An easy thing to do in Athens is to jump on a ferryboat and leave the chaos behind! The Saronic Gulf offers a quick relaxing break, both for Athenians and visitors. Among the many islands, one stands out: Hydra. Book a return ticket and let the magic of Hydra carry you away to a day of marine atmosphere and stunning landscapes. Let’s see what things to do in Hydra in one day!
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Hydra: One-Day Itinerary
Last-minute plans for Greece?
Get there: Use Ferryhopper to book your tickets.
Stay: Find accommodation deals on Booking.com.
Move around: Compare car rental prices with Discover Cars.
Tours: Visit popular places with GetYourGuide.
Read more: Pack the Lonely Planet Guide to Greece.
Quick guide to accommodation in Hydra
If you fall in love with the beauty of the island and want to transform your one-day trip into a longer stay, check this guide to the best rental homes on Hydra. This is another useful article with tips on how to make the most of your rental home on the island.
My favorite hotels in Hydra
If you’re looking for an inexpensive place to stay in Hydra, check the facilities of Botsis, a comfy guest house with very convenient prices and impeccable facilities. It’s rated 8.8 on Booking.com.
If you can spend a little more during your stay, I suggest you read more about Mistral Hotel. It is centrally located and offers great value for money.
You can upgrade your nights on the island by staying at Hotel Four Seasons Hydra Luxury Suites, with stunning views of the island and excellent reviews on Booking.com.
Ready to Spend One Day in Paradise? Jump on a Boat at Piraeus
Are you ready to spend one day on one of Athens’ closest islands? Then get up early in the morning and reach the Port of Piraeus by bus or – even easier – with the metro. The trip from the center of Athens is about 25 minutes and the metro station is right opposite the port.
It’s always better to book your ticket to Hydra in advance since it’s not always easy to find available tickets.
Although several ferries cross every day, finding the right ticket is not always a piece of cake, especially in summer. I always use Ferryhopper for convenient fees.
Welcome to Hydra Island
Arriving in Hydra you will notice a line of mules and donkeys waiting to carry somebody or somebody’s luggage. You can hike some trails (or not), swim the crystal waters, and indulge in some authentic food of the best Greek tradition.
While it’s still early, the atmosphere usually looks peaceful along the narrow streets. Lines of mules and donkeys, a soft perfume of herbs, people waiting for goods arriving from Athens. Several paths in the hills lead to lonely monasteries.
Take enough sun protection with you because the sun is merciless in summer along the coast, take one more look at the port and keep waking next to the sea until you spot three windmills.
Right after, the road bends. Here the sea looks like a tiny angle of emerald, walk down the steps among the trees: you don’t need to walk more, this area is heavenly for a quick, refreshing swim.
Lunch by the Sea
Not far from the beach, there’s one of the nicest tavernas in the area, To Pefkaki. Here you can feast with tasty seafood dishes (octopus is delicious), combine it with a rustic glass of retsina wine, and a simple bowl of homemade yogurt with quince.
Choose a table under the trees, overlooking the seat.
Later, you can walk some more to reach the little port of Kamini and spend some time discovering the beautiful landscape.
Walk some more to reach Vlychos or extend your beach towel on Kastello, another popular beach on the island.
Spend a peaceful afternoon sleeping or swimming, and then climb the steps back to the main path and head back to the main port before sunset… the landscape is stunning.
Getting Back to Athens: A Piece of Cake!
Before it’s dinner time, it is a good idea to walk some more along the seaside promenade, ideal to get yourself some souvenirs from the island or enjoy a good cup of Greek coffee.
If you want to avoid the crowds, find a table at a bar closer to where the boats from Athens arrive, this area tends to be less crowded. Try the local cakes (either chocolate or my favorite: orange cake soaked in honey with whipped cream, and spend some time people-watching.
When it’s time to get back to Athens, reach out for your camera and walk to the extreme of the port to capture the sunset over the hills, the beautiful shapes of the yachts, and the sun setting over the sea.
Tips to Visit Hydra
Reaching Piraeus Port
From the center of Athens take the metro (Line 1 Piraeus/Kifissia) to Piraeus. It’s a 20-minute ride from the center. Arrive with plenty of time to spare and have your trip information at hand: You will have to find your gate in one of the busiest places ever and you will probably need to walk!
Spending the night in Hydra:
Most visitors come only for the day (accommodation is limited and tends to be on the expensive side). If you intend to spend the night, search for a room the moment you arrive or book in advance before leaving Athens.
You can reach far beaches with water-buses or taxi-boats. To see the inner part of the island choose a donkey, a mule, or a horse. If you are there just for the day explore or move along the coast in the best of ways: walking.
Where to eat in Hydra:
Choose one of the bars facing the seafront. Most of them serve local dishes and prices are on the middle-range side. Mezes (traditional small dishes similar to the Spanish tapas) and ouzo or a glass of local beer can be a good choice.
Late at night, The Pirate and Papagalos are there for music and cocktails. My orange cake comes from The Skipper.
>> I have written a practical guide for Hydra. It’s inside my Three Days in Athens Guide.
Already been to Hydra? Want to visit another island near Athens?
>>Check the best things to do in Aegina<<
Read more travel guides to Athens
- One day tour of Athens
- Things to do in Athens at night
- Mythological Tour of Athens
- One Day in Hydra: Great day trip from Athens
Are you planning a trip to Hydra?
Let me know in the comments below!
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About the author of this blog:
Gabi has been living in Crete for the last five years. On the island, she juggles being a solo mom, hosting culinary tours in summer, translating, and freelance writing.
She’s written for Greek Reporter, published several travel guides about Greece, and had more glasses of frappe than any regular person would be able to handle.
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