Getting there   Hydra is approximately 60-70km south of Athens' harbor of Pireas.

Boats regularly travel through the Saronic Gulf islands, connecting them with Athens and Nafpilo (off to the left of the map). From Athens it's 2hrs or so, more for stops. As always, the hydrofoils are twice as fast. A common package day cruise is to go from Athens to Aegina, Poros and Hydra and return. Convenient but crowded, no time to savor an island, and your time is not your own.

Detail maps of Hydra are available everywhere on the net.

Staying there  Hydra town is essentially the only city on the island. There are rooms and hotels, several of the sites on the links page list them. A guide I have lists 19 hotels, all will be small. Remember: the island is touristed heavily in high season. Development restrictions have limited the number of rooms available.

Being there  Hydra is a bit of an artist's colony and there are studios and galleries and an annual art festival. This is sometimes oversold, and I'd not go there expecting something amazing. The rugged hills around the main town provide opportunities for hikes. Day trips via ferries to Poros and Spetses are possible. See the activities page.

It's not a traditional beach island, but there are some opportunities for that. Take the coast road to the east of the main harbor for an "organized" beach.

Some of the old mansions are available for touring. There is also a Melina Mercouri Center. There are some churches of interest as well. An annual Rebetiko conference is held there in October.

Hotel Hydrossa. Stayed there 2012.

OK. "Old world charm" - that is, no elevators and quirky room numbering system. But, seriously, OK. Back from the waterfront so allegedly more quiet.

Hotel Sophia on the waterfront.

My vote on where to stay if you've got the money.

Last modified 9/9/12; posted 1/13/04. Original content © 2012, 2004 John P. Nordin