Athens To Hydra Day Trip – Tours And Ferry Options

When planning a day trip from Athens to Hydra, you can take organized tours or plan the trip yourself using the local ferries. This guide shows you how.

Day Trip To Hydra Island In Greece
Take a break from the bustling city of Athens and set sail for the tranquil Hydra Islands on your day trip adventure

Athens to Hydra Day Trip

Combining cosmopolitan chic and quaint laid-back elegance, Hydra island in Greece is located close to 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. 

Just two hours away by boat, an Athens day trip to Hydra is the perfect way to experience this charming and unique island.

There's two ways you can do an Athens to Hydra day trip – you can take an organized tour or do it yourself using the local ferries. This guide covers both options so you can decide what's best for you.

A Greek Orthodox church on the island of Hydra near Athens

Athens Day Trip To Hydra By Organized Tour

The most popular way to do an Athens to Hydra day trip is by joining an organized tour. This is a great option if you want someone else to take care of the logistics and transport, leaving you free to sit back and enjoy the ride.

Many of the tours will pick you up from Athens centrally located hotels, and will then take you by coach or minibus to the port of Piraeus where you'll board a boat bound for Hydra.

Most tours to Hydra include additional islands such as Poros and Aegina on the itinerary. The most popular day trips to offer this are:

While some people are happy with visiting 3 of Greece's Saronic islands in one day, others might prefer more time on the picturesque island of Hydra.

If you feel that way, you might prefer to independently explore Hydra.

Independent Trip To Hydra From Athens

If you're the independent type, you may prefer to plan your own Athens to Hydra day trip using the local ferry service. This is a great option if you want to have more control over your itinerary and schedule.

To plan your ferry trip, I suggest checking Ferryscanner where you can buy round trip ferry tickets from Athens to Hydra.

You should be aware, that Hydra ferry tickets from Athens are not as cheap as they once were, especially in the peak season. You can expect a return trip ferry ride to be around 80 Euros depending on the ferry operator!

With this in mind, you can see that an organized day tour from Athens to Hydra (and another couple of Greek islands!) is actually pretty good value for money.

The main difference though, is that you'll have far more time to spend in Hydra (upwards of 7 hours) if you choose to take the ferry yourself. On a day tour, you might be lucky to get more than an hour in Hydra.

Both options have their pros and cons, so it's really up to you to decide what's best for you.

Athens (Piraeus) Ferries to Hydra 2024

If you're considering making the ferry trip yourself, here's some more practical information on ferry companies and your departure point in Piraeus Port.

Ferries to Hydra leave from the main port of Piraeus just outside of Athens. Currently, two ferry companies sail from Piraeus to Hydra which are Hellenic Seaways and Alpha Lines.

If you are staying in a central Athens hotel, take the metro line 1 (M1 Kifisia to Piraeus) from the city center to Piraeus (the main Athens port).

Once there, you will need to make your way to the gate you are leaving from. Typically, Blue Star Ferries leave from gate E8 – but double check your ferry ticket!

Piraeus is incredibly busy and chaotic. Leave plenty of time to get to your departure gate.

You might even find it easier to take a taxi from your hotel to Piraeus port as it can get your directly to the departure gate. You can pre-book taxis in Athens with: Welcome Pickups

Leaving port with Olympic Cruises

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 Hydra in order to relax, soak up the vibes of the port, and walk around Hydra Town.

With no motor vehicles permitted, as soon as you arrive in Hydra port you'll appreciate the slow pace!

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!

Donkeys on the Greek island of Hydra

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.

A doorway on the Greek island of Hydra

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
  • Lunch

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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How to plan an Athens day trip to Hydra

Hydra is the perfect place to relax and take in the slow pace of Greek island life. With a highly cosmopolitan character, you can enjoyably explore the picturesque paved streets of Hydra Town on foot. There are plenty of interesting museums, art galleries, and restaurants to visit, as well as hikes to take and beaches to swim at.

You might also be interested in finding out about more tours in Athens. Only have limited time in Athens? This guide to sightseeing Athens in a day will be useful.

Hydra Day Trip FAQ

Here are some commonly asked questions about taking a day trip to Hydra from Athens.

Can you do a day trip to Hydra from Athens?

Yes, it's definitely possible to do a day trip to Hydra from Athens. There are a number of different options for day cruises, as well as ferries between the two islands. You can find more information on ferry schedules and day cruises here.

How long is ferry from Athens to Hydra?

The ferry journey from Athens to Hydra is approximately 1.5 hours.

How do I get from Athens to Hydra?

There are a number of different options for getting from Athens to Hydra, including ferries and day cruises.

Is Hydra worth visiting?

Yes, Hydra is definitely worth visiting if you're looking for a relaxed Greek island getaway. With its cosmopolitan character and rich history, there's plenty to see and do in Hydra Town, as well as hikes to take and beaches to swim at.

Which ferry companies sail to Hydra Island?

There are a number of different ferry companies that sail to Hydra Island, including Blue Star Ferries and Alpha Lines.


Dave Briggs: Writer at Dave’s Travel Pages creating Greece travel guides, Greece travel planning tipsDave Briggs
Dave is a travel writer who writes about and lives in Greece. If you enjoyed this guide on planning an Athens to Hydra day trip, you might want to check out some of the other itineraries and insights about Greece on this website. Follow Dave on social media for more great Greece travel ideas:

7 thoughts on “Athens To Hydra Day Trip – Tours And Ferry Options”

  1. Are there actual sand beaches to relax on in hydra? If you were going to stay overnight as hydra being your first of island hopping what would you recommend next?

    • Hi Jennifer,
      The beaches are small pebble without much sand.
      It depends what island hopping you have in mind, but this wouldn’t be my first choice for island hopping.
      If you are after islands just a couple of hours out from Athens with great beaches, check out Andros and Tinos. These are in the Cycladic islands chain, so you have plenty more islands to choose from after.
      I’ve guide to Andros and Tinos going live over the next week or so.
      In the mean time this island hopping guide might be of interest.

    • Hi Jamie,
      You are correct in there are no cars allowed on Hydra.
      (Actually as far as i know there are only 3 vehicles – the trash collector, an ambulance, and a fire engine – I’ve never seen them though!).
      I know the Rolling Stones and Pink Floyd have either hung out or visited – not sure about Leonard Cohen however!

    • Hi Hannah,
      yes there are beaches and swimming spots on Hydra, but in all honesty they are not the best.
      Take a look on Tripadvisor for:

      You’ll find others on there as well.
      You might also find a water taxi to take you to a beach or two as well

  2. Ugh! We could have done this trip to Hydra when in Athens – and we didn’t! Just the door makes me hurt a little inside when I think about missing it! 😀 Thanks for sharing!


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