Hydra is one of the most charming islands in the Saronic Gulf known for its beauty and light. The island has captured the imagination of international poets, painters and celebrities, inspired by the landscape, to create a haven of creativity. The tranquility of the port without cars provides the backdrop for lively activities. Magical things happen on Hydra. As Hydra is a car-free island, you can instead ride a donkey; there are more than 1000 on the island that provides a means of transportation, in addition to water taxis. You can also ride a horse through the town’s cobblestone alleyways, with the shortest excursion at 45 minutes. Hiking is popular on Hydra with many organized routes through the scenic countryside filled with wild flowers, cypress, pine and olive trees.
There’s also Hydra’s Trail Race, one of the most popular trail running activities in Greece. The island is famous for its many quality art galleries and exhibitions. The unique architecture of the port town, on the slopes of a hill, is distinguished by the old traditional stone houses and elegant mansions built by the island’s noble ship-owners; prominent figures in the Naval Heritage of Greece and the Greek War of Independence (1821). With 300 churches and six monasteries on the island, the Easter tradition on Hydra is celebrated with a unique in Greece ‘maritime Epiphany’ in the sea and spectacular Resurrection, with the sky filled with thousands of colored fireworks.
Visit the picturesque fishing village of Kamini, with the adjacent, beautiful pebble beach (Mikro Kamini) with a choice of traditional taverns to savor the taste of the freshest fish. A scenic walk back from Kamini to the harbor (about one kilometer), follows the coastal path with marvelous views. The sparkling beauty of Hydra town is unforgettable. The charm of the narrow streets, lined with handicraft and jewelry shops, galleries and lovely, colorful bougainvilleas in pink, deep purple, white and orange, capture the mood of Greek island life. A cultural highlight of the island is the Lazaros Koundouriotis Mansion (National Historic Museum), the restored mansion of Lazaros Koundouriotis, an important political figure before and during the Greek War of Independence with exhibits of family heirlooms and historical collections.
The lively port, filled with cafes, is the perfect setting to enjoy the spectacular sea view. The island’s local cuisine travels your senses with appetizers such as beetroot salad, fava beans and the famous tsatsiki (garlic dip) along with an array of local specialties including caper salad, beef stew with quince, fresh squid, ‘dolmades’ (stuffed vine leaves), as well as the famous grilled meatballs and sausages. Platinum Cruises’ Athens to Hydra day trip, allows ample time for you to discover the unspoiled beauty of Hydra with its stark, rocky landscape dominated by blue and white. On Athens to Hydra one day cruise, our vessel remains in port for about 1 hour 55 minutes with time to leisurely explore the island. You can enjoy our Walking Tour of the island to discover its castles and forts, historic landmarks, quaint narrow streets and artistic shops.