Short of taking a mini-break in Afghanistan, friends could not have acted more surprised when I told them Greece was this year’s holiday destination.
The nation’s politicians had made Dave and Nick’s union look civil partnership-worthy and there is the assumption that high unemployment, strike threats and fiscal insecurity make Greece a dodgy place to travel. Wrong.
Instead, the exchange rate – approximately £5 for six euros – is the best since 2008 and the country is very much open for tourism.
So, after plumping for Crete, the largest of the Greek islands, we chose a boutique hotel, Paradise Island Villas.
Landing at Heraklion airport, we were picked up by a beaming Paul, one of the hotel’s four full-time senior staff, and taken to Anissaras, a 15-minute drive away.
Here, an even-more-beaming manager, Eleni, gave us a tour of the resort’s 12 gorgeous, bougainvillea-clad villas, each named after a Greek god.
We were in Apollo – the god of music among many deity duties. Which, given I was rejected from my junior school choir four years on the trot, was a little ironic.