Thursday, August 16 - ATHENS, GREECE

A city of legend, civilization, and enduring culture, Athens is a majestic and magical urban sprawl. Extraordinary elegance and grace combine with grit and graft in Greece's capital, where highways encase ruins from antiquity, and gleaming museums and galleries stand beside concrete sprayed with edgy street art. These contrasts enhance and elevate the wonders of this 2,500-year-old city, however, which can count notable contributions to philosophy, drama in democracy, among its global legacy. Piraeus' giant port and naval base welcome you to the edge of the Athens' urban area. From there it's a simple jaunt to the center. The majestic ancient citadel of the Acropolis dominates an elevated platform and is a constant presence as you explore the city. The wonderful remains of the columned temple of the Parthenon - which date back tot he 5th century BC - stand here, representing the pinnacle of classical architecture. The nearby Acropolis Museum adds context to your visit and frames the broad views from its giant glass windows. Or rise up Mount Lycabettus, to be rewarded with perhaps Athens' best panorama of the Acropolis sitting high over the city on its grand stage. See the marble horseshoe of the Old Olympic Stadium, where the first modern Olympics were held in 1896, for more of the city's enduring legacy. Elsewhere, golden beaches and temples stretch out along the coastline, should you wish to explore a little further afield. Coffee is an art form to the Greeks, and it's an unwritten rule that coffee time must never be rushed. So prepare to settle down for a couple of hours and lo yourself in a good chat. Feeling hungry - try traditional souvlaki made with sauces handed from generation to generation.

Friday, August 17 - MYKONOS ISLAND, GREECE

Indulge in idyllic island life, as you take your fill of superb foods and wines, and soak in endless views of sweeping turquoise seascapes and pretty whitewash buildings. Known for its lively nightlife and rejuvenating, care-free outlook, Mykonos is a dazzlingly beautiful island escape. The secret is well and truly out, but nonetheless, Mykonos has managed to retain the enduring, exclusive allure that first drew celebrities like Brigitte Bardot to its star-studded shores. True to its roots, Mykonos is a rich land of culture, tradition, and swirling legend, and the island is said to be built on the frozen bodies of giants slain by Hercules and to have been the legendary battleground between Zeus and the Titans. Head out onto the crystalline waters to seek out serene islands, hit perfect beaches, or venture into the labyrinth of Mykonos Town. White facades, red roofs, and cobalt blue shutters add to this lively town's appeal. Explore narrow streets housing studios - where artisans piece together mosaics - and plenty of restaurants and bars offer sanctuary. Head to Little Venice for a waterfront view of one of the island's famed sunsets, and to enjoy an aperitif of the favourite aniseed liqueur, ouzo. Boasting numerous attractive sandy coves, a wealth of top-notch restaurants, and rich cultural appeal, it's little wonder that Mykonos is one f the most popular Greek Islands. Discover this jaw-droppingly scenic island paradise, watched over by its iconic huddles of picturesque windmills.

Saturday, August 18 - KUSADASI, TURKEY

Explore the towering columns, and storied remains of Ephesus - one of the most spectacular cities left by the Ancient Greeks. Kusadasi welcomes you to the Turkish coastline and is your base for exploring these majestic remains, which sit just 10 miles inland from the port. The Ephesus UNESCO World Heritage  Site is a true archaeological gold mine, and an amazingly well-preserved site - once home to 150,000 people. The grand Temple of Artemis rose up majestically here and was recognized as one of the Seven wonders of the Ancient World before its untimely destruction. The grand city was a fitting location for such a wonder, and with a mere 20% estimated to have been uncovered, the scale and majesty of Ephesus are hard to fully comprehend, as you walk its ancient streets. Visit the precious Library of Celsus - a gorgeous, double-layered facade of columns and artistry - and enjoy the city's gently illuminated, atmospheric venues - which still host stirring evening concerts. Ephesus's museum adds context to the 25,000 treasures that are exhibited within. After a long hot day exploring, recharge with a perfectly-charred and seasoned kebab or vegetable and rice stuffed grape leaves like dolma. In Kusadasi itself, you can discover a lively seaside city with a buzzing Aegean beach scene, and a glut of restaurants and cafes to kick back in.

Sunday, August 19 - RHODES ISLAND, GREECE

With an endless sun-soaked season, earthy history, and vibrant culture, the island of Rhodes has it all. At the crossroads between continents, and sandwiched between Crete and Turkey's coastline, Rhodes has swayed between many mighty civilizations throughout its tumultuous history. Part of the Dodecanese Islands, which are sprinkled across the blissfully blue Aegean Sea, dive into this island of dazzling beaches, historic medieval towns, and whitewash villages. Crusted with turrets and walls, alluding to its strategic significance over the years. Incredible history has been left behind, and the cobbled streets of the UNESCO World Heritage site listed Old Town are some of Europe's best. Wander back through time, with occasional minarets from Ottoman-era mosques rising from eh tangle of Medieval history, and the smells of cinnamon, cumin, and pepper lingering above stone-paved streets. Discover inviting outdoor restaurants, which spill across flower-filled courtyards, and enjoy fresh Greek cuisine with an eastern influence. The preserved columns of Lindos's spectacular Ancient Greek Acropolis watch out over electric blue water, while the Gothic Medieval stronghold of the 14th-century Palace of the Grand Masters of the Knights of Rhodes, adds more fascinating history to explore. Fragrant, pine tree coated hills, and gorgeous beaches of eye-watering blue water, offer your choice of unbridled relaxation or thrilling action, and you can raise the pulse with water sports, or shelter in coves with shocks of turquoise water and monolithic rock formations.

