Sunday 25 August 2013

Swimming in Hydra

Rather than swim in the town in Hydra, we took a boat from the harbour and went to beaches in deserted parts of the island that can only be reached by boat.

On our first day we went to Plakes, a five-minute boatride from the town. It's a nice, small beach even though the pebbles were a bit hard on the feet. This was our view.

For our second swim we went to Agios Nikolas, a 35-minute boat ride from the town and it was such fun. On the way we passed three small rocks in the middle of the sea that had churches perched on top. This was one of them.

and this was another.

This was the third. There is no separation between State and Church in Greece and the people are highly religious, so churches pop up everywhere

Agios Nikolaos is the largest and most popular beach in Hydra. Like all the others it has much-needed shade in the shape of umbrellas, but also, loungers and a bar, but I did not like it much and will not go there again. There was music, or muzak, I should say, blaring throughout the beach. I tried to ask them to turn it off, explaining that we had come to a beach in the middle of nowhere because we wanted to be able to listen to the cicadas and the waves lapping at the shore, rather than pretend we were in a supermarket, but the woman at the bar told me that the music was non-negotiable. We had to put up with it.

It's a wild, beautiful place though, and the views from the shore, as well as from the sea, are breathtaking.

The pebbles are beautiful and not so hard on the feet in Agios Nikolaos

The odd boat comes to visit

and for the first part of the day the beach is almost deserted

This is the boat that brought us here - they keep going back and forth, but we always take the 11:00 o'clock one, the first boat, and it's great having the beach relatively deserted for the first hour or so.

Bisti beach was our favourite, on the edge of a pine forest, it is tiny and the woman who runs it is doing an excellent job: the beach is very clean, and the Greek salad that she prepared for us for our lunch was delicious. This photograph was taken at 4:30 as we were waiting for our boat to arrive and the beach is at its busiest.

wild and beautiful,

relatively quiet for the first two hours

lots of butterflies around

the cicadas singing their song

the odd boat appearing in the horizon

the patterns created by water, light and pebble

people having quiet, intimate moments....

all very memorable

and of course, lots and lots of swimming. I particularly enjoyed swimming inside this cave.

The return journey was always very exhilarating as the boat was almost empty - most people seemed to stay until 6:00.

The pyramid-shaped mountain

houses perched on the rocks

houses framed by surrounding walls

looking closer

another enclosing wall

The wild beauty of Hydra.


  1. Ah, the warm clear water, the empty beaches early in the morning. Apart from fresh ripe fruit, this is what I miss most.


    1. and the light... you forgot the light. It's the thing I look forward to the most, and yet, it hits me every time we come here - how amazing it is....

  2. Idylic. Almost as nice as Wigan! (wishfull thinkinkg);-)

    1. Haha! Well, different attractions.

      It was very beautiful and swimming on the islands is so different from swimming in Athens: one's magic, the other is just exercise and cooling off.

  3. You've had an unforgettable experience! Can't stop watching your photos. Did you know that Hydra is believed to be the best Greek island for young couples? Just read this article: Personally for me Hydra is perhaps the most beautiful port village in all of Greece.