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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 island of Spetses is part of the Saronic group of islands and is known for its long association with the navy and is famous for the part it played in the 1821 War of Independence. It was on the island that the revolution flag was hoisted in April 1821. The island has managed to retain a degree of its Greek charm and atmosphere visible to all are some lovely example of well preserved grand captain's mansions which bear testament to the island's past.
The island's harbour is at Dapia and is the tourist and commercial hub of the island and it is from here that lovely horse drawn carriage tours around the island can be taken which take in the many examples of mansions that line pretty narrow cobbled streets. September is perhaps the best time to visit the island when "Armata" takes place. This is a re-enactment of a naval battle that has taken place every year since 1931. A popular attraction on the island is the Church of Agios Nikolaos and was the former resting place of Paul Bonaparte, nephew of Napoleon Bonaparte, who came to Greece to fight to fight alongside the Greeks. It is reported that his body was kept in a barrel of rum for three years.