Hydra Town is the charming capital of Hydra, a small island in the Saronic Gulf that is famous for its car-free lifestyle, its rich history and its picturesque architecture. Hydra Town offers a variety of attractions and activities for visitors who want to explore its beauty and culture. Here are some of the must-do things in Hydra Town:
Explore the port town by foot or donkey
One of the most distinctive features of Hydra Town is that there are no cars or motorbikes allowed on the island. The only modes of transportation are walking, donkeys and water taxis. This makes Hydra Town a peaceful and relaxing place to wander around and enjoy the scenery. You can stroll along the waterfront, admire the elegant stone mansions, visit the quaint shops and cafes, and watch the boats come and go. You can also hire a donkey to take you up the steep cobblestone streets or to other parts of the island. Donkeys are an integral part of Hydra’s culture and history, and they are well cared for by their owners.
Visit the Ecclesiastical Museum
The Ecclesiastical Museum is located within the monastery complex on the harbour, next to the Kimisis Tis Theotokou Cathedral. The museum displays a collection of icons, religious paintings, vestments, manuscripts and other artefacts related to the Orthodox faith and the history of Hydra. The museum also showcases some of the works of famous Greek painters, such as Konstantinos Volanakis and Nikolaos Gyzis. The museum is open daily from 9 am to 4 pm, except on Mondays.
Hike to the Monastery of Profitis Ilias
If you are feeling adventurous, you can hike to the Monastery of Profitis Ilias, which is perched on the highest point of Hydra at 588 meters above sea level. The monastery was founded in 1813 and was once a center of education and resistance during the Greek War of Independence. Today, it is a tranquil place with stunning views of the island and the sea. The hike takes about two hours from Hydra Town, following a well-marked trail that passes through pine forests and olive groves. You can also take a donkey ride to the monastery if you prefer. The monastery is open daily from 8 am to 1 pm and from 4 pm to 7 pm.
Swim at Vlychos Beach
Hydra Town has several beaches within walking distance or a short boat ride away. One of them is Vlychos Beach, which is about 2 km west of Hydra Town. Vlychos Beach is a pebbly beach with clear blue water and a few tavernas nearby. It is ideal for swimming, sunbathing and relaxing. You can walk to Vlychos Beach along a coastal path that offers scenic views of the sea and the town, or you can take a water taxi from Hydra Harbour.
Watch the sunset from the top of Mount Eros
Another hiking option in Hydra Town is to climb to the top of Mount Eros, which is the second highest peak on the island at 487 meters above sea level. Mount Eros offers panoramic views of Hydra Town, the Saronic Gulf and the Peloponnese. It is also a great spot to watch the sunset and see the sky change colors over the horizon. The hike takes about an hour and a half from Hydra Town, following a dirt road that starts near Kamini Village.
Visit the Hydra Museum Historical Archives
The Hydra Museum Historical Archives is a harbourfront museum that houses an extensive collection of portraits and naval artefacts, with an emphasis on the island’s role in the War of Independence. The museum exhibits paintings of famous Hydriot admirals, such as Andreas Miaoulis and Lazaros Koundouriotis, as well as weapons, flags, documents, maps and models of ships. The museum also hosts temporary exhibitions and cultural events throughout the year. The museum is open daily from 10 am to 2 pm and from 6 pm to 9 pm.
Hydra Town is a charming and historic destination that offers plenty of attractions and activities for visitors who want to experience its unique culture and beauty. Whether you want to explore its port town by foot or donkey, visit its museums and churches, hike to its monasteries and mountains, swim at its beaches, or watch its sunsets, Hydra Town has something for everyone. Hydra Town is a place that will captivate you with its charm and make you want to return again and again.