Our guide in Hydra is… Lambros, the cute donkey

16/02/2015

Welcome to Hydra! My name is Lambros and I’ll show you around. Try to keep up – we’ve got hills to climb!

donkey

I grew up on the island, so I can tell you all about it. My dad’s a fisherman, and every day we bring fish to the Chora and the little villages all over the island. Sometimes he meets visitors in the Limani (port), and we take them to their hotels. There are no cars allowed on Hydra, so if it weren’t for me and my friends, people couldn’t go anywhere! I like making friends with all the new families. Sometimes, people are scared of riding on me – actually, they’re scared of falling off me. That’s when I go extra slow and try my best to keep them steady. By the end of their visit, people are always sad to leave Hydra! It’s the best place in the whole world. See you soon!

There are lots of things to do on Hydra. The grownups like walking around the port in the main town and looking in all the little shops. The kids like eating ice cream from the cafes. Who wouldn’t?! This one time, my dad and I took some visitors to Hydronetta. It took a long time to climb all the way to the top. There’s a little bar all the way at the top of a steep hill, and our guests wanted to see the sunset. It was really pretty. And that’s when we saw a dolphin!

People say that Hydra doesn’t have nice beaches, but I think they’re wrong! My earliest memory is running around on the Mikro Kamini. It’s a really nice beach with pebbles and shallow water. There are shady pine trees all around, which is great ‘cos it gets hot out there! My favorite beaches are Mandraki and Vlychos ‘cause the water is extra shallow. I can swim really well, though, so my dad lets me go in the deep water, too. My dad says that Limnioniza is the prettiest beach on the island. I like it because it’s quiet, and there aren’t too many people.

Lots of people come to the island in June for the celebration of the Miaouleia and the Revolution of 1821. My dad says that the people of Hydra helped win the war because they were good sailors and they sunk all the enemy boats. I’m really proud of my island! But I wish they wouldn’t fire the cannons and set off fireworks during the Miaouleia. It’s not that I’m scared or anything – I just don’t like it, that’s all.

Where to Stay

One time my dad took me to Santorini, and we saw lots of big buildings and fancy hotels everywhere! Hydra is different, and I like it better. There are small hotels all over the place, and my dad knows all the owners. Some visitors like to rent villas, but a lot of the villas are all the way at the top of a hill! So it takes a while for me to climb up there – especially if it’s hot and sunny! And the moms and dads aren’t too happy about pushing strollers up and down the hill every day.

The biggest hotel on the island is Bratsera. It used to be a sponge factory. I know ‘cos my dad’s dad went diving for sponges in the old days, and everyone liked to buy from him. Everyone loves staying at the Bratsera – the rooms are big and clean, and the breakfast is yummy!

The Phaedra Hotel is another great place to stay. My dad’s friend Hilda runs it, and she makes the best jams on the island. People always have a great time at the Phaedra, because Hilda gives them great tips for touring the island. She makes everyone feel like they’re at home. And she always saves some leftovers for me!

How to Get There

You can take a high-speed hydrofoil (“flying dolphin”), a catamaran, or a ferry boat from Piraeus (they depart daily). My dad says Piraeus is a big city that’s far away. He says it’s bigger than our main town here, and even bigger than the main town on Spetses, but I don’t believe him.

The Hydrofoil we took to Hydra

Traveling to Hydra by ferry boat takes about three hours, but the flying dolphin is much faster. I think you can also catch a ferry from Hydra to Aegina, Poros, Spetses, Nafplion, or Monemvasia.

Remember that cars and motorcycles are not allowed on the island of Hydra (like on Spetses – but we did it first!). You can take a water taxi from the main town (also called Hydra), or try a ride with me! I’m very gentle, and kids love me. I can get you up the steep hills in no time!

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