The town of Hydra is located on the west coast, across from Ermioni. While the ship enters the harbourit impressed with its facades of captain houses of which their facades are build of natural stone, the characteristic windows and the tile-roofed roofs. Most of these houses are two or three stories heigh.
You climb up to the two gray rocky hills which blend harmoniously into the barren landscape. The row of houses at the quay with its magnificent buildings is completely preserved. In the ground floors of these houses shops have set up, like restaurants, bars, jewellery stores and many more.
Most of the mansions have been restored, the beautiful facades, interiors. Those decorations where constructed in those times by experienced builders from Genoa, they are still in good condition. In one of those Mansions named Tsamadou, the school of Merchant Marine is housed. In the house of Tomazi the College of Fine Arts is housed and in the Kriez house a retirement home was established.
In the Museuem, next to the harbour master’s office, you can visit the Archive with includes extensive written material from the time of the revolution in 1821. Located on the old Port are Cannons which are a reminder of the Sea Battles of Hydra.
Of the many churches and monasteries which are on the island the following are recommended to visit: The Mitropolis “Kimisi tis Theotokou”, which was built in 1765 and houses many beautiful icons, among them that of Konstantinos the Martyr of Hydra, the church Ypapanti, Agios Giannis zou Nistevi with its traditional murals. Also pay a visit to the twin monasteries Agia Efpraxia and Profitis Lias.
They were built around 1800 on the highest hill of the island. Close to Mandraki is the monastery of Agia Triada, and on the northern tip of the island, the monastery Zouvras, and just a little further to the south the monastery of Agia Matrona.
In the north of the island is the village of Mandraki, and in the south the settlements Vzchos, Molos and Episopi, which was the capital of the island in the Byzantine period.
For swimming you can take small boats to Mandraki and also to Kaminia, Vlzchos, Molos Mnisti, Limnioniza and Agios Nikolaos. Easter is celebrated in Hydra in a special way: On Good Friday included but not limited to Kaminia the Epitafios (the funeral) is continued up until the shore of the Sea. In June, under the Marine Week, the “Miaoulia” Games are held, these consist of a rowing regatta, swimming competitions, performances of folk dances and a performance of a naval battle against the Ottoman fleet.
Weather in Hydra
Geography and History
Hydra has a land area of approximately 50 km2 and a coastline of 56km. The island is located on opposite the coast of the Peloponnese near the town of Ermioni. It is, in contrast to the other rich vegetated islands of the Saronic Gulf rather sparse and Rocky.
While the landscape might be sparse it has its own characterised Charm which attracts many visitors. Hydra is one of the most cosmopolitan islands and offers upscale hotel and luxury retail shops, restaurants, bars and a diverse nightlife. The ancient name of the island was Hydraia.
Hydra had belonged at that time to the territory of Mycenae and later in that of Ermioni. In the Byzantine period the island was important, but the high points in the history of the island are located in the recent history.
During the years of Turkish occupation, the inhabitants of Hydra had secured a self-government and exemption from payments of tribute for their island. During the 17th and 18th century they could build a strong merchant fleet and had secured a monopoly on the trade in the Mediterranean during the Napoleonic Wars. This earned them great wealth, allowing them to strengthen their naval power even further.
At the beginning of the War of Independence in 1821 the captains of Hydra offered their ships for national purposes and fought with great sacrifice. Still up to this day the Hydra maintains its Nautical Traditions, and honor its glorious past.
How to get there
- By Ferry
- from Piraeus, the distance is approx. 38 nautical miles (about 3 hours and 15 minutes).
- In addition, speedboat connections are available from Zea. Hydra maintains connections with Speedboats and with Ferrys to Aegina, Mehana, Poros, Spetses, Ermioni, Poroto Heli, Gerakas, Kyparaissi, Leonidion Monemvasia, Neapolis, Tyros, Kythira and during the summer also with Astros, Navplion, and Tolo.
- On the island itself boat traffic is offered between the individual locations. They are operated regularly between the main town and Mandraki, Kaminia and Vlychos. Cars are not permitted on the island.
- Useful Telephone numbers
- Area Code: 0298
- Police: 52 205
- Port Administration: 52 279
- City Hall: 52 210
- Hospital: 53 150 - 1