Hydra is one of the more underrated islands in Greece. When people think of the Mediterranean country, often cities like Athens, Mykonos, Santorini, and Crete come to mind. Very rarely will a person automatically think of Hydra. But you know what? Being an underrated place isn't all that bad. For one thing, the true beauty of this island largely remains untouched. The very essence of the place, even from eons ago, has remained the same to this very day. And you can't say that about just any place. This is why Hydra and its many neighborhoods are worth exploring!
Many Greek Islands are practically remote and Hydra is no exception. Most especially if you end up in the district of Avlaki. A largely residential area, this is one of the quieter parts of the island. Some corners are practically like a ghost town! Though it has its fair share of busy taverns, restaurants, and the like, all in all, it's exceptionally peaceful here. And this makes it an even dreamier place to escape to. Think of looking towards the Mediterranean sea from a flower-lined path on a cliff. Sounds amazing, right? Well, that's the type of place Avlaki is!
Set on a vast valley along the hills of the island, Episkopi village is also one of the more remote places on this list. In fact, it's so remote that, unlike in Avlaki, there are virtually no shops and cafes in this area! Just houses upon houses full of Greek families, the most traditional on the island. However, if this doesn't sound all that enticing at all, do note that this place does have the highest peak in Hydra. And when you get to the top, you can see the entire island from up there!
Now, onto the busier parts of the island. And there's no other place arguably more bustling than Hydra Harbour. In actuality, the entire place is called 'Hydra Town,' but the area within the harbor is already so busy that it's almost like it is its own district. As the main port to the island, it's no surprise that it's practically the capital of Hydra. Akin to the likes of Mykonos
, this coastal town presents the local Greek lifestyle at its finest. Fish markets, crowded squares, bustling scenes, busy taverns, claiming cafes, and more!
The district of Kamini in Hydra is quite unique as it is sort of divided into two areas. The first is Kamini harbor, a coastal fishing village that's quintessentially Greek. All of the Greek fishing villages you've seen in movies and on TV? They're exactly how Kaimin Harbor really is and more! Meanwhile, Kamini valley, on the other hand, is somewhat of a rural extension of the neighborhood. As you'd expect, going more inland, it's a lot more laid back and relaxing on this side. It's also a residential area where life is a lot quieter and more peaceful!
Kala Pigadia got its name because it used to the site of the 'Good Wells,' wells that virtually ensured that the island wasn't parched to death. Unfortunately, the original well, which existed for centuries, had to be closed in 2019 due to contamination. Nowadays, even without this functioning tourist attraction, Kala Pigadia remains a peaceful Greek town in Hydra. It's typically what you'd see in any other town on any other island which, weirdly enough, is its true charm. More residential than tourist-friendly, it's a great place to relocate to if you plan to move to Hydra.
A labyrinth of stoned walls awaits history buffs and adventurers in the district of Kiafa in Hydra. One of the more remote places on this list, it's the type of untouched area that makes going all the way to these Greek islands so fulfilling. Though Kiafa has a number of modern-day conveniences, the true charm of the place are the ruins and relics of past eras. Many parts harken back all the way to Ancient Greece. While others show how the island looked like in Medieval times. Who wouldn't want to get lost and relax in such a place, right?
Just a kilometer away from Hydra Town, Mandraki is the premier residential areas on the island. Some may argue that it's the best place to settle down in Hydra. Why? Because it's equal parts relaxing and bustling. With so many luxury apartments
, elegant homes, enchanting villas, and the like here, the place is quiet enough to ensure that you can have a nice stay on the island. But as it's still very much a town—a town close to Hydra Harbor no less!—there are parts of Mandraki that are just as busy too!
On the other side of Hydra Harbor, there's Vlychos! Equally as residential and as peaceful as Mandraki, this neighborhood is home to one of the island's most famous beaches. With its crystal waters, white sands, and a good distance away from the busier areas on the island, Vlychos beach is one of the best summer escapes in Hydra. There's no beating cooling yourself off in the Mediterranean sea, lounging on the shoreline getting tanned, and playing beach games with your friends/family on this iconic beach! This place alone makes traveling to this Greek Island worth it!
Hydra may not be the famous Greek island out there, but it's definitely one that you must visit nonetheless. The many towns, districts, and neighborhoods here offer a lot in terms of exciting experiences or a relaxing time in the beautiful Mediterranean.