Hydra, is an idyllic island located just off the mainland of Greece. With no cars allowed on the island, it is a place where time seems to have stopped. Visitors can enjoy a peaceful atmosphere. The only sound here is the clip-clop of mules transporting goods and people around, providing a picturesque backdrop to the island’s beauty.
So, Hydra offers a serene retreat with stunning views of the Aegean Sea and opportunities for hiking and swimming. Yet, its name may suggest a less peaceful nature. Hydra, according to Greek mythology, gets its name from and was home to a nine-headed monster which was eventually defeated by Hercules.
Where to stay on Hydra
If you’re planning a trip to Hydra and wondering where to stay, I highly recommend è Hotel Sophia. This charming little family-run hotel is situated right on the waterfront of the port, offering stunning views of the sea.
The rooms are pristine and comfortable, making for a relaxing and enjoyable stay. One of the highlights of staying at Hotel Sophia a is their home-cooked breakfast, which runs for the whole morning and is absolutely delicious. It’s the perfect way to start your day before heading out to explore all that Hydra has to offer (and wine taste!)
What to do on Hydra
As said, aside from enjoying the peaceful atmosphere and rich history of the island, there are several exciting activities for visitors in Hydra. From hiking Mount Eros to taking a boat tour to explore hidden coves and beaches.
Needless to say, another popular activity on Hydra include horseback riding and, you know where I’m getting at… wine tasting!
Yes, it turns out that in Hydra there are some high-end venues. While I can’t comment on their cooking, I can certainly write about their wine list!
Where to wine taste on Hydra
Sunset - Salt & Senses is a must-visit in Hydra. From here you will have an unparalleled view over the sea. As the name suggests, this is the perfect spot to enjoy a breathtaking sunset.
But the view of the Aegean is not all. Come here by any means if you’re looking to indulge in some wine tasting during your stay on Hydra. Their extensive wine list offers a wide range of Greek labels, as well as a few international options.
One standout bottle is the Pyritis - Santorini Mega Cuvée. This is a very elegant Assyrtiko with a mineral character, citrus notes and a toasty, hazelnutty closing hint. It is delicious. I loved it on it’s own but it will pair well with the diverse, rich dishes of a typical Greek dinner.
This is a rather unique bottle, one that survived Gaia’s extravagant experiment. Since 2009 they submerge the current vintage of “Thalassitis” just off the east coast of Santorini. Here, the bottles age under stable temperature and away from light and oxygen. Very few bottles were retrieved the first years. In the following vintages, they improved the corks and reduced the depth at which they aged the bottles. By now they managed to hit the sweet spot. Thalassitis Submerged is one-of-a-kind wine:
it has a really interesting smoky aroma that’s just delightful. And there’s this subtle hint of hydrocarbon that adds to its complexity - it’s really something special. Under the sea, this wine has aged beautifully and has become fuller and rounder over time. Yet, the colour doesn’t show any signs of oxidation.
Hydra off season
Visiting a Greek island off-season might leave you wondering what to do. However, I visited Hydra in the spring and it was an ideal time to explore the island. The temperatures were perfect for hiking and enjoying the outdoors without being too hot, and there were fewer tourists around. It gave me a chance to really take my time and fully appreciate all that Hydra has to offer beyond its stunning sea. Plus, it was during this trip that I discovered Hydra’s fantastic wine offerings, which added a whole new dimension to my experience on the island.