Taking in the breathtaking views of the ocean from a high vantage point on the island of Alonnisos, with vistas virtually unchanged by time, you could almost imagine a Greek galley casually sailing by, as if plucked from antiquity.

Sandy hills slope down to the ocean, bristling with smatterings of stubbly bushes, rolling away until lost in the haze.

Alonnisos is one of the lesser known Greek islands, part of the Northern Sporades along with the better known Skiathos and Skopelos (where Mamma Mia! was filmed).

Known to the Ancient Greeks as Ikos, it’s a tree-filled scrap of rock ringed with pebbled beaches where the smell of the pine mingles with the fresh sea air. Beautiful and enthralling, it’s perfect for those looking for somewhere away from the tourist throngs.

However, Alonnisos has not been on the radar of most British holidaymakers, although Royal pleasure yachts and the Rolling Stones are rumoured to have been spotted sailing the azure waters. Up to now, Italians and Russians have been its most frequent visitors, but that looks to change.

Olympic Holidays are offering all inclusive packages to the island staying at Marpunta Village Club, part of the Santikos Collection of hotels which also include the Princess Resort and Aegean Suites on Skiathos.

To get there you fly in to Skiathos and take a small ferry for a pleasant 90-minute hop to the island.

It was a lovely way to arrive at the recently renovated Marpunta luxury resort set in picturesque gardens with a striking pool area facing the clear blue waters of the Aegean Sea.

The majority of the rooms are at the top of a hill; my stylish, air-conditioned bedroom with balcony offered spectacular views was well worth climbing a few dozen steps to get to but those with mobility issues might want to request a room nearer the pool, reception, restaurant and lobby at the bottom.

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The resort caters for a wide range of holidaymakers, from those who just want to chill out by the pool or take gentle strolls to families and adventure seekers .

There’s an outdoor tennis court, fitness centre and yoga space with other activities on offer on site or nearby including scuba diving, snorkelling, paddle boarding, volleyball, mountain biking, water skiing and sailing.

Paddleboarding gave an excellent and demanding core workout and was also a fantastic way to explore the hidden archipelagos of the Mediterranean.

There was an interesting boat trip to a tiny island inhabited by just three monks with the added bonus of dolphin watching and open ocean swimming en route. Setting sail you feel like an Argonaut or the hero Odysseus sailing among the islands of the Aegean. Adventure seeps in to your pores.

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Scuba diving was another highlight - the water clarity was fantastic and seeing coral, sponges, fish and a large sea centipede was fascinating… and sometimes terrifying.

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The scenic walk to the picturesque old town was a 5k walk uphill with plenty of opportunity to take stunning photographs - and a breather - on the way.

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And then there was the food.

A wide range of exceptional delicacies were prepared in the restaurant on site and the resort also has a partnership with selected local restaurants. This allows for the more adventurous to explore the full range of traditional Greek cuisine and warm hospitality. Rich local favourites like tiropita (feta cheese pie), spanakopita (cheese and spinach pie) are a good introduction to the gastronomic delights available.

Think fresh seafood, plucked straight from the Mediterranean, scrumptious lobster linguine and freshly caught snapper sublimely marinated; the calamari was cooked to perfection.

The regional lager Alpha was an excellent accompaniment to the food; crisp and thirst-quenching, while the regional wines selected by the Marpunta were exceptional.

Yes, great food and drink, spectacular scenery, friendly people, plenty to do, peace and quiet; Alonnisos is worth discovering.

By Tom Silberberg