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Hydra: pearl of the Saronic Gulf (& Athens)

€575 per person

On this short break you will explore the historic center of Athens and escape to nearby Hydra: the most beautiful island in the Saronic Gulf to discover on foot. The absence of motorized vehicles on Hydra makes this destination a true walking paradise. The trip starts with an overnight stay in the historic center of Athens. You can book an optional ‘hike & bite’ tour in Athens or make the walk without dinner taking in the cultural highlights. You will stroll through the lush green National Gardens and past the ancient Olympic Stadium. Via the pedestrian zone around the Acropolis you will see the Parthenon temple, and the Roman and Ancient Greek Markets. You travel by hydrofoil or catamaran to the rocky island of Hydra, just off the coast of the Peloponnese. Hydra is a completely car-free island offering a wide network of intact historic footpaths! Hydra town is very pretty, with stone mansions and narrow cobbled streets. One of the walks starts after taking a local water taxi to the secluded bay of Ledeza. You will sail back to the port of Piraeus by catamaran in just 2 hours, then travel on to the airport.

  • Destination
  • Duration
    6 Days I Difficulty: 2 (of 5)
  • What is included
    5 nights accommodation (3* category accommodation with en-suite rooms) on B&B basis (1 in Athens, 4 in Hydra); People and luggage transfer on Day 2 from the hotel in Athens to Piraeus; Ferry ticket Piraeus-Hydra (Day 2) and Hydra-Pyraeus (Day 6); Detailed road book and maps in English; Emergency phone assistance;
  • What is not included
    Airport arrival and airport departure transfers; Travel insurance; Drinks and other meals; City tax (payable locally in the hotels; 1,5-3 Euro per person/night)
  • Best period
    January, February, March, April, May, June, July, August, September, October, November, December
1
Day 1: Arrival at Athens
Arrival in Athens airport. You travel by public transport to Athens center. It is possible to pre-book a taxi transfer from the airport to Athens.
2
Day 2: From Athens to Hydra Island (5km, 2hrs, +200m/-200m)
You travel today by high-speed to Hydra (several departures daily). As you approach the island you will have a first glimpse over its nature: the island consists mostly of rocky mountains and a curved coastline. The main town and port are among the most beautiful in Greece, with preserved neo-classical mansions, white-washed village houses and narrow cobbled lanes climbing steeply up from the horseshoe shaped harbour. Quite rightly, the whole town is preserved as a national monument. In the afternoon you can do a lovely walk on Hydra as you get to know the town and the sparsely-populated area inland.
3
Day 3: Hydra - 2 options to walk (13 or 18km, 4 or 6hrs, +350 or 500m/-350 or 500m)
The first of the two main walking routes crossing Hydra begins at Hydra’s main town and ends on the western side of the island, with Bisti Beach and the small church of Ag. Georgos. This side of the island is covered with rich vegetation and the pine forest reaches down to Bisti beach, offering a very different side of the island than the one usually associated with Hydra: a formation of bare rock. First you walk along the north coast through the villages of Kaminia, Vlychos, Plakes and past the Bay of Palamidas with its small dockyard. From there you have the option of returning to the town of Hydra via a different route OR walking further inland to ascend to the village of Episkopi. After Episkopi, the footpath continues southwest, toward the coast. You will enjoy impressive views and walk mainly through lush vegetation. Your route ends at the picturesque bay of Bisti with its small church, Agios Georgos. In high season there are sunbeds for rent. You will return to the town of Hydra by water taxi (not included in the standard arrangement).
4
Day 4: Hydra - walk to Mt. Eros (588m) (15km, 6hrs, +700m/-700m)
The circular walk for today takes you to the summit of Mount Eros on the island of Hydra, 588m. A wide “kalderimi” winds uphill from the town of Hydra to the Monastery of Profitis Elias, situated just 100m below the summit. From here a trail leads up to the summit, where you can enjoy splendid views over Hydra, the surrounding islands and the Peloponnese. The return route to the town of Hydra follows a different trail, descending gradually to the settlement at Episkopi then swiftly back to Hydra.
5
Day 5: Hydra- walk to Zourvas Monastery (12 or 20km, 3,30 or 6hrs, +400 or 650m/-400 or 650m)
For today’s route on Hydra you will be taken by a water taxi to Ledeza Bay (optional). From the bay you ascend to the Monastery of Zourvas, situated in a barren landscape, dominated by stone. You can choose to walk directly back to the town of Hydra via a clear footpath. You will walk through wooded areas as well, full of cedars and oaks. The route passes the monasteries of Aghia Matrona and Aghia Triada. Via a dirt track you reach the monastery of Aghios Nikolaos and descend to the town of Hydra. For the longer walk you first continue further east, to the lighthouse of Zourvas, via the church of Agios Ioannikios. This church seems to be hanging from the cliffs while the sea shimmers 100m below, creating a dazzling sight. The end of the route is marked by the stone lighthouse of Zourvas, which is now automated. The only guests in the area are semi-wild goats that roam and graze on the land. You return on foot to Zourvas Monastery then follow the standard route via Aghia Matrona, Aghia Triada and Aghios Nikolaos and return to Chora via a saddle marked by windmills.
6
Day 6: Departure day
You walk with your luggage to the port via the cobbled streets of Hydra. At the port, you board a high-speed vessel to travel back to Piraeus. Optionally you can book a transfer to Athens airport for your flight departure or you can book additional nights in Athens.

TOUR LOCATION

Price
575 Euro per person in twin/dbl room (02/04-17/04; 27/04-27/05; 30/09-27/10);
625 Euro per person in twin/dbl room (18-26/04; 28/05-06/08; 16/08-29/09);
710 Euro per person in twin/dbl room (07/08-15/08);
* Triple rooms available upon request.
**N.B.: If your travel period falls into two periods with different prices, the one with the higher price will be invoiced!
Single room & Solo Traveler supplement
Single room supplement:
355 Euro per person (02/04-17/04; 27/04-27/05; 30/09-27/10);
550 Euro per person (18-26/04, 28/05-29/09);
Solo traveler supplement: N/A (min. group size: 2 pax)
Tips
Daily departures between January and December. The walks are mostly unsurfaced tracks; cobbled mule tracks, footpaths, and some dirt tracks. Optional transfers: Pyraeus-Athens Airport (1-4pax) - 70 Euro; Athens Airport - Athens center (1-4pax) - 65 Euro; Water taxi Hydra to Ledeza Bay (1-8 pax) - 60 Euro;
Accommodation
3* hotels in Athens (1x night) and Hydra (4x nights); en-suite rooms, incl. breakfast

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