Hydra Beaches

Our biennial Hydra meetups, and the big 2002 Event
harald
Posts: 341
Joined: Mon Mar 30, 2009 4:15 pm
Location: Munich, Germany

Hydra Beaches

Postby harald » Thu Aug 31, 2017 5:46 pm

Some information for first timers.
While one finds orientation on google maps, it´s a good idea to buy a map of the island in Hydra town.
Information given dates from June 2017, mind that services may change according to the season.

Hydra town is a harbour, not a beach. Of the beaches on the north cost of the island (like Hydra port itself) the closer ones are reached by foot, the farther ones by boats (starting at the port opposite of the Roloi cafe). So on Hydra you don´t stay at the beach, but on the other hand you have advantage of a wide range of different beaches.
To the east (only one):
Mandraki is 2,4 km from the port on a promenade like road along the coast. The beach is not the cleanest, but there are some deckchairs and umbrellas for free. One compensates by comsuming at the medium-quality terrace-restaurant. Mandraki is a sandy beach - rare on Hydra as most other beaches are pebble. Inside the beach stands a closed hotel. Mandraki bay was the military port of Hydra during the revolution at the beginning of the 19th century, the fortresses on both entrances can still be made out. Instead of returning on the coastal road one could climb up the hill and reach Hydra town from the backside with great views of the village, a path which proofs longer and less easy than expected, but without problems. A map of the island and the ebook mentioned in the „Hikes on Hydra“ thread are helpful.
To the west:
Spilia, the closest possiblity to swim from Hydra town, is not a beach, but a platform on the rocks at the entrance of the harbour bay, exposed steps lead down.
Hydronetta, a 100 m further from Spilia is similar, one might choose according to the position of the sun.
Avlaki, still only some hundred meters from the port, is the first real beach, with steps leading down. Pebbled like most beaches on Hydra. As with most unorganized beaches on the island there is no shade to find. The new restaurant Techne lies above.
Further on the promenade like road you pass our famous bench and soon after the nice Bistro-style taverna Pefkaki you reach the small port of Kamini at 1,3 km from Hydra town. Kamini can also be reached walking through the village over the saddle behind the hills, even shorter, but up and down. In Kamini there are some guesthouses, which way you stay closer to the beach and calmer but also farther from the busy port and the starting point of most activities. There are also some restaurants in Kamini.
Castello Kamini or Small Kamini, 200m beyond Kamini is the next beach under the new Castello restaurant. Open area at the sea and deckchairs with umbrellas at charge from the restaurant.
Vlychos, 1 km from Kamini and a bit over 2 km from Hydra town, can be reached on the coastal promenade road or alternatively on a road a bit more inland. If you opt for the inland version e.g. back to Hydra town, try to avoid walking down to Kamini port but keep your height on to the village saddle between Kamini and Hydra town. Vlychos is the first beach that can also be reached by scheduled boats, running every one or two hours (6 € roundtrip). Vlychos is an organized beach, which means that you can rent deckchairs and umbrella (6 € for two chairs and one umbrella). At Vlychos some houses form a small settlement. There are two rather good restaurants. And there is the much fotographed bridge, which you cross on the start of your walk back to Hydra town by foot (after the bridge left leads to the coastal promenade, while right leads to the inland road).
Plakes lies another kilometer further from Vlychos on the coastal promenade road. There stands the Four Seasons Hotel (not belonging to the hotel chain of the same name, I think). Deckchairs and umbrellas are provided by the hotel at a charge. The hotel includes also a good beach terrasse restaurant at reasonable prices with fresh food, great for sunset. The hotel does a regular, nearly hourly boat service to Hydra town (roundtrip 6 €) with the last boat leaving Plakes as late as 10 p.m., ideal for a dinner there.
Palamidas, a bit over another km further on, is not a beach. A boat yard lies there. This is where the road from Hydra leaves the north coast and goes inland to Episkopi.
Molos, further on the north coast, we did not visit. There is a beach, a large military building and some grand villas. No regular boat service.
Bisti is the west most beach on the north coast. It is reached by regular boats from Hydra town, leaving normally at 11 a.m. and 12 p.m. (check on the boards of the boats) and back from Bisti around 4 and 5 p.m. (ask the captain upon arrival), the roundtrip 12 €. There are also footpaths from Bisti to Episkopi and Agios Nikolaos. Bisti is small cave bay, beautifully the greenest beach as the trees here in the west come down to the sea. Bisti is an organized beach, meaning you can rent deckchairs and an umbrella (2+1 for 6 €). And there is a kiosk, where you can buy drinks and simple food as sandwiches or salad. If you go through the iron door behind the kiosk, you see within 100 m the neighbouring rocky bay and the small chapel.
Agios Nikolaos, already around the western cape and thus on the south coast, is the farthest beach serviced by regular boats. The boats are running similarly like to Bisti with similar schedules (roundtrip 15 €). It is also an organised beach like Bisti with deckchairs and umbrellas and a food and drinks kiosk. This is a wide bay, normally the least frequented, which adds to the far-away-feeling.
The further south coast can only be reached by individual taxi boats (starting at the right corner of the port) - or by ambitioned hikers, who would probably arrange at least one-way for a taxi boat.

taxi boats: I have found on the hydradirect.com website a 2017 price list, which I quote here:
„All sea taxis work on a fixed tariff, which is the same for all boats. The price quoted is per journey for the maximum number of passengers which in the main is 8 people and their luggage.
From Hydra Port to: Kamini €12 / Vlychos €17 (beach) €18 (Harbour) / Vlychos Plakes €20 / Palamitha €25 / Molos €40 / Mandraki €17 / Zourva (lighthouse) €40 / Porto Hydra €80 / Dokos Harbour €75 / Metochi €45 / St. Nikoloas €80 / Bisti €60 / Ermioni €120 / Poros €130 / Spetses €220 / Round the Island Trip: €220
(Please note that after dark rates are up to 50% extra, supplements for excess luggage, cost shared for maximum number of passengers being carried, ie if only 1 person travelling to Kamini that person will pay €12, if 4 persons travelling each person will pay €3,00 - so taxi sharing is both environmentally and financially sensible!)
It should not cost you more than the published prices if you pre-book a specific sea taxi driver for collect you at a specific time. Please ensure if you pre-book or contact a driver directly, that you confirm exactly where in the port they will pick you up from as it won't be in the usual west corner of the harbour.“
1979 Kassel / 1980 Munich / 2008 Munich, Hamburg / 2009 Cologne, Antwerp, Lisbon, Budapest, Barcelona / 2010 Salzburg, Florence, Marseille, Stuttgart, Bratislava / 2012 Ghent, Berlin, Verona, Barcelona, Madrid, Lisbon / 2013 Paris, Mannheim, Rome, Prague, Pula, Zuerich, Amsterdam
2011 Haiger / 2014 Dublin / 2015 Hydra, Viladrau / 2016 Amsterdam / 2017 Hydra, Balaton

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