Leonard Cohen and Hydra

Okay, I’ve been meaning to get around to Leonard Cohen on Hydra and how to find his house for quite a while now so here we go.

The Port of Hydra

Although I’m not a huge Leonard Cohen fan I know many people around the world are and a common question on the internet is from the hardcore fans that want to pay respects at his house on the island of Hydra (pronounced ‘eedra‘) but are unable to find a definitive answer on how to find it.

Hydra is an absolutely beautiful island and shot to fame in the late 50s after the film ‘Boy on a Dolphin’ starring Sophia Loren was filmed on location there. There are no cars allowed on the island and the buildings are about as Greek as you could get. It is easily reachable from the mainland (easier still is you were in a cruise with us btw) which unfortunately means that in the summer months it can get rammed with tourists so we tend to avoid it then or at least select certain days when we know it won’t be as busy.

Leonard Cohen

Cohen first went to Hydra in March 1960 and it was after a chance meeting with a beautiful blonde at a market where she was shopping that he that he wrote the famous love song So Long Marianne. On meeting he invited her to join him and his friends outside and he consequently became entranced and they fell in love with each other……the rest is history.

As I mentioned, I’m not a huge fan of his and it was only after visiting Hydra so many time that I actually bought his greatest hits. I was aware of some of his songs like Hallelujah which was covered by Jeff Buckley but that’s about as far as it went for me.

How to find the house?

I’d tried searching the internet myself because I’d been asked about the location of the house on numerous occasions but I also wanted to satisfy my own curiosity.

So with the aid of pictures I will now reveal EXACTLY how to find it.

Quayside at Hydra

Here we go.

With your back to the water so that you are facing the shops and tavernas, look right towards the far corner and walk down that way past the church until you come to the corner.

The last bar on your left will be The Pirate Bar then right in the corner you will see a bakery. You will now have to lots of steps. You should take the steps to the left that will be in between the bakery and the Pirate Bar.

Point 1

You will now need to walk up the steps for a couple of hundred metres or so.

On your right you will see what I have labelled on the picture as Point 1.


I have also included a nearer picture that show the sign on the wall you will need to locate.




If you look at the nearer picture (Point 2) the sign on the wall is A. KRIEZI and it is here that you must turn right. Bear in mind the wooden scaffolding may not be there when you are.

Point 2 



You are now not far from the house. Continue walking down this alleyway until you see the store on the left hand side that has mustard coloured walls. 




Point 3

If you take note of Point 3 you will know that you are in the correct place so when you reach this point, with the store on your left turn you should have the small alleyway on the right that will lead you to the house.







Point 4

The  sign on the wall here will read:

ODOS LEONARD COHEN as shown in Point 4.

Walk down this alleyway and after a few metres it will open up and you will see the former house of Leonard Cohen on the left side as you walk through. 





If you see Point 5 this is me standing outside the house. 

All in all it shouldn’t take you more than 15 minutes at a leisurely pace to find the house. However, just in case you are not sure, if you can at least find the store with mustard coloured walls the man in the shop would be more than happy to point you to the house.

I hope that helps but feel free to get in touch if you need any further information about Hydra or anywhere else that we visit. Just email andy@atlassailing.co.uk

Alternatively if you want to join us on a cruise and want more details then visit our webpage CLICK HERE

Finally, although Cohen and Marianne had separated, just prior to her death he sent her a letter that was quite moving. It went like so:

“ Well Marianne it’s come to this time when we are really so old and our bodies are falling apart and I think I will follow you very soon. Know that I am so close behind you that if you stretch out your hand, I think you can reach mine.

“And you know that I’ve always loved you for your beauty and your wisdom, but I don’t need to say anything more about that because you know all about that. But now, I just want to wish you a very good journey. Goodbye old friend. Endless love, see you down the road.”

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