Greek Guide

Hydra Accommodation Greece Hydra

Hydra Accommodation Greece Greek Hotels

Accommodation on Hydra is relatively expensive as this is an island which appeals more to arty types, yachties and Athenian weekenders than package holidaymakers from northern Europe. Reservations are advisable in high season, especially at weekends when all the best rooms are reserved often months in advance.

Not surprisingly on this traffic free island, the majority of hotels and pensions are in Hydra Town, most within easy walking distance of the main harbour. You'll find numerous places to bed down for the night along and near the waterfront but if you take the trouble to seek out a back street pension you'll save yourself some money.

Many of the best hotels are housed in beautifully restored mansions built by wealthy sea captains and merchants in the 18th and 19th centuries. Probably the best known hotel on the island is the upmarket Bratsera, widely regarded as being one of the finest small hotels in the whole of Greece. The hotel was originally built as a sponge factory in 1860 and takes its name from the mother ship where the sponge divers recuperated after their hazardous underwater missions. The Bratsera simply oozes old world charm with its timber beams, stylish furnishings and grand hall which can seat 100 people. Some of the rooms have four poster beds while others have cosy loft areas. In the summer months dinner is served in the illuminated poolside courtyard at tables canopied with oleander, bougainvillea and wisteria.

Hotel Orloff, in Odos Rafalia, is another beautifully restored building chock full of character. It was built in 1798 by Catherine the Great for Count Orloff who led the Russian fleet to Greece in a bid to overthrow the Turkish occupiers. The place is adorned with antiques, paintings and lace curtains whilst providing all mod cons including televisions, minibars and air conditioning in the bedrooms.

The award for the best views in town has to go to the reasonably priced Hotel Hydra, another well preserved merchant's mansion which is one of the oldest buildings on the island. The hotel is perched high above the waterfront on the west side of town so brace yourself for a steep climb up to it (and consider enlisting the help of a mule to carry your luggage). The views of the town and harbour are wonderful and you're well away from the noise and bustle of the waterfront.

If you're after a beach and watersports holiday your best bet is the Mira Mare Hotel at Mandraki, two kilometres east of the town (or try another island because Hydra's beaches are far from being its best feature). The hotel owns the island's only decent sandy beach where a wealth of watersports are on offer including water ski ing, windsurfing, sailing and canoeing. The complex consists of bungalow style accommodation, located just a few metres from the seashore.

On the other side of town, going south west along the coast, you'll find rooms to let at both the picturesque port of Kamini and the small village of Vlyhos (where locals generally turn a blind eye to freelance camping.)