Along the coast road, Kamini Harbor is located about 1 kilometer from Hydra Harbor. In the harbor area, you will find the parish church of St. John the Baptist, the mansion that now serves as the nursing home for elderly, the ruins of the Ghikas mansion, and the beautiful red-yellow Mavromatis mansion in Kamini harbor itself. You will find no tourist shops, but there are three tavernas, two restaurants, a beach bar, and a small shop for basic groceries and supplies.
The neighborhood of Kamini (which takes its name from the kilns, or kaminia, once operational in the area and used to fire the ceramic tiles used in roofs, essentially comprises four loosely defined smaller areas. The overall region extends west from Hydra Town across the saddle, or hill between Hydra and Kamini harbors, climbing the hills on either side of Kriezi Street, and ending in the area surrounding Kamini’s tiny port. This is the basic path of the settlement’s expansion as Hydra’s population grew in the eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries.
The four areas comprising greater Kamini are Four Corners, Kamini Valley, Upper or High Kamini, and Kamini Harbor. Four Corners refers to the area around the mini-market by that name and blends into Kamini Valley as you head away from Hydra Town on Kriezi Street. The houses of Kamini Valley climb the hillside to the right, which crests over into Avlaki. To the left, houses climb steeply up the mountain, forming the Upper or High Kamini area. Kriezi street branches as it heads downhill, with the right fork winding into a lower part of Kamini Valley and the left fork taking you down a very steep set of stairs and leading you around into the traditional and picturesque Kamini Harbor.
As a very general rule of thumb, the various areas of Kamini are all residential and quiet beyond the sounds typical of village life. Houses in Four Corners will face the mountains and generally entail a moderate climb from Hydra Town up Lignou Street; the houses in High Kamini typically require a steeper, longer climb, but as they tend to face toward the sea, the magnificent views are often worth the extra effort. The houses in Kamini Valley vary in terms of ease of access and view depending on their exact location. The houses in Kamini Harbor and in the part of Kamini Valley above the harbor often entail minimal climb and often have lovely views; the walk to town will take in the neighborhood of 15 to 20 minutes.
The pebble beach at Kamini, formerly known affectionately as “Baby Beach” and now operated by the Castello restaurant and beach bar, is located west along the coast road and provides loungers and shade for a daily fee, in addition to food and drink. It’s entirely possible, however, to visit the beach and lay a towel on the sand or rocks, as access to all beaches is free by law in Greece. The large fortress-like stone structure at the back of the beach, recently renovated and now home to Castello, is said once to have been an armory.