The island for people who don’t like islands. Forget the outside world and watch life flow at the slowest pace possible.
Hydra is a tiny island about 2 hours by boat (by ‘Flying Cat’, actually) from Athens. And it couldn’t be more different to the character of that city. The first thing you notice when you step off the boat is the silence – because here there are no cars or motorcycles. The only transportation on the island is by donkey – because only donkeys can traverse the steep, narrow, winding streets that weave their way through the town.
Perhaps ‘town’ is an exaggeration. Hydra feels more like a modestly-sized village with two pathways extending from the port around the island. Essentially, you are faced with three choices when you are on Hydra: Left for the bars, right for the beach, stay at the port for coffee. And yet it’s impossible to be bored there. The pathway towards Mandraki beach is a walk unlike any other. The beautifully paved path is lined with elegant lampposts. On one side is the blue sea, on the other a hill dotted with small houses and churches. It is likely that you will pass only a handful of other people on the way.
To the other side of the island you can find bars and restaurants that appear to be carved into the rock wall facing the sea. Sitting there sipping a beer and watching the sun set is a wonderful way to wind down in readiness for moving on to a taverna for dinner.
This is an island for people who don’t like islands. On Hydra you won’t see groups of loud men drunkenly singing, you won’t be kept awake by awful music from late-night clubs. It’s a place to escape, to forget the outside world and to watch life flow at the slowest pace possible: donkey pace.