What’s in a weekend break? For some it is the opportunity to visit new places and meet new people, for some others it is the chance to bond with their friends and family. And for many it is the chance to live a life they can’t have. For three long days you can be a tychoon or a boheme or anything else you fancy without breaking the bank or your regular life. Check the crowds in most fashionable destinations in Greece and you will see what I mean.

I travel every single week of the year and I am generally happy with the life I lead, so friends and family was the only thing that could pull me away from Athens on the long weekend of October 28th.

The enduring indian summer suggested an island destination. Hydra is fairly close to Athens, having one of the most beautiful ports that you could find on any Greek island.

Boats in the port;Europe;Greece;Greek Islands;Hydra;travel

Boats in the port

It became famous in the 50s when “Boy on a Dolphin”, featuring Sophia Loren was filmed here and the international jet set discovered its charms. It is also well known for its naval history and the key role it played in the uprising against the Ottomans in the 19th century.

Hydra Port;Europe;Greece;Greek Islands;Hydra;travel

Hydra Port

This was also the weekend of the Piraeus-Hydra sailing regatta, so the island had to accommodate an additional crowd of more than 90+ sailing crews, on top of the regular and casual weekend visitors.

Sailing regatta
Sailing regatta
Sailing regatta
Sailing regatta
Sailing
Sailing
The sailors are arriving
The sailors are arriving

There are no roads on the island so you cannot go by car. The best option is the hydrofoil which needs two hours through a quick stop in Poros, another beautiful island in the Saronicos gulf.

Poros;Europe;Greece;Greek Islands;Poros;travel

Poros

Although not a particularly small island, Hydra actually looks and feels tiny. Without roads or beaches and a single village of 2000 people, you have no where to go, so it is a good idea to choose carefully your company. Mine, was a bunch of six adults and five kids, including my very own offsprings.

Hydra Port
Hydra Port
Boats in the port
Boats in the port
At the port
At the port
Hydra Port
Hydra Port

The only means of transportation once on the island is the donkey. You can hire one at the port but it is too cliché and smelly for my taste. Since there isn’t much to do, we spend our time mostly doing two things: eating and drinking.

Going up the hill
Going up the hill
Refueling
Refueling
Waiting for a customer
Waiting for a customer
Mythos
Mythos
Greek Salad
Greek Salad
Tavern in Kaminia
Tavern in Kaminia
The menu
The menu

Two of the places really stood out in the eat and drink marathon. First, a taverna with a lovely open terrace, going by the name “The Hidden Port”, which is actually hidden somewhere in the narrow streets behind the left side of the port. Every single dish, including fish soup, lamb, dolma, black-eyed beans, fresh shrimps, beef liver and more, was cooked impeccably. Then, the Pirate bar, a joint that plays very good music, from the 70s and 80s but also some more contemporary. The Pirate features a life size pirate standing in the bar area and giving the tone.

Pirate;Europe;Greece;Greek Islands;Hydra;travel

Pirate

There is a bunch of other good or excellent eateries, cafes and bars, but except the local museum and some shopping there is not much you can do. The days were warm and the sea inviting, although I did not use the opportunity.

Swimming in the end of October;Europe;Greece;Greek Islands;Hydra;travel

Swimming in the end of October

Even in the evening the temperature was very pleasant and Hydra is particularly charming after dark.

Hydra by night
Hydra by night
Lantern
Lantern

A short walk from the main takes you to the small port of Kaminia.

Kaminia
Kaminia
Old tavern in Kaminia
Old tavern in Kaminia
The small port in Kaminia
The small port in Kaminia

I am not sure whether I would visit again soon, but Hydra served its purpose perfectly for the weekend break.

Hydra Port
Hydra Port
Resting
Hydra is a cat island
Family fun
Family fun
More Family fun
More Family fun
Some girls
Some girls
Even more family fun
Even more family fun
Watching the sailors
Watching the sailors
Cannon
Cannon

Hydra