Nestled at an altitude of 588 meters into a slope of Mount Eros, Hydra’s highest peak, and a good two hours’ hike above Hydra Town, depending on your pace, Prophet Ilias Monastery provides spectacular views of the island, sea, and Peloponnese. It is the only male monastery on Hydra.
Built in 1813 by the monk Ierotheos on the site of an abandoned monastery, the grounds are today cared for by a small community of monks and include a courtyard enclosing the main church, other attractive buildings, stables, and a vegetable garden. The monastery played a significant role in Greek history, as revolutionary hero Kolokotronis was imprisoned here during the revolt against the Ottoman Empire.
If it’s open, the interior of the monastery is quite striking and well worth exploring, and the monks may well have left out refreshments for visitors who have braved the climb on hot days.
Note that the walk to the monastery can be a bit challenging. Horse rides can be arranged for those who prefer not to walk. If you do walk, be sure to bring water as there is no place to stop for some on the way, and availability can’t be guaranteed once you arrive.
The pictures here, taken during walks up to the monastery in April 2011 and February 2015, will give you a sense of what getting there will be like and what you’ll see when you arrive.