Hydra, in the Saronic Gulf off of the Greek mainland, may have served as the natural model for ancient architects when they were designing the marvelous acoustically magical amphitheaters in Greece and Rome. Its horseshoe-shaped harbor welcomes boats at all hours. As with most Greek islands, Hydra’s port is the center of activity and is lined with tourist shops, restaurants and merchants. It is a wonderful place to sit in a cafe, munching on a Greek salad, writing postcards or watching the world go by. Around the corners to either side of the port are beaches, although some are more rock than beach. Mandhraki beach offers sand for those who want to feel grit between their toes. The beach to the west, in Kamini, is rocky, as is the one at Vlykhos, a half an hour further west. Most of what people consider premium tanning spots on this island are rocks. The further from town, the more private the area is likely to be. Every sound down at the port can be heard, no matter where one is in the town. Even from the Monastery of Profitis Ilias at the top of the mountain, every sound is crystal clear.

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