EXPLORATION

an absolute heaven!

Spring…one of the most mesmerizing seasons of the year has come. Flowers, colors, scents in the air excite us and make us desperately seek nearby “little heavens” to escape to. In a quest as such, the time has come to discover a new star! Hydra may for most people be one of many summer destinations, a historic island that connected its name to the arts, the film industry and the memorable parties held by celebrities in the 60’s (the open showers at the legendary Lagoudera Marine Club). Yet, this is only one side of the coin! The truth is that Hydra, despite its cosmopolitan aura, remains an unexplored hidden gem of natural beauty for most. For those of you who dream of short trips, of escaping from daily routine to destinations filled with life that combine picturesque landscape and contact with nature, this other side of “Hydra” will become your paradise! Having in mind that this destination is only 2 hours away from Athens, let us focus on the main feature of this beautiful island, which is no other than the fact that cars and motorcycles are strictly prohibited. It may sound unreal yet this is the key that will allow you and your family to enjoy moments of true relaxation and try new experiences that will fascinate both those young in age and those young at heart! Be bold and dare to climb the mountain (towards the monasteries) on the back of donkeys and horses, experience a refreshing sea tour on water taxis and of course, rely on your feet to take you anywhere you want! For locals as well as for the thousands admirers of the island, everything here seems easy and nearby! Explore the picturesque cobbled streets in Chora and the nearby coastal settlement of Kamini (where Xarhakos shot his diving scenes for the film Gorgones and Magkes). Discover the unique coastal rides to the “countryside” (as locals called the sparsely populated areas towards Vlyhos and Plakes) or the old military port at Mandraki. In a stone’s throw from Athens, satisfying all qualifications for endless excursions in nature and without the need to worry about your safety and the safety of your children from passing vehicles, Hydra will become your paradise!


For the urban route walking journeys and more information you can download the book ‘Hydra’s alleys’, that has been recently published by the municipality of Hydra, written by A. Kalogirou.www.hydra-tours.com

 

Kamini village
EASY SELF-GUIDING TRAIL ROUTE
The coastal road from Hydra town to Kamini is a short 15 minute walk where you can enjoy great views of the deep blue sea. The picturesque small harbor of Kamini will lead you to small alleys offering lots of «guest houses» and small traditional restaurants serving fresh seafood dishes. The absence of though make Kamini a quiet and relaxing location.

 

VLYCHOS VILLAGE
EASY SELF-GUIDING TRAIL ROUTE
This small community is full of white houses facing the deep clear blue sea of the Saronic Gulf. The path from the area of Kamini towards Vlychos lasts around 20 minutes by foot. You can of course use a sea taxis or the small traditional boats «kaikakia» as a faster option. The summer houses and guest houses at Vlychos follow the traditional architecture style of the island and one can find an organized beach with taverns for lunch or dinner.

 

Vlychos – Palamidas
EASY SELF-GUIDING TRAIL ROUTE: 50 min

Following the coastal road of Hydra town, we arrive at Kamini community and its graphical and picturesque small harbor. We continue our journey which leads to the old bridge (17th century) of Vlychos area, another small community of the island where we can find a few beaches and restaurants. A small boat-yard operates in Palamidas, the dock that follows a 20 minute walk from ‘Blixos’. Boulgaris manor is also built in the same area where according to history Kapoudas Pasas lived.

 

Episkopi – Nisiza
MEDIUM SELF-GUIDING TRAIL ROUTE: 2 hours

Continuing the previous route and for the more extreme hikers, we can amble towards Episkopi, the most popular hunting destination of the island. On our way there we pass by a fantastic pine tree forest and the chapel of Agia Marina. The road after Episkopi become a bit more difficult and while we descend towards Nisiza (probably the most beautiful and peaceful beach of the island) we have views of almost all the island facing the Aegean Pelagos.

Monasteries

Agios Konstantinos / Pr.Ilias / Agia Efpraksia
EASY SELF-GUIDING TRAIL ROUTE: 1 HOUR  AND 15 MIN
For hikers and nature lovers, this is a wonderful route. Following the main road (Miaouli str.) from the port of Hydra you can arrive towards the Kala Pigadia area and then follow the sign towards Agios Konstantinos, where you will find a church with breathtaking and almost panoramic views of Hydra. For the daring, keep on walking along the road and through a 45 minute pine tree forest walk, the stone built steps of Profitis Ilias appear. Remote, but imposing, this monastery is where Theodoros Kolokotronis was imprisoned during the 18th century. Just a few meters away you can find another historical monastery of Hydra, Agia Eupraksia, which was built in 1865. This is definitely a memorable walk. Profitis Ilias Monastery is the only ‘male’ oriented monastery of the island. During 1813 thirteen monks from Mount Athos ‘Agion Oros’ built the monastery which is now open to public. Even if you are not able to see any of the monks, you can wοnder around the courtyard, drink water and eat some delights. T. +30 22980 52540 At Agia Efpraksia you will find 1 nun, who is always willing to walk you around and offer you Greek Mastic and delights.

Behind this monastery, you will find the path that leads to Mount Eros (588m) which is the tallest mountain of the island. From there you will discover great views of the island itself, of the Saronic Gulf and Mirtoo sea. T. +30 22980 52484

 

 

“Geniseos tis Theotokou”Nunnery Of Zourvas
EASY SELF-GUIDING TRAIL ROUTE

On the eastern side of the island, you can find the monastery (Iera Moni Geniseos tis Theotokou) which is now open to public. The easiest way to arrive there is by sea taxi, to Ledeza and then walk up the 636 stone built steps towards the monastery, which will take you around 30-35 minutes. If you are hiking lovers, you can walk to the monastery from Hydra town, a journey that will last around 2 hours, something a lot of visitors actually do. When and who built the monastery still remains unknown to this day. There are speculations that it was built around 1710, while there are verbal reports that the image of the Virgin birth (which perhaps is the work of St. Luke and one of his 70 image creation ) was found in 1776 in a cave , on the estate of Eleutherios Gianniki.

He is said to be the person who founded the monastery and became himself a priest. T. 22980.52.344
 

St. Matrona – St. Triada Difficulty
EASY SELF-GUIDING TRAIL ROUTE: 55 min
Starting our route from the monastery of St. Foteini, we follow the path and arrive at the old (18th century) stone built wind mill which used to process wheat. At that point, the road spreads to two smaller paths that lead to the monasteries of St. Matrona and St. Triada.