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Saronic Islands

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Welcome to the Island of Hydra

Click to open large map in popup ...Hydra is one of the Saronic Islands of Greece, located in the Aegean Sea between the Saronic Gulf and the Argolic Gulf. It is separated from the Peloponnese by the narrow Hydra Gulf. Hydra is also a municipality and one of the few provinces in Greece to have two municipalities---which includes the island of Dokos---yet fewer than five communes. In ancient times, the island was known as Hydrea, which was a reference to the springs on the island.

An island dependent upon tourism, well-to-do Athenians comprise a sizeable segment of Hydra's visitors. Ferries arrive regularly from Piraeus (the port city adjacent to Athens), as well as from the port in Nafplion, which is on the nearby Peloponnese coast. Besides garbage trucks, motor vehicles are not permitted on the island; which leaves the bulk of public transportation up to donkeys and water taxis. The inhabited area, however, is so compact that most people walk everywhere.

Although the island takes its name from ancient springs, it is now dry. While Hydra previously had wells, these were closed by seismic activity around the mid-20th century. Today, the island's water is imported by boat from the Greek mainland. The dominant geographic feature of Hydra is its rocky hillsides, which are empty save for the occasional farmhouse and one or two very isolated Orthodox monasteries.

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