The Vlaxeika Taverna run by Tula and her mother is a delightfully natural and unfussy taverna that has evolved from a small house and produce shop, built on a gorgeous promontory with small sandy beaches either side overlooking Hydra Island across the Saronic Gulf. It is a completely unspoiled area devoid of commercialism and makes a marvellous destination for a day trip from Hydra especially if you want to enjoy a bit of sun bathing on a sandy beach before lunch.
Vlaxeika is the name of the little village. The taverna is called 'Akti'. But everybody knows it as Vlacheika or just Tula's!
This little idylic haven is not difficult to reach. It's a 10 minute drive west from Metochi, so you can catch the passenger ferry from Hydra port to Metochi and then speak to Kiki in the Freedom kiosk or Adonis in the Metoxi Express to ask them to call you a taxi. Follow the links for their timetables and contact numbers to call in advance to arrange a car taxi.
Fresh food and hospitality are what you can expect in shady, simple surroundings. The vegetables and salads are grown by Tula and her family in the fields on the otherside of the coastal road. The taverna came into being over 30 years ago when people stopping at the 'farm shop' to buy produce stayed to sample the cooking of Tula's mother.
Another way to reach Vlaxeika is to take a water taxi or it's a great destination if you have hired a speed boat, Marina with her Hydra sea taxi Ritsa, charges €50 (one way) to do the crossing (maximum 8 people) which works out just a little bit cheaper than taking the ferry across if you have a group of 8 (even more so if you don't need a car taxi either). Plus, if you take a sea taxi such as Ritsa, you can be dropped off at the little jetty on the promontory next to the taverna so you can go for a swim before lunch off the sandy beach. Follow the links for contact details, etc.
The beaches opposite Hydra on the Peloponnese coast are narrow ribbons of sand that shelve gently into the sea. The larger bay where the jetty is located, is the best one for groups larger than two because the sandy part is deeper. The back of the beach is shaded with bamboo and the older parts of the bamboo are just lying there waiting from children to pick up and use to make wigwams on the beach with. Also the few pebbles that are around are flat and brilliant for 'skimming competitions'.
From the jetty beach, you will have to walk up to the road and turn left, walking in single file to the next little bay and then into Vlaxeika Taverna for lunch.
Tula only speaks Greek but don't let that deter you from leaving the menu for your lunch up to her. The spread shown in the photo above will give you an idea of what to expect. Add a plate full of fried fresh fish and plenty of white or red wine, water and bread and the price works out at about €30 for 5 people to eat well.
You are bound to be able to just turn up between 11:00 and 16:00 to find Vlaxeika open but I would advise that you phone and book a table to ensure that Tula and her mother know to expect you and have as much as possible on the menu for you to sample.
The food is perfectly cooked and has lots of flavour - you can tell most of it is home grown and that the fish is freshly caught.
I highly recommend Tula's as a desination if you are looking for true Greek hospitality and an authentic, unspoiled atmosphere reminiscent of the days when people like Lawrence and Gerald Durrell visited Greece.
Telephone Number: +(30) 6973 621 916
(no email address, in fact no wifi or internet connection whatsoever!)
Written and presented by Kelsey Edwards 15th June 2016