Hydra, Greece: A Car-Free Island Oasis
The beautiful island of Hydra is one of the Saronic islands of Greece, located in the Aegean Sea between the Myrtoan Sea and the Argolic Gulf. Accessed by ferry or hydrofoil from the Peloponnese coast, the island is known for its stunning crescent-shaped harbour around which is centred a strand of restaurants, shops, markets and galleries that cater to both tourists and locals (called Hydriots).
The name Hydra comes from ancient Greek ὕδρα (hydra), derived from the Greek word for "water", a reference to the natural springs on the island which have long since dried up.
As the race reaches its end in the centre of Hydra, competitors will get first-hand experience with one of Greece’s most unique and traditional communities. Not only are cars not allowed on the island, any wheeled vehicles are prohibited! Although the town is easily traversed by foot, horses, donkeys, and mules are commonly seen transporting people and goods down the narrow stone streets lined with charming shops and restaurants.
Though the significance of maritime culture and tradition has diminished over the years, boating remains prominent pastime in Hydra, aided by its numerous bays and natural harbours. Overall, Hydra is a fascinating combination of tradition and natural beauty.