A mix of international art circuit hotspot and the unconventional bohemian, Hydra is the new Greek island to visit.
The port – a perfect horseshoe – backs into a high amphitheatre dotted with 18th-century mariners’ mansions painted citrine, picked out now by the morning sun. It is a Rip Van Winkle town, cute-warm and coiled around dazzling-bright labyrinths of steep steps and slender streets.
The unique part is that there are no street names on Hydra either. You simply set off and see what lies around the next corner. Flora’s café, perhaps, in a bright square full of lemon trees, with its pots of exquisite cold rice pudding spiced with cinnamon. Or a sweet supermarket where the freezer bursts hilariously with octopus tentacles and the honey comes in tins stacked in a quivering 10ft pyramid.
It is the ultimate relaxation destination, known to but a few visitors.
But no activity on Hydra compares to a trip out in a boat. The island is only 50 kilometres square and completely riveting when seen from the water, despite not being particularly lush or landscaped with the comely vines and olive trees of other Greek islands. Still, whichever way you turn, the impact is captivating.
Check out the Bratsera Hotel for a slice of Greek Island life.