Hydra is a magical island in the Argo Saronic Gulf located south of Athens and just 90 minutes by hydrofoil from Piraeus. Itís the quintessential idyllic Greek island that one always imagines one will eventually discover. Despite its close proximity to Athens, Greeceís bustling capital, Hydra could be a million miles away. The island is famous for its aristocratic presence and was eco-friendly before the word even existed. All forms of private motorised transport are banned from the island, so the only means of getting around are donkey, mule or your own feet.
Hydra was so named in ancient times for the magical waterfalls that once flowed there. These days, Hydra is quite dry and water is either brought in from across the main land or provided by means of rain water being held in cisterns, which many houses on the island have installed.
The island is even more famous for its maritime tradition which peaked in the 18th Century. It was during this time that many of its magnificent mansions were built. The main settlement itself is picturesque and beautiful, with high and colourful mansions lining the waterfront while a stark majestic hill rises in the background. Not to be out done, small village houses lie nestling in between the Venetian influenced mansions and lend to the essence of what Hydra is all about; proud, unique and welcoming to all.
The Town / Resort
Between the mansions and little houses are narrow streets, with tavernas and shops on the waterfront. At night the area around the harbour is bustling with boats from modest fishing vessels to super-yachts bobbing up and down in the ancient harbour. Whilst, walking back up through the town it becomes quieter and calmer as one climbs the delightful cobblestone streets meandering up through the town. Hydra is not just a seasonal holiday resort. Itís a place where people live all year round. The local community is quite unique, in addition to the greatly respected Hydriot families with their proud history, there has over the last 50 years been an influx of Greek and international artists and writers. People who came to Hydra for perhaps a few days like yourselves and realised that this was a very special place and have now made their home here.
The Hotel Nefeli
The Hotel Nefeli on Hydra is one such unique place. Nefeli in Greek mythology was the goddess of clouds. Built on the ruins of an 18th Century mansion and located in Kiaffa the earliest settlement of Hydra Town, Nefeli is uniquely situated in a lovely garden with the most amazing views down Hydra Town, the ancient Port and across to the mainland of the Peloponnese.
More Information about Hydra
For more information and reviews about Hydra, please visit the following (external) websites and web pages:
- Hydra and Athens Perfect for Lifting Spirits
[Article from the London Islington Gazette]
IMPORTANT NOTE: The above links refer to external websites whose content and services are not necessarily recommended or endorsed by the Hotel Nefeli.
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