Most people who sail in the Saronic want to visit Hydra; few want the hassle that goes with it.
Athough beautiful, it’s a bit of a nightmare for yachts. A night spent in Hydra often involves fouled anchors, boats rafted up on top of each other, and generally some stress and shouting …
It’s much better to anchor in a quiet bay somewhere along the coast. Then, depending on your budget and inclination, you can either walk or arrange for a water taxi to take you to the town.
The most common place to anchor is Mandraki, a big bay just to the east of Hydra town. This has a restaurant and a water bus to the town during the peak season but the bottom is quite foul in places.
I want to tell you about another bay that we have used. It isn’t a secret in terms of no-one knowing about it but few people use it. It’s certainly quite secret in terms of not being obvious when you sail along the coast. A yacht could hide in there without being seen.
The bay is Molos, which means “jetty” in Greek, and you’ll find it a couple of miles west from Hydra town, almost opposite the east end of Dhokos. There are small islands just outside the entrance to the bay.
You have to be a little careful with your entry as there is a reef outside. The safest entry is from the east, keeping a good look out ahead.
Molos is a pretty bay, well protected from most directions. It has a pebble beach and is surrounded by pine trees. At the back of the beach is a large private property, resembling a monastery.
I’ve often wondered about this property. From what I’ve been able to find out it is a historic shipyard belonging to the Tsamados family that was converted into a private residence. This is a very exclusive part of the island; if you live here your neighbours will all be billionaires. I came across an advertisement for 15 acres of land with 300 metres of waterfront at Molos for the ‘unbelievably low price’ of 6 million euro.
I’m guessing most of you will be visiting for a short time, not buying land!
The bay is sheltered from most directions and has good holding. There are collapsed chain moorings on the seabed in the east of the bay. There are no facilities but there are small disembarkation piers. In the past our clients have walked through the pine trees to the town then taken a water taxi to bring them back after dark.
We sometimes ask our Day Skipper candidates to pilot us into the bay and normally it’s either completely empty or, at most, there are one or two other boats there. It looks a little tricky to navigate in but if you go carefully there isn’t a problem.
Nicholas Elias has a pilotage plan in his excellent chart of the Saronic so I’ll ask his permission to reproduce it here and let you know when it’s added.