Every place has its own beauties, which can attract people from all around the world. Hydra is one of them because of its nature, beaches, architecture
and history. Not only these can be the reasons to visit, at least once, this beautiful island. Continue reading and discover 10 reasons to visit Hydra:
1. Rich Historical Past
First of all, there is evidence that Hydra was populated during the Byzantine Era, as vases and coins have been discovered in the area of Episkopi (a mountainous area close to Palamidas). From 1204 to 1566, it belonged to Venice. From 1566 to 1821, it was part of the Ottoman Empire. Hydra was relatively unimportant during much of the period of Ottoman rule. In the 19th century, Hydra had many boats (approximately 125) and from the 16,000 inhabitants the 10,000 were sailors. Hydra eventually did join the Greek War of Independence – even though at first there were some hesitations on taking part to it – and Hydra’s contribution of some 150 ships, plus supplies, to fight against the Turks, played a critical role. The Greek admiral Andreas Miaoulis, himself a settler on Hydra, used Hydriot fire ships to inflict heavy losses on the Ottoman fleet. Historical inheritance that still remain today are the mansions of Lazaros and Pavlos Kountouriotis, which can be visited until today.
2. Hydra — Artists paradise
Hydra is a source of inspiration for many people that love and admire art. In the 1950s and 1960s the island was the adopted home of a community of artists, expatriates from their own countries, that included celebrated Norwegian novelist Axel Jensen, and Canadian singer-songwriter Leonard Cohen. Cohen wrote several of his most well-known songs on Hydra, including Bird on the wire, and So Long, Marianne. Also, Sophia Loren, Richard Burton, The Rolling Stones and Jackie Onassis, as well as many other artists, were all visitors in the 1960s and 1970s.
3. Hollywood loves Hydra
A list of movies were filmed in the island, including Boy on a Dolphin (1957), which was a hit movie for Sophia Loren, Phaedra (1962) and, the Greek production film, a Girl in Black (1956).
4. Traditional Architecture
Stone windmills, some in ruins, dot the hillsides, and the town and surrounding villages are home to more than 350 churches and chapels. Hydra’s status as a national historic landmark protects its unique and beautiful architecture with strict planning laws. Any new buildings must stay in keeping with the island’s historic architectural style using authentic colors and maintaining the traditional Hydriot character. As a result, no modern building developments can spoil Hydra’s traditional character. In addition to cars and mopeds, neon signs have been banned. Hydra’s architecture, which includes simple whitewashed houses and grand manors are unique to the island.
5. The island of Donkeys
It’s well known that Hydra is inhabited not only by people, but also by a bunch of donkeys that attract any visitor. Like the old days, any transfer is done with the help of these adorable animals. Their owners are treating them very well and they can serve you at any time.
Alongside the donkeys, there are mules and horses. You can admire the natural beauties of Hydra by riding horses with some local professional guides.
7. Explore the Museums Ecclesiastic, Byzantine Museum, Historical Archives Museum and Lazaros Koundouriotis Mansion
For those who are interested into History they can visit many sights, like the statue of Miaoulis. The island’s museums and mansions are also really interesting and for a more deep understanding of Hydra’s history, professionals can provide you intriguing information and details.
8. Monastery of the Assumption of Virgin Mary
This clock tower, which is well known as ‘ Mitropoli ‘, adorns the island. The Monastery causes awe to anyone who visit it, because of its magnificent architecture. Its location at the port, makes it the first sight anyone can admire the very first moment they step on the island.
9. Beyond the Hydra Harbor
Beautiful alleys are also an important reason to visit at least once Hydra. Furthermore, for the nature explorers there are plenty of wonderful areas they can launch by walking some miles or hiking mountains. The experience is well worth it, because the view from many spots is unique. For example, from Monastiri of Profitis Ilias, Saint Efpraxia, Saint Matrona, Zourva and Eros – the highest spot of the island.
10. Beaches of Hydra
Last but not least, your summer vacations in Hydra will not be completed if you don’t visit the beaches. There are many of them close to the port so that they can be launched easily by walking for only some minutes. Other beaches like Vlychos, Plakes, Bisti and Saint Nicolas are far away but they are worth to visit them with a boat or a sea taxi or again by walking.