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Hydra October 2013

Hydra, is considered to be one of the most romantic destinations in Greece. The island is built in the shape of an amphitheatre on an inclination looks over the Argosaronic gulf.

 

 

 Hydra has maintained its characteristic atmosphere throughout the passage of time. The traditional stone mansions and the compressed cobblestoned streets; as well as, the secluded squares and most importantly the banning of cars and the use of around 500 donkeys as means of public transportation makes the island unique. Hydra has gone through outstanding economic growth in the past thanks to its great marine and commercial activity. Moreover, the Hydriots contributed significantly to the War of Independence in the 1821 as their powerful navy took part in crucial marine battles. What is extremely impressive is the the fact that this small island has been the birthplace of five Greek Prime Ministers! The wealth occurred in the island is exposed through the impressive stone mansions that were built by Italian artisans and were inhabited by important families (Voulgaris, Kountouriotis, Tombazis, Bountouris etc). Nowadays most of these mansions are turned into museums. A romantic mosaic is created by the great number of churches and monasteries as well as the statues of the heroes of the Independence War and the cannons- all still standing at the balconies. You can come across magnificent monuments, churches, canons, museums and statues of famous people as you walk along the sea front. You will also encounter old mansions, shops and cafes as well as picturesque curvy roads that will get you to neighbourhoods situated on the upper part of the town. You can also visit the old neighbourhood of Kiafas. Hydra is also a place ideal for yachting. Every summer groups of sailing boats moor at the seaport, thereafter they are accompanied by dozens of astounding yachts and motorboats.Hydra partly got its worldwide fame thanks to the film “Boy on a dolphin”, which was shot in 1957 on the island with the leading star Sophia Loren.


Significant museums worth visiting:
• Historical archive-Museum of Hydra: It holds a rare documentation material in relation to the history, tradition and culture of the island from 1708-1865. It contains an Archive Section, the Museum Section, and the Library.
• Ecclesiastical and Byzantine Museum: Located in the old Monastery of the Assumption of the Virgin Mary, it includes garments, sacred vessels, elaborately decorated gospel and icons, mainly from the 18th century.
• Annex to the National Historical Museum: Lazaros Kountouriotis’ home is functioning as an annex of the National Historical Museum. In 1979 Kountouriotis’ descendents donate the National And Ethnological Society of Greece.
• Museum of Post-Byzantine Art and History of Hydra: The museum is housed in Georgios Kountouriotis’ mansion and it is displaying personal antiquities of the Kountouriotis family and other artefacts from the modern history of Hydra.


Exploring island’s beaches:
• Mandráki: it was used as a harbour throughout the War of Independence. However, nowadays it is an organised beach with brilliant water sport facilities.
• Bísti: A gravelly beach, where the Hydra Diving Centre is arranging water sport activities such as diving and canoe kayaking.
• Vlychós: It is situated at Vlychos holiday resort. It is a beautiful beach covered with pebbles.
• Spiliá: perfect for the sunbathers seeking tan.
• Limnióniza: It is thought to be the most beautiful beach on Hydra. This might be because it takes two hours climbing in order to reach it, and take pleasure in a swim within its turquoise water!
• Hydronéta: The beach lies directly below the cannons. The cement decks make Hydronéta perfect for sunbathing.
• Ayios Nikolaos: On the west of the island a sandy beach is located. The only possible way to get there is by water taxi.


Getting to Hydra
• By flying dolphin
Flying dolphins leaving daily from the Piraeus port; the journey takes approximately 1h and 30 min.
• By helicopter!
Close to town of Hydra is a flat area used as for the helicopters’ landing and takeoff. Air Heli, located in Porto Heli, has air transport links to Hydra, as well (tel. 0030 210 3601600).

 

One day cruise to three islands from Athens - Hydra, Poros , Aegina
pleasurecruises.gr