The neighborhood of Kala Pigadia (Good Wells) takes its name from the freshwater wells at its back. These are only functioning public wells left on Hydra. (You’ll see numerous what look like capped, dry wells, which but actually cisterns for collecting rainwater, around the various villages.) Residents who live close-by still visit the wells daily to fill up bottles of fresh drinking water. The neighborhood is predominately residential and does not have its own restaurants, tavernas, cafes, or bars. Though accessible without having to climb stairs, there is a fairly steep gradient to the road leaving to the neighborhood. The walk from Hydra Harbor will take the average person about 10 to 15 minutes (a little less heading to the harbor as you’ll be heading downhill).
This area has been crucial to Hydra throughout its history. According to Constantine L. Michaelides, in Hydra: A Greek Island Town, Hydra has, since its settlement, always suffered from a lack of water, and the presence of these natural wells maybe have been crucial to the establishment of the original settlement of Kiafa. The wells at Kala Pigadia not only produce water but traditionally served as a shaded gathering place for residents to trade news and gossip.
Kala Pigadia’s other main attraction, the Goroyannis Mansion, dates from about 1780 and is one of oldest Arkhontika (mansions) on Hydra. Located at the top of Kala Pigadia, directly across from the neighborhood’s natural wells, it was probably built in stages. Still in the hands of a private family, the building is not open to the public; thus it is not possible to go inside. The walk up the fairly steep incline (there are no steps, just a cobblestone road) to see this part of town is lovely. Head up Miaoulis Street, the main artery passing from the center of the harbor through Hydra Town (to the left of the main square with the historic Rafalias Pharmacy). As you leave town, the road will start to meander uphill, past homes built into the steep mountainside.
When the road forks, keep right to visit Goroyannis Mansion and the wells.
From Kala Pigadia, you can continue on to the monasteries of Agia Triada and Matrona, Limnioniza Beach, and points east. Or you can head up to Agios Konstantinos in Kiaffa, Profitis Ilias Monastery above that, and even to Mount Eros, Hydra’s highest peak.