European Summer School on Stem Cell Biology and Regenerative Medicine
The summers school is held on the beautiful island of Hydra in Greece.
Hydra is one of the Saronic islands. Even though it has a good nightlife, it is quiet since cars and motorbikes are not allowed. The main method of transportation are the delightful mules and donkeys, as well as the water taxis.
Hydra town is a lovely place just for strolling around. Many of its buildings date back to the 18th century, and is built around the harbour. Here, you can visit many art galleries, churches and monasteries.
The beaches on Hydra are pebble beaches, and the most popular ones are Molos, Palamida and Kaminia, which are more sandy.
The Bratsera Hotel is the only hotel on Hydra which has meeting room facilities. It is a beautiful hotel that has hosted all the summer schools since 2005.
It is a small hotel with only 23 bedrooms so only some faculty have accommodation at the hotel whilst some faculty and all delegates are placed in hotels and guest houses a short walk from the Bratsera.
Accommodation is provided for delegates at hotels and guest houses close to the Bratsera Hotel. Details of the accommodation allocated to delegates will be provided approximately one week before the event.
Delegates will be mostly be housed at:
The Erofili Pension
The Ippokampos Hotel
Address: 18040 Hydra Island, Greece
TEL: + 30 22980 53453, +30 22980 53454
Travel to Hydra Island
In order to reach Hydra you have to take a ferry from Piraeus Port which is on the outskirts of Athens. Ferries regularly get cancelled due to the high summer winds. The bigger sea-cats are less likely to get cancelled than the dolphins.
To ensure that you arrive on Hydra island in time for the start of the course, we suggest you do one of the following travel options:
Option 1: Arrive in Athens the night before the course starts (12th September) and stay in a cheap hotel in Athens/Piraeus so that you can take the morning/lunchtime ferry to Hydra island. The course does not cover this additional night of accommodation but many students have done this in the past. Accommodation on Hydra island is very limited and extremely expensive so most students don't choose to travel to Hydra island the night before the course starts because of the high cost of accommodation.
Option 2: Arrive in Athens very early morning on 13th September. On the 13th there are boats from Piraeus to Hydra at:
10:00 arriving 12:00 (so a flight would need to arrive in Athens by 07:00am latest to make that boat)
13:30 arriving 15:10 (so a flight would need to arrive in Athens by 10:30am latest to make that boat).
The final boat of the day on the 13th would miss the opening sessions and some of dinner.
Travel from Athens airport to Piraeus port
It takes approximately 1 hour to clear customs at Athens airport (sometimes slower so allow 1.5 hours to clear customs, particularly in the current COVID-19 climate).
Option 1: Train - If you are travelling from Athens airport to Piraeus by train you need to leave at least 3 hours to travel between the two locations. It costs approximately €15 to travel from the airport to Piraeus (one way). https://www.trainose.gr/en/
Option 2: Taxi - Depending on the time of day it takes approximately 1 hour from Athens airport to Piraeus by taxi. Traffic in Athens can be terrible though, particularly at rush hour. We have used the following company in the past https://www.welcomepickups.com/ If you can share a taxi with other students this will reduce the cost. It costs approximately €100 from the airport to Piraeus (one way).
Ferry to Hydra
The flying cats are better than the dolphins because they are bigger and more stable in the wind and therefore less likely to be cancelled in the Greek summer winds. It takes approx. 2 hours from Piraeus to Hydra. The winds are lower in the early morning or early evenings. The ferry can be booked through this website: https://www.bluestarferries.com/en-gb
Travel insurance covers things like your travel costs in case you have to cancel, refund of your delegate fee if you are unable to attend for any reason (ie if you cannot attend and your Institution wants to reclaim the costs of your delegate fee), insurance if you need emergency treatment whilst you are on Hydra (eg being flown off the island for emergency care).
Most employers/organisations have insurance that covers their employees/students when they are travelling so you should check with your employer/institution if you aren’t sure.
A European health card does not provide travel insurance, it only provides standard medical cover (which is unlikely to include things like emergency medical flights from Hydra island to the mainland).
There is only one small doctor's surgery and a tiny pharmacy on Hydra island. You need to ensure you have travel insurance to cover any emergency costs you may incur. SCER accepts no liability for delegates' medical or other costs whilst attending the Hydra course.