Hydra lies on the south of the Saronic gulf. It is known for its rocky and dry soil and the characteristic architecture, fully harmonized with the ascetic environment.
This gives it a uniqueness and a special charm, with its cosmopolitan character, high-level housing, luxury shops, art galleries, numerous restaurants, places for entertainment and opportunities for water sports and nightlife, have made it one of the most popular sailing and general tourist destinations in Greece.
On the west of the town, the excavations have revealed an ancient Mycenaean settlement.
In the Byzantine period, the island experienced a great glory, as witnessed by the findings from the area of Episkopi. During the Turkish rule, the inhabitants of Hydra had retained a system of self-administration and many privileges, and thus managed to create a strong merchant fleet. With the beginning of the Revolution of 1821, the "masters of the sea" had put their boats in the service of revolution.
The picturesque town of Hydra, the singularity of its construction together with the landscape: Kapetanospita (Homes of sea captains) in stone, a two and three stores, with roof tiles are an amphitheater built around the harbor on two hills. Most of these houses has been restored: painted wooden ceilings, marble fountains, furniture, etc.. The most important of them are: Tombazis, where he established a branch of the School of Fine Arts; Kountouriotis; Voudouris; Miaoulis; Voulgaris; Kriezis seat of the House of Rest; Tsamados, where is the School of the Merchant Navy.
Among the places of interest, the relevant old port, the monastery of Kimisis of Our Lady, based on plans of Venetian and Genoese architects, in the seventeenth century, and churches of Ypapanti and Agios loannis Nisteftis, with remarkable frescoes. On the top of the hill, above the town, with panoramic view of the harbor, are the twin monasteries of Agia Eupraxia and Profitis llias. In the Historical Archives Museum rich material is kept in the history of the island and also a great library. A north-east of town, is Mandraki and short distance, on a hill, the monastery of Agia Triada. On the islands north-east, lies the monastery Zourvas, dedicated to the Dormition of the Virgin Mary, and south to Agia Matrona.
The coasts are rocky and steep. Beaches, ideal for swimming, are located in Kaminia, Vlyhòs, Molos, Bisti, Limnioniza and Agios Nikolaos. All can be reached by sea. Between Hydra and the coast of the Peloponnese, lies the small island of Dokos. Here the Easter is celebrated with special customs. At Kaminia the Good Friday procession of the Epitaffio (tomb) is continuing on the sea and on Sunday of Easter the effigy of Judas is burned.
In June the island prepares the Miaouli festival that celebrates the achievements of the great Admiral Miaoulis, a Hydriot hero of the War of Independence, against Turks.
Among the advantages of the island is the prohibition of motor vehicles.
Hydra is known for its delicious sweet almonds.
USEFUL PHONE NUMBERS
Information: Harbor of Piraeus, tel. 1440; Harbor of Hydra, tel. 22980 52279.
Police: 22980 52.205
Tourist Police: 22980 52.205
City Hall: 22980 52.210
Harbor: 22980 53.150 / 1
First Aid: 22980 52.420
Hospital: 22980 53.150 / 1