A true gem of the Saronic Gulf, Hydra island is special in many ways. It’s the only island in Greece to be completely free of motor vehicles. You will fall in love with its cobbled lanes shaded by ancient trees, friendly donkeys at every turn, beautiful beaches and the most luminous emerald waters imaginable. Rent a boat and set about a voyage of discovery you’ll never forget. Over the years, countless artists, musicians, actors and celebrities have visited Hydra Island and decided never to leave. One look at this wonder of Greece and you’ll understand why!
Sumptuous mansions and humbler vernacular homes arrayed amphitheatrically around the marble-quayed harbour date from the 18th and 19th centuries, when Hydriot seafaring prowess brought great wealth. Despite its high-profile reputation, the island remains endearingly time-warped: as a listed architectural reserve, all new construction is banned, and the town remains blissfully free of motor vehicles except for two small fire trucks and a few miniature rubbish trucks – photogenic donkeys (or mules) do most haulage. The clip-clop of the beasts’ hooves on marble pavement and their drivers’ cries are very much part of the soundtrack here.
Hydra boasts a plethora of bays and natural harbours, fuelling a strong maritime culture that is exemplified by the Tsamadou mansion, donated by the Tsamados family for the purpose of housing the Greek Maritime Academy. And this seafaring culture has made Hydra an extremely popular yachting destination. It is the proud home of the international Kamini Yacht Club, situated in the port of Kamini.
Yacht Club, situated in the port of Kamini. Marble paving and an abundance of super yachts breathe a sense of luxury into Hydra Harbour, an ideal location to island-hop across Greece with a Spetses Cruising private boat hire. From Hydra Harbour, many enchanting destinations to visit include Epidaurus, Spetses, Vathi Avlaki, Ierakas and Monemvasia. You can also explore the rock formations and secluded bays of the coastline of Hydra.
The secluded bay at Vathi Avlaki is a hidden gem. The stunning white pebble beach between the emerald waters on the side and the pine covered hills beyond is no less than breath taking. Swim, snorkel and sunbathe to your heart’s content. Lasting impressions will bring you back to this wonderful place!
The citadel town of Monemvasia is a snapshot of Greece’s past. Connected with the mainland by a 200m causeway, the old town centre is a treasure trove of medieval buildings, small Byzantine churches and traditional craftsmen’s shops that have remained unchanged for generations.
Spetses is an island you’ll want to explore, discover and savour for life. Wander the upmarket harbour, lined with the most spectacular 19th century mansions and exclusive residences of the rich and famous. Enjoy an afternoon lunch followed by a private horse-drawn carriage ride along the majestic seafront.
One of the most important archaeological sites in Greece, the Ancient Theatre of Epidaurus is said to be located at the same site as the birthplace of Apollo’s son Asclepius. An incredibly significant location, the theatre itself was built approximately 3000 years ago and sits within the most extraordinary surroundings imaginable. Even if ancient Greek history isn’t your primary interest, the Ancient Theatre of Epidaurus is quite simply stunning.
Situated close to the islands of Hydra and Spetses, Dokos is a wonderful destination for island-hopping journeys. With serene beaches and crystalline waters, there is endless scope for relaxation and exploration in equal measures.
The most beautiful of all mainland towns with Venetian, Ottoman and Neo Classical buildings, hidden leafy squares, meandering streets and a sophisticated atmosphere. The gentle pine-scented breeze and the view across the Argolic gulf towards the mountains of Arcadia reach you as you relax at a seafront cafe.
Built on a natural fjord and hardly visible from the sea, Ierakas is both famous and infamous for its popularity with pirates back in the day. The perfect place for a relaxing stroll before indulging in a delicious lunch at one of the local tavernas offering the best seafood in the region.
It is clear why discerning globe trotters come to Porto Heli. This is a part of the world that feels like a very laid-back version of the Amalfi Coast. The area offers plenty of protected coves and bays on the crystal clear waters of the Aegean. Porto Heli’s constellation of inlets means the water is both calmer and warmer than many of the Cycladic islands.
The beautiful islands of Milos, Sifnos, Serifos, Kimolos, Kythnos and Kea.
Milos has a rich history and spectacular beaches that line its coast. The island is sprinkled with spots that will take your breath away.
Sifnos offes a great balance of beautiful beaches, low-key nightlife, white Cycladic villages, low-impact tourism and maybe the best food in the Cyclades.
Serifos exudes a calm atmosphere and speaks directly to your senses. The island is gracefully embraced by the deep blue colours of the Aegean Sea and has some magnificent beaches.
A magnificent coastline decorated with the uninhabited islands of Arsida and Petroklos and the glorious Cape Sounion. The temple of Poseidon at Cape Sounion, the ancient Greek god of the sea, dominates the southern most tip of Attica, where the horizon meets the Aegean Sea. Make the most of your trip by indulging in a refreshing swim in the small beach by the foot of the temple.
Unspoilt mountainous coastline, sprinkled with secluded coves, hidden beaches and picturesque villages. Fokiano is the most beautiful gulf of southeastern Arcadia. It “hides” within lush green mountain slopes, while its green waters and white pebbles make it seem like a shrine of tranquility.
Kyparissi was an ancient sanctuary of Asclepius. The little village is a secluded paradise backed by the craggy slopes of Mount Parnon and fronted by the cobalt blue of the Myrtoan Sea.