Hydra Island

HYDRA - 25 minutes by sea from Ermioni                                                   25 minutes by sea from Metohi

Hydra is a very beautiful island, a real historical gem and is steeped in a seafaring tradition of a bygone age.  The entire island is a preserved national monument and has retained all its 17th and 18th Century charm and quaintness.  Hydra's spectacular attractive harbour remains hidden from sea view, until just before you enter the port.  A beautiful horsehoe of white painted, red tiled houses and huge mansions that cascade down to the harbour, packed with cruise ships, fishing boats, yachts and water-taxis, making Hydra one of the most photographed, filmed and painted harbours in the whole of Greece.  In 1956*, Sophia Loren and Alan Ladd filmed Boy on a Dolphin on the island, where a statue opposite Phaedra's windmill, stands to commemorate this historic international cinematic event.  

Hydra is very cosmopolitan, attracting thousands of visitors by its numerous charms.  It gets very busy from Easter to September.   In the past, the island has attracted famous writers, musicians, artists and celebrities.  Poet and singer Leonard Cohen (pictured right) lived here during much of the 1960s, as did Henry Miller, Allen Ginsberg and David Solway.  Members of the Rolling Stones and Pink Floyd, even Joan and Jackie Collins have been spotted on the island.  Just recently, Nicole Kiddman bought a house on Hydra. The charm of Hydra is increased by the fact that there are no private vehicles or motorbikes on the island.  All transport is by donkeys for all activities of life, including the transportation of luggage and sightseeing.  Donkeys are far better suited to the narrow steped streets of the town.  For places and beaches further along the coast, you can rent a water-taxi from the main harbour.

Art exhibitions and music festivals are organised throughout the year, especially during the high season, where many artists who live on the island exhibit their work.  The towns Maritime Museum is full of interesting historical nautical and seafaring objects, located close to the boat arrival/departure point.  Admission: 5 Euros.  

Visit and enjoy the wonderful views from the monastery of Profitis Ilias and the convent of Ayai Efpraxia to the South.  There is also a dirt road which takes you to the high plateau of Episkopi, from which footpaths take you to the Western end of the island.  A shorter 20 minute coastal walk, from the harbour, will take you along a paved pathway to the traditional fishing hamlet of Kamini (pictured left).  A small walk-through taverna on the way to Kamini offers wonderful fresh food with picturesque views of the sea and passing boats. A 30 minute coastal walk from the harbour, in the opposite direction (North-East) will bring you to the popular Mandraki beach, offering a clean sandy beach with many sunbeds and shade.  Close by there is a small authentic taverna next to the sea.

The town of Hydra has everything the visitor could ask for, many smart boutiques and galleries, gift shops selling art, paintings, souvenirs, hand-made jewellery and textiles, and a variety of restaurants, tavernas, cafes and bars.  The town is very compact that everywhere and everything is within a short walking distance.  Hydra gives visitors the opportunity to experience the island's old way of life in a modern environment.  Hydraean sea-captains' mansions, have been converted into hotels and guest-houses with local style and colour.  Nestled in splendid gardens are fine restaurants for a variety of tastes.  Small traditional tavernas offer the day's catch accompanied by wine straight from the barrel, and quaint ouzo bars grill octopus over hot coals along the streets.

Try to visit Hydra around the third week of June, to celebrate the islands contribution to the Greek War of Independence, which is referred to as the Miaoulia festival.  Named after Admiral Andreas Vokos, nicknamed 'Miaoulis', he was Greece's Nelson, who scattered the Turkish navy with the use of fire-ships.  The annual festival is held on the weekend closest to 21st June and includes the setting alight of a boat in the main harbour.  There is a large statue of Admiral 'Miaoulis' (1769-1835) located within an elevated cannon enplacement at the entrance to the harbour, where he continues looking out over the blue Aegean sea.

There is also a festival of traditional Greek 'shadow' puppets towards the end of June.

At the centre of the port, behind the clock-tower, there is the Metropolis of Hydra, dedicated to the Assumption of the Virgin.  The Metropolis was built in 1648, and reconstructed in 1774 following a major earthquake.  The smaller of its two bell-towers dates back to 1806, and the larger tower has a clock and a bell, weighing approximately 2 tons.  The church also served as a monastery, and today the monastery cells house the Mayor's office and a small Ecclesiastical museum. Admission to the museum: 2 Euros. 

