Combining cosmopolitan chic and quaint laid-back elegance, Hydra island in Greece is located close to Athens. Just two hours away, an Athens day trip to Hydra is the perfect way to experience this charming and unique island.
Hydra Island in Greece
Hydra is one of the Saronic islands located in the Aegean sea. Due to its reasonably close location with Athens, it has long been a weekend destination for wealthy Athenians who have second homes there. It's also a popular place for tourists to visit, particularly during the summer months. If you are staying for a few days in the Greek capital you might want to consider visiting Hydra as one of your day trips from Athens.
The island's charms are immediately apparent on arrival. Traffic is banned in the main town, building restrictions have meant that Hydra's architecture has been preserved, and there is something of a yester-year feeling. Many people visit for a day, but want to spend much longer!
Athens Day Trip to Hydra
There are several ways to visit Hydra on a day trip from Athens. You can either take an organised tour, or arrange ferry tickets to the island yourself. This article should have all the information you need to plan a trip to Hydra. If I've missed something out and you still have questions, leave a comment at the end and I'll get back to you!
Ferries to Hydra 2018
Ferries to Hydra leave from the main port of Piraeus just outside of Athens. There are two official crossings from Athens to Hydra in 2018. One is the vessel known as The Flying Dolphin, the other is known as Flyingcat6. You can find out more information on the Hydra ferry schedules by visiting the Hellenic Seaways site. Crossing times for both ferries are less than two hours. It's important to remember that no cars can be taken over to Hydra!
Day Tours to Hydra
Although a slightly more expensive option, an organised Athens day trip to Hydra may be convenient for some people. Organised tours to the island include a pick up and drop off from your hotel in Athens, and you know that you have a ferry ticket reserved in advance. The highlights and benefits of an organised tour include:
- Pick up and drop off from central Athens hotels in an air-conditioned vehicle
- Port transfers
- Ferry tickets
- 7 hours to explore the island
You can find out more about day tours to Hydra here: Hydra Island from Athens
Things to do in Hydra
A trip to Hydra gives a good taste of the laid back atmosphere of Greek island life (depending on how many other tourists there are of course!). Mostly, people visit the island in order to relax, soak up the vibes of the port, and walk around the main town. Some suggestions of things to do in Hydra include:
- Visit the Historical Archive of Hydra – An interesting museum which puts on art exhibitions, festivals and seminars during the summer months.
- Visit the Koundouriotis Mansion – Includes heirlooms of the Koundouriotis family such as weapons, woodcarvings, paintings and jewellry.
- Hiking – Whether walking through the streets of the main town, or using the paths that criss-cross the island, there's plenty of possibilities for stretching your legs!
- Take a water-taxi to a secluded beach for snorkelling and swimming
- Try out one of the many excellent restaurants
- Watch the world go by as you drink a frappe at the port cafes!
Where to Stay in Hydra
If you decide to extend your Athens day trip to Hydra and want to stay a night or two, here are a few hotel recommendations. I've included links to Tripadvisor so that you can check out others traveller's reviews!
Phaedra Hotel – Featured in Rick Steves' Greece travel book, this charming hotel gets good reviews due to its location and Hilda, the friendly owner. People also rate this hotel highly because of the breakfast – It's always good to start a day the best way! You can find Tripadvisor reviews here.
Cotommatae Hydra 1810 – 92% of guests rate this as excellent, this boutique hotel has 8 rooms, which are lovingly looked after. Many guests say that they never want to leave! A perfect retreat for a day or two when staying on the Greek island of Hydra. You can find Tripadvisor reviews here.
Hotel Mistral – A friendly, family run hotel. Guests often comment on the impeccably clean rooms, and the breakfast. Within walking distance of some good restaurants on Hydra, this is one of the more popular places to stay in the island. You can read some Tripadvisor reviews here.
Alternatives to the Athens day trip to Hydra
An interesting alternative to a day trip to Hydra from Athens, would be to take a 3 island cruise instead. This is really only possible by taking an organised day trip, but is a great way of seeing 3 islands in one day on a cruise from Athens. The cost is not massively different than when taking an organised Athens day trip to Hydra either. You can read more about my experiences on a 3 island day cruise to Aegina, Poros, Hydra here. A typical 3 island day cruise from Athens would include:
- Pickup and dropoff at central Athens hotels or meeting point
- Visit 3 islands – Aegina, Poros, Hydra
You can find out more about a 3 island cruise to Aegina, Poros and Hydra here: Hydra, Poros and Aegina day cruise from Athens
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