In case you don’t know there are no cars in Hydra island! And no bikes, not even bicycle rentals :) You can only see some the garbage tracks but the only way for you to move around is to use your feet :) Hydra town is not very big but you have to climb up a lot of steps.
Of course, there are some “alternatives”:
1)ride a donkey (there are many of them waiting near the port). It’s 10e per donkey for 10’ ride
2)take a water Taxi, they are a bit expensive but the will take you to the beaches around the island. They have fix prices depending on the destination and the number of people inside, if you want to take a private one you’ll pay more so relax and wait for some more passengers :).
Hydra>Vlihos or Mandraki 14e
Hydra>Plakes Vlihou 16e
Hydra circle tour 150e
Hydra is located 45miles south of Pireaus.
1)Some years before we used the regular ferries from Piraeus to go there because they were very cheap. Unfortunately there don’t operate to Hydra anymore.
2)so you have to use the hydrofoils, they are faster (the trip lasts 90’) but they cost the double (about 25 euros one way). You can easily book your ticket in any travel agent, there are 2 different companies (Flying Dolphins and Aegean Flying Dolphins) serving the route with daily departures.
3)If you are in Peloponesse area you can call a sea taxi from Metoxi (about 180km from Athens, don’t do it because you have a car, you cant take any car in Hydra anyway)
4)Many tourists do a cruise along the Saronic islands. For about 80 euros you will spend a day at Poros, Hydra and Speses but only for a few hours at each one. Pic 3 shows the cruise boat arriving in Hydra
Since there is no motorised transport around Hydra, you will either have to walk to rent a donkey if you want to get around the island for a bit.
Donkeys are also used to transport goods around the island.
If you wish to rent a donkey, then you can find them down by the harbour front.
Haggling a bit about the price dosen´t hurt when renting a donkey.
Getting to Hydra is quite easy these days as the island is connected to the greek mainland with high speed ferries several times a day.
It´s a very fast and effective way of getting to and from Hydra and makes the island accesible even if you have one day only to see the island when you are in Atens.
Main characteristic of Hydra is that there are no wheeled vehicles! No cars are allowed!! Transportation of people is being made only by donkeys, a thing that makes the Island even more romantic.
It leaves the bulk of public transportation up to donkeys and water taxis. It really does have a feel of being left untouched by the modern world although you will find all the 'real world' conveniences.
Donkeys will accompany you to your excursions and anywhere you would like to go. The port of Hydra is filled with little and big yachts, boats and cruisers.
The inhabited area, however, is so compact that most people walk everywhere.
You may watch my high resolution photo of Hydra Donkeys on Google Earth according to the following coordinates 37º 21' 3.06" N 23º 28' 0.78" E or on my Google Earth Panoramio Hydra Donkeys .
Hydra is situated about 60 km south to Pireaus.
First way: There are a couple of ferry boats to Hydra during the day.
The trip lasts for 3 to 3.30 hours and costs 7,40 Euro.
Hellenic Seaways : 210-41.99.983
Nova Ferries : 210-41.26.181
Second way: By hydrofoils that depart from the port of Piraeus, several different hours during the day. The trip lasts for 1.30 hour. 13,50 Euro.
Flying Dolphin : 210-41.99.000
Euro Seas : 210-41.32.105
Third way: From Athens the distance by car, is approximately 180 km.
Through the National Road Athens-Korinthos go left, after the isthmus of Corinth, to Epidavros. From Epidavros follow the newly opened road and in 10 min. you’ll reach the place Kalloni. From Kalloni, in 15 min. reach Galata, that is across Poros Island, and after 20 min. reach Metoxi. From Metoxi, you call a sea taxi
Tel: 22980-53690, to reach Hydra Island.
For the total distance, you will need approximately 2 hours and 15 min.
Forth way: with the cruise over Saronic Island (like me). About 80 Euro. You may see cruise ship Giorgis on my pics.
With no vehicles on the island with the exception of the garbage truck, two modes of transport - boat or these donkeys! (Or you can walk, and the coastal path along part of the norhern shoreline of the island is very straightforward).
Because I found myself living on Hydra for a short time this summer, I found out exactly what it was like for the locals when they needed something for the house. It was either carry light things everytime you went out, everyday, or go once a week and bring everything you need by donkey. That is if you weren't lucky enough to live near the port where all the shops are.
This is not an island to go to relax. It is not an island to go to if you can't easily walk.
Hydra has a quaint port and beautiful old houses. But, that is about it.
Well, there are a few museums, some shops and some places to eat...just like all the other islands of the Saronic gulf. But, be warned..it is not cheap.
If you want to go to one of the better beaches, you must take a water taxi and that will cost 7Euros each way.
