Meaning “water”, the name Hydra refers to the ancient springs that served as this island’s water source at one time. Today, most of the water is imported or consumed from bottles.
In the 1950s, well-known Greek and foreign artists of all kinds (musician Leonard Cohen, poet George Seferis, painter Marc Chagall) began frequenting or residing in this tranquil location.
With ~2,000 year-round inhabitants, the law prohibits anyone from using cars, mopeds, and bicycles; only donkeys and boats are allowed as acceptable means of transportation. There are also strict building laws in place for development to protect the traditional architectural style.
Cypress, olive, eucalyptus, fig, lemon and orange trees abound in addition to plumbago, cyclamen, irises, thistles, red poppies, hibiscus, cacti, and prickly pears.
Every year near the end of June the Miaoulia Festival commemorates Admiral Andreas Miaoulis, an heroic naval commander during the Greek Revolution of 1821. The multi-day celebrations include folk dancing and exhibitions. The last day closes with “The Happening”, a reenactment of Miaoulis’ men sinking the Turkish flagship, a siege and burning of a real boat in the harbor, and then culminating with fireworks.