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.
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.
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.
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.
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.