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Hydra

Traffic-free Hydra – not even bicycles are allowed – is the epitome of what a Greek island should be. Hydra Town is a bustling horseshoe-shaped harbour with a maze of narrow back-streets climbing up the hill behind the port.

The elegant mansions that line the waterfront were built by the owners of the island’s successful merchant fleet and date from the eighteenth century. Hydra was one of the most prosperous islands in the region at that time and then had a population of nearly 20,000 staggering when you learn that these days it is under 3,000. You can visit the restored Lazaro Koundouriotis mansion high above the town on its western side and see for yourself what life was like in Hydra’s heyday. A preservation order that restricts development applies to the entire town and serves to maintain and enhance its considerable charm.

Hydra has been fashionable since the 1950s – the legendary Leonard Cohen fell in love with Hydra and bought and restored one of the grand waterfront houses. The many bars and cafes that line the quayside offer a superb people-watching experience, but the food tends to be better at the restaurants further up the town.

Your Hydra yacht charter allows you to explore the many coves and beaches of the north coast of Hydra. The best is at Mandhraki but there are numerous spots along the coastline where you can anchor for an afternoon of swimming and snorkelling in crystal clear water. Kamini has a shingly beach and a couple of tavernas, Kastello is another lovely little swimming cove and Vlyhos is a small hamlet with a shingle beach where you can swim in the lee of an offshore islet. Molos, Bisti and Ayios Nikolaos are other beaches worth taking a look at – just cruise around and see which one appeals. Limnioniza is the best and most scenic cove on the south coast of the island with watersports and a small café-bar.

The interior of Hydra is mountainous and little-visited and will appeal to hikers who will enjoy the rugged landscape of isolated hilltop monasteries and pine forests.
 

 

Mooring:

  • Moor stern-to in the harbour, but be aware that space is limited and it gets crowded in high season. Crossed anchors are a seasonal fact of life.

To Do:

  • Hiking
  • People-watching

Facilities:

  • Water
  • Provisions
  • Bakery