The Most Beautiful Beaches in Hydra, Greece

Mandraki Beach is the place to go for sand on Hydra
Mandraki Beach is the place to go for sand on Hydra | © Rolf Richardson / Alamy Stock Photo
Photo of Samantha McCabe
12 October 2021

Just off the coast of mainland Greece, close to Athens, you’ll find the Saronic island of Hydra. Turquoise waters lap the pebble beaches at this holiday destination, known for its affordable prices and scuba diving.

Hydra is one of the most popular islands of the Saronic Gulf. Like many of its peers, it may be small, but it’s well worth the visit for the Greek beaches alone. Why stop at seeing only a couple? Excursion boats regularly depart from the main port to tour around the island, stopping at the best beaches along the way. Here are Culture Trip’s favourite spots for catching rays in Hydra.

Avlaki Beach

Natural Feature
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Cliffs and Avlaki beach in Hydra Island, Greece
© Lisandro Trarbach / Alamy Stock Photo
Avlaki is a small, pebbly beach, just around the corner from Hydra port. During summer, it’s perfectly placed for a great view of the sunset — there’s even a small pier to sit on and dangle your feet into the water as you gaze. Just head down the steps that can be found immediately after Hydronetta and you should find it easily.

Spilia Beach

Bar, Cafe, Restaurant, Contemporary
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Spilia Beach
© Ian Dagnall / Alamy Stock Photo
This reliable favourite is right next to the port of Hydra, making it incredibly accessible for tourists and locals alike. For the brave, the surrounding rocks are steep enough and the water deep enough to turn this into a well-known diving spot, but other well-placed rocks function as sunbathing platforms, so it’s a win for the meek, too. Enjoy a fruity cocktail in the beach bar above afterwards.

Limnioniza Beach

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Located on the island’s southeastern coast, Limnioniza Beach is quiet and uncrowded compared to the north shore, and accessible by a footpath. Bring an umbrella, as while the vista is uninterrupted, that means there’s no room for shade. The adventurous should know that it’s perfect for scuba diving, as the water deepens considerably just offshore.

Paralia Agios Nikolaos

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The cove of St Nikolaos, as this beach is also known, is reachable from the long, northern side of the island. This is a great spot for kids and families: there are tables with umbrellas, fast food nearby and trees providing a shady respite from the sun. And there’s something for the adults, too — a beach bar serves up cold drinks just when you need them.

Hydronetta Beach

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Hydroneta beach, Hydra island, Argo - Saronic gulf, Attica, Greece
© Hercules Milas / Alamy Stock Photo
Hydronetta Beach can be found tucked away below the famous bastions with cannons, used during the 18th century to protect the island from Turkish attackers. It turns out that they’re primed for a long jump into the water, or just a little sightseeing on your way down. A cafe in the area serves refreshments all day long, and you’re not far from the main port.

Mandraki Beach

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Greece, Saronic Islands, Hydra, Mandraki beach
Mandraki Beach | © Rolf Richardson / Alamy Stock Photo
Looking for a sandy beach? Mandraki is the only one on Hydra without pebbles. As you stand at Hydra port looking out to sea, you’ll spot a coastal road on your left. If you walk this for about 20 minutes, you’ll find it. Expect a small cove with an organised beach, as there is a hotel and beach bar on-site. Just before you reach the beach, there’s also a quaint fish tavern with fresh seafood and affordable prices.

Vlychos Plakes Beach

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This one’s a trek — about a 40-minute walk from the main harbour of Hydra, or a boat ride — but worth it. With pebbles leading into disarmingly clear water, it’s no wonder that the luxury Four Seasons hotel chain chose to settle down here. The hotel owns and operates the beach: chaises longues and umbrellas are available to rent, and a boat service can take you back to the harbour in no time.

Bisti Beach

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This unassuming pebble beach is actually run by the diving centre of Hydra, so scuba diving, snorkelling and even kayaking are on offer. You don’t need to be activity-oriented and adventurous to enjoy Bisti Beach, however — this cove, known for its emerald waters and surrounding pine trees, is perfectly placed to just enjoy the view.

These recommendations were updated on October 12, 2021 to keep your travel plans fresh. This article is an updated version of a story created by Samantha McCabe

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