An Insider Guide To Hydra

Guide

An Insider Guide To Hydra

Where to eat, stay and play on Greece’s most stunning island.

Sebastian Schoellgen
Jul 6, 2022

A Bohemian hideout since the Sixties, the go-slow island of Hydra is Eighty Four Rooms’ destination of summer ‘22. Founder Sebastian Schoellgen shares his recent haunts from the island of the moment.

‘A quick ferry ride from Athens brings you to Hydra, one of the Saronic islands in the Aegean Sea, but it feels like landing in a different world, in a time gone by. From the moment we arrived, the vibe was incredible: low-key, stylish and with a perfect simplicity. Like with anywhere, the best way to discover a new destination is to get lost… here are my favourite discoveries from my trip this July.’

For your morning coffee…

For lunch by the water…

  • ‘Omilos has a beautiful setting right on the water, but that’s not the best part. The dishes mingle Greek with Mediterranean in an unexpected way and are excellently executed. A must-visit!
  • Take the water taxi from the port to Four Seasons, not to be confused with the luxury hotel chain, for a idyllic lunch. Order the Four Seasons salad and marinated shrimps.
  • And don’t miss Castello, a beach club and restaurant set in an 18th century fort on the Kamini beach.’

For dinner…

  • ‘Sunset is a well-known landmark in Hydra and with good reason, the view and position are just incredible. A must-go for dinner.
  • Téchnē modern Greek food.
  • We loved Il Casta, a super cute Italian where you should order whatever the pasta of the day is. Sublime.’

For authentic tavernas…

  • For a family-run experience, try Xeri Ella Douskos, which sits on a lovely square. Leonard Cohen was also a fan!’
  • ‘Kodylenia’s is a very laid-back and relaxed taverna, but with superb Greek food and wonderful views. It’s great for either lunch or dinner — ask for the fish of the day.

Where to drink…

  • ‘In the port, try Papagalos for cocktails. Or if you want to combine an evening swim with sundowners, go to Spilia or Hydronetta — easily our favourite of the trip with its incredible waterfront location.’

Where to swim…

Four Seasons, has sun loungers to rent for the day and crystal clear waters. Take the water taxi from the port to get there for 10 euros.’ ‘We loved Castello, which as I mentioned above, is a great lunch and dinner spot.

What to see…

‘The art world, including collectors, curators and gallerists, have flocked to this tiny island for decades; they come for the art, then stay to swim at its beaches. This summer, you should check out Jeff Koons’ show at the Deste Foundation slaughterhouse. He has created his own version of the Temple of Apollo on the island and it’s stunning.’

Good to know…

Hydra is car-free, so it’s either by foot, by donkey or by boat. It makes the whole island very relaxing to stroll around — and burn off those Spritzes.

Where to stay…

We stayed at Onos Residence, which offers cool suites with very good sea views and it’s walking distance into town. We also liked Leto and Miranda if you’d prefer to stay in a hotel.

When to go…

We visited in early July, when there was a good international crowd and it never felt too busy. Locals say to avoid August, suggesting September is the perfect time to go.

How to get there…

Fly into Athens International Airport, then take a taxi to the port of Piraeus (approx. 40 minutes), before jumping on a high speed ferry to Hydra, which runs frequently and costs around 35 euros per person for one way (approx 1 hour 20 minutes).

Join the newsletter

Curated experiences, travel tips, and latest reviews, not to be missed.