The island of Hydra is both cosmopolitan and tranquil. Donkeys and boats are the only form of transport (except for a few small garbage trucks) as laws prohibit automobiles mopeds, and even bicycles. The island is a national historic monument with strict building laws regulating development, and protecting Hydra’s traditional architectural style and enhancing its old-world charm.
Reminiscent of Hydra’s proud past, the architecture of the main town is extraordinary. Mingled among the whitewashed homes, with their brightly colored windows, one can find stone mansions, built in the eighteenth century by wealthy merchants and ship owners in the Venetian style. Many of the Hydra island mansions have been faithfully restored, and several house museums or galleries and are open to the public.