Monday, August 20 - AGHIOS NIKOLAOS (CRETE), GREECE

Set on the east of the Greek island Crete, Aghios Nikolaos is a place of legend and luxury. Pastel, colored houses jostle attractively around the pretty harbor and inky lake, while busy restaurants and cafes spill out onto its lively waterfront. Life here orbits around Lake Voulismeni, and the legendary lake is said to be bottomless and to have been a bathing spot for Greek goddesses Athena and Artemis. Enjoy heavenly views of the water through frames of pretty, violet flowers, or climb the stone steps for a sweeping panorama of the town, lake, and seas beyond. With abundant waterfront, house meander past effortlessly in the town's humming cafes, as characters come and go, and sunlight flicks off the sparkling waves. Aghios Nikolaos is surrounded by wide, scenic beaches, and you can choose between Voulisma - where crystal-clear water lolls against fine sand or Almyros - where a refreshing ribbon of cooling freshwater snakes out into warm turquoise seawater. Away from the beaches, look for the brightly-frescoed Panagias Keras Church - one of the region's oldest Byzantine churches - which dates back to the 13th century. Explore local farms to taste fresh oil, crushed from plump olives, ripened by the generous Cretan sun.

Tuesday, August 21 - SANTORINI, GREECE

Breathlessly romantic, and incredibly scenic, the azure domes and whitewash buildings that cascade down Santorini's slopes are prime honeymoon material - and relentlessly romantic. A true gem of the Cycladic island group, Santorini is startlingly pretty, and its white windmills and dazzling villages are incredibly easy on the eye. Envy-inducing and evocatively beautiful, Santorini's sunsets are legendary, and the island is a highlight of any voyage to the Greek islands. Look out over the endless expanse of blue waves, filling the massive volcanic caldera of Santorini - and absorb one of the most spectacular views in the world. The sheer rock shoulders of the caldera create an immense, natural amphitheatre - so enjoy the show, as you sip a local, volcanic-mineral enhanced white wine, and fall in love all over again. Any meal is well rounded off with the famous wine, Vinsanto. The east side of the island may lack the incredible panoramas, but it's ideal if all you want to do is recline on volcanic - sand beaches - which range in hues from charcoal-black to flame-red. This beautiful island was forged powerful volcanic activity, and you can learn more about the huge eruption of 1,600 BCE - which wiped out the Minoan city at Akrotiri. The eruption sank the centre of the island, forming the moon-shaped topography we see now. Visit the archaeological site that has revealed and preserved the village, which was lost to time below the pumice and ash. Some whisper that this destroyed town may even be the fabled Atlantis.

Wednesday, August 22 - NAFPLION, GREECE

Greece's first capital remains the escape of choice for Athenians, who weekend here to indulge in the town's gorgeous seaside setting. One of the country's most romantic towns, the warm color palette and tempting, island-sprinkled waters, pull on plenty of heartstrings. With perfect beaches, crystal clear waters for swimming, and evocative fortress-capped mountains, Nafplion is a sun-soaked Greek beauty. A gorgeous blend of Greek, Byzantine, Venetian, and Ottoman influences, stroll the seafront promenade and soak up the ambiance in tavernas and bars. Head into the warren of an old town, which is full of narrow streets, neoclassical architecture, and pink-flowered trees drooping over walls. Located on the hill that towers over Nafplion, Palamidi Fortress is a Venetian castle built in 1714, and it steep walls flower dramatically down the slope. If you're feeling brave, a lot of 857 steps will take you to the top to see beautiful views across Nafplion and the Argolic Gulf. Acronafplia fortress is Nafplion's oldest castle, and its walls enclosed the entire town until the 13th century. Just offshore, the Venetian Bourtzi fortress rises on a tiny islet, a short boat ride away across the glistening waters. Venetians built this harbor fortress to protect the town before it later housed the official executioner. Today its hardy walls shake to music, during its summer festival, and the castle enjoys a gorgeous view back over the waves to the town's humming waterfront. Ancient cities like Corinth lie close by, recovered, and unearthed after being wiped from history by immense earthquakes.

Thursday, August 23 - ATHENS (PIRAEUS), GREECE

A city of legend, civilization, and enduring culture, Athens is a majestic and magical urban sprawl. Extraordinary elegance and grace combine with grit and graft in Greece's capital, where highways encase ruins from antiquity, and gleaming museums and galleries stand beside concrete sprayed with edgy street art. These contrasts enhance and elevate the wonders of this 2,500-year-old city, however, which can count notable contributions to philosophy, drama, and democracy, among its global legacy. Piraeus' giant port and naval base welcome you to the edge of the Athens' urban area. From there it's a simple jaunt to the center. The majestic ancient citadel of the Acropolis dominates an elevated platform and is a constant presence as you explore the city. The wonderful remains of the columned temple of the Parthenon - which date back to the 5th century BC - stand here, representing the pinnacle of classical architecture. The nearby Acropolis Museum adds context to your visit and frames the broad views from its giant glass windows. Or rise up Mount Lycabettus, to be rewarded with perhaps Athens' best panorama of the Acropolis sitting high over the city on its grand stage. See the marble horseshoe of the Old Olympic Stadium, where the first modern Olympics were held in 1896, for more of the city's enduring legacy. Elsewhere, golden beaches and temples stretch out along the coastline, should you wish to explore a little further afield. Coffee is an art form to the Greeks, and it's an unwritten rule that coffee time must never be rushed. So prepare to settle down for a couple of hours and lose yourself in a good chat. Feeling hungry - try traditional souvlaki made with sauces handed from generation to generation.