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Hydra

Seafaring supremo, sponge-fishing central, bohemian literati commune, Athenians’ weekend getaway – Hydra has enjoyed many incarnations, but none more potent than that of artists’ muse

At a glance

Seafaring supremo, sponge-fishing central, bohemian literati commune, Athenians’ weekend getaway – Hydra has enjoyed many incarnations, but none more potent than that of artists’ muse.

“Aesthetically it is perfect,” wrote the novelist Henry Miller, describing the “immaculate” port town of Hydra. From Miller to Jeff Koons, generations of creative types have followed the call: catching their first glimpse of the jaw-dropping splendour of the amphitheatrical port town as the boat turns in from its choppy crossing; traversing the indigo depths between bobbing caiques to alight on the quay among the patiently waiting donkeys, the island’s only form of transport beyond one’s own two legs; clip-clopping along a cobbled alley between rows of mother-of-pearl-hued houses to the cool courtyard of some hushed neoclassical mansion, or winding along the coastline to a cliff-hanging bar inviting leaps into the crystal seas beneath, and taking up pen and notepad, brush and easel in an attempt to capture some essence of this peerless isle.

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