The entries in this guide are special in many different ways: we choose places for the warmth of their welcome, their style whether grand or not, their value for money, and their wonderful locations. You'll find a gorgeous family villa hidden on its very own Cycladic beach, and a historic apartment tucked away in an island's Venetian citadel. But it's not just about the islands. The Peloponnese has Greece's highest concentration of ancient sites, its emptiest beaches and some fantastic places to stay, from restored medieval tower-houses to the elegant residences of neo-classical Nafplion. The mainland offers stunning mountain scenery and timeless villages, and you can choose between a cosy stone inn and a grand Ottoman seminary for a night. Our approach is unusual and subjective. There are no set rules, no interminable checklists and no hard and fast criteria for inclusion. We look for what we like, and celebrate the unusual, the beautiful and the individual.
Alastair has built a team of talented editors who are as committed as he is to the search for authenticity and personality in places to stay. They are also 'driving' the world's first carbon-neutral publishing company; the search for a reduced ecological footprint is a serious one. The company has won an award from Business Commitment to the Environment and moves to its own eco offices in 2005. Michael Cullen was born and brought up in Greece and completed his education in England. He is a freelance travel writer and editor who has written books on Greece for Lonely Planet, Cicerone and Sunflower. He leads walking holidays in some of Greece's loveliest and least-known islands and highlands and advises UK tour operators on their programmes.