Anyone traveled to Hydra? We are have a trip to Greece next week. What did or didn’t you like about this island?
It’s very pretty and an easy ferry ride from Athens. There is a nice hike along the water and walking up the hills had amazing homes and views.
We did this because we were heading north and some in our group had never been to the islands. But, we started in Karpathos early on in the trip. Nothing of great interest there except Olympos. Two friends planned the trip and didn’t take any suggestions from the two others going. I was bored! Seven days of boredom to be explicit.
Seven days on Hydra? That's overkill for sure! ;-)
I spent a few hours there on a multi-island boat ride, enjoyed the harbor but didn't get out of town. I liked the absence of cars, of course. It would be a worthwhile destination for a day or overnight, assuming that your overall trip is long enough to see the many other worthwhile sights in Greece. If you're looking for an island easily reached from Athens, others on this forum have recommended Aegina. If you have time, or your interests run mainly to islands, then I'd suggest some of those farther out in the Aegean (even though they have cars).
I didn’t spend 7 days on Hydra. Those 7 days were on Karpathos and I was miserable.
Many people go to Hydra as a day trip which is easy to do from Piraeus. Leave in the morning, spend several hours on the island, get back to Athens late afternoon and you'll still have plenty of time for a night out in the city.
Hydra has one of the prettiest towns cascading down to the lovely waterfront. Nice back streets with less people going uphill away from the harbor.
It's more of a hang-out island with lots of people watching. Nice walk along the water to the small village of Kamini for lunch.
Some hiking in the interior, not much for beaches but a nice day trip nevertheless.
A better alternative would be the nearby island of Aegina. It's larger than Hydra has more to do and has everything one would want for a Greek Island: nice waterfront town, villages, one of the best preserved temples in Greece, ancient olive groves, hiking, great food, etc.
Thanks for all the responses! We are only in the island for a few days not a week. We are visiting Santorini an Crete as well. We can’t wait to get there!!!
When we took the RS Greece tour, 2013, the itinerary included Hydra for two nts, the vacation from our vacation. Likeable little town, great little fishing & ferryboat harbor with donkeys the only transport, twisty lanes with not-too-touristy shops, cafes, & affable locals. Bought jewelry from its maker, via mime & laughter. Ate excellently. Hiked (nah, walked) a beautiful path out of town above the BLUE Aegean, old windmills on the ridge & a good cafe with ahhh cold beers (it was July). Terrific memories. Hotel Leto, comfy, quiet room with AC & a little terrace on side street, exc. breakfast in pretty courtyard.
Ah, Greece! One of our favorite trips. Enjoy!
Hydra is usually suggested by RS tours & moderators for those who are doing tours that are mostly Athens and the Peloponnese, and only have a day to spare for an island ... It sounds as if you are among those. However, if one wants a swim, Hydra doesn't offer the beaches that other islands do, and if one's mobility is limited, one can only stroll around the port, because the island has no busses or taxis.
Another option, Aegina, has both busses & taxis, and is closer to the port ... 1 hour on open-deck ferry, allowing you to sit out & enjoy the seascape ... huge liners, freighters, yachts, ferries, sailboats, gulls etc. Here's a good step-by-step photo album - https://www.flickr.com/photos/36264706@N03/sets/72157621604646139/detail/ -- of highlilghts of an Aegina day-trip including the 60 minutes at sea. Busses aren't all that frequent, but you can combine a bus ride (to the FAB ruin on a high hill in center island) with downhill stroll (to Ag. Marina, a beach town), for lunch & a swim if the day's sunny (the water will be good temp), and either a bus or taxi return to the port town... to wander the nontourists back streets where locals shop & live their lives, then a cocktail at a seafront cafe, and a sunset ride back to Pireaus. On my Aegina "trip" I stayed overnight, but can highly recommend a day trip as well.
For what its worth, we spent two nights in Hydra last May and it was not enough. We would have preferred three or four. But it depends what you want. Its true there are few "sights" and the beaches are remote and rocky. But we loved just soaking the atmosphere, walking the trails, enjoying "ouzo time" around 5:00 at a bar on the harbour, and having the best Greek meals for ridiculously cheap prices.
We stayed at Alkionides Pension and highly recommend it, although its not on the water. Hotel Sofia is supposed to be excellent if you want to stay on the harbour. Eat at a place called Xeri Elia (up Tompazi Street from the harbour). Tables on the leafy square, cats running around, live Greek music, appetizer, dinner, wine, dessert and digestif for EUR 35 for two persons!