A guide to Hydra (a Greek Island with no cars)

Hydra was one of my favourite places to visit while living here in Greece. It’s a small beautiful island around 1hr 40 minutes from Athens by ferry. It is known for having no cars, where the only modes of transport are water taxis and donkeys. The only motorised vehicle allowed on the island is a bin lorry.

The population of the island is relatively small, only around 2000 people live on the island. They rely heavily on tourism, and Athenians account for a sizable segment of its visitors. In my opinion, it is the perfect weekend escape from the bustling city of Athens.

How to Get There

So the best way to get here is by ferry. You can get the ferry from the Pireaus port in Athens and it takes 1hr 40 minutes. Ticket costs vary due to the seasons but I paid €57 for a return ticket per person. You can buy the tickets on FerryHopper. The ferry stops at Poros on the way and if you take a later boat in the day, head out to the standing deck and you can watch the sunset!

Where to Stay

Airbnb has lots of options for affordable and convenient accommodation.

We stayed in an amazing Airbnb, that had a beautiful view overlooking the harbour. It was a little bit further away from the main strip (which we liked) but be wary there are many stairs up to the path to get there.

To save up to €40 on your first Airbnb stay you can use this link here.

What to Do

If you’re like me and just enjoy doing nothing, pottering around, swimming, eating, and drinking coffee while on a weekend away. Hydra is the perfect place for you! There are lots of options for swimming

Hydronetta Beach

This is technically not a beach, but rather a place to swim. It’s just below the cocktail bar called Hydronetta. I would recommend swimming here at sunset to bask in the oranges hues as they hit the surface of the sea.

Address: Epar.Od. Mandrakiou-Molou

Kamini Beach

This is a lovely pebble beach that is definitely worth the 15-20 minute walk. During the summer season, there are umbrellas and a beach café. Since we went in the off-season, we just lay a towel down on the pebbles and we brought our own snacks and drinks.

Address: Epar.Od. Mandrakiou-Molou, Idra 180 40

Mandraki Beach Resort

This is a beach that is a little bit further away from the main port, about 35 minutes or so, but the walk is very manageable. Grab a book and spend the day relaxing!

Address: Μανδρακι 180 40

Watch the locals unload supplies at the port

This may seem a bit strange, but hear me out! Since the island has no means of transportation they must use donkeys to carry their supplies to their houses and restaurants. I saw dishwashers, washing machines, bags of sand, bales of hay and so much more being strategically strapped onto donkeys’, and I found it so intriguing and interesting to watch. Grab a coffee in Bandera Café, on a Saturday morning and you’ll have a front-row seat to watching the locals unload the ferry from the mainland.

Where to Eat & Drink


Dinner in this restaurant was one of my favourite dining experiences in Greece. It’s a family-run place with a handwritten paper menu tucked away from the main strip. The food was delicious and fresh, we had prawns, calamari, fried potatoes, and a magnum bottle of wine for only €50.

The owners were so kind and they made us feel as if we were eating in their home, their young daughter was full of life and we played some games and did some “science experiments” together. The whole experience made me feel like I was visiting family, I can’t wait to go back here. So I urge you to try this place, you won’t regret it!

Address: Votsi, Idra 180 40

Spilia Beach Bar

This place is a great place to chill out for a coffee or a drink. The iced coffee here was great, I would recommend it! You can also swim here, so it’s a great place to spend the day!

Address: Epar.Od. Mandrakiou-Molou, Ύδρα 180 40

Yamas Hydra Souvlaki

If you love gyros, (who doesn’t) this is the best place to get it. They use yellow corn pittas and give a whopping portion of tzatziki in the gyros which in my books, is the key to a great gyros. It’s a great option for a cheap dinner!

Address: Epar.Od. Mandrakiou-Molou, Idra 180 40

The Pirate Bar

This bar does great cocktails, shots and overall it just has a great vibe. If you’re not sure what to drink, ask the staff for a recommendation, they are super friendly and knowledgable. You can easily spend hours here people watching.

Address: Votsi, Idra 180 40

Isalos Café

This place is another gem for people watching. The couches are so comfy and once you sit down with a glass of wine here, you won’t want to leave!

Address: Επαρχία.οδος Μανδρακίου hydra, 180 40

Karagiannis Bakery

Every morning we went down to this bakery to grab some coffee and breakfast pastries. Greek bakeries are unrivaled, they really know how to do sweet and savoury pastries well. I would recommend the croissants here, they are so flaky and delicious!

Address: Hydra 180 40

I hope this guide inspires you to visit a lesser-known island in Greece. Mykonos and Santorini have been so popular with people looking to explore the Greek Islands. Don’t get me wrong these islands are beautiful but Hydra has something that these islands don’t and that’s the lack of cars!

I hope you get the chance to explore this amazing island and you find this guide helpful. Happy travels!

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