what to see and what to do in “Capri of Greece”

In the Saronic Gulf, there is a prosperous island that owes its reputation as a smart and trendy holiday destination to the aristocrats and wealthy Athenian citizens who bought villas and houses here. Often compared to Capri and Portofino, we discover what to do and what to see in Hydra, a Greek island in the Aegean Sea.

Hydra: tour guide

Hydra is a Greek island in the Saronic Gulf and the capital has the same name. Hydra it is the only modern settlement in the area. This island is a particularly popular destination by the sea for both foreign tourists and Athenians, due to its proximity to the capital.

L ‘island it owes its name to the abundant water that flowed from the abundant springs that rose there in the past. It has an important maritime history and tradition that has determined the prosperity of the territory and which is celebrated in the most important festival, Miaoulia which takes place at the end of June.

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Hydra: the story

According to recent archaeological research, Hydra it has been inhabited since the Neolithic era. From the Persian wars, Athenian refugees settled on the island. The heyday coincided with the proto-Hellenic and Mycenaean eras, in which the island was an important commercial and maritime center connecting the Peloponnese and the other Aegean islands.

In the eighteenth century the commercial fleet of Hydra experienced a great development. In the early nineteenth century, the main dwellings and villas were built by wealthy shipowners. On April 16, 1821, Hydra actively joined the revolt against the Ottoman government. The people and fleet of the island were the protagonists of the struggle for Greek independence.

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How to get to Hydra

There are daily ferries from the port of Piraeus come to Hydra and depending on the season, different routes are available. The duration of the journey is approximately 1 hour and 40 minutes. The line is managed by the HellenicSeaWays company.

THAT ferries they only accept passengers as Hydra has been declared a protected area, motor vehicles are prohibited. Hydra is connected to the other islands in the Saronic Gulf by ferry, active all year round. The island has no airport.

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Visit Hydra: places of interest and attractions

Hydra it is considered a national monument and any alteration to the buildings must be approved. This allowed the island to retain its appearance intact. An aspect that has inspired famous Greek and foreign painters who have immortalized the landscapes of their works, such as Pablo Picasso and Marc Chagall.

After this brief information, let’s now find out what to do and what to see in Hydra, attractions and places of interest not to be missed.

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The capital Hydra

Hydra it is famous for its villas and white houses arranged in an amphitheater on the rocky hills that surround Bay with the harbor where luxury yachts dock. Hydra is well equipped with tourist services and shops. The whole city is crossed by vertical cobbled alleys, which start from the top and end at the promenade and the marina. For the ends of the harbor are there volde with the cannons that once protected the city.

On Harborcenter of the island’s nightlife, views History Museum and Cathedral built in 1648. From here starts an uphill, narrow, paved and picturesque road leading to Old Town fortified medieval city of Kiafa. After the breakwater, the road rises along the rocky shore and reaches the western bastion of the harbor. Here is also a small pine forest with Lazaros Kountouriotis Palace Museum and at the top of the hill stand the broken windmills.

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The other towns on the island

About 1 km southwest of Hydra is the village of Kamini and just outside Vlychos. Kamini it has a picturesque marina full of local fishing boats. Near the small port is the old Miaoulis house, the so-called “red house”, where various exhibitions are held every summer. Vlychos it is characterized by whitewashed cottages with large flowered courtyards stretching at the foot of the hill above the beach. The picturesque ones stand out churches on the ocean.

To the northeast is the village Mandraki which was used as a military port during the War of Independence. Its entrance was guarded by two small castles, the ruins of which are left today. The village overlooks a bay where there is a beautiful one Beach of sand. To the southwest there is Molos, which can only be reached by sea, and in the inner settlement Episkopi.

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The churches

There are about 300 churches on the island of Hydra. Among them we remember The Cathedral of the Virgin’s Dormition located at the port of Hydra. The building can be dated back to the seventeenth century, although it underwent changes in the seventeenth century. The cathedral is made entirely of white marble and impresses with its very rich decorative apparatus.

The monasteries are many and very important. That the monastery of the Holy Trinity it can be reached from Hydra beach and dates back to 1704. From the top of the hill on which it is located you can enjoy an excellent view. Nearby is also Agia Matrona monastery located on Mount Karessa. That Agios Sozontos Churcha gem to be discovered.

the Hydra Cathedral

Museums

The museums are located in the capital Hydra. That Historical Museum exhibits artifacts and relics from the Balkan Wars, World War I and II, and works by great painters. In it Lazaros Kountouriotis Palace Museum there is a permanent exhibition of paintings, family portraits and other relics of the Kountouriotis family. Upstairs, historical and folkloric collections of works of modern Greek art are exhibited.

That Ecclesiastical and Byzantine Museum it is housed on the west side of the main church of Hydra, known as the “monastery”. This small museum displays costumes, relics and icons from the 18th century, including the important icon of the Virgin “Rhodo Amaranto” from 1774.

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Excursions in Hydra: the trails

Hydra and its natural environment is a paradise for hikers also thanks to its mild climate, which favors excursions all year. The island boasts over 80 km bull reported. The four main routes lead to the discovery of the island’s ecosystems, its flora and fauna.

That way which runs along the eastern side of the island, up to Zourva’s lighthouse, crosses a lunar landscape of rocks, while the itinerary on the western side, towards Bisti, crosses a shady pine forest. In the middle of the island stands the highest mountain, Eros, which is crossed by many bull. Among these, the most interesting is on the southern slope overlooking the sea, which offers spectacular views. All routes are equipped with signs and wooden signs indicating attractions located along the paths.

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Hydra pictures and photos

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