Located in the Argo Saronic Gulf, Hydra is one of the islands closer to Athens, approximately 2 hours away. This proximity to Athens makes it an ideal destination for quick trips, even for a daily excursion or a weekend getaway. The island retains a stunning, cosmopolitan but traditional Greek character, with stone-paved alleys, colorful mansions, and buildings of distinct architecture.
Apart from the lovely beaches like Avlaki, Molos, and Mikro Kamini to relax and enjoy the sun, Hydra offers sightseeing as well. Many monasteries around the island offer great views, and there is also a Historical Archives Museum and an Ecclesiastical Museum for history lovers.
The island is known for its vibrant yet relaxed nightlife, with many bars and clubs to enjoy cocktails during summer nights. Find all about how to get to Hydra from Athens!
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Getting From Athens to Hydra
Take the regular ferry
There are 2 daily crosses from the port of Piraeus to Hydra regardless of season. The trip with a regular ferry lasts approximately 2 hours, and the distance between the port of the capital and Hydra at 37 nautical miles. The island of Hydra has a peculiarity you must be aware of before traveling. No motorized vehicles, including cars or motorcycles are allowed on the island, hence there are no car ferries. The earliest ferry is at 9:00 a.m. in the morning and the last usually at 20:00 p.m. The itinerary is serviced by Blue Star Ferries mostly, and the ticket price starts at 28€.
Hop on a high-speed ferry
Another option is to take high-speed ferries to Hydra, which reduces the duration of the trip to approximately 1 hour and 5 minutes. Hellenic Seaways and Blue Star Ferries offer regular services to the island with high-speed ferries such as the Flying Dolphins and the Flying Cats. During the summer season, there are more departure options in the schedule. Ticket prices again start from 28€.
It is deal to arrive at the port of Piraeus at least 45 minutes before your departure, especially during the high summer season, when it will be very crowded. The ferries to Hydra by rule depart from gate E8, which is information you might find useful while approaching the port.
Tip: FlyingDolphins are small and not as convenient as FlyingCats, which are catamarans and also offer a cafeteria for refreshments and snacks.
Setting Sail to Hydra
Due to its proximity to Athens, Hydra is the perfect sailing destination. The Saronic Gulf is protected and ideal for short, safe trips, even for more inexperienced sailing enthusiasts. Due to the topography, the winds hardly blow strong as it happens in the open Aegean Sea and the Ionian. Sailing boats, catamarans and yachts flock to the Saronic islands, with Hydra standing out as a very popular and oftentimes crowded destination.
Exploring the Saronic island by sea is a wonderful experience, quite different from reaching the island by regular ferries of the line, as you can experience each minute of the trip on board, enjoying the Greek summer sun and the beautiful sea, while sailing towards your destination. It is also significantly flexible, allowing you to make stops wherever you wish to take a dive into emerald waters.
Itineraries usually start from the marina of Alimos and follow the trajectory of Aigina, Spetses, Hydra, and Poros, perfect for a long weekend on board! Sail Greece offers such routes with chartered, or unchartered boats.
Tip: If you are sailing without a skipper and need more details and help, you can try sailing with keeano, a free mobile app that makes it easier to travel by sea.
- Find hidden gems and secret coves on route via access to thousands of geo-referenced aerial photos of every km of the coastline. Download the free mobile app from Google Play or Apple Store.
- Calculate the distance and create your own routes, save them or share them with friends.
- Learn about the weather conditions, as well as anchorage suitability to avoid unpleasant surprises, and always have a guide on your trip.
The location of the island of Hydra makes it perfect for day cruises as well. You can explore Hydra on a day cruise from Athens. This package deal, offers a day’s exploration of Hydra, Poros, and Aegina, giving you a full taste of the Saronic islands and their wonderful scenery, both from the decks of the boats and on foot, if you choose to explore the islands up close. This luxury cruise also offers a delicious buffet and music on board, while there is also the service of hotel/port pickup and drop-off.
The day cruise lasts 12 hours and by booking your ticket, you will get instant confirmation, always with the option of free cancellation with refund, provided that you do that at least 24 hours before.
The first stop of the journey is in Poros, the smallest of the three islands, which is separated by Peloponnese only through a narrow sea channel of 200 meters. The stone-paved alleyways and traditional architecture invite visitors for strolls. Back on board, lunch will be served after the exploration of the island, while on the way to Hydra.
Arriving at Hydra, you can either marvel at its beautiful view on deck or walk along the promenade and window shop. Afterward, there is another meal prepared towards the final destination of Aegina, to which you will sail enjoying Greek music.
In this final stop, you will get the chance to see the harbor, or visit other sites of your choice, including the Temple of Aphaia, for which, however, the ticket won’t cover your visit. On the way back, you can enjoy some traditional dancing in full costume and get a full glimpse of Greek folk culture.