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Santorini

Santorini, an island born of fire & water

Santorini, officially known as Thira, is the southernmost part of the Cyclades Islands in the Aegean Sea. Actually, Santorini is a group of volcanic islands consisting of Thira (the main island), Thirassia, Nea Kameni, Palea Kameni, Aspronissi and Christiana Islets.

The charm, the mystery and the energy of Santorini are beyond words. It is no coincidence that its ancient name was Kallisti, meaning “the most beautiful”. The principal reason for its sublime beauty is the caldera, the impressive steep volcanic rocks and the sea basins all over the west side of the island, created after one of the biggest volcanic eruptions ever in the late 17th century B.C. This eruption destroyed the prehistoric settlement of Akrotiri, one of the most sophisticated civilizations of the Aegean Sea and at the same time resulted in an open Museum of Geology and a distinctive ecosystem.

When you travel to Santorini, bear in mind that beside the breathtaking views of the caldera, the blue domes, the white houses, the picturesque churches and chapels, the golden sunsets and the black beaches, there is much more to discover in this place: the history and the myths, the traditions and the culture, the medieval villages and the old walking paths, the local life, the 3.500 year old vineyard, the wine and the wineries, the gastronomy and the local products, the flora and the fauna.


10 Tips for travellers to Santorini

  • A visit to the archaeological site of Akrotiri, the so-called Greek Pompeii, is a “must” and much more interesting and comprehensive with a licensed guide
  • If you are not big fans of big crowds, the best time to visit Oia, the famous village of postcard views, is very early in the morning.
  • All the sites on the caldera side offer stunning sunset views.
  • Follow one of the old walking trails of the island. There are a couple of hiking maps and apps for download. The most popular hike is from Fira to Oia.
  • The most breathtaking panoramic views of the caldera are on the road from Megalochori village to Faros (the Lighthouse)
  • Become acquainted with the folk architecture and feel the “couleure locale” by strolling around the traditional settlement of Foinikia and the most well-preserved Venetian castle in the medieval village of Emborio
  • There are a couple of cozy cafes and restaurants on the central squares of the villages of Megalochori and Pyrgos. These are the meeting points of locals day and night.
  • Fira, the main town of Santorini, is the best place for clubbing and nightlife.
  • Perissa and Perivolos are the most cosmopolitan black beaches of Santorini, ideal for those who want to experience the beach life of the island. On the other hand, the lunar landscape of Vlychada beach is the best option for people seeking privacy.

wine

In Santorini, it’s all about “terroir”

It is no exaggeration to say that in Santorini there is the most distinguishing terroir of Greece which has been acclaimed worldwide by wine experts. The combination of the major components of the French term “terroir” – the soil, the topography, the geomorphology, the climate – led to a rare natural environment for the vineyard which is reflected in the wines produced.

The vineyard of Santorini is 3.500 years old and thus it’s considered to be one of the oldest vineyards of the planet. Moreover, it’s self-rooted that means that it has never been affected by the phylloxera, the insect which had destroyed the European vine roots in the late 19th century.

The soil is of volcanic origin, porous, extremely poor in organic matters and full of minerals. Strong winds, lack of rainfall and high temperatures during summer make the life of vines difficult on the island. In fact, the vines struggle to survive. Therefore, the yield of the vineyard here is the lowest in Greece.

The vines absorb the water they need from the precious sea mist during spring and summer months, while they are trained in a basket shape with the aim to protect the grapes from the winds and the intense sunlight. This is an ancient pruning system that the locals call “kouloura” or “ambelia”. There are more than 50 indigenous grapes on the island, but the white Assyrtiko dominates, accounting for about 80% of the vineyard.

Assyrtiko is Santorini’s greatest treasure producing crispy, well-structured, food