Hydra is steeped in history, and known for having played a crucial role in the Greek War of Independence. The island's strategic location made it an important naval base, and its inhabitants provided crucial support for the Greek revolutionaries. Today, visitors can stroll around its car-free cobblestone roads, shop at little boutiques, sit at cafes to people-watch and see the island's historic landmarks.
Cosmopolitan, picturesque and romantic, it’s no surprise that Hydra has seduced writers, musicians, filmmakers and artists with its singular allure for decades, and continues to do so today.
Despite its many charms, the car-free island is not famous for its beaches, but that doesn’t mean it’s not a more than gratifying swimming destination. Swimmers on Hydra commonly sunbathe on the rocks, lying out at Hydronetta and Spilia or in the bay in front of Castello bar-restaurant, or visit Vlychos fishing village near Hydra town which has a sandy beach with straw umbrellas. On the western side of the town is Molos beach. Water taxis and caiques leaving from Roloi in the centre of the port can transport you to various sandy coves.
For watersports, visit Bisti or Agios Nikolaos pebbled beach, both of which also offer sun loungers and umbrellas for rent. For sightseeing, start at the Historical Archives Museum of Hydra, while culture lovers should visit the School of Fine Arts on Hydra, the Lazaros Koundouriotis Museum, a neoclassical mansion-turned-museum, once the home of a prominent politician where visitors can get a glimpse of the island’s 19th century society and history, and the DESTE Foundation Project Space Slaughterhouse exhibition by Jeff Koons. For a scenic view over the port and a connection to Hydra’s history, walk up to the cannons on the bastions of Hydra, positioned on a high rock at the entrance of the island in the 18th century to protect it from the Ottomans.
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