Hydra, or Ydra, is reputed to be the most beautiful and most popular among the Saronic Islands. Speaking about beauty, I guess it depends greatly on personal taste, but there is no doubt that Hydra possesses a particular charm because of numerous 18th century mansions and of its policy not to allow any car or motor bike on the island (I actually saw one old, grey truck there; I suppose it is there for the common good of the islanders, but I want to suggest it to be replaced with a more eco-friendly model).
HOW TO GET THERE
From Piraeus there are about 10 Frying Dorphins and Frying Cats during the summer season (Hellenic Seaways
and Aegean Flyind Dophins
). It takes between from 1 and a half hour to 1 hour and 50 min depending on if it makes stop(s). Ticket is about 25 euros (in 2010). It is also possible to get there by boats from Peloponnese side.
Because of the ban of using motored vehicle on the island, if you have large luggage and have booked room in far end of the town, you might have to hire donkey, mule or horse that are waiting on the quay. In 2010, the charge for luggage is €10 for 2 piece inside the town. If YOU want to ride on the animal, it will costs you €10 for 10 min.
If you have booked a hotel in another village, you need to get a taxi boat.
HOTELS IN HYDRA
In general, the quality of accomodation in Hydra is pretty high by Greeks standard; most of the hotels are well cared-for, clean and with character, usually managed by owners themselves.
I did not see any super new, modern style hotel in Hydra and, actually, if you are looking for American style super hotel, Hydra is not for you. The high-class accomodations on the islands are mostly restored 19th-century buildings. For example, Bratsera Hotel
is 19th century sponge factory, Miranda Hotel
, Mistral Hotel
, Hydroussa Hotel
are all restored 19th century mansions. As these buildings are national cultural heritage, it is not allowed to make large modifications.
There are also cheaper 'rooms' in Hydra town, although not as cheap as we want them to be during the summer season.
One thing we have to bear in mind about Hydra is that the accomodations tend to be more expensive during the weekends, and less for weekdays. This due to the fact that many Athenians come to Hydra to pass just their weekends. Besides, family-run hotels - even relatively high-class ones - tend to make large discount for those who stay more than 1 day. Bear these facts in mind, when you negotiate the price.
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