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Are you visiting Athens and dreaming of visiting a Greek Island but don’t have a lot of time? I live in Athens, and I want to tell you all about how you can easily take the ferry from Athens to Hydra in just a day!
It is a really simple and straight shot via ferry to visit the Greek Island of Hydra from Athens! If you are worried about the logistics, don’t sweat it! I will tell you everything you need to know to successfully take the ferry from Athens to Hydra and back!
Ferry Tickets to Hydra From Athens
Where is Hydra Located?
Are you looking for the best and closest Greek Island to Athens? Check out Hydra! Hydra is an idyllic Greek island that is part of a small group of islands called the Saronic Islands!
This tiny cluster of islands is located in the Saronic Gulf in the Aegean Sean off the Argolis peninsula on the eastern tip of the Peloponnese.
Hydra is my favorite island to make my base when visiting any of the Saronic Islands! Fun fact about Hydra, there are no cars allowed! The popular mode of transport is via donkey!
Best Way to Reach Hydra from Athens
There is no airport in Hydra, so the best way to reach the island of Hydra is by Ferry. The ferry travel time from Athens to Hydra Island is a quick one, depending on which type of high-speed ferry, you should reach Hydra in 1 hour and 45 minutes.
On board, you can expect an assigned seat in a nice well-kept vessel! Enjoy the air-conditioned cabin and relax while cruising the Aegean Sea.
Pro Tip: If you get seasick easily, consider taking some pills for anti-nausea. There is a period of the trip when you will go ultra-fast and it can be quite bumpy.
Types of Ferries to Hydra
There are 2 types of ferry companies that provide service to Hydra, and honestly, it doesn’t matter which one you take.
Both ferry vessels offer the same great service. The prices will vary depending on the timetable and season you are traveling.
My advice is to book the ferry that makes sense for your schedule and budget. Most always the fastest ferry will be the more expensive one.
The two main ferry operators that currently have routes between Athens and Hydra are Blue Star Ferries and Alpha Lines.
Blue Star Ferries and Hellenic Seaways are part of the same alliance group Attica. The ferries to Hydra are often operated by Hellenic Seaways.
I know it can be confusing if your ticket says Blue Star Ferries, but you board a Hellenic Seaways vessel.
Athens to Hydra ferry option #2 is operated by Alpha Lines. From what I read, the better choice is Blue Star Ferries if you are looking for a more modern and comfortable boat.
Hellenic Seaways – Aero 1
I rode on the ferry, Aero 1 Highspeed, operated by Hellenic Seaways. It is a nice, modern, and clean vessel. You can purchase coffee and snacks via a vending machine.
Purchase your goodies before departure as you don’t want to be moving around when the boat is at high speed.
Blue Star Ferries & Hellenic Seaways
Even though my ferry ticket had Blue Star Ferries listed on it, it also had Hellenic Seaways. You can look at your ticket, my ticket is pictured below, to get the information you need.
On the way back to Athens I rode back on the Flying Cat 5. Maybe it was a calmer day at sea, but I noticed this ride was a lot smoother than my ride to Hydra.
Flying Cat 5
Where to catch the Ferry from Piraeus Port to Hydra
The ferry to Hydra departs from the Pireaus port in Athens. The ferry gate is Gate E 8. You want to arrive at the ferry port approximately 1 hour prior to departure.
It was a little frustrating that there were more signs for which ferry is which. I went to the kiosk and asked which boat I needed to board.
This is why getting there early is important, it will be less stressful if you get turned around and need to ask questions.
How much are the ferry tickets from Athens to Hydra
Ferry tickets cost will vary on the season you book. To find the best price I recommend booking online. You can use one of these ferry ticketing companies to see all the best prices and ferry timetables available.
The ones I recommend and use the most are:
Best time to book your ferry from Athens to Hydra
It is best to book your ferry to Hydra as soon as you have planned the trip. I reserve my ferry as soon as I finalize my trip details.
