Things to BringFAQ & Tips
While the following items are available on the island, you’ll likely be glad you brought them from home.
- Sunscreen and aloe/after-sun cream: While these are available on the island, you’ll save some money by bringing them from home.
- Sunhat or visor and sunglasses: Especially during high summer, the Mediterranean sun is intense and, given the prevalence of whitewashed houses and walls, quite bright.
- Swimming shoes: Hydra’s pebbly and rocky beaches can be quite tough on the feet, especially when getting in and out of the water. The ladders at the swimming rocks can also be quite slippery. Swimming shoes also protect you from inadvertently stepping on a sea urchin or scraping your toes against barnacles as you climb in and out of the sea.
- Beach towels: Hotels, pensions, and even rental houses generally don’t provide beach towels or mats.
- Mosquito spray: The Greek version is called OTAN, but, again, it’s cheaper to bring your own.
- Books or other reading material in your language (unless you have a Kindle/e-reader): Hydra does have a newspaper/stationery store that sells books, magazines, and newspapers in English and a few other European languages (French, German). Pickings for reading material, however, can be slim, so if you’re a reader, you’re best off bringing a book or two.
- Flashlight/torch: Streets can get quite dark at night, particularly as one gets farther away from the harbor.
- Flat, rubber-soled walking shoes: Hydra’s cobblestones have been polished by centuries of foot traffic to a high sheen. Slips and sprains can best be prevented by avoiding heels or leather soles. It also helps to step on the cement between the stones when walking.
- Sturdy hiking/trail shoes if you like to hike/want to walk up to the monasteries: The paths to the monasteries and some of the inland destinations are unpaved for at least part of the way, and sometimes they can be little more than rock-strewn donkey paths. Sturdy shoes will help prevent twisted ankles.
- Light sweater/shawl (May/June–September/October): During the spring and fall months, temperatures can drop in the evenings. You’ll still enjoy sitting on the Port or dining outdoors, but you’ll be grateful for an extra layer.