One more island before summer ends! Hydra is tranquil and historic and is not as much a “party-town” as other Greek islands like Mykonos. This picturesque 16th century B.C. island was known as Hydrea in the ancient times, meaning “water”. Hydra is also important historically since the island contributed the ships to battle for Greek Independence.
The main town is Hydra Port, which consists of a crescent-shaped harbor. The Hydriots (island locals) insisted on maintaining a no car policy on Hydra, so the only transportations are bicycles and donkeys. Mr. J and I believe that the strict ban on cars is one of the greatest things about this Saronic island – making it more intimate when exploring it on foot.
The town is made up of stone-paved alleyways. Mr. J and I ventured up the steep hills on foot and visited some of its famous monasteries. The hike up the hills gave us quite a workout, but the stunning view of the island made it all worthwhile.
Mr. J and I walked to the Eastern tip of the island where Sunset Restaurant is located. Known for its spectacular views, Sunset certainly was named rightfully so. Since we were there at mid-day, we had a slightly different view – of the beautiful cliffs below (not sure you would consider it a beach??) , where sunbathers gathered and swam. The Aegean Sea was glistening under the sun like a spectacular blue sapphire!
Despite our lunch order being just one dish, it was enough to feed four people. The waiter suggested grilled fish and vegetables. And yes, the fish still had its head on, but once we were done with it, only the skeleton was left. Simple, fresh and delicious! After cooling off with glasses of white wine, we headed back towards town.
The walk seemed long, under the bright, hot sun. We made a few stops along the way that included nibbling on homemade Baklava and white-powdery cookies – yummy! So sorry, I forgot to get the bakery’s name, but it started with “T.”
At the port, as we waited for our ferry back to Athens, we admired the fleet of donkeys, adorned in purple-pink flowers. Hydra is one of the closest islands to Athens (Piraeus Port), and is perfect for a day excursion. Time to leave the rustic island behind and back to the city….
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[ All the photos were taken by Mrs. J, unless otherwise stated. ]