Hydra

The Captains' Island

Authors

George Papadellis | SG Head

Panagiotis Papadellis | SG Team

Hydra  |  Shiny Greece

Hydra Seaside View | Photo by: iStock.com, f8grapher | 25.11.2017

An erotic collectible piece of land, of rare beauty, flooded with different light. Everyone would like to be a painter like the Hydriot artist Panagiotis Tetsis, to encircle this light, the nectar of Ancient Greeks’ well-being. “I live on a hill and life here goes on with the same way for hundreds of years. All day round, you hear the voices of the wandering salesmen, and some of them are quite melodic.”, said Leonard Cohen. The Canadian composer Leonard Cohen, “Lionardos of the Hydriots” as locals used to call him, loved Hydra and lived his last days among the island’s everyday people. Here is where he composed and sang for his favorite Marianne the song “Now so long, Marianne, it's time that we began”. Hydra proved to be an alternative place, which stroke cars away to offer freedom sensations, to show the values of old times to the world. The freedom that older people conquered with epic naval fights in the Aegean and other seas and lands.

Hydra Map
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Hydra is one of the Saronic Islands, located between the Myrtoan Sea and the Argolic Gulf, separated from the mainland by a water strip. The municipality includes also the islet Dokos and some other uninhabited islets. The capital town Hydra Port is structured around the port with its stone streets. Other villages are Vlychos, Mandraki, Episkopi, Kamini and Molos. Hydra depends on tourism and has a strong maritime and arts culture. Thus, it is also a popular global yachting destination, home of the famous Kamini Yacht Club.

Hydra  |  Shiny Greece

Hydra View | Photo by: Nikos LaskaridisHydra, cropped by Shiny Greece, CC BY-SA 4.0  |  06.04.2022

In the middle of the 20th century, Hydra became home of a community of artists, including Leonard Cohen and the Norwegian novelist Axel Jensen. Today, Hydra hosts an autumn Rebetiko Annual Conference and performances and workshops of the Hydrama Theater and Arts Center. This culture is also featured by the island’s mansions. Examples are the mansions of Kountouriotis, Kriezis. Voulgaris, Boudouris, Miaoulis and Sachinis that include collections of 18th century furniture, the Tombazis mansion that is part of the Athens School of Fine Arts and the Tsamadou Mansion, today a Maritime Academy.

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In 2007, National Geographic Traveler rated the island as a unique destination preserving its "integrity of place". It is worth to notice that Hydra has almost no nighttime light pollution, thus it can be a potential sky observation destination. The visitors of Hydra are served by the international airport of Athens (ATH), and at second stage by high-speed hydrofoils and catamarans from Piraeus port (in the Poros – Hydra – Spetses line) or by passenger ferry from Metochi port in Peloponnese. Hydra does not allow motor vehicles, apart from rubbish trucks, thus visitors walk and public transportation takes place with horses, mules, donkeys and water taxis. It is a unique experience for visitors to spend some days in a place away from cars' noice and traffic.

Hydra  |  Shiny Greece

Horses, Mules and Donkeys in Hydra | Photo by: iStock.com | photo_stella | 25.11.2017

During most of the Ottoman rule period, Hydra was not that important. However, in the 17th century, a maritime and commercial start came up, which included the establishment of the first school for sailors in 1645. After 1718 and until 1750 approximately, Hydriots built several vessels, making Hydra an important commercial port. By 1780 the island owned almost 100 vessels. In the 19th century, Hydra reached 125 vessels and thousands of sailors, and a prosperity obvious from the mansions of captains and its 15.000 inhabitants.

Hydra  |  Shiny Greece

Yachting in Hydra  |  Photo by: iStock.comfabdrone  |  24.11.2017

Hydra was active in the fight against the Ottoman Empire in the Greek War of Independence, and, together with Spetses and Psara, Hydra managed to take control of East Aegean. When Antonis Economou, in 1821, announced the adherence of Hydra to this fight, he found reactions from the people of the island that had privileges during the Empire, and he was chased, imprisoned and finally killed. But Hydra finally fought. With 150 ships. And it helped a lot, especially under the orders of Andreas Miaoulis.

Hydra  |  Shiny Greece

Old Cannon in Hydra  |  Photo by: iStock.comphoto_stella  |  22.11.2017

Our Hotel Proposals

Bratsera Hotel

The Bratsera Hotel stretches around a peaceful garden with a lovely pool, with a unique design offering an environment of pure serenity. With memories of its glorious past – when the building was a sponge factory - all 25 rooms appointed in a U-shape around a beautiful pool, are made of local materials. Main facilities include an outdoor swimming pool and a gourmet restaurant.

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Four Seasons Lux. Suites

The Four Seasons Hydra is an ancient and imposing stone mansion providing stunning panoramic sea views. The eight luxurious suites of the mansion have been designed to ensure maximum comfort, in harmony with the traditional dignified style. The "Four Seasons Hydra" restaurant, serves fresh fish and traditional Greek dishes, and has a comprehensive wine list, offering pleasure throughout the senses.

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Hydrea Boutique Hotel

Built in 1803, this beautiful mansion was restored in 2010. The mansion was the home of Frangiscos Voulgaris who was the Bay of Hydra during the Ottoman rule. The mansion's exclusive location combines direct access to the island's center, and a point for ultimate relaxation. A smooth blend of elegance captures the visitor from the very first moment of staying in one of the 8 suites of Hydrea Exclusive Hospitality.

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