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.