Photos of Greece's turquoise coastline, and the beautiful islands dotted off it, will hook you in, but it's the grace of the ruins, elegantly dilapidating under clear, sunny skies and the wonderful way history seems so vibrantly alive in the Greek culture which will have you coming back again and again.
Food, art and hospitality are extremely important in Greek culture, and or Guru's recommendations for the best places to stay in Greece reflect this.
If you visited Athens before they hosted the Olympics in 2004, then you'll find it a very different city now. The historic centre, with cars banished, is more stunning than ever, and the regeneration going on in the lead up to the games hasn't stopped. So it's Europe's oldest city, but with so much gentrification, it's also one of Europe's freshest. Central areas like Gazi and Psyrri, which were clogged with cars previously, are now packed with cafes, restaurants and bars. Which suits the Athens lifestyle - one of making time to stop for coffee in outdoor cafes, and of evening strolls and eating out late.
Greece isn't just about uncovering ancient treasures, and while the Greek Islands do have plenty to boast about when it comes to beautiful ruins and fascinating histories, they're also an extremely beautiful backdrop against which to relax.
Crete is the largest of the Greek islands and really has it all. Archaeology and mythology go up against inviting seas and sandy beaches, and the rugged, traditional interior contradicts the bright nightlife of the capital, Heraklion. Many visitors come just to see the Minoan palace at Knossos - home of the minotaur and his labyrinth. But that's only the start of Crete's list of ancient treasures.
The Cyclades, sprinkled around the turquoise Aegean, include famous Santorini, with its white and blue buildings hugging the dramatic crescent of the dark, volcanic rock; big, green Naxos famed in myth and legends; Mykonos, which glitters by night and by day; and smooth, sandy Amorgos.
The Peloponnese islands are the backdrop for many of the highlight scenes in Greek mythology. And the beauty of this island group hasn't been sullied by the years. For many visitors the ruined Mycenaean palaces, Roman theatres, Venetian fortresses and Byzantine churches make this the perfect island break. For others it's the perfect sandy coves and rugged, cypress covered coastlines.
The Ionian Islands are the other main group, including long-time beach-break favourite, Corfu; Captain Corelli's Kefalonia; Lefkada, which is actually connected to the mainland - just; and overlooked, yet most romantic and beautiful, Kythira.
A charming self-catered retreat set in cascading tropical gardens. Charming stone villas with private kitchenettes and outdoor dining are dotted around the grounds. Guests are provided with a selection of home made jams and spices. A short walk from the beach, this is a perfect holiday hide out.
A home-away-from-home deep in rural tranquility with beaches, bars and tavernas a walk away. Small collection of traditional stone cottages make perfect base for families. Self-catering and BBQ available for all. Return to simpler times at this beautiful hideaway on Crete.
Charming whitewashed rooms with balconies off a series of appealing courtyards in this charming seaside hotel. This home-hotel offers great views and reasonably priced self-catering options. Close to the port and local Taverns. The perfect stay for families and groups.
A peaceful mansion retreat. Elegant rooms feature high ceilings, four poster beds, crisp white linen and private balconies. A lovely pool has stunning views over the island. Beaches within walking distance. A wonderful tranquil spot and very reasonably priced.
A quaint pension in the centre of the Old Town, close to all the action. Simple and comfortable white washed rooms. Restaurants and bars within easy walking distance. An inexpensive base to explore the city from.
Lovely traditional guesthouse located in the heat of the medieval town. Charming rooms, some with great views of the old town or prettily draped four poster beds. Good value and a quiet alternative to the boutiques.
Chic B&B in central Fira. Fantastic value, pretty all white rooms and suites, large swimming pool, and easy access to restaurant, sights and activities around. A great choice for a couple or family on a budget.
Beach hotel landscaped into volcanic cliffs next to an unspoilt fishing village, with stepped terraces and fabulous views. White on white interiors with pop coloured bed throws. A tranquil hideaway with great spa and range of natural treatments. Excellent Mediterranean cuisine. Wonderfully romantic.
Built in 1659 Porto Antico is a stay amidst history. Location, service and price are this waterfront hotel's big selling points. For those looking for a short break in the heart of Chania, or a base for exploring, it offers an excellent compromise between style and affordability.
Cloistered hideaway on a narrow, bougainvillea-lined lane in one of Chania's quietest enclaves. Ideal for anyone looking for a calm retreat within easy walking distance of its shopping streets and sights. Acclaimed restaurant is a bonus for foodies. What it lacks in mod-cons it makes up in charm.
A gorgeous family-run Greek house facing the beach. Rustic rooms and apartments in creams with private balconies, fabulous roof top restaurant and cocktail bar, and close to the main attractions. A family friendly choice slightly off the beaten track.
Lovely neo-classical hotel in the hills above the Ionian sea. Attractive traditional building, charming rooms with sea facing balconies, lovely terrace and cafe, and swimming pool. A great value choice within striking distance of beaches, golf and Corfu Town. Suited to couples, families and groups.
A convenient and affordable stay, outside the bustle of the city centre. A great stopover hotel with comfortable rooms, off street parking, proximity to the airport and the ferry terminal. The sea views and beach action are a real plus!
This 4* trendy and elegant boutique is in a great location and even better value. The building is a 1930s build, but rooms possess 21st Century elegance and mod-cons. Enjoy breakfast in your room before stepping out into Athens and exploring the ancient city.