After a calm night at anchor we motored and sailed a little in light winds
to the Island of Hydra. The guidebooks and pilot books describe this
island as a gem. In the early days of tourism it was a play ground for the
rich and famous and today hosts the occasional celebrity.
The town from the sea is really spectacular--- often the best view of these
lovely places. As we approached we could see lovely historical houses obviously
restored into stunning homes and holiday villas. It is hard to describe the
quality of the architecture, originally built by wealthy shipping merchants.
Historically, the island was barren and waterless, but prospered when mainland
Greeks left the mainland to escape Turkish rule, developing boat building and
trade on the island.
The quay area is small but we spotted a safe spot for us and with the four
of us on board managed to get a great stern to mooring on the waterfront.
The first thing we saw was a stunning waterfront, historically preserved, with
buildings housing trendy shops, cafes and restaurants. At some point in
the past the authorities banned the use of cars and scooters on the island and
so the main form of transport is mules and donkeys.
Visitors and their suitcases are led up the steep streets to their
accommodation. Mules arrive on the waterfront with food, bottles, goods etc.
hanging off their strong saddles supplying the daily consumption in the
immaculate, trendy restaurants etc..
Mules stand waiting on the quay often surrounded by cats who get their
daily ‘food’ from the visitors in the tavernas. It seems that any
beach or waterfront taverna in Greece has its cats who sit patiently under your
table looking longingly for bits of food. In Galaxidhi in the Gulf of
Corinth, we even had geese begging !!
On the dock at Hydra, I saw one donkey gently nudge a cat with its leg
‘Greek style’--- the cat was obliviously drinking some fresh water and getting
tangled in the donkeys rope.
The atmosphere of people arriving and leaving, the super yachts, holiday
makers wandering around; the architecture and ‘designer’ label make this
town really stunning. It comes with a price tag to match but by yacht the
stay is often free.
Port police wander around in ‘Officer and a Gentleman’, style white
uniforms, pistols on their hips and white high heels---- the female police that
For the first time we witnessed the ‘Greek’, mooring style of anchoring
stern to—3 boats deep to the quay. Boats drop their anchors and reverse to the
boat astern and tie their sterns to the bows of the boats behind. Then another
line comes in.. crossed anchors and all ‘good’ fun when the wind gets
We stayed well clear on the opposite dock--- watching the mayhem.
After really good Greek food, a lovely evening spent wondering around the
small town we left the dock the next morning to head for the Island of Kithnos
in the Cyclades.
Love to all,
Tina, Tony, Amanda and Patryk. x x
Photos of stunning Hydra------------