hydrapanoramica

Best of Hydra: An island that sways gently to its own rhythm

Explore the wild beauty of Hydra Island with its rough and rocky scenery that comes in contrast to its romantic and noble side, creating a unique combination. Renovated mansions, the old picturesque port with the loopholes and the canons, the museums, the monasteries, the naval academy and other attractions reveal the historic background of Hydra. Traditional as well as cosmopolitan, Hydra is a popular destination and an ideal resort for your vacations.

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Sailing into the small Saronic Island in early summer, the unrivalled beauty comes in front of your feet. The port – a perfect horseshoe – backs into a high amphitheatre dotted with grey-stone mansions and blindingly white alleys. The other major draw is that vehicles of any kind are banned, so the rest of the island still has the ‘wild and naked perfection’. Sun-baked footpaths trace the craggy coast, with countless coves and rocks for cooling off. There is a cute-warm and coiled around dazzling-bright labyrinths of steep steps and slender streets. On the cobbles, a line of donkeys waits patiently to carry suitcases up to the hotels and apartments. There are no street names on Hydra either.

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Hydra’s handful beaches are mostly pebbly and reached by foot or boat, which you pick up in the port beside the donkey stand. Agios Nikolaos, Avlaki Bay and Bisti Beach are great choices for sunbathing, swimming in the clear blue waters and also provide a great snorkeling experience. But no activity on Hydra compares to a trip out in a boat. The island is only 50 km square and completely riveting when seen from the water, despite not being particularly lush or landscaped with the green hills and olive trees of other Greek islands. Still, whichever way you turn, the impact is captivating.

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There is no denying that in some months of the year Hydra has immense glamour. Every summer, international artists and sharp-eyed collectors come together for cutting-edge art shows in the ramshackle high school and slaughterhouse.

Locals and visitors come together at the much-loved sea side bars. With views overlooking the coast restaurants servemouthwatering homemade Greek dishes accompanied by refreshing cocktails by Hydriot mixologists until the sun rises.

Back down on the shore, in peaceful Kamini, a short walk along the path from the port, gives the definition of a perfect Aegean afternoon. Some places are just like that: powerfully and romantically unusual.