Two days before the close of our Greek Adventure, we decided to squeeze in one more thrill. Pegasus Cruises take groups on day trips over to the Saronic Islands of Hydra and Spetses. The luxury yacht style boats leave the Tolo Harbor on various days at 8 AM and bring cruisers back around 7 PM. Our day was bitter sweet because we knew our journey was coming to an end, but what a gorgeous day in mid June!
Charlotte discovered the best view on the boat.
As you sail through the Saronic Gulf, sunbathers soak it all in on the deck above. There is a bar inside where cruisers can purchase refreshments and escape the sun during the 2 hour ride. I know, the theme song for Gilligan comes to mind, right? Some sit on the covered deck playing cards with the humming of the engine (which is surprisingly soothing) and still others sit around inside and gaze out windows hoping to spot a few sea creatures or napping.
The Island of Hydra is most known for…donkeys. No other transportation is allowed.
A popular escape for Athenians, it is one of the closest islands to the mainland. It remains unspoiled because it has controlled the growth, unlike other Greek islands which cater more to tourism.
There are not tons of lodging options so it is best to book ahead. Coming into the harbor is like coming into an amphitheater with Villas, B&B style Inns and Cafe’s going up the hillsides. Boats and yachts and flying dolphins come and go all day dropping tourists like us, who load up on souvenirs to take back.
There is a clock tower, monastery and small swimming area. Hydra is not known for a big beach, so enjoy the shopping and traditional architecture!
On Hydra, there are wonderful (and less pricey) Tavernas if you wander off the beaten path and away from the busy port.
Tips & Tidbits-Mind your head
Throughout this trip we experienced many public wash rooms at various eateries and sites. All unique and some a bit tricky. (This actually applies to most foreign destinations.) They don’t have as many building codes as we have in America… This is a good thing; it allows for more creativity when restoring these beautiful structures and keeps it authentic and real. That being said, just be aware when you walk down dark stairs or around narrow hallways, which is rather intriguing ,I say. We all knocked ourselves silly on several occasions during this trip.
Having a more British feel, the Island of Spetses is very different from Hydra. I regret not arranging to spend a couple nights on Spetses at the Poseidonion Grand Hotel , but now we know what to do next time we visit!
We arrive at the time of day when many shops are closed. (See my post “4 Nights in Kastraki” if you don’t know about this!) This is a great time to go the the paralia….. Spetses has several nice beaches.
Or have lunch in a café (but we didn’t know that so we already ate in Hydra-oops)
We witnessed a flurry of activity at this very island as we passed by on route to Hydra.
Spetses is lovely and peaceful….