If you aren’t visiting during high season (June, July, and August) there is more flexibility to wait, but I am just someone who likes to finalize the details as soon as I know my plans.
You don’t really want to visit Hydra between November and March. The island is open, but the museums and popular restaurants are not.
What are the Ferry Timetables to Hydra from Athens
Here are some of the timetables of ferry schedules available in the peak season to Hydra from Piraeus in 2023.
How to get to Piraeus from Athens City Center
If you are staying in central Athens, like 99% of the tourists do when they first visit Athens, you have 2 choices to reach the port.
You can take the subway if you are packing light! Or in case you have too many bags or can’t be bothered with public transport, you can take a taxi. Download the FREE Now app for taxis.
The metro is only going to cost you 4.20 euros for a 24-hour ticket and the best metro station to depart from is Monastiraki station.
A taxi is going to cost you a bit more, depending on where you are staying. Be advised, some taxis only take cash, so if you don’t use an app to book your taxi, ask when you enter the taxi if they take a card.
The average taxi cost is going to be around 20 Euros from the city center to the Port of Piraeus.
Athens Airport to Piraeus
I recommend this for two reasons. One reason is that Athens Airport is extremely busy and chaotic. Having a driver just waiting to receive you and your bags is priceless.
And the second reason is that it’s nearly the same price as a taxi, and it is nice to have it prepaid where all you have to do is show up and it’s all arranged.
How many days should you spend in Hydra?
After visiting Hydra, I would recommend you stay a minimum of 2 nights. I feel like I could have stayed another night and been really happy.
If you are on a tight schedule and are determined to visit this Greek island, you can see most of what the island has to offer in a full 6 hours.
Best Things To Do in Hydra
Hydra is a gorgeous Saronic island you can either make a quick day trip or a few days stay. It is a great place to lose yourself just strolling the narrow streets smiling at all the friendly kitties.
I spent a lot of time admiring the idyllic village and taking a few photos of the main square and cobblestone streets. But there is more to do in Hydra than just wander around.
Below are the best things to do in Hydra!
Relax at Spilia Beach Bar
If you are taking the ferry from Athens to Hydra to get a little beach time, I don’t blame you! Athens doesn’t have great beaches.
The Spilia Beach Bar in Hydra isn’t actually a beach, but a great spot to hang out on a chair and take a nice dip in the Aegean Sea!
It is also the ideal place to get some drinks and sunbathe by the port if you have limited time.
Historical Archive of Hydra
I’ve personally never been much of a museum person. But, one of the most popular attractions in Hydra is the Historical Archive of Hydra.
Located in port, you can visit this museum and check out exhibits of incredible paintings from the 19th century and objects & relics from the 1821 Hydra War.
Visitor Info: Open daily from 9:00 to 16:00
Check out the boutique shops of Hydra
Hydra has some fantastic boutique shops! I spent more money than I should have on my short trip to Hydra.
If you are looking for some stylish and unique finds I recommend my three favorite shops!
This boutique shop has high-end Greek designer goods. There are lovely dresses, hats, and jewelry. The prices match the quality. The average dress is around 250 euros.
Located on the port’s main drag is Sirens. Sirens is another great boutique shop in Hydra that I have considered taking the ferry from Athens just to visit again. It is a Spanish designer boutique that has clothing, shoes, hats, bags, etc.
I found the best and most comfortable sandals here. The prices are on the higher side, but the quality is high.
For a more moderately priced boutique in Hydra, check out Jasmine! The average dress price is around 100 euros. You can definitely find items cheaper if they are last season’s colors.
I will definitely be back to buy more dresses at the end of the season!
Visit Lazaros Kountouriotis Mansion
Lazaros Kountouriotis is famous for being the largest financier of the Greek War of Independence in 1821. He was born in 1769 and died in 1852.
This mansion, now converted into a museum is a step back in time to what life was like in Hydra in the 1800s. You can get a look at the painting, clothing, and artifacts from everyday life.
