ALASTAIR MACKENZIE, ACTOR

Where is it?

Ithaca. A pristine Greek island in the Ionian Sea, off the coast of Kefalonia.

Why do you go there?

Because it is unutterably beautiful and I know exactly what I'm going to get. There is little to do there but eat, swim, read and sleep. If I'm feeling extravagant, I might rent a little boat to motor round the island. I'll take some spinach pie and doughnuts for us to eat somewhere on the way.

I now know which secret coves to go to and which rocks to lie on and, in the summer, it's always blisteringly hot with cloudless skies and crystal clear, warm turquoise water.

The evenings are spent in the quietly bustling harbour at a waterside taverna watching the bobbing boats and the people walking by. It is paradise.

How often do you go?

I've been lucky enough to go a few times. It's hard to plan anything in my line of work but most years I will move mountains to grab a last minute something if I can.

HeraldScotland: Unforgotten star Alastair MackenzieUnforgotten star Alastair Mackenzie

It's a flight and a boat crossing away, so it takes a day to get there, but it's all the more worth it when you arrive at the quiet little port and smell the familiar scent of pine trees, grilling meat and scooter fumes.

How did you discover it?

It has mythic importance and you can feel it – it's the birthplace of Odysseus – but actually my ancient history isn't that good and a friend recommended it years ago. I've tried to find better places but there just aren't any.

What's your favourite memory?

I dropped my daughter in a bowl of tzatziki on the beach when she was a baby. She's over it now but it took a while. It might explain why she loves Greece so much, though.

READ MORE: The rugged wilds of Corrour: Trainspotting, movie monologues and Munro bagging

Who do you take?

My family and my oldest friends from Glasgow. Our children have grown up together and we're seasoned holiday companions. They go every year and we try to join them if schedules allow.

What do you take?

Rock shoes, goggles, sun cream, books and, ideally, our friends' inflatable stand-up paddle board.

What do you leave behind?

Wellies, coats and the dog.

HeraldScotland: Ithaca, Greece. Picture: GettyIthaca, Greece. Picture: Getty

Sum it up in five words.

Heat. Blue. Calm. Rocks. Kalimera.

What travel spot is on your post-lockdown wish list?

San Juanico, Baja California Sur, Mexico. I've been once and dream of returning to this hippie surf haven far down the Pacific coast of Baja. There's nothing to it but a small village with intermittent power, a handful of shack-style restaurants, some transient surfers and the most stunning but not too intimidating waves.

READ MORE: The Bathgate Hills: A Neolithic henge, abandoned silver mine and tales of mystery

Last time I went I snapped my Achilles tendon playing football with the locals, so next time I'll stay by the taco stand on the beach considering the swell. Migrating humpback whales often make an appearance and life slows down to an enviable pace. I pray we can all travel again soon.

Alastair Mackenzie stars in Unforgotten on STV, Mondays, 9pm