How to get from Ermioni to Hydra:

From Ermioni, Hellenic Seaways tickets for Hydra can be purchased from Pop's tourist office, Tel: +30 27540 31514, in the Limani square, prior to departure. Contact: hellenicseaways.gr/en for the actual sailing times.  The sea crossing from Ermioni to Hydra takes approximately 25 minutes. Tickets cost 8.00 Euros per person, one way. 

FEBRUARY 2019 - Sailing times with Hellenic Seaways:   

  • 06:40 - 14:05 (Monday-Thursday)                                   06:40 - 14:05 (Friday)
  • 06:40 - 14:05 (Saturday)                                                  06:40 - 14:05 (Sunday)       
  • 11:40 - 18:35 (Monday-Thursday)                                   11:40 - 18:35 (Friday)
  • 11:40 - 18:35 (Saturday)                                                  11:40 - 18:35 (Sunday)

Always check sailing times prior to departure, especially during public holidays, as Hellenic Seaways can change or cancel sailing times without notice.
During the height of summer, the island of Hydra gets very busy and crowded.  Please do ensure you are on the right Hellenic Seaways boat for your return journey back to Ermioni, as some boats arriving at the set time could be sailing directly to Piraeus.

There is also a sea crossing offered by SpeedLine on the Christos motor speed-boat, with additional sailing times during the day. Tickets can be purchased from Pop's tourist office, in Ermioni, prior to departure. Tel: +30 27540 31514 or +30 697 724 8369 and +30 698 358 8769 .  Contact: hydratourstravel.gr for the actual sailing times.  The sea crossing from Ermioni to Hydra takes approximately 35 minutes.  Tickets cost 7.50 Euros per person, one way.

  • 'Christos' motor boat will not be operational until begining of March 2019 with new schedule
  • 11:00 - 16:00 (Monday-Thursday)                      11:00 - 16:00 (Friday)
  • 11:00 - 16:00 (Saturday)                                     11:00 - 16:00 (Sunday)
  • 09:00 - 15:00 (Monday-Thursday)                      09:00 - 15:00 (Friday)
  • 09:00 - 15:00 (Saturday)                                     09:00 - 15:00 (Sunday)   


How to get from Ermioni to Hydra via Metohi:  

There are numerous boat transfers from the small port of Metohi to Hydra, situated approximately 19kms East of Ermioni, opposite Hydra town.  The sea crossing from Metohi to Hydra takes approximately 25 minutes, and the ticket prices are from 5 Euros per person, one way. There are daily sailings from Metohi and Hydra throughout the year, with additional sailings during the busy Summer months.  Check actual sailing times from the contact links below.

There are now two company operators sailing to Hydra from Metohi, the original Hydra Lines with the Freedom II and Freedom III boats, ticket price 6.50 Euros per person, and the new Hydra Celebrity operator with the Hydra Express boat, ticket price only 5 Euros per person.

Hydra Lines contact:  www.hydralines.gr  or +30 6947 325 263 or +30 6944 242 141 for the confirmed sailing times.

Hydra Celebrity contact:  www.hydracelebrity.gr  or +30 6981 222 550 or +30 22980 53000 for the confirmed sailing times. 

  • From METOHI TO HYDRA (during high Summer months)
  • Hydra Lines:  Freedom II and Freedom III   6.50 Euros per person, one way.
  • 08:00 - 10:00 - 10:30 - 12:00 - 12:30 - 14:00 - 14:30 - 16:00 - 16:30 - 18:00 - 18:30 - 20:00 - 20:30 - 21:30 - 23:30 - 23:59 
  • Hydra Celebrity:  Hydra Express   5.00 Euros per person, one way.
  • 08:30 - 11:00 - 13:00 - 15:00 - 17:00 - 19:00      Also 21:00 Friday and Sunday only.
  • From HYDRA to METOHI (during high Summer months)
  • Hydra Lines:  Freedom II and Freedom III   6.50 Euros per person, one way.
  • 07:00 - 09:00 - 09:30 - 11:00 - 11:30 - 13:00 - 13:30 - 15:00 - 15:30 - 17:00 - 17:30 - 19:00 - 19:30 - 21:00 - 23:30
  • Hydra Celebrity:  Hydra Express   5.00 Euros per person, one way.
  • 07:30 - 10:00 - 12:00 - 14:00 - 16:00 - 18:00      Also 20:00 Friday and Sunday only.

