To explore the island’s interior and south coast, head out of Ýdhra Town on the street that leads past the Miranda hotel or around the eastern edge past the Piteoussa: as you start to climb, a left turn leads to Áyios Nikólaos, keeping right heads to Profítis Ilías.
Profítis Ilías and Mount Éros
The monastery of Profítis Ilías and nearby convent of Ayía Efpraxía are about an hour’s climb above Ýdhra Town. What must be the longest stairway in Greece (or alternatively a zigzag path) constitutes the final approach to Profítis Ilías (closed noon–4pm, but water and loukoúm are hospitably left at the gate). If you want to go further, a rather tougher, harder-to-follow trail continues left behind the monastery to a saddle overlooking the south coast. From here a pathless scramble brings you within twenty minutes to the 590m summit of Mount Éros, the Argo-Saronic islands’ highest point, but the path itself branches: right to the chapel of Áyios Mámas, on whose feast day of September 2 there’s a pilgrimage of people and animals to be blessed; left eventually circles down to the sea at the tiny hamlet of Klimáki, a couple of hours’ walk in all.
The path from Ýdhra Town towards deserted Áyios Nikólaos monastery offers spectacular views back down over the harbour before reaching, at the top, a broad, easy dirt track heading straight across a high plateau towards the monastery. Just beyond Áyios Nikólaos is a small settlement, from where you can in theory head down to Limnióniza, a scenic cove on the south coast an hour and a quarter from Ýdhra Town. However, it’s a steep scramble on a path which is hard to find and there are no boats back unless you arrange to be picked up by water-taxi. A far easier alternative is to follow the broad track down from Áyios Nikólaos to Mandhráki, where you can have a swim before taking the boat back to town.
This is Ýdhra’s eastern tip and is about three hours’ walk from town, on a path that heads east from Áyios Nikólaos. There are several small chapels along the way, along with the substantial Moní Zoúrvas. Perhaps the best way to do this trip is to take an early morning water-taxi to the cape, and walk back to town along the island’s spine.