Half-Day Boat Trip to Explore Hydra
A small water taxi will take you to the many beaches of Hydra that are only accessible by boat! The cost was 40 euros, subject to change, and departed at 11:00 and 15:00.
This is a great activity if you have taken the ferry to Hydra for a couple of days’ stay.
Eat & drink by the coast
Hydra has some fantastic restaurants by the sea. If you are coming to eat your way through Hydra, below are a few of my favorite restaurants.
Omilos Restaurant Bar
If you are looking for the most dreamy place to experience a meal in Hydra, check out Omilos Restaurant Bar.
I highly recommend you call ahead and get a reservation if you are visiting in the summer months. If you are visiting in the shoulder season like I did you might be able to get away with just showing up.
Téchnē Restaurant & Social
I dined for lunch and dinner at Téchnē Restaurant & Social and it was easily the best meal I’ve had in years.
I will absolutely eat here again when I return to Hydra. If you are going to visit Hydra in the peak season be sure and get a reservation. You do not want to miss out!
Best Day Trip from Athens to Poros, Hydra, and Aegina
Are you thinking a day trip to Hydra is more your style? Lucky for you, there is a day trip that leaves Athens and goes to more islands than just Hydra!
It is a full 12-hour tour that takes you to Poros, Hydra, and Aegina. This tour is perfect for anyone that is a little anxious to navigate a day trip by themselves or someone who just wants to see as many islands as possible in one day!
⛴️ Day Trip to Hydra from Athens: Check Rates & Availability
Where to stay in Hydra
If you want to stay a couple of days and experience all the popular islands in the Saronic Gulf, you can stay in Hydra town.
These little boutique hotels and guest houses are simply the perfect place to unplug. I was able to check out a few of the best places on the island, in addition to the place I stayed.
Here are the best hotels in Hydra:
Best value for the money: Piteoussa
This pet-friendly hotel makes for a comfortable night’s stay on the island of Hydra.
Most adorable boutique hotel stay: Orloff
If you are looking for an adorable boutique hotel in Hydra town, then check out Orloff!
The ultimate splurge hotel with a pool: Bratsera Hotel
A trick to affording to stay at this incredible place is to book yourself a room in the off-season of late September and early May!
Other Ferries From Islands to the Greek Islands
If you are looking to visit more islands than the small island of the Saronic Islands, you are in luck! I have visited lots of the Greek islands via ferry from Athens!
The most popular Greek Island route from Athens is the ferry to Milos! Leaving from Pireaus Port you can reach Milos in just about 4 hours!
Another popular destination is taking the ferry to the magical island of Sifnos from Athens. Sifnos is one of the islands of the Cyclades and can be reached via ferry in just about 3 hours.
Finally, if you are interested in taking an overnight ferry from Athens, check out the ferry that leaves from Athens to Crete! An overnight ferry is the best way to reach the largest of the Greek Islands!
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Final thoughts on taking the ferry from Athens to Hydra
I hope you enjoyed my in-depth explanation of how to easily take the ferry to get to Hydra from Athens. My experience traveling to the islands alone by ferry should give you all the information you need to craft a trip of your own!
Athens to Hydra Travel FAQs
Yes, ferry travel in general is very safe for solo travelers. I have traveled alone on a number of ferries throughout Greece. I always advise keeping the most important items close to you no matter where you are traveling this includes when you travel via ferry in Greece.
There are a number of ferry crossings in the peak season between Athens and Hydra. In my most recent research, I found 7 daily crossings between the island and mainland Greece.
The ferry duration between Athens and Hydra is between 1 hour and 45 minutes and 2 hours.
I always buy my tickets with a third-party website, typically months in advance. I like comparing multiple ferry companies by using a third-party website, such as Ferry Hopper.
Hydra is absolutely worth visiting. I recommend you book at least one night if not two nights to fully explore and enjoy the island.
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