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    What to see in Hydra, the car-free island of the Peloponnese

    Who I am
    Judit Llordés
    @juditllordés
    SOURCES CONSULTED:

    wikipedia.org, lonelyplanet.com

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    What to do in Hydra

    A walk to Kamini and Vlichos

    The ancient path that embroiders the coast up to Kamini and Vlichos beaches (both of sand) is truly gorgeous. It is super scenic and very enjoyable. In 30-40 minutes of walking you cross a beautiful stretch of coast and then lie back in the sun in the sheltered bay of Vlichos, my favorite. Here there are 2 "establishments" that rent 2 sunbeds and an umbrella at the crazy price of 6 euros per day. If you also want the waiter to bring you drinks, maybe you spend 2/3 more. The sea here is super transparent and calm even on windy days. For the lunch break then you can choose between the spartan trattoria (but good and with a sea view) just behind the bay, or the delicious Enalion restaurant (behind the umbrellas). In both cases, you will find it hard to spend more than 20 euros eating fresh fish and drinking wine.



    An aperitif at sunset at Hydronetta or Spilia

    The sunset spectacle from these two famous island lounge bars is incredible! L'Hydronetta it is my favorite, in the end in a week I think I came 6 days a week. The sun sets on the sea exactly in front of the terrace of this bar and it has no equal. The Spilia instead it overlooks the village of Hydra and is nicer to watch the moon rise (especially when it is full) or have a drink in the evening.

    A trek to the Monastery of Profitis Ilias and that of Aghios Nikolaos

    In addition to the legendary number of churches scattered among the fragrant Mediterranean scrub (you will see one at every corner!), Hydra boasts interesting orthodox monasteries scenic areas that can be reached on foot or on the back of a mule (as you will see the Orthodox priests and the inhabitants of the island do). Arm yourself with a detailed map of the island (which you can find for sale everywhere), lots of water and a lot of energy to make these two treks. Considering the temperatures and the fact that they are rising, it is preferable to leave early in the morning. The Porfitis Ilias monastery it can be reached by a staircase from the town which then becomes an uphill path; the view from above is wonderful! From there, you can go down to Kamini or Vlichos and spend the rest of the day on the beach. To reach the Aghios Nikolaos monastery instead you go along a mule track that arrives at a panoramic point from which you can also see the opposite side of the island. The view from here is sensational. You can then go down to the Mandraki beach. The sea is beautiful and there is a very nice little trattoria right on the beach. The walk along the sea that takes you back to Hydra is very nice and panoramic.



    A day on the beach at Bisti Beach or Agios Nikolaos

    These two white pebble beaches they are accessible only by sea. Several boats leave from the port of Hydra each morning to take them to both. clothes it is the closest one, it is smaller and rich in vegetation (there is a pine forest immediately behind the row of umbrellas, for those who love the shade). Agios Nikolaos instead it is larger and more collected; the water here is always calm and the color of the water is incredible. The cost to reach them is quite high (around 12/15 euros per person), but it's worth it! I forgot, in both there is a kiosk to buy something to eat and drink (but there is no bathroom .. only the fresh branches).

    Get lost in the alleys of Hydra

    The country of Hydra is a jewel. Lose yourself in its alleys, its squares, the Cathedral (with the ecclesiastical museum) and the thousand restaurants and bars. If you have time, check out the Museo L.Kountouriotis which pays homage to the national hero of the same name. 

    How to reach Hydra: by hydrofoil from Piraeus

    Hydra can be reached by boat from the port of Piraeus. In the summer season there are at least 6/8 of them a day. Ferries take 3 hours and a half, while hydrofoils only take 1 hour and a half. I recommend that you buy your ticket online through this link a few days before leaving to avoid surprises. The hydrofoil ticket costs 28 euros one way. If you arrive in Athens by plane, getting to Piraeus is very easy. Just outside the airport there is a bus that will take you directly to the port in about 1 hour. Once there, ask which dock is "dedicated" to connections with Hydra.


    When to go to Hydra

    I was there in the last week of August. I told myself that I would have found a mess, but it was absolutely not like that! Several times, going to the beach at 11 in the morning we found ourselves to be the first and the beaches were never crowded. Ditto for restaurants and everything in between. Probably in the central weeks of August there is a few more, but nothing to do with the crowds we are used to! As for the weather, it was perfect. During the day it is hot (around 30 degrees) and windy and in the evening a couple of degrees less. Next time I would like to go back during the Orthodox Easter (this year, for example, falls on the weekend of May 1st): they put the sepulchrals in the sea in the decorated boats and it seems to be an incredible sight.


    Health insurance is recommended

    Being in Europe, as Spanish citizens we have the right to health care, but there are specific conditions and ceilings. My advice is to still take a classic medical-luggage insurance that can cover you during the trip, even for Covid-19. I am very happy with many insurance companies, a site that compares the policies of different companies and proposes the most convenient policy for that particular trip. To do this you will have to enter the data relating to your trip and they will send you an email with the best proposal that you can then buy directly online (!!!). All travel insurances also cover medical assistance in the event of a coronavirus infection, including testing if necessary. There is also coverage for the extension of the stay in the hotel due to the quarantine. Likewise, the trip cancellation guarantee includes coverage for illness or death of the traveler or a family member due to COVID-19.


    How much does a holiday in Hydra cost

    It sounds incredible, but it is an island for all budgets. There are charming hotels and luxury boutiques, as well as small hotels and trattorias. The most expensive thing is the tickets for the boats that take you to distant beaches like Agios Nikolaos (about 12/15 euros return), but it's always worth it.

    Where sleeping in Hydra

    Pension Erofili: I slept in this small, super central hotel, very nice and cheap. It is on 2 floors with a courtyard / pergola in the center. Some rooms have a nice private terrace. Ours had a small balcony with a mountain view perfect for breakfast. At 200 meters from the port and everything, I really recommend it! Ask for the larger rooms.

    Where to eat in Hydra

    • Hydronetta: the most beautiful place to enjoy the sunset over the sea. It also drinks and nibbles very well
    • Spilia: club and restaurant overlooking the village of Hydra. Perfect both during the day and in the evening for a drink
    • Sunset: super-atmospheric restaurant on the terrace above the Hydronetta. Romantic, with superb sea views
    • Omilos: historic restaurant with a terrace overlooking the sea, very popular with the jet-set. Also nice for after dinner
    • Paradosiako: excellent fish restaurant at a good price. Typical trattoria in the town center; excellent fresh fish (they also cook pasta and it's not bad!). Book if you don't want to queue.
    • Psines: checkered tablecloths for the best meat restaurant. Come here to eat souvlaki and grilled meat.
    • The secret port- Captain Andreas: a secret garden which is accessed through a green door in one of the alleys of the center. Classic Greek cuisine is served under a beautiful pergola.
    • Castle: a bar / restaurant located in a castle by the sea, on Kamini beach. If you don't want to walk here in the evening there is a boat transfer from the port. Very nice and elegant place of creative Greek cuisine. Also nice for an aperitif.
    • Enalion: very nice restaurant in Vlichos beach. Classic and creative Greek cuisine.

     


     

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