Artists and jetsetters have fallen in love with Hydra, the small and historical Argo-Saronic island that keeps serving as a muse to everyone who appreciates the truly beautiful things in life. From the moment one enters the harbour to long after the return to daily life, the spirit and images of Hydra will linger on the mind.
After a two-hour boat journey from Athens, the port and town of Hydra, spread over two hills, beckons like a sight for sore eyes. The island’s rich naval history is reflected by the old and beautifully restored mansion, museums and cannons. Hydra is known for two things: its strict building rules and no car policy. The former ensures a unique atmosphere maintained through the ages and the latter is a novelty among Greek islands. No wheeled vehicles are allowed and transportation is carried on foot, friendly donkeys and water taxis take visitors to the island’s beaches. One can’t help but get the feeling that time has stopped in this corner of the world, thus Hydra is the location to relax, slow down and enjoy a long lost way of living.
The smell of wood emanating from the saw mills near the neighbourhood of Kiafa. Rafalia Pharmacy, the oldest in the island and dating back to the 19th century. Walking around the town, with no particular destination or having to worry about cars, and looking on different scenes of local life.
Dive in St George beach, which is nested between two pine-covered hills on the wester coast of Hydra. Keep an eye out for Leonard Cohen’s house. The famous singer and songwriter lived in Hydra for ten years, so you may still find locals with a story or two to share from his time there. Don’t miss the stuffed kalamari and the fisherman’s pasta at the few and well sought-after tables of Paradosiako tavern.
Held at the end of June, this celebration is a representation of a historical naval flight with live music and dancing
An annual conference attracting musicians and fans of the Greek folk music genre called rempetiko
A series of theatre and dance performances organized by Hydrama Theatre and Arts Center
Taking place anually in July or August, this puppet festival has something for kids and grownups alike