Greek Guide

Hydra Beaches Greece Hydra

Hydra Beaches Greece Greek Holiday Destinations

You don't come to Hydra for its long, sandy beaches in fact there's only one to speak of and that's privately owned by a hotel complex. But there's some excellent swimming to be had off the rocks at the edge of Hydra Town and you can either hike or take a water taxi to one of several secluded pebble coves dotted around the coastline.

Don't forget the whole of the island is a traffic free zone (except for a small number of service vehicles) so a hike across the mountainous interior is a rewarding experience even if the beach at the end of your journey is far from being the best in the Aegean.

The rocks around the point, just beyond the main harbour where the ferries dock, are a magnet for swimmers and sunbathers during the summer months. Locals and visitors alike compete for flat spots to lay their towels and the steps and landing pads cut into the rocks provide easy access in and out of the water which is instantly deep, cool and crystal clear.

If you simply must have a beach but don't fancy travelling too far, head for picturesque Kamini, about 20 minutes walk along a broad coastal path to the south west of the town. There's a small pebble beach here or you can swim off the rocks before rewarding yourself with a bit to eat at one of several good, local tavernas. Kondylenia specialises in fresh fish and is a wonderful spot to watch the sun go down.

Another 20 minutes walk west beyond Kamini you'll come to the small hamlet of Vlyhos which has a larger pebble beach, a couple of tavernas and a ruined 19th century stone bridge. There are rooms to let if you don't fancy walking back to town or ask one of the domatia or taverna owners to arrange a water taxi back. Freelance camping in tolerated here and there's some good swimming in water sheltered by a nearby islet.

The path inland south of Vlyhos takes you to the high plateau of Episkopi, peppered with olive groves, vineyards and a scattering of houses, and from here you can head out to the south west corner of the island where there are a couple of quiet beaches with good swimming. Bisti is a pebble beach with rocks to swim off and at Agios Nikolaos there's a small sand beach. Both are a fairly tough hike from town so you may prefer to take a water taxi.

The island's one decent sized sandy beach is at Mandraki, two kilometres east of Hydra Town. The beach is owned by the Miramare Hotel which has a complex of holiday bungalows clustered a few metres from the seashore. A wide range of watersports facilities is available here and there's a windsurfing centre which is open to non hotel guests.

One of the best coves on the south coast is at Limnioniza where there's a pine fringed pebble beach at the end of a well marked overland trail passing through Agia Triadha. The walk will take you about an hour and 15 minutes.

To explore the underwater world of caves, reefs and marine life around the island and off the coast of the Peloponnese, sign up for a trial dive or a series of escorted dives with Hydra Divers.

Or take a water taxi over to the islet of Dolos, off the south western tip of Hydra, which has a good beach and offers excellent diving. It was here that Jacques Cousteau discovered a 3,000 year old sunken ship still laden with cargo.