great mansions, many of which still stand proudly as a reminder of Hydra's hey day. Some of these houses have been beautifully restored and turned into classy hotels and restaurants to cater for the holiday hordes that descend on the island in high season and every weekend throughout the year.

Athenians regard Hydra as a hallowed haven after the smog-filled, traffic congested streets of the Greek capital. When you get off the boat here you'll be approached by muleteers offering to transport your luggage (and possibly you!) to your hotel.

The only way to explore the island is by donkey, in a water taxi or on foot. Don a pair of sturdy shoes, pack a picnic and a large water bottle and you'll be able to find some wonderful walking trails to secluded spots which feel a million miles away from the frantic waterfront of the port.

Water taxis will take you to quiet beaches, tiny islets and waterfront restaurants in lovely settings. Arrange a time to be picked up - but don't pay the boatman until he comes back for you! In the summer months you'll be able to enjoy a lively nightlife in Hydra Town and two impressive festivals that attract visitors from far and wide. The Miaoulia festival in later June is a huge celebration in honour of Admiral Miaoulis, one of the great heroes of the Greek War of Independence. In July the town hosts the International Puppet Theatre Festival which brings highly skilled puppeteers from all over the world to entertain children and adults alike.


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 Cotommatae Hydra 1810 Cotommatae Hydra 1810     
Hydra
Cotommatae Hydra 1810 is housed in a 19th century mansion, only 220 yards from Hydra Port and the seafront with several restaurants and bars. more...
 Leto Hotel Leto Hotel     
Hydra
Just 200 metres from the scenic Hydra Port, the 5-star Leto Hotel offers elegant rooms, furnished as a traditional Hydriot mansion. A buffet breakfast enriched with local products is served daily. more...
 Angelica Traditional Boutique Hotel Angelica Traditional Boutique Hotel     
Hydra
Set in a historic building in the heart of Hydra, Angelica Traditional Boutique Hotel boasts charming accommodations with spa baths or jet showers, and offers a courtyard with a mini pool, hot tub and more...
 Mistral Hotel Mistral Hotel     
Hydra
With its warm and welcoming staff, this traditional mansion is just a 3-minute walk from Hydra?s port and features beautifully appointed guest rooms with views of Hydra or the sea. more...
 Guesthouse Alexandra Guesthouse Alexandra     
Hydra
Centrally located in Hydra Town and just 100 metres from the port, the traditionally built Guesthouse Alexandra features stone-built walls, iron beds and beamed ceilings. more...
 Hydrea Exclusive Hospitality Hydrea Exclusive Hospitality     
Hydra
Built in the 19th century, the 5-star Hydrea Hotel is located in Hydra Island, within 400 metres from Hydra Port. more...
 Miranda Miranda     
Hydra
Originally a wealthy sea captain?s mansion built in 1810, the Miranda is a fine example of characteristic local architecture. more...
 Phaedra Hotel Phaedra Hotel     
Hydra
Phaedra Hotel is a renovated 19th-century building set in the heart of Hydra town, 150 metres from the harbour. It offers traditional accommodation with views over the scenic town. more...
 Alkionides Pension Alkionides Pension     
Hydra
Only 120 metres from Hydra Port, Alkionides Pension is situated in a stone-paved courtyard with flowers. It offers air-conditioned accommodation with free Wi-Fi. Some units come with a kitchenette. more...
 Hydra Hotel Hydra Hotel     
Hydra
Boasting magnificent views overlooking Hydra, the recently renovated Hotel Hydra is a turn-of-the-century building set in the heart of the island of Hydra. more...
 Villa  Althea Villa Althea     
Hydra
Located 437 yards from Hydra Port in Ídhra, this air-conditioned villa features free WiFi and a terrace. The property is 656 yards from George Kountouriotis Manor and features views of the pool. more...
 Villas  Hydra Erato Villas Hydra Erato     
Hydra
Boasting an elevated position, 100 metres away from the beach in Plakes, Hydra Erato offers self-catering accommodation with panoramic sunset views over the sea. more...
 Bratsera Traditional Settlement Bratsera Traditional Settlement     
Hydra
Located 328 yards from George Kountouriotis Manor in Ídhra, Bratsera Traditional Settlement features a restaurant, bar and free WiFi throughout the property. more...
 Mastoris Mansion Mastoris Mansion     
Hydra
Featuring free WiFi and a sun terrace, Mastoris Mansion offers accommodation in Hydra. Every air-conditioned room overlooks the alley and is equipped with a flat-screen TV. more...
 Apartments  Villa Castello Apartments Villa Castello     
Hydra
Villa Castello is a self-catering accommodation located in Hydra. The property is just 100 metres from Hydra Port and 150 metres from Hydra Museum Historical Archives. more...

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