Road journey time from Ermioni to Metohi is approximately 20 minutes.  When driving from Ermioni, look out for the Hydra > road sign on the right hand side, turn right here and drive towards the sea.  You will approach two kiosks, where you buy your boat tickets, and a car-parking area (which is usually full during Summer) with the Hydra Lines Freedom II & Freedom III boats and Hydra Celebrity Hydra Express boat station at the far end.  You can park your vehicle along the roadside leading to the boats, or a shaded car-parking area is available in the official security controlled car-park, where the cost is 5 Euros per day.  

There are also fast 'sea-taxis' available from the waterfront at Hydra, which charge approximately 35 Euros, one way, to Ermioni. Contact: +30 2298 053 690

* Boy on a dolphin was filmed in the Autumn of 1956, and put on general release in 1957 by 20th Century Fox, in CinemaScope.  The film was Sophia Loren's first English speaking role as Phaedra, a poor Greek sponge diver, when she was 23 years old.  Filmed on location around Hydra town, wih scenes from Athens, Rhodes, Delos and Meteora.  If you watch the film, you will see how much, or little, Hydra has changed over the last sixty years.  The white steamship 'Neraida' used in this film is now a floating museum, bearthed at Piraeus.  She was a fast passenger ship that linked Piraeus-Aegina-Methana-Poros-Hydra-Ermioni during the 1950's -1970's.  The totally re-fitted 'Neraida' made her final visit and voyage from Ermioni and Hydra in September 2013.


Argo-Saronic Island of Hydra
37° 20' 59.4996" N, 23° 27' 57.8412" E
Picture Gallery
Hydra Island - The picturesque town and port Hydra Island - Sailing into the horseshoe shaped harbour Hydra Island - Arriving by Flying Dolphin Hydra Island - Numerous ships and boats come and go every day Hydra Island - The 'Flying Cat' arriving at the harbour Hydra Island - The main bastion at the harbour entrance Hydra Island - The Maritime Museum building Hydra Island - Large cruise ships arrive from Piraeus with day visitors Hydra Island - The donkeys are waiting for you Hydra Island - Numerous tourist shops along the waterfront Hydra Island - Donkeys are the main mode of transport Hydra Island - Time to 'take-a-break' when the ships depart Hydra Island - Souvenir and gift shops line the main waterfront Hydra Island - When do I get my turn?   Hydra Island - Rides for the children are an adventure Hydra Island - The locals like to have a few words with friends Hydra Island - Beautifully preserved homes around the harbour Hydra Island - General view of the main harbour Hydra Island - The clocktower is the focal point of the town Hydra Island - Homes rise like an amphitheatre around the harbour Hydra Island - The smaller inner harbour Hydra Island - Small leisure craft mix with the private yachts Hydra Island - Fishing is still a main form of income for Hydriots Hydra Island - View of the municipal buildings around the harbour Hydra Island - Water taxis are a quick form of transport Hydra Island - Coastal pathway from Hydra town to Kamini Hydra Island - Views along the coastal pathway to Kamini Hydra Island - 'Walk-through' taverna on your way to Kamini Hydra Island - The small fishing port of Kamini Hydra Island - Have a cool drink in the port taverna in Kamini Hydra Island - Phaedra's windmill just outside Hydra town Hydra Island - The 'Boy on a Dolphin' statue by Phaedra's windmill Hydra Island - Sophia Loren as Phaedra in 'Boy on a Dolphin' in 1956 Hydra Island - Sophia Loren with the 'Boy on a Dolphin' movie statue Hydra Island - 'Neraida' in Hydra in the mid 1950's Hydra Island - 'Neraida' entering Hydra harbour in the late 1960's Hydra Island - Re-fitted 'Neraida' in Ermioni and Hydra in 2013 Hydra Lines 'Freedom II' boat ready to set off from Metohi Hellenic Seaways 'Flying Dolphin' Hellenic Seaways 'FlyingCat' Sea Taxi's will take you to nearby Kamini and Mandraki beach Hydra Island - The coastal walk towards Mandraki Hydra Island - First view of Mandraki beach Hydra Island - Small church at Mandraki Bay Hydra Island - Taverna at Mandraki Bay Hydra Island - Taverna sea view at Mandraki Bay Hydra Island - Mandraki beach Hydra Island - Mandraki beach