BY Angelos Rentoulas

| Jun 26, 2018

Destinations

Four Insider Secrets About Hydra

The editor in chief of Kathimerini’s Gastronomos magazine shares a few secrets about Hydra.

1. My Secret Swimming Spot

This is my private “beach” on Hydra – mine and a few others’, not many, the spot is not well known even among the locals. And it is right at your feet, not in some remote corner of the island.

Follow the coastal paved footpath that links Hydra with Kamini. After the beach of Avlaki, (the one that is a few steps below the restaurant Technē) and before you enter the village proper of Kamini (a minute further on is the taverna Pefkaki), you will see a dirt opening with pine trees. This is where cats normally slink along in search of shade. Look for the steps (they are not visible from the path) which will take you down to a quiet cluster of rocks, many of which are flat enough for some serene sunbathing.

The water is deep, dark blue, of the open sea. The spot is great for diving in off the rocks and relaxed snorkeling – the seabed is rich; shoals of white and striped sea bream pass through the area as well as other fish depending on the season. The view towards the island is one of a kind: Antonia’s mansion, a few homes here and there, pine and cypress trees. A Tetsis painting.

shutterstock_696438784_HydraKamini beach © Shutterstock

2.Hydra’s Best Coffee

Isalos is perhaps the most well known cafe on the island. What isn’t well-known, however, is that he brings in one of the best coffees that I have had on vacation (and in general): Caffè del Doge, a specialty coffee from Venice.

Ask for a small, hot espresso to appreciate its eclectic flavor. Also ask for one affogato – that is a ball of vanilla ice cream drenched in hot espresso – probably the best dessert on the island. Okay, after Tsagkaris’ amygdalota (soft almond cookies).

hydra_02Vlychos beach © Shutterstock

3. My Favourite Walk

Among the musts of Hydra is a walk to the Profitis Ilias Monastery. The hike is easy, provided you start early to avoid being roasted in the sun. Part of the route passes through the robust pine forest that crowns Hydra. On your arrival, ask the abbot to show you the monastery and his incredible kitchen. As you leave, ask how to get to the monastery of Aghia Efpraxia – it’s just a short distance away. The view from the monastery’s veranda is made for Instagram: in one shot, you can see the three inhabited bays of the island, the port, the harbor of Kamini, and Vlychos Beach.

profitis-ilias-monastery-hydra-shutterstock_295292273Profitis Ilias Monastery on Hydra © Shutterstock

4. This year, a new service offering boat trips around the island is being launched. Beyond the more famous remote areas (Bisti, Aghios Nikolaos) where boats have been taking swimmers for years, the route includes little-known, deserted and incredibly beautiful beaches on the back of the island, such as Limnioniza and Nisiza which to date only boat-owners and a few hardcore hikers have had the luck to visit.