In search of this promised slice of heaven, we've meandered off the path from the pretty village of Ai Nikitas on the west coast of the island of Lefkada into thick scrub. Scratched and sweaty, we poke our heads through a clearing and the 1km-long, sandy and almost deserted beach of Kathisma appears like a mirage. "Rebecca, this is the best beach in the world," implores Anthi. That's a pretty rich claim to make to an Australian, but I dare not doubt her. This petite but fiery Greek is frighteningly proud. Read more about Greek Odyssey - Ionian Islands, Greece
On the French and Swiss border, in the shadow of Mount Blanc, the Portes du Soleil ski area attracts skiers and boarders (and hardy sledding fans) who come for the thousands of kilometres of runs on offer between December and April, and the chance to ski in two countries on the same day. Read more about Avoriaz Weekender, French Alps
Hailed the UK's friendliest city, Newcastle has pristine pavements, shiny buildings, pricey drinks and lost of regeneration funding, which has seen it attracting cultural recognition. Whether it's the Angel of the North, the Blue (but it's grey) Carpet or Sir Norman Foster's Sage Music Centre, Newcastle has developed an identity beyond football and short-skirted ladies. But don't despair - the city is still as much about having a good time as ever. Read more about City Break - Newcastle, England
The baby wildebeest is lying in the long grass, lurching around like an infant learning to walk as it strains to get back on its feet. It would be cute, if only it wasn't struggling so much - but then the lioness, her mouth dripping with blood, digs her fangs back into the baby's throat, and the flailing ends; the wildebeest has succumbed and the queen of the jungle is ready to enjoy her fresh kill. Read more about Serengeti, Tanzania: Where the Wild Things Are
"Diving is so much fun, you'll love it", my friends said. As I vomited in the water and fought back tears on the first day of my four-day Open Water Diver course in Dahab I began plotting my revenge against these so-called friends. At first, the course seemed like torture. This was my holiday, after all, and I had paid a substantial sum of money to spend part of it studying a textbook called the PADI Open Water Diver Manual, and the other part subjecting myself to complicated skills work in the ocean, such as learning to pivot on my fins. Read more about Learn to Dive on the Cheap in Dahab, Egypt
As I roll along a narrow country road behind yet another country road being yet another tractor in no hurry, I take the chance to poke to my head out of the car window. Sprawling paddocks dip into a huge body of water and the grass is an impossible shade of green, like it has been touched up in Photoshop. Sheep turn their heads and walk towards me as if they are the welcoming party for the wild west of Ireland - it seems Irish hospitality knows no bounds. Read more about Drive the Southwest Peninsula, Ireland
The notion of spending two minutes in a box-sized room chilled to an inconceivable -121C, all in the name of a health kick, sounds like something from a sci-fi novel. And when I hear that this so-called 'wonder treatment' - used by athletes to boost performance - is known as 'cryotherapy', my mind fills with wrapped images of dead bodies put in the freezer. Fortunately, cryonics (freezing the dead) is very different to cryotherapy, which I'm about to try at AquaCity, a water park and spa centre at the foot of the Tatra Mountains in Slovakia. Read more about Experience Cryotherapy at AquaCity - Poprad, Slovakia
The arrival of budget airline flights and its buzzing nightlife scene have given Tallinn a bit of a reputation as a stag and hen party zone in a recent years, but look beyond the drinks specials and you'll find more to this min-Prague, which has had the badge of a 'European Capital of Culture'. Read more about Culture Club Tallinn, Estonia
Looking towards the north face of the Bec de Rosses, a fabled mountain in the Swiss ski resort of Verbier, I ask a friend whether the extreme skiers and boarders zoom down the left - or right-hand side of the mountains. "Neither," she replies, "they go down the middle".
'Simply not possible' is the first term that springs to mind. How anyone could navigate a slope that's so steep and so strewn with jagged rocks and cliffs, that it looks more suited to rock climbing than skiing or boarding, is beyond me. Read more about Speed Demons of Verbier, Switzerland
There it was again. A streak of colour and a scurry in the tiny alleyway up ahead. I crept forward, treading lightly past wooden facades and unmarked doors, careful not to knock the red lanterns that cast an atmospheric glow across the cobbled path. A sharp turn to the left, and there she is: a geisha. A quick glance over her shoulder, her white made-up face contrasting with the elaborate design of her kimono - and she's gone.
While we all know that geishas' inherent beauty, grace and charm have been admired for centuries, the same could be said of Kyoto. Like waiting for a glimpse of a shy nocturnal creature, you can wait all day for the city to reveal its secrets, and just as you're about to give up in favour of fast food and a night at karaoke, Kyoto's discrete world will reveal itself. Read more about Kyoto - The Heart of Japan