Life in Hydra centres around the gorgeous port. Whether you sail or ferry in, the sparkling boat-filled harbour and the bright light striking the tiers of carefully preserved stone houses make a lasting impression. The harbour in high season is an ecosystem of its own, with yachts, caïques (little boats) and water taxis zipping in and out. The marble quay is a surging rhythm of donkeys, visitors, cafe denizens and boat-taxi hawkers. By night the scene becomes a promenade: grab a chair, order a drink and watch the world go by.
If you head back into the warren of portside houses, to the steep slopes banking away from the town centre, you get a different view on Hydriot life. Grandmothers chat in quiet lanes about what’s for dinner, and roads peter out into dirt paths that head into the mountains, ever-changing in colour, depending on the time of day.