If you want to get up the mountain by donkey, I've already mentioned the 15Euro minimum fee. Up15 Down15...30Euros. With 30 Euros you can find a nice little room on the beach on another island right on the beach!
Go to Hydra. Walk a bit. Have a bite to eat. Then get on the next boat and move on to the next island if you aren't prepared to pay the extra amount for transportation on Hydra...
Or walk for free if you can.
You need an hour and a half journey on the Hydrofoil from Piraeus (Athens Port)
The ordinary Ferry takes 3 hours and 10 minutes with stops to Aegina island, Methana and Poros.
Boats are leaving from the Saronic islands port area.
Connections with Other Islands
Hydra is connected with Aegina island by ferry and hydrofoil.
The journey with the ordinary ferry is one hour and 45 minutes, by hydrofoil 1 hour.
Hydra is connected with Poros island by ferry and hydrofoil.
The journey with the ordinary ferry is one hour and by hydrofoil 1/2 hour.
Hydra is connected with Spetses island by ferry and hydrofoil.
The journey with the ordinary ferry is 1,5 hours and by hydrofoil 45 minutes.
Hydra is connected with the other islands of the Argosaronic Gulf and with Piraeus by the network of ferries and hydrofoils that ply the following route:
Piraeus - Aegina - Poros - HYDRA - Spetses.
Generally speaking, each leg of the journey takes about 30 minutes by hydrofoil or 1 hour by ferry. Thus, the journey between Piraeus and Hydra takes about 1.5 hours by hydrofoil or 3 hours by ferry.
The following is an account of my travels to and from the island in October 2005:
I arrived at Hydra on a catamaran ("Eurofast 1") from Spetses. The journey took about 30 minutes and cost 9.60 Euros. I purchased my ticket from a travel agency in Poros, which was the starting and finishing point of my round trip to Spetses and Hydra.
I returned to Poros in the evening on a Flying Dolphin hydrofoil. The journey took around 30 minutes and cost 8.40 Euros. Again, I purchased my ticket in Poros.
If you are buying tickets in Hydra there are numerous travel agencies around the harbour from which you can do so.
Ferries and hydrofoils are frequent throughout the day (but less frequent between October and May).
The easiest way to reach Hydra is by hydrofoil from the port of Piraeus. The port is easily reached by metro and bus from the airport or the centre of Athens (more details www.hydradirect.com)
There are several departures per day depending on high or low season and it takes around 1hr 40 min. If you plan to visit the island on the weekend it is advisable to book ahead.
There are 2 companies serving the island
More info and prices are available at the websites: www.hellenicseaways.gr and www.euroseas.gr (less frequent)
There is also a boat in the morning . It's almost half price, but takes more than 3 hours and unfortunately it runs only from Friday to Monday
If you are short of time a last option is to catch these one day cruises to the Saronic Golf islands of Aegina, Poros and Hydra, but you have merely 2 hours to see around the island!
GETTING TO HYDRA IS REALLY SIMPLE! YOU '' LL JUST HAVE TO TAKE A TICKET FOR A DOLPHIN BOAT WHICH GOES TO HYDRA IN ABOUT 1HOUR AND THIRTY MINUTES.
OR ELSE, TAKE THE BOAT THAT TAKES YOU THERE IN ABOUT 3 HOURS AND COSTS MUCH CHEAPER ! YOU '' LL HAVE THE CHANCE TO SEE THE PORTS OF AEGINA, POROS IN BETWEEN IN THE ABOVE SECTION OF THE SHIP AND INDULGE YOURSELF IN THE RELAXATION OF THE GREEK SUN! HAVE FUN!
There are several ferries to Hydra from Piraeus daily. The trip takes about 3 1/2 hours. There is also service between Aegina, Poros, and Spetses.
There are also several hydrofoils from Piraeus. This takes about 90 minutes. There is also service between Poros and Spetses.
From Marina Zea on the east side of Pireaus, the hydrofoils rumble forth out onto the Argo-Saronic Gulf. They take you away from the bustle and noise of Athens to Hydra in about an hour and a half. Other destinations include Spetses, Poros, Aegina and points south. The Dolphins are on the south side of Zea - about 150 meters from where the MS Nicholas docks.
Ydra island is 1.1/2 hours from Piraeus port by Flying Dolphins, the fast ships.
If you would prefer a more leisurely transfer from the Piraeus to Hydra you can take a ferry.The trip lasts 3.5 hours. The ticket costs one way 8 euro with flying dolphin and 5 euro with ferry. There are many scheduled trips daily.
Information of companies:
Flying Dolphin : +30210 4187000
Saronic Dolphin: +30210 4224777