Hydra, you might have never even heard of this place (except maybe if you’re following Meghan’s life from very close which was not my case, except for THE royal wedding last May). Hydra is a small island off the coast of mainland Greece (aka the Peloponese) and a two hour ferry ride from Athens. Perfect for a weekend getaway! While holidaying on Aegina, I decided to take a two-day trip to Hydra…
The island is part of the Argo-saronic islands, with Aegina, Spetses, Poros, Salamina and Agistri. The only way to travel to Hydra is by boat, from Piraeus, Athens main port (I think you can also do it from the Peloponese but as I’ve never done it I’m not sure). Entering Hydra’s small harbour cradled in a gorgeous bay, you discover Hydra town, the island’s main town. It’s an incredible first sight, with all the houses hanging above the water, forming a horseshoe shape around the bay.
Hydra – known in the 1970s as the Saint Tropez of Greece – can be described as a quaint sleepy chic island, a little rock trapped in time with the only mode of transportation being donkeys or bikes. The pace of life on the island is peaceful, with your days revolving mainly around the beach, food and drinks. There’s not much to do on Hydra – and maybe that’s the point. You can stroll around the town centre or dip into small tavernas for tzatziki and rosé. Take a swim in the emerald-coloured water, then a nap, hike back to your hotel or apartment…rinse and repeat.
Away from the main town the rest of the island is roadless, rugged and barely inhabited. Comparing to the other Argo-saronic islands, Hydra resembles more your typical Greek island, with its white-walled, red-tiled and blue-painted-doors houses, narrow streets and colourful bougainvilleas. Being also more sophisticated than its sisters’ islands, I however found it less vibrant than Aegina or Spetses (don’t get me wrong though, I also found Hydra very charming).
Another difference between Hydra and Aegina for example are the beaches. They’re limited on Hydra and mainly rocky, such as Spilia beach. To discover the few sandy beaches you have to take a small taxi-boat departing from the main harbour. Stony or sandy, I was however mesmerized by the colour of the water, spanning from emerald green to turquoise blue…
With Hydra being such a quick hop from Athens, it’s a perfect weekend getaway !
FUN FACT: some royal families – the Dutch and the Norwegian – have already understood this and enjoy holidaying on this elegant and secluded island.