As an expert in travel, Travel Advisor Alan Reis, of Reis & James Travel Associates in Canberra has seen and experienced a large part of the world. Here he describes his dream holiday: a mix of two weeks in Provence, France, and two weeks in Greece to enjoy Athens and the islands of Santorini and Mykonos.
I would start my holiday with two weeks in a farmhouse in Provence, using that as my base to explore the south of France. There are many areas that have amazing farmhouses to rent, such as Aix en Provence, Goult or Gordes. They are all fully equipped and many have swimming pools, BBQs with great outdoor settings, bicycles and large grounds.
For me, the best way to explore would be to hire a convertible car and set off in search of the little cafes, patisseries and wineries that dot the small towns and countryside of the region. Provence also offers easy access to the beaches of St Tropez and the amazing scenery of the Alps.
At the end each day's adventures, I'd relax around the pool in the late summer evenings soaking up the serenity, along with great food, wine and a good book. After two weeks of semi-rural bliss, I would head to Greece, allowing a week to explore the historic sights of Athens and its surrounds.
Day tours are a must here as they provide fascinating insights into the places you see. I would choose a guided tour of the Acropolis, finishing with a rooftop dinner offering views of the Parthenon lit up at night, and a day trip to Delphi, as I would love to see the Temple of Apollo.
In between, I would explore the cobbled streets of Athens' old town, Plaka, which offers a wealth of tiny shops, sidewalk cafes and family-run tavernas where you can indulge in Greek food and wine.
I would split my last week between the islands of Santorini and Mykonos, which is easily done as it's just a two-hour ferry trip between them. Here, the water is warm, the ambience relaxed and the people friendly.
Oia in Santorini is known for its amazing sunsets and the views across the spectacular caldera are simply unforgettable. Meanwhile, Mykonos is home to one of my favourites around the world, the Myconian Ambassador Hotel, a 5-star property offering exceptional service, an amazing restaurant and bar and fantastic staff. Many room types have their own private pool or Jacuzzi too.