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Located in the Saronic group of islands in the Aegean Sea, between the Saronic Gulf and the Argolic Gulf, the Greek island of Hydra is separated from the Peloponnese by a narrow strip of water. The island's natural springs have given the island its name as Hydra is derived from the Greek word for water. The island's main town, Hydra Port, is home to the island's harbour which can be found nestled amongst a number of restaurants, markets, shops and galleries, all of which cater for visiting tourists.
The only method of transport available on the island are water taxis and donkeys as cars and motorcycles are forbidden. However, the populated parts of Hydra are relatively small and therefore most people seem happy to walk everywhere.
From the island's harbour there are daily catamaran and flying dolphin services to Piraeus, Athens. The crossing time is around 1 hour, or between 3 and 3 1/2 hours by conventional ferry. The island is also connected by ferry to the rest of the islands in the Saronic Gulf and also with Porto Cheli.
The Greek city and port of Piraeus is one of the largest ports in the whole of the Mediterranean, and the third largest in the world, and has become a major hub for the ferry network that spans the Aegean Sea. Piraeus is an important city in its own right despite the fact that it is frequently considered to be a suburb of Athens, the Greek capital, which is only a very short distance away. Despite its proximity to Athens, Piraeus' waterfront has its own distinct appearance and visitors will see that the most appealing parts of the city are located around its eastern quarter, alongside both Mikrolimano Harbour and Zea Marina. A popular event in Piraeus is the Ecocinema International Film Festival which is held annually in late February and is where a number of films are screened at the Atticon Cinema and the Cineac Cinema, which are both located in the city's Town Hall Square.
Full of restaurants, bars and nightclubs, the waterfront district was greatly redeveloped in time for the Athens Olympics and as a result a new harbour front promenade was created that is lined with trees and passes the medieval city walls. The walls serve as a reminder and as an insight into the city's rich past.