Hydra is probably the most picturesque and romantic island in the Saronic Gulf. Sailing towards the horseshoe-shaped harbour you'll notice stunning stone mansions dotted around the hillsides. These were merchants houses, built from enormous wealth accumulated in the 19th century. In its day each mansion would have had its own private church and priest!
Laws now prohibit any new buildings which do not conform to this authentic style of architecture so Hydra is unhampered by modern architecture. Add to this Hydra's narrow cobbled streets, secluded, shady squares and the fact that the island has a ban on vehicles (using donkeys and mules instead) you'll not be surprised to learn that Hydra has remained relatively undeveloped.
It is an island which many come to for relaxation. There are no temples, not much sightseeing here. Over the past number of years it has become a mecca for the rich; large yachts glide in and out of its harbour; many upmarket bars become the places to be seen in the balmy evenings. Day trippers come over from Athens and the neighbouring Saronic Islands so the summer can be a busy time to visit.
Hydra was first discovered in the fifties and sixties by a group of artists who were attracted by the wonderful light, magnificent sunsets and natural beauty of Hydra; the island is still home to many artists and photographers today.
Most beaches on the island are pebbly, there is one sandy one on the west of the island (reached by water taxi).
Where to stay