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Hydra - East: Mandraki and the eastern monasteries

East: Mandraki and the Eastern
Monasteries
A somewhat featureless, shoreline road from the east battery of the port leads in 20 minutes to the bay of Mandraki, which was the main harbour and ship-yard of the Hydriot fleet during the 19th century. The route passes the small church of the Eisodia tis Theotokou, or ‘Presentation of the Virgin’, above the shore, before the descent into the bay. In the hills above are three monasteries and nunneries—Aghia Triada, Aghia Matrona, and Aghios Nikolaos—which can be reached by following paths be hind the bay, but which are more easily and pleasantly ar rived at along the wide path which leaves the main town of Hydra from the cemetery in its southeastern corner (Aghios Nikolaos in 90 mins, the other two in well underone hour). From Aghios Nikolaos, a further two hours and fifteen minutes of rough track, round the north side of Mount Obori, brings you to the monastery of the Nativity of the Virgin, or the ‘Panaghia of Zourva’. (In view of the difficulty of finding the outward route and the length of the walk, this monastery is best visited by taking a water taxi from the port in Hydra to the Bay of Ledeza, where a path climbs up the cliff to the monastery in 40 mins: the return west across the island is more easily navigated.) The isolated setting of the monastery is remote and panoramic. The walk to it, however, is shadeless, and a supply of drinking-water is essential: it takes just over 3 hours, one way. All of the above monasteries are 18th or 19th century foundations: Aghia Triada, 1704; Aghios Nikolaos, 1724; the Monastery of the Nativity, 1814; and Aghia Matrona, 1865. All have been meticulously renovated and re-in habited in the last two decades after a period of abandonment. This flowering of monastic life on the island is due in large part to the absence of motorised vehicles on Hydra which favours monastic isolation and tranquillity.
   The low, castellated lighthouse of Cape Zourva, at the eastern tip of the island was built in 1883. After its destruction during the Second World War, it was restored in its original form in 1949.

 

Hydra Island is part of the Argosaronic Island group
East: Mandraki and the eastern monasteries.


Random information you might what to know about Hydra Island
Profitis Elias Monastery
Museum of Hydra

access

Hydra Island, the Argosaronic.

On the Makrónisos internment camp, see Yannis Hamilakis, The Nation and its Ruins, Oxford, OUP 2008, or (same author) The Other ‘Parthenon’: Antiquity and National Memory at Makrónisos, Journal of Modern Greek Studies—Vol. 20, No. 2, Oct. 2002, pp. 307–338.

Hydra Travel Guide

eating

Hydra Island, the Argosaronic.

Eating can be surprisingly unimaginative on Hydra by comparison with the high quality of the island"s hotels; there seems little ambition to do more than the regular fare. One of the nicest and most welcoming places, offering fresh and varying proposals in Greek cuisine every day, is Kristina"s (properly "Chrysina"s") "Gitoniko", in the alleyway close by, and to the right of, Stavros Douskos"s long-standing and famous taverna, Xeri Eliá. The latter also has reliable food served on tables beneath the trees in the square; but it is a more commercial operation. To Steki, near Votsi Square, has straightforward fare, and an attractively "un-reconstructed" interior with folk-murals of ships and boats on the walls. At Kamini (15 minutes" walk from the main harbour) Kontylenia"s taverna, has pleasing views and some imaginative dishes.

Hydra Travel Guide

lodging

Hydra Island, the Argosaronic.

Small and characterful, the most pleasant hotel on Folégrandros is the -Kastro Hotel in the heart of the old Kastro, with raftered rooms, traditional furniture and beautiful views (open Apr–Oct, T./fax. 22860 41230, www.hotel castro.com). Anemomilos Studios (T. 22860 41309) and Artemis Rooms (T. 22860 41313), both at the beginning of the road up to the church of the Panaghia, are simpler, but pleasant and panoramic.Small and characterful, the most pleasant hotel on Folégrandros is the -Kastro Hotel in the heart of the old Kastro, with raftered rooms, traditional furniture and beautiful views (open Apr–Oct, T./fax. 22860 41230, www.hotel castro.com). Anemomilos Studios (T. 22860 41309) and Artemis Rooms (T. 22860 41313), both at the beginning of the road up to the church of the Panaghia, are simpler, but pleasant and panoramic.

Hydra Travel Guide

practical info

Hydra Island, the Argosaronic.

180 40
Ýdra or Hýdra:
area 49sq.km
perimeter 64km
resident population 2,629
max. altitude 588m.
Port Authority: 22980 52279.
Travel and information: Ydraïoníki Travel, T. 22980 54007, www. hydra.gr

Hydra Travel Guide

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