Greece is such a familiar destination for the British (so many of us have memories of childhood summer holidays spent there) that it sometimes gets overlooked in the rush for more far-flung destinations. Yet here is the exotic right on our doorstep. Just a few hours flight south and you’re in a different climate altogether with crystal clear waters and temperatures in the twenties from May to October. And there’s great variety too. The many groups of islands all have the own personality, some with beautiful sandy beaches, some dramatic coastal drives and charming white-washed houses - all knitted together by a long and fascinating history.
Halkidiki juts out of the Aegean Sea and is replete with lush pine forests perfect for hiking and mountain biking, and rimmed with crystalline waters luring snorkelers, kayakers and windsurfers. The achingly-beautiful island of Corfu is a verdant oasis of emerald forests, dotted with olive trees and flourishing with multi-hued flowers draped over a scattering of white-washed cottages. Crete may be adorned with beautiful beaches, coasts lined with cliffs, snow-capped mountains and lush valleys, yet it also holds onto stories of civilisation dating back through the millennia. And the white-washed buildings and blue-domed roofs of Santorini are as iconic as the ancient architecture of Athens.