Where: 65 km (40 nautical miles) south of Piraeus
Why: Forget noisy cars and motorcycles. Think water taxis, donkeys and hiking. The approach to one of the most picturesque ports in Greece is sure to remain in your minds forever. Artists, writers and actors of international renown frequent this sophisticated and cosmopolitan Greek island. Maybe it's the brilliantly colored flowers that graciously spill over the white washed 18th and 19th century mansions, or the myriad of art galleries and cliffside beaches. Summer or winter, this amphitheatrically built island near Athens is a window into the undying tradition of Greek island life.
How to get there: By high-speed hydrofoil from Piraeus. Connections to Poros, Ermioni, Dokos, Spetses, Porto Heli and, in July and August, connections to Epidavros
For more information: Port of Piraeus +302104147800
Approximate travel time from Athens: 1.5 hours by hydrofoil
Don't miss: Hydra Historical Archives and Museum; Zoodochos Pigi Monastery; Agios Nikolaos Monastery; Lazaros Koundouriotis House; and the many mansions on the island
Did you know? Leonard Cohen has a house on Hydra.
Special events: International Marionette Festival in July; annual Miaoulia celebration at the end of June
Beaches: Bisti, Vlychos, Mandraki, Agios Nikolaos
Tip: Leave your stilettos at home and opt for comfortable shoes to enjoy the hilly, curvy streets.
For more information: http://www.hydra.com.gr