The island of Hydra is one of the Saronic islands and located on the south side of Peloponnese. The choices to reach it are many, from Metohi and Ermioni, on the south of Peloponnese, or from Piraeus with a flying dolphin or a daily cruise from March until November.
When you arrive there, it feels like you are somehow lost in time. A small amphitheatric city with a bold mountain on the background, small traditional houses with blue doors and red tile roofs and many crosses from the top of the countless churches appearing here and there while the colorful bougainvilleas cover the place.
The moment you exit the boat that brought you here, you come across many donkeys, which are waiting to bring you and your luggage everywhere you like. Cars are not allowed on the island, so the only way to reach the room or house you booked is either climbing a few steps or by riding a poor donkey. They use them for every type of transfer, not only luggage and people but also boxes of fruits and vegetables, as well as furniture!! What is more, big hotel chains and swimming pools do not belong here. Take the chance and book one of the houses that you can find online and spent some days as a local on the island.
Hydra contributed with 150 ships on the Greek War of Independence in 1821 and its nautical history is everywhere obvious in the city. There is a numerous amount of mansions which belonged to famous captains of the time and their families donated them to the municipality in order for the people to be able to visit them. One of them is hosting the Greek Maritime Academy.
Worth visiting are the Historic Archives Museum of Hydra (where you can see the embalmed heart of Admiral Andreas Miaoulis, a Hydriot hero of the 1821 Revolution) and in combination the manor of Lazaros Kountouriotis.
Walking through the small alleys of the city is truly enchanting. A big selection of restaurants and tavernas for all tastes and small shops to buy everything someone desires – in a variety of prices ;).
The only chances to go swimming is either by walking a while to reach some of them or hop on a small boat that brings you everywhere you like. The drive really often and there are also sea-taxis which also bring you to the beaches.
Hydra is a truly unique island that I would really like to visit it again in a less touristic time. The port was unbelievable full with smaller or bigger boats, sailboats, a variety of yachts and of course the daily flying dolphins and boats from Athens or other places.
I imagine it in Spring, when Hydra is not full of people, as a very inspiring and relaxing place which I would love to experience!