Hydra, Greece

Mar 20th, 2017, 01:41 PM
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Hydra, Greece

We will be in Greece for about 2 weeks and we have identified islands and cities to visit but we're not sure about Hydra. What are the top 10 things to do in Hydra? Thank you for your response.
rpclark is offline  
Mar 21st, 2017, 05:15 AM
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Hydra is a small island popular with day trippers and jet setters. It has one of the most beautiful waterfronts in Greece and the village is lovely cascading down the hillside to the waterfront.

However, there are no archeological sites, no agriculture, no beaches to speak off. There are a number of good hiking trails.

For the most part people hang out on the waterfront, eat, drink and maybe take a walk to the small village of Kamini.

One of the best things about Hydra is that no motorized vehicles are allowed . . . all transportation is done by donkey giving you an idea of the "Old" Greece. However, Hydra is not "Old Greece" by any means . . . it's now, very upscale and a haven for wealthy folks . . . but can offer a couple days of enjoyment.

Other than that there really isn't a whole lot to do.
crazyh is offline  
Mar 21st, 2017, 07:05 AM
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Hydra has been unceasingly promoted by Rick Steves book & tours --mainly, I think because it's one of the few islands reachable for day trip from athens its the only island included on RS tours (so it has to sound like a must-see), and because RS TV series has not visited Greek islands since the days of the Drachma (2002); he is much fonder of Turkey. The "steves effect" has produced a big US following for Hydra, chiefly from people who haven't done much homework themselves, on Greek island options.

As mentioned, the waterfront town is lovely & you can wander around, and take a donkey ride. However, if you DO want a place reachable as a daytrip from Athens, I much prefer Aegina. It does allow cars, but they're sparse... I walked along a mid-island road for 15 minutes w. no vehicle passing me. It has a Splendid Ancient temple (best-preserved temple in all the Greek isles), an interesting port town (complete w. ruin & museu), many shops, and 3-4 decent beaches reachable by bus. Here's a super photo album https://www.flickr.com/photos/362647...646139/detail/ -- that depicts a daytrip in detail, even including the Metro platform & the machine to "validate" your ticket!

That said, if one has a full 2 weeks to explore, I would not choose either of these. I DO suggest you research in some guidebooks and (not OR!) a comprehensive website like http://www.greektravel.com/greekislands/ and carefully study an island map that shows the "chains" & ferry links -- http://www.greeceathensaegeaninfo.co...erry-chart.htm ... To make realistic choices.

Many first-timers who are independent travelers, not on a package deal or cruise, very often are happy with 2 weeks (16 days?) that includes 2 Cycladic islands for 8 of the days, perhaps 4 days on the mainland to see Delphi & the Argolid (based in Nafplio), and their final 2-3 days in Athens. (we Old hands prefer doing Athens last, since u must be there anyway the last night before homebound flight, just to be prudent).
travelerjan is offline  
Mar 21st, 2017, 08:09 AM
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I think Hydra drew a lot of attention from the 1957 film Boy on a Dolphin, which was set on the island and starred Sophia Loren and Alan Ladd. Few people remember the film these days, but it gave Hydra the same hype then as the later films Shirley Valentine, set on Mykonos, and Mamma Mia, set on Skopelos.

I hope Antiparos doesn't get too much attention from the film Suntan, shot on the island in 2015. It probably won't, because so far it has been distributed only in Europe. You can see a trailer of Suntan on YouTube if you are interested, but note that it only gets that wild in July and August.
Heimdall is online now  
Mar 21st, 2017, 08:45 AM
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While staying in a villa on the Argolid peninsula we went to the islands of Spetses and Hydra. Spetses was swarming with noisy vespas and we didn't stay long. Hydra was beautifully peaceful. We walked on paths around the shore and saw the donkeys, a traditional Greek windmill and a cliff diver.

Hydra may not represent modern Greece but it's definitely a nice place to visit.

This contradicts your desire to tick sights off your list. Which in turn contradicts what is enjoyable about visiting Greek islands: living the simple life, going with the flow. (Exceptions being Santorini and Crete.)
Mimar is offline  
Mar 21st, 2017, 08:58 AM
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I agree that Aegina would offer a lot more than Hydra. It has a lovely waterfront main town, archeological site just next door, one of the best preserved temples in Greece, several seaside villages, ancient olive groves, an abandoned Byzantine Village in the hills, excellent hiking, great food and is known as the Pistachcio Capital of Greece.

Hydra is more of a day trip visit and would still be very nice but Aegain is worth at least two, maybe three days to fully explore it.

The more one promotes Paros and/or Antiparos as our dear friend Heimdall does the more it exposes it to over-the-top tourism which in the end can ruin the very reason for going to those two islands.
crazyh is offline  
Mar 21st, 2017, 09:39 AM
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Crazyh, Naxos gets more hype on Fodor's than does Paros, so sometimes I like to remind people there are other islands from which to choose.

Antiparos is quieter than either Naxos or Paros in October, so you may enjoy a visit. The same people who are busy running their hotels and restaurants in summer are on their farms harvesting grapes and other fruit, and firing up their stills to make tsipouro.
Heimdall is online now  
Mar 25th, 2017, 10:33 AM
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We are going to Hydra for one night in April. I was trying to mix up ruins with something else for my 13 year old boys. I am HOPING that there really are a few nice hiking trails there.
RubyTwins is offline  
Apr 18th, 2017, 10:13 AM
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Thank you all for your thoughts and comments ... very helpful!
rpclark is offline  
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