"Lady Of Argo Saronic Gulf" Top 5 Page for this destination Hydra Island by mindcrime
Hydra Island Travel Guide: 199 reviews and 597 photos
Hydra island is a lovely small island (about 50sq km) located at the ArgoSaronic gulf in short distance from Peloponese shore. It’s a cosmopolitan island with rich naval background but also a great escape for the people of Athens because of it’s location, with hydrofoil from Pireaus you’ll be there in 90’. Although the island gets packed during high season it is really picturesque for a simple reason, there are no cars/bikes on the island! People and cargo moving around with donkeys and mules! The small size of the island is ideal to walk around easily, most of the people stay here for the weekend although many tourists come daily on the cruise along the Saronic and they spend 2 hours on the island, it’s always funny to see them running in panic around trying to see everything :)
It’s always nice to overnight though so to enjoy more some calm corners, lounge at a bar, taste some local food and take your time on the island, don’t forget you are on holidays and doing nothing is part of the fun before heading back to busy Athens. Have in mind that it’s more expensive here that in other islands of the Saronic gulf (Poros, Spetses etc).
The island is rocky and due to lack of water they transfer it from Peloponese. The highest mountain is Eros (590m) and Gerakina (346m). The climate is dry with long summers and mild winters, typical Mediterranean climate.
The picturesque town that faces the port is the main town but actually there's no other town except the small settlements here and there to the east (Mandraki) and west (Vlichos etc). Hydra has strict control on the construction of new houses and this is why we can still enjoy its architecture with some great old mansions transferring the old world elegance of the rich era when the island was a major maritime power. Back in the 17th century the island housed some really rich sea captains and wealthy traders.
Although most of the Greeks don’t go to Hydra for swimming there are some small beaches around (Mandraki is the only sandy one), water taxis will take you to other beaches at the back side like Limnoza or you can walk to the west of town to Kamini and Vlichos.
The rocky island wasn’t inhabited until the 15th century when some greek refugees came from mainland (Epirus region) to escape from the Ottoman Turks. Turks never really cared about Hydra (that had no agriculture and it was full of pirates during 17th century anyway) but the island had begun a shipbuilding center and during the Napoleonic wars ran the blockade against the British, a practice that brought huge fortunes to the island.
Great figures of the Greek Revolution against the Ottoman Empire came from Hydra and the island is famous for some naval battles during the war of Independence in 1821. There is a festival (Miaoulia) that takes place at the end of june every year in honor of A.Miaoulis who who was the leader of the greek fleet (Hydra provided 130 ships for the war).
By the way, Hydra -the greek mythological creature- wasnt here but in lake Lerna in Argolida.
- Pros:quite, picturesque, no cars
Mandraki bay is the last cove before Hydra’s port. It used to be the old military port but today is just an organized... more travel advice
After visiting the upper town of Hydra we took the road that brought us to Vlichos. We first saw a small stone bridge... more travel advice
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- "Hydra: a jewel in the saronic golf"
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- "Quiet and beautiful - that's Hydra."
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