Reaching the port, Hydra island looks glamorous like an art-paint, with grey, white and blue colors above the blue of the sea, an exemplar of architectonics and aesthetics. The town of Hydra island, which is the center of the whole island, is built amphitheatrically around the port, combining nature and architecture.
From your very first visit, a magic feeling surrounds you perhaps of the unique architecture and graphic scenes throughout the Island, or maybe because of its long history and rich heritage. The visitor, coming for the first time, is impressed by the view of the tall buildings and Manors, which exist in the port.
Right and left from the entrance of the port, there are the Parapets with the Canons, which protected the town. Today, the port of Hydra is filled with little and big yachts, boats, and cruisers. You can walk to the port, the heart of the town, take a stroll at the tourist shops, admire the old Manors and visit the Museum of Hydra island.
Also, you can stroll the picturesque narrow cobblestone alleys and reach the old Settlement of the town, to the medieval fortress town of Kiafa, and from there to enjoy the view toward the Peloponnese. The main characteristic of Hydra is that there are no wheeled vehicles and the transportation of people is being made only by donkeys, a thing that makes the Island even more picturesque. For swimming in the town, there are offered the rocks of Spilia, Hydroneta, and a short distance from there, Avlaki, Kamini and cosmopolitan Mandraki.
The connection of the town with the other beautiful beaches, Vlycho, Saint Nicholas, Bisti … is being done only from the sea with boats or sea taxis. Today the residents of Hydra do not exceed 3,000 and nearly everyone involved with tourism.
Hydra is famous for the calm life it offers to the visitors in the day, but also for the intense, cosmopolitan nightlife. So the island each year receives a large number of Greek and foreign visitors.
The imposing houses and well-kept mansions, built amphitheatrically beneath the bare cliffs with tourist shops and jewelers, restaurants and cafes, boats, sea taxis, and large yachts, compose the port of Hydra and affirm the routine of Hydraians that bears little resemblance to the 21st century.
The coastal road, the Paul Kountouriotis street, extends from the statue of Miaoulis until the location Petalo. The street’s paving was completed in 1912 and to this, ends all the paved vertical paths, that start from the top and end up at the sea.
Right and left from the entrance of the port, there are the Parapets with the Canons, which protected the town. On the left side of the harbor, over the left bastion, there is the statue of Admiral Andreas Miaoulis, which was erected in 1993 and its base are buried the bones of Miaoulis, who came to Hydra in 1985.
West of the statue of A. Miaoulis, at the beginning of the beach of the port, is the Port Authority. Next to the Port Authority, is the marble building that houses the Historical Archive-Museum of Hydra, and following is the home of the Tsamadou family, which houses the famous School of Merchant Marine. At the point of the harbor opposite the breakwater, beats the heart of town. Here are banks, public offices, shops, restaurants, and cafes.
In the center of the harbor, is located the Cathedral of Hydra, built-in 1648 and reconstructed in 1774. A three-aisled basilica with a dome, two marble towers, and two silver chandeliers inside. Previously the Cathedral served as a Monastery of the Virgin Mary.
Further down a steep path to the left, leads to the Mansion of Tombazis, which today houses the School of Fine Arts. Rightmost of the Monastery of the Assumption begins a narrow, paved, and scenic winding road that leads to the old town of Kiafa.
Soon we meet the Mansion of Kountourioti Lazarus, built in the late 18th century and is now a branch of the National Historical Museum. Continuing to the road, we reach the Periptero, the western bastion of the harbor and one of the most beautiful locations of Hydra. Under the Periptero is the rocky coast of Spilia.
Over the cannons, to the left, there is a small pine forest with the mansion of George Kountourioti be raised amongst the pine trees and up to the hills stand in a line the derelict mills. The road continues, reaches Avlaki, a picturesque district built on the steep slope of the mountain, to reach the picturesque Kaminia.
The alleys and small streets of the Town
The beauty of Hydra is not confined to the beaches and the sightseeings. There are scenic and beautiful areas within the town, which you enjoy while strolling the narrow cobblestone streets, between houses with unique architecture, the flowers, the picturesque tavernas, and the small tourist shops.
If you ascend the stairs of the Town, you will reach the medieval fortress town of Kiafa, a village with stone-built houses, high walls, and narrow streets. Here you will be greeted by the smell of cut wood from carpentry while brightly colored houses and churches will enliven your mood. From the hill of Kiafa you can enjoy the fantastic view that reaches across the Peloponnese.
Longitude: 23.48364 – Latitude: 37.35380 Area: 49.6km2