|Posted by Alexandra S on March 3, 2018 at 5:35 PM|
ATHENS is a beautiful and vibrant city to visit, and a 3-day city break would be perfect to get a first feel of the Athens vibe. The history, the culture, the arts, the music, the food... the seaside possibilities you have all around... Surely, one visit is not enough, but it's a start. Athens is also an amazing place for business travelers too as it provides many possibilities within convetion tourism, meetings and incentives.
What is even MORE amazing about this city is that any traveler who has a couple of days more to spare, has various "escape" options. There is Delphi and Arachova, Nafplio, Tolo, Porto Heli and of course the islands of the Saronic Gulf easily accessible by catamaran. The Saronic Gulf islands are Aigina, Agistri, Poros, Hydra and Spetses.
WELCOME TO HYDRA!!!
Hydra, as mentioned already, is accessible by a highspeed boat (catamaran or flying dolphin) from the port of Piraeus and also from Porto Heli and takes about 2 hours.There are about 3-5 connections daily depending on the season. Check http://www.openseas.gr/ for updated schedules and booking online.
When it comes to accommodation, one can find all sorts when looking through the usual search engines, but word of mouth also helps. If you know someone who has stayed at a place and found it very convenient, clean, pleasant and affordable, you could look into that as well. For example, I had stayed in a lovely hotel called SIDRA HOTEL only 3 minutes' walk from the harbour (been there quite a few times). It's all a matter of preference, but there are various choices on the island. However, there are some studio apartments that may require a bit of a walk inland, but that also guarantees a more special view from the veranda where you will be enjoying your morning coffee... or a sunset dinner, possibly... :-)
As for the beaches, in front of Hydra's harbour, one finds numerous small boats that can take approximately 20 people (sometimes more, depending on its size) that can take you to the beaches around the island. As Hydra is quite a popular island within close proximity to Athens, it does receive a constant flow of visitors, therefore there are frequent daily excursions.
For those lucky enough to be reaching the island on a private sailing boat, the magic is endless...
The excursion boats take you to each beach and drop you off where you prefer, as well as inform you about the times they return to pick people up. The final pick-up time is usually 18.00 or 18.30, and the boats come and go rather frequently in case someone wishes to return earlier. Agios Nikolaos or Bisti beach are the two most popular ones. There is also the choice of making a deal with one of the sea taxis docked at the harbour too (that might cost you a bit more, but get to see more of the island). Make sure you cut a deal before getting on board. :-)
When it comes to travelling with company on holiday, my advice would be to go with those who you feel are on the same wave-length as yourself and whose mentality clicks with yours naturally. I honestly believe that going on holiday with other people is a guaranteed test of your friendship and relationship on so many levels.
People who may be the best of friends in their regular everyday lives where each one has their own space and their own routines (in their own private space) may not do so well with sharing that time and space with others.
Before extending an invitation, think what kind of holiday it is you need: a 100% chilled out one where you wish to spend all day on the beach reading a book? A holiday where you wish to really explore the location you are visiting and not so much laying around on the beach? Or a bit of both maybe? Personally, I love a good balance and that is where the mutual mentality comes in. Best go with someone who will most likely want a good combination of both and will also be respectful and flexible too. Should there be a day where you wake up and decide you would prefer to relax with a book on the beach whereas the other person wishes to hike mountains, both can do exactly as they please and simply meet up after a few hours or at the end of the day for a lovely dinner and whatever the mood calls for. Alternatively, if one of the two feels forced to give in to the other person's desires, I can guarantee you it won't go down that well in the long run either.
Personally, I feel lucky to have discovered who my best travel-partners are, and I am sure life will introduce me to more in future.
YES, I am lucky to say that one of my favorite travel buddies is my amazing mum! :-) We've gone to so many places together and we've enjoyed ourselves incredibly every time :-)
These moments where you are seated at the bow of the boat with the water splashing in, while at the same time the summer sun and sea salt caress your skin...Priceless!
There is no doubt that everyone who returns from a day at sea is ready to devour almost anything... yes, sea air and salt do that to a person :-) And of course, this is where the perfect choice of food ties in! SO MANY OPTIONS!!! From grabbing a delicious souvlaki on the go and having a seat by the sea, or sitting at a cosy and traditional taverna for a scrumptious meal... the choice is yours.
However, there is another more side to Hydra, and it is called "Hydronetta". A place even more magical at sunset...
...this has been just a small taste of what lies within two hours of Athens, so don't forget to add Hydra to your bucket list, if only for a one-day excursion when in Athens :-) Although... I doubt one day will be enough...