Rick Steves’ Europe: Hydra, Greece

For those willing to follow the uphill lanes, this Greek island offers tradition, magnificent views of the harbor and a relaxing vacation spot

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Courtesy of Rick Steves' Europe Through the Back Door

Hydra, Greece

Hydra Greece
(Courtesy of Rick Steves' Europe Through the Back Door)

Hydra has only one town, no real roads, no cars—not even any bikes. Zippy water taxis whisk you from a quaint little harbor to isolated beaches and tavernas.

Hydra's Harbor

Boats in Hydra Greece harbor
(Andrew Holt / Getty Images)

Beyond Hydra’s harbor, hiking trails lead uphill to sea views, monasteries and tired donkeys.

Hard Hydration

Boats in Hydra Greece bay
(Leukos / Getty Images)

The island once had spring water. Today Hydra’s very hard water, which makes a shower an exercise in frustration, is shipped in from the mainland.

Hydra, Greece

Hydra Greece map
(Guilbert Gates)

Hydra offers the ideal Greek island experience, and it’s less than two hours south of Athens by hydrofoil.