Area of island: 55 sq. km/21 sq. mi.Chief town: HydraThe island of Hydra (ancient Hydrea) is a bare limestone ridge, 12km/7.5 mi long and up to 5 km/3 mi wide, lying off the southeast coast of the Argolid. This arid and infertile island lives mainly on the tourist trade and the sale of its craft products (jewelry, pottery, embroidery; hand-woven cloth, leather goods). A tempting local speciality is amygdalotá (almond cake).The island was occupied from Mycenaean times, but until the 18th century A.D. remained a place of no importance.
Hydra Town (Idra Khora), Greece
The chief town on the island of Hydra is also called Hydra. The town climbs picturesquely up the slopes of the hills around its sheltered harbor on the north coast. It is a favorite resort of artists, particularly painters, and intellectuals, who give the town its special stamp and atmosphere. On the quay is the old monastic church of the Panayía (17th C.), with a beautiful cloister. Above the town to the west are the ruins of a medieval castle, and lower down are fortifications built during the war of liberation.
Ídra Khóra - Harbor
On both sides of the harbor are the imposing mansions of early 19th century shipowners and merchants, including the houses of Admiral Iakovos Tombazis (now occupied by an outstation of the Athens Academy of Art) and Dimitrios Voulgaris. One such mansion houses a training school for the merchant navy. The plain white and sometimes color-washed houses of the town on the slopes above the harbor are rather Cycladic in type.
West of Hydra, at the fishing village of Vlykhós, are the remains of ancient Chorisa.1.5km/1mi south is Kaló Pigádi (view), with 18th century country houses in the surrounding area.To the south, in a beautiful hill setting, stands the 15th century monastery of Profítis Ilías (three-hour walk; or by mule).At the eastern tip of the island is the 16th century Zoúrvas monastery (three- hour walk; or by mule).There are a number of other monasteries, mostly abandoned.
Northwest of Hydra is the little grazing island of Dokós (ancient Aperopia), with the village of the same name in a sheltered bay on the north coast.