Hydra is a Greek island situated in the Aegean Sea. It belongs to the group of the Saronic Islands. It lies off the western coast of Peloponnese, from which it is separated by a narrow strait. The island is relatively small, with the area of 72 km2 and the population of less than two thousand people.
The island of Hydra has been populated since the third millennium BCE, but remained more or less irrelevant until the 17th century, when its commercial and naval development began. In the 18th century the island became both the trading and naval force, and it played an important role in the Greek War of Independence against the Ottoman Empire. Afterwards, the island started to lose its importance. Today, its economy is based primarily on tourism, with most visitors coming from the Athens area.
The biggest settlement on the island is the small town of Hydra. It lies in the middle of the island, on its northern coast. The town rises in a circle on the hills above the sea. White houses dominate the town. The are many beautiful mansions that witness the islands wealthy past. Hydra does have a harbor, but over the summer it gets very crowded. The traffic in the harbor represents the complete opposite to the traffic in the town, for motor vehicles are prohibited on the island. Such measures contribute to the authentic atmosphere of the past. This does not mean that you cannot enjoy some more modern aspects of fun. The town boosts a very vibrant nightlife and is altogether quite an exclusive place.
The rest of the island is very peaceful and generally unpopulated. It is covered in rocky hills with pine forests and cypress and olive trees. The name of the island comes from ancient springs, but most of them are now dry. The island comes alive during the night, when it is illuminated by billions of stars. This makes Hydra a perfect romantic getaway.
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