Cape with stone houses built amphitheatrically above the calm sea.

Hydra

NOW 4 °C

Next 5 days

  • THURS 5 °C
  • FRI 6 °C
  • SAT 6 °C
  • SUN 10 °C
  • MON 8 °C

Source: National Observatory of Athens /meteo.gr

The Lady of the Argosaronic Gulf

A rich naval tradition and a cosmopolitan island ambience are the defining characteristics of Hydra - a popular island in the Argosaronic Gulf - which attracts every year many personalities and jet-setters from Greece and abroad. This was the favourite destination and place of residence of painter Nikos Hatzikyriakos-Ghika, Leonard Cohen, and Henry Miller. It is also the birthplace of painter Panagiotis Tetsis, and of many other famous artists, writers etc. The island’s great beauty was appreciated also by celebrities such as Maria Callas, Pablo Picasso, and Sophia Loren.
 
Apart from being a popular sailing destination, Hydra is also very interesting from an architectural point of view, as a number of luxury residences, built by Italian craftsmen, are scattered on the island. The grand houses of the local fighters for the Greek War of Independence (1821) are now museums which offer their visitors an insight into that particular period in Greek history. If you are interested in religious monuments, there are some 300 churches and 6 monasteries you can visit on the island. You will enjoy strolling about the streets of the picturesque Hydra town and the harbour; take trips in the countryside, while drinking in the amazing views over the Aegean Sea, swim in deep blue waters and savour tasty dishes in the local tavernas. Walking about the island is a true pleasure as it is car-free.
View from above of a small bay with small boats surrounded by a traditional settlement with red roofs.

Exploring the harbour area

Hydra town will impress you with its aesthetic qualities and structure. It follows a semicircle building pattern around the harbour, where small fishing and tourist boats, as well as cruise ships dock, especially during the summer months. The grand stone-built residences of Hydra rise like fortresses against the rocky landscape, adding to the town’s grandeur.
The cannon emplacements in the harbour area, the Ship Captain School, and the historic monasteries are all part of Hydra’s glorious past. The island is the birthplace of powerful local families, such as Kountouriotis, Miaoulis, Kriezis, Tompazis, etc), who played a leading part in the 1821 Greek Revolution.

After seeing the town’s historic residences, visit also the History Archives - Museum of Hydra, the Port Authority which is housed in the old stone-built powder magazine, and the Pavlos Kountouriotis statue (a famous and powerful politician during the period of the Revolution), which stands in the like-named square. Take a trip to the Monastery of the Dormition of the Mother of God [Koimisis tis Theotokou], which includes a three-aisled domed basilica church and two marble belfries (mid-17th c.). Some of the Monastery’s buildings house today the Town Hall, and the old monastic cells house the Ecclesiastical & Byzantine Museum of Hydra.

Visit the stately home of Georgios Kountouriotis, which is surrounded by pine trees. It was built in the late 18th c. and it is a fine example of early neoclassicism on the island. See also the church of Agios Konstantinos Ydraios, Ypapanti Church where you will see a beautiful wood-carved icon screen and 18th c. folk art religious paintings, and the old church of Agios Ioannis Nisteftis with amazing 18th c. murals. Make sure you also visit Agia Efpraxia nunnery. From this location you will enjoy a fine view of the island harbour and the opposite Peloponnesian shores.
 
Take a trip to Kala Pigadia, a quarter in Hydra town, which was named after the two wells that used to provide the locals with water for more than 200 years.

For a panoramic view of the entire island, the Gulf and Myrtoo Sea, climb Mt Eros, the highest mountain on Hydra (600 m.). On your way up you will see some beautiful churches such as Agios Konstantinos Ydraios Church and the monastery of Prophet Elias.

Visit Megalo Kamini, a picturesque village where the locals used to repair their fishing boats once. To reach it, follow the road west of the main harbour and pass by Agios Ioannis Prodromos Church, the Retirement Home building [Girokomeio] and Captain Miaoulis House, known as the Red House, where exhibitions are hosted every year. If you are in Megalo Kamini village on Good Friday, before Easter, watch the custom of the Epitaphios (a wooden bier carrying an embroidered cloth with the image of the dead body of Christ, adorned with flowers) being carried in procession and  immersed in the seawater, so that the sea is blessed and the local mariners’ voyages are safe.

Filming in Hydra

FILMING IN GREECE
© Getty Images/ Ideal Image

THE BOY ON A DOLPHIN (1957)

A sponge diver ( Sofia Loren) on Hydra island discovers a sunken ship filled with artifacts, including a priceless ancient gold statue of a boy on a dolphin. She and her boyfriend enlist the help of an American archaeologist, but her boyfriend can't afford the asking price and ends up turning to an art collector for help.

DIRECTOR: JEAN NEGULESCO
FILMING LOCATION: HYDRA, ATHENS, RHODES, KORINTHOS

IMDb
© Getty Images/ Ideal Image

PHAEDRA (1962)

In this retelling of the ancient Greek myth, Phaedra (Melina Mercouri), the second wife of a shipping tycoon ( Ralf Vallone) , falls in love with her husband's son (Anthony Perkins) from his first marriage. Their love is doomed from the very beginning, but they are unable to control their feelings.

DIRECTOR: JULES DASSIN
FILMING LOCATION: HYDRA, PIRAEUS, ATHENS

IMDb

THE SAILOR FROM GIBRALTAR (1964)

A young Englishmen, after quarrelling with his mistress, becomes intrigued by a mysterious French widow who is searching a sailor she used to know many years before. They begin the search on board a yacht bound for Greece, but they don't find the sailor. The man suggests that the sailor may never have existed other than in widow's mind.

DIRECTOR: TONY RICHARDSON
FILMING LOCATION: PIRAEUS, HYDRA

IMDb

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Hydra is connected to Piraeus and other ports of the Saronic Gulf. The conventional ships make the route ""Piraeus - Hydra"" in 1.5 hours.

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