While doing my research on Greece I happen to come across this beautiful little island called Hydra (pronounced as Ee-dra). The land where famous musician Leonard Cohen met Marianne and an everlasting love story took birth. A place where his creative bubble reached maximum heights and hence today we get to hear some of the best pieces that he has given birth to. While researching one thing that strongly caught my attention was that this island is a – NO VEHICLE ISLAND. Yes, the island only sees the DONKEY TRODDEN PATH
Isn’t that interesting? It was a nice bright sunny day when we headed for Hydra from Athens. Hydra makes for a perfect day trip kind of place and we had booked the Hellenic Seaways online much in advance. Predominantly being a Greek holiday island I knew it had much “local and authentic” experience to offer and everything would be Greek to me around.
On the hydrofoil (superfast boat) it took us about an hour to reach and the moment I stepped, the beauty of the place awestruck me and left me speechless. Going back in time and history Hydra was much prosperous because of its trade route to countries like Spain, France, and America. I saw that the harbour here is quiet crowded and a walk on the island is the just perfect way to see it.
From luxury yacht to speedboats everything was lined up at the harbor which gave me an idea how popular the island was and not to miss the premier form of transportation- the DONKEY
I was all set to absorb the simple charm of Hydra and as I walked through quiet cobblestone streets with stucco houses on one side and the lovely Aegean it was nothing less than a perfect holiday spot. Forget the rest of the world as you take on the streets here. Happy faces sipping wine and chatting- that’s what I could spot everywhere as far as my sight would go while donkeys stood near the harbor for tourists to board them. My friend and I took to a café facing the sea as decided to sit and soak for some time. Hydra is timeless in every sense.
In the words of Henry Miller (American writer) “It takes a lifetime for someone to discover Greece, but it only takes an instant to fall in love with her”. The hilly island was much known to people till years ago, but over the years the harbor saw much growth and hence the Hydra today is a well-known destination.
The bougainvillea laden paths added to the colour that was otherwise missing in the white streets and the alleys here are simply gorgeous.
Walking down the alleys I happen to drop by at the Historical Archives Museum that was founded in 1918. The place sees displays artifacts and rare documents related to Greek history. But those who are fascinated by Greek paintings and Greek history then Kountouriotis should be your stop as the place sees artwork by Konstantinos Byzantios and more. Almost 200 years ago this family home was the center of operation during the Greek War of Independence.
The architecture in Hydra Island is much quaint and impressive. One can spot many 18th century old mansions on this island. The houses here sees high-ceilings and blue doors ornament the pathways.
After a long walk in the island, I returned back to the same café for some more wine. One can never have enough of it while lazing here. Eat like a local and hence as I settled in this seaside taverna my first order went for some fish and calamari fresh from the Aegean. A little drizzle of sea salt and olive oil and mild grilled. As my guilt took a backseat I hogged on some fresh wood fire homemade pizza and ended with some great Gelatos.
Sitting there as I watched the setting sun, I knew it was time for me to head back. As I boarded the ferry discovering Greece’s well-kept secrets tucked away from all the hustle bustle amidst the sparkling blue Mediterranean Hydra for sure is one of the most serene, beautiful and dream island in the Argosaronic Gulf.
You pretty island – STAY GORGEOUS.
TRAVEL FACT- Hydra or Hydrea gets its name from “water”