It is a special and unique inland. Car-free. Ruggedly dry and beautiful. Heaven.
If the ferry schedule works I say go for it. The town is small and you'll see most of it in a day.
Hydra is a very nice island for day trips, one of Greece's loveliest waterfront and hillside villages. However, with just 3 nights in Athens I would spend that time in the city to full enjoy what Athens is all about. Hydra is a magnet for day trippers, jet setters and upscale people so just how "Greek" it is can be debatable. It will take a minimum of 2 days and probably better 3 days to get to experience Athens.
Since you are already booked for Santorini you'll get a Greek Island experience there. Spend the extra time in Athens.Edited: 21 September 2017, 18:53
i sometimes feel athens is oversold comparing to the islands..yes,i love my city and if you are into history you can spend weeks here..but it also has a hectic,chaotic,ugly ,noisy,run-down city center,where all the tourist sites are...if you expect something beautiful or something similar to new york,better think of something between new york and detroit,.
graffity and run down buildings everywhere,and most people in the center are not even greeks nowadays ,but illegal immigrants from pakistan,the balkans, etc....hydra is a gorgeous island,like all greek islands are..it is also very different from santorini..if you love cities and history and you are not bothered with a run-down city center stay in athens,if you want to see something unique and beautiful go to hydra....crazy h always says how greek one place is..,well athens city center is not recognisable to us greeks anymore,it is a ghetto for illegal immigrants doing all kinds of ''business'' in its streets...from pickpocketing tourists to god knows what....i also dosagree with someone suggestimg athens nowadays and not mention pickpocketing..it happens so often these days to tourists that it should be mentioned every time someone asks about athens ...and it absolutely destroys people's holidays.Edited: 22 September 2017, 00:56
I feel you'll be a lot more safer and have a much more enjoyable time on many islands or other parts of Greece other than Athens. However, I don't feel Athens is a dangerous city where you'll have to fend off criminals trying to hurt you, commit violence against you or other bad things.
Since I don't Iive in Athens I can't say how every-day conditions are there. However, I've been going to Greece and Athens every October since 2010. Yes, there are parts of Athens you don't want to go to, just like anywhere. Yes, there are non-Greeks/immigrants trying to sell stuff (make a living) and can be aggressive . . . but you find that just about anywhere in Europe and parts of the US. Don't forget some Greek business owners can be very aggressive also, especially taverna owners who try to lure you in with all kinds of deals, bargains, best prices, best food, etc., and that doesn't include shop owners doing the same thing.
Common sense is your best weapon . . . do your research . . . don't be afraid to say "NO!" to someone who tries to get you buy something or lure you into a business! They won't be offended and you shouldn't be afraid to be "rude" by saying óchi efcharistó (no, thank you)
Pick pocketing is common all over the world but Athens tends to be one of the safest cities anywhere.
Obviously as a non-Greek I don't know exactly what is going on in Athens or other parts of Greece but I do know if you use common sense, are firm against people trying to sell you something and take precautions about pick pocketing you will have one of the best experiences any where.Edited: 22 September 2017, 18:32
Thank you for your input. How could we pass on something described as heaven? If the ferry schedule and weather conditions allow, we are going to give it a shot!
I agree with the Athenian to an extent, but I think the post is overly negative/underselling Athens. My parents live just outside Athens in chalandri.
Athens can be truly fantastic, but is very mixed.
Some gorgeous and fun areas with no or little refugees/graffiti. I particularly love the outer metropolitan areas like the Athenian riviera seaside, Chalandri old town center, the hilltop restaurant cluster on penteli hill... these places are heavenly. unfortunately most tourists don't get here.
Downtown Athens can be great in parts and not in others. To me it's like NYC which has the ugly China town, alphabet city, crowded Times Square.
Some cities are like Paris, pure beauty in their center.
Long post to say, go to hydra for the day!Edited: 24 September 2017, 13:38
Thanks cosmasad for the restaurant recommendations. They look great. Doby47, thanks for ideas outside of Athens proper to visit. We love to walk so we will do a lot on Hydra. Are comfortable walking shoes ok, or will we need hiking shoes?
I think every city has its beauty and its ugliness. I don't expect Athens to be any different. Our local Chronicle program is showing a program at this very moment about Athens and the refugee issue.Edited: 26 September 2017, 00:45
Dolby47 can you tell us about the "hilltop cluster of restaurants on Penteli hill"? We have never been there.