Hydra Island with Kids: 10 Things to Do
Where is Hydra island to start with. Well, You might not have heard about it but it is definitely worth visiting, with or without kids.
Hydra is a small wonderful Greek island where there are no cars, only boats and donkeys. The views are breathtaking, there are loads of romantic places and only 2000 permanent citizens. Here are 10 things you should do on Hydra island with kids.
1) Take a ferry to Hydra
Hydra island is less than 2 hours ferry ride from Athens and the only way to go there is by the sea. Ferry boat from Piraeus port (Athens) is the most common way and there are some different options. The fastest boats have the name that kids will have some laughter about – Flying Dolphin – and couple of companies operate those. There is also Flying Cat which is bigger but slower. Another interesting name for a boat.
All the timings and prices plus booking tickets are available online but make sure you will check the exact time table before you book accommodation on the island as the schedule is changing during the season. And take some time – the ferry can always be late in Greece.
2) Take the donkey ride
There are no cars in Hydra which can raise some questions if you travel with kids (and all those teddy bears and baby strollers) but don’t worry. Everything is close by and the hotel staff will help you with the luggage if you let them know in advance. All the things that you want to see on the island are in walking distance or arranged by alternative transportation options.
There are donkeys waiting right on the port if you prefer them to take you, your kids and the luggage. So why not take a short donkey ride which operates quite like a taxi. No Uber there, though.
3) Walk and hike everywhere
You’ll love Hydra if you’re a walker. All the streets and trails in Hydra are for people and donkeys exclusively. If you travel with a baby take the stroller with you. The cobblestone streets and sunny weather will make you sweat pushing the stroller up to the mountain trail but the views and the whole island experience is worth it.
There are many marked trails so Hydra is a paradise for hikers but also totally enjoyable for those who travel with kids and walk in little ones’ rhythm. Wandering around Hydra’s narrow streets, walking up to the old fort and hiking to some beaches more far away will fill your days in Hydra with lots of breathtaking views and special vacation feeling that only small resort towns offer.
4) Go to Plakes and Vlychos beaches
Sea water in Hydra is crystal-blue everywhere but Plakes beach (with private Four Seasons Hotel) and Vlychos beach next to it are the best Hydra beaches for children. Kids can brawl in shallow waters, collect seashells and have same shade under the beach umbrellas.
Go snorkeling and you’ll probably meet octopus and some sea urchins. Travelling kids will love hours of swimming in warm sea waters and all those colourful fish and weird sea creatures. They say you can also see dolphins if you’re lucky. Well, we were not lucky enough 😉
5) Take the water taxi
Water taxi is a great way to go to explore the island from the sea. Take it to the beaches and elsewhere if you’re less a hiker and more like a traveller with kids. The boat driver will help you with snorkeling equipment and sand toys and pick you up again whenever you call him. The kids will love the speed boat drive, too.
6) Have an ice cream (or two) at The Cool Mule ice cream bar
The Cool Mule ice cream is home made. The kids (and not only) will love it, there is no doubt. The Cool Mule personnel will entertain your children and tolerate all their weird choices and time taking choosing. It’s a daily MUST DO when you travel with kids to Hydra.
7) Talk to the locals
Everyone knows that Greeks are friendly and just super lovely people. But they will treat you with their best hospidality and the loveliest smiles if you travel there with kids. They just love love love children.
8) Explore all the cool houses with blue doors
Hydra is just lovely with its narrow streets, white houses and blue doors. It’s like famous Sanotorini but it’s not. It’s a vacation resort but not so touristy at all – the place is small and hidden and there are just few enough people so that every local will know you and your happy little travellers after three days spent there.
9) Play a counting game
Count all the yachts, catamarans, boats and ferries in the marina and all the cats and blue doors of the island. The kids will not get bored as the scenery of the marina is changing every day.
10) Go to museums
Visit Hydra’s three museums and learn about the rich history of Hydra, and the huge role the island and its powerful navy played in winning the War of 1821.
- Best time to visit: May to October.
- Length of the stay: 3 days in Hydra is enough if you travel with kids. You will have time to discover Athens and surroundings, too.