Hydra is the third port of call for the one day cruise departing Piraeus and manages to retain a touch of dignity despite the barrage of tourists. Primarily because of its upper class Athenian population and the influence they exert on the local, which at 3,000 souls is substantial.
Hydriots however, have their own proud history and are no slouches of themselves. Herodotus in the 5th C BC mentions Hydra. Settled over three hundred years ago by Albanian refugees who in time, built up a large merchant fleet the island later became a haunt for writers, musicians (Leonard Cohen) and poets.
The capital and main port is attractive with several distinguished mansions built by wealthy merchant families.
As are all the Saronic islands Hydra is used to tourism, ask directions or a price and you are likely to be answered in English or French.
The donkeys even respond to commands in English and Greek. The streets of Hydra are cobbled or bricked and sometimes done in patterns of pebble mosaic.
Cocktails and hamburgers are common fare and the food, although pricey is excellent.
At night the cosmopolitan flavor of Hydra comes into its own and the strains of bouzouki and western music fill the portside air.