The Saronic island of Hydra is a convenient day trip option from Athens, and a well-known destination with both tourists and local Greeks. A combination of historic heritage with a cosmopolitan vibe, its traffic-free nature displays a striking contrast to busy Athens, which makes it a perfect escape from the hustle of the city. After all, landing Hydra is a plain route, with several different ferries to prefer. According to your choice, the time of travel may change from just over an hour to three and a half hours.
How to get to Hydra from Athens by using ferry?
All the ferries from Athens to Hydra takes off from the famous Piraeus Port. As Hydra is an island that any kind of motor traffic is forbidden, there are no car ferries going there. However, there are several high-speed ferries daily on the Pireaus to Hydra route, with some added services on weekends. All the services are run by Blue Star Ferries, a company that you may have used before when traveling to the Greek islands.
You must choose between two different boats: The FlyingDolphin or the FlyingCat. The price is the same, but the boats are very different. A flying car is a large catamaran boat, whereas the much smaller FlyingDolphin is a hydrofoil. Other than the size difference, the FlyingCat comes with a nice café where you can buy snacks & refreshments on the journey. Each one will cost €30.50 per person each way.
What are the ferry types? What distinguishes them?
Furthermore, it’s important to know that there are two different types of Flying Cats: Flying Cat 4 is a 55-meter Catamaran ferry that can take up to 438 passengers, and it is the fastest choice on this route, reaching speeds up to 42 knots. Flying Cat 6 is smaller and much slower – at 40 meters length, it fits up to 336 people and its maximum speed is 28 knots.
The Flying Dolphins are even smaller, around 35 meters, and fit 130 passengers. Still, they are quite fast, reaching a top speed of 35 knots. That’s why the price is the same as the catamarans. However, their small stature makes them vulnerable to wind & waves, so harsh weather conditions can easily cancel their excursions. Of course, if you’re easily affected by the notorious seasickness, you may avoid them since the board will most likely be shaky.
What is the cheapest option?
If you visit Greece in the summer season, there’re budget effective ways for you to consider. For instance, you can also take the Agia Marina Aiginis, which stops at Aegina on the way to Hydra. It departs from Piraeus at 9 am daily (9.30 on Sundays), and leaves Hydra at 16.30. As it takes 3.5 hours, it’ll hurt the schedule of a daily excursion. Still, if you want to stay on the island for the night, you may take it especially as a compensation for the accommodation fee. Tickets cost 19.50 euros. The boats to Hydra take off from Gate E8, a short walk from the Piraeus metro station. Once the metro stops here, cross the street and simply follow the coast to the left.
How to spend time in Hydra?
The main town, with its unique architecture and cobbled street, may draw your admiration. Quick dives in local beaches will soothe your soul. Other than that, If you are interested in history and art, you can choose to visit either the Historical Archive of Hydra or the Koundouriotis Mansion, that has been transformed into a museum. For outdoor enthusiasts, there are 11 hiking paths.