Hydra is served by high speed hydrofoils and catamarans from Piraeus, plus daily island tour boats. Apart from garbage trucks, no motor vehicles are not permitted on the island. This leaves the bulk of public transport to horses, donkeys and water taxis. The inhabited area, however, is so compact that most people walk everywhere.
There is one main town, known simply as "Hydra port". It consists of a crescent-shaped harbor, around which is centered a strand of commercial establishments (restaurants, shops, markets, and galleries), all of which cater to tourists and locals (Hydriots). Steep stone streets lead up and outwards from the harbor area.
Most of the local residences, as well as the guest accommodation on the island are located along these streets. Other small villages or hamlets on the island include Mandraki, Kamini, Vlychos, Palomitha, Episkopi, and Molos. Although the island's name is derived from ancient springs, the island itself is now almost dry.
While Hydra previously had wells, these were drained by seismic activity around the mid-20th century. Today, the island's water is from desalination.