A trip to Hydra is a chance to step back in time and experience the Greek Islands in the most traditional and relaxed way possible. The layout of the main town itself resembled an ancient amphitheatre overlooking the crystal clear waters that you’ll sail through in order to arrive in Hydra’s port surrounded by streets where motor vehicles are banned and you can’t help but become immersed in a relaxed way of life.
Hydra is one of the most historically interesting of the Saronic Islands and many of the elaborate stone buildings that cling to the rocky cliffside have been transformed into museums. Walking through the sun kissed cobblestone streets you’ll find the Ecclesiastical and Byzantine Museum which houses a wealth of religious artworks and relics in the old Monastery of the Assumption of the Virgin Mary. Other museums worth visiting are The National Historical Museum and Museum of Post-Byzantine Art and History both housed in the former mansions of wealthy 18th-century mariner families. These hotspots of history are dotted amongst the 300 churches that can be found on Hydra and encourage visitors to come and explore the sacred history for themselves.
Exploring the ancient Mediterranean under the beating Greek sunshine is a sure fire way to work up an appetite! Fortunately Hydra is overflowing with hidden gems when it comes to authentic Greek cuisine. For a waterfront dining experience head to Kodylenia Taverna overlooking the marina of Kamini for delicious salad and seafood! The owner Dimitris’s speciality is the enormous saganaki style prawns in a zesty tomato sauce that pairs perfectly with fresh white wine and the sea breeze. Part of Hydra’s incredibly well preserved history means that you can dine like royalty at Castello Kamini, a great spot for locally sourced cuisine in a fort-style building cut into the cliffside overlooking the beach just a short distance from the marina. If you have vegetarian or vegan dietary needs within your sailing squad then you might be familiar with how tricky it can be to find options in the Mediterranean where meat and seafood are king. However, you’ll find something to suit everyone in your group Plakostroto, a beautiful outdoor restaurant serving traditional Greek food with a modern twist. A dining experience in any of the Greek Islands would be incomplete without enjoying a drink on the beach, the Spilia Beach Club is in a great central location and and offers a variety of beers, wines, cocktails, and small plates for you to enjoy on the stunning coastline.
When it comes time to cool down, Hydra has a myriad of beaches, bays, and swimming spots to enjoy. St. Nicholas Beach is a great white sand beach where you can swim in calm waters and then nab a sunbathing chair and put in your order at the beach restaurant and bar. If you’re willing to go a bit further off the grid, Vlychos Beach provides a more secluded swimming spot where you can cool down in the ocean or go for a hike through the greenery that encircles the the sandy bay. For the more adventurous travellers, head down to Avlaki beach for the chance to cliff dive from the rugged terrain.
It’s easy to see why Hydra is a hot spot for travellers wanting to experience traditional Greek culture; fantastic cuisine; and one of a kind nature! You can start planning your very own summer sailing trip HERE so you can explore it for yourself this summer!