The Greek Islands are the sort of natural paradises that, although you can easily get to, seem so far away. It's not that they're unreachable or anything, but many of these are so remote that you'll feel as if it's such a heavy journey to get to them. And this rings true with Hydra too, the closest island to Athens, the capital city of Greece. You'd think that since the destination is in close proximity to the bustling capital that they'd be similar in many ways but that couldn't be farther from the truth.
Flying to Hydra
You probably think that you can easily get to Hydra by plane. After all, it's the nearest Greek island to Athens
, the capital city of Greece. It's only natural that taking a plane to get there is easy peasy. But the truth is that Hydra doesn't have an airport. The only way to get there is by ferry or sea taxi which you can get once you land in Athens. There are, however, some helicopter services that take passengers to Hydra. Airlift
, for instance, offers 30-minute flights to Kivotos, a municipality that's near Molos beach, one of Hydra's famous coastlines. From there, you can board a sea taxi to get to the island.
Taking a Ferry/ Sea Taxi
Taking a ferry or sea taxi is the only way to get to Hydra. Most of them depart from Piraeus Port and will usually take a little less than two hours to reach the island. The main difference between the two is that for ferries, it's better to purchase your tickets in advance. Most ferries require you to reserve a seat in order to board. But with sea taxis, just regular taxis in big cities, you can simply go to a stop—or in this case, a port—and reserve a seat right then and there.
Sea Taxis in Hydra
Speaking of sea taxis, they're the only kind of public transport to expect in Hydra. Unbeknownst to many, wheeled vehicles are banned in Hydra. Even if you want to go from one Hydra town
to the next, your best bet is to take a sea taxi to get there. Fortunately, most of the villages on the island are located by the coasts so there really is no need for standard taxis to begin with. As for how much it'll cost you, your destination dictates the price and they commonly range from €15.00 to €90.00 per single ride. A round-trip would cost €250.00.
Riding a Mule
While sea taxis are for getting you to the next town on the island, what about if you want to explore the town you're already in? Since there are no taxis here, how can you travel within a certain village? Ride a mule! You've probably seen this happen in movies and TV series, right? When foreigners go to a Greek island and they ride on donkeys to get to their place. In Hydra, that's part of local life. The only way to get to your destination within a certain area on the island, even when you have your luggage to worry about, is to ride a mule.
Rent a Boat
Of course, sometimes it'd be easier if you had your own vehicle, wouldn't it? Taking sea taxis and ferries are all well and good but then you'll still be at the mercy of those services. What if you want to explore Hydra at your own pace and at your own time? Only renting a boat would allow you to do that! Since wheeled vehicles are prohibited in Hydra, your best bet is to rent a boat and sail off to the many coasts and towns on the island. Don't worry, you can find a lot of rental services online and even through transportation apps
Walking in Hydra
You need to know this now before you go there: if you intend to go to Hydra, prepare to walk for hours on end. As already mentioned, there are no wheeled vehicles on the island, hence, you won't find any of the common public transport systems that you're used here. And as much as you want to take sea taxis and ride mules, they can only get you so far and can only allow you for a short period of time. So if you want to explore Hydra on your own, all you have to do is walk. It's better if you put on comfortable shoes!
What To Do with Your Luggage?
It can't be stressed enough that there are no cars, buses, (standard) taxis, motorbikes, and the like on Hydra. For you, this means that when you get here, beyond what the mules and donkeys can reach, you're in charge of your own luggage. Now, wouldn't it be difficult if you brought big suitcases that are heavy? What if you need to hike up a hill or go down a rocky path to get to your accommodation? That'd make your life miserable, won't it? With this in mind, make sure to pack light and, as much as you can, use backpacks and other carry-ons for your trip to Hydra.
Traveling to and within Hydra is far from what you'd expect. You're given a limited set of options and you have to make do with each and every one of them. Nevertheless, that all provide the same local experience that you'll only find on this Greek island.
Just think of your luxury home in Hydra
as you exert all your effort to travel to the island.