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THURSDAY 16.09.2004
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Hydra: rocky, but beautiful

An island that has become a world-famous tourist destination in the last few years, Hydra is a place that gathers all kinds of people, among them many famous Greek and foreign stars. In the little streets of the island, no cars are allowed. You can visit the island and admire its true beauty only by foot.

Hydra has a quite remarkable nautical culture and was one of the first Greek islands to start the revolution against the Turks, in 1821. The history of the island is proven by the large mansions scattered around the island, owned by famous captains turned revolutionaries, such as Kountouriotis, Tobazis, Miaoulis, and Kriezis, which fought many famous naval fights.

The island offers many hotels and rented rooms that try to meet the demands of the increasingly fast developing tourist industry. It offers many beautiful beaches away from the main town, the most famous being Vliho, Mandraki and Molo. They can be reached by boat, but beaches are not the only attractions on Hydra - there are also many other sites to see, such as the historical museum in the main town, monasteries and churches.

Hydra covers an area of 56 square Kilometers and has a population of 2,373. It lies 37 nautical miles away from Piraeus. It is an ideal place for high quality vacation. The old ship cannons in the central square still guard over the historic port and town.






Picturesque, aristocratic, traditional, beloved of artists and art lovers, best preserved of the islands in the Saronikos Gulf, Hydra is considered the perfect place for trendy art weekends.

Its stone mansions and cobbled lanes have inspired writers, painters and directors, and still do. Artists and art lovers have bought houses here or come regularly to stay in its tiny private hotels. In the 1960s, popularized by Sophia Loren and "The Boy and the Dolphin", it became the "in" place for the international jet set. Leonard Cohen (still a frequent visitor) wrote some of his superb ballads here, and artists like Chatzikyriakos-Ghikas, Tsoklis, Kounelis and Tetsis, who had or still have houses and studios on the island, recorded it endlessly on their canvases.

Emblems of the great shipping wealth and cosmopolitan so ciety of the late 18th and early 19th centuries, Hydra's mansions will again and again stop you in your tracks and look up, as you stroll along the waterfront or through the cobbled lanes winding up the hill.