Hydra, Greece Cruise Port

If you're a fan of Marvel comics, cruising to the port of Hydra, Greece might mean something other than a fabulous Mediterranean vacation. "Hydra" is actually Greek for "water," and this Saronic Island located in the Aegean Sea is not only surrounded by the Saronic and Argolic Gulfs, but the name also refers to the springs that were used to provide ancient Greece with its fresh water. Ironically enough, modern Hydra is a fairly arid island; those without private wells to trap rainwater drink imported bottled water. Tourism is the main industry, made up of mostly of travelers from Athens. To keep the island’s old-time feel, almost all motor vehicles are prohibited – taxis drawn by horses and mules are the norm, although walking the area is generally problem-free. For a delightful mix of old and new, here are some of our favorite experiences for the cruise port of Hydra, Greece:
 
  • Within the lovely main village of Hydra Town you can visit the shop and walk the promenade; take a hike up to the Agios Konstantinos (Church of St. Constantine) to visit the beautiful structure dedicated to Hydra's patron saint and catch a breathtaking view.
     
  • For more hiking and architecture, a walk up Mount Eros will not only provide exercise and excellent views, but a visit to the 19th-century Prophet Elias Monastery. The small number of monks who reside here can't let you inside, but they've been known to leave out plates of Turkish delight for climbers.
     
  • Located near the port is the Lazaros Koundouriotis Mansion (National Historical Museum), which started out as the living space for ship owner Lazaros Koundouriotis and was eventually donated as a museum branch. Each room contains items appropriate to its original function; you'll also see paintings by Greek artists Periklis and Konstantinos Byzantios, hand-painted ceilings, and plenty of heirlooms.
     
  • For a rest, check out Saint Nicholas Beach, one of the best on Hydra is; you'll need to take a water taxi to get there, but the beautiful waters and relaxing atmosphere are a good trade. A nearby snack bar offers food and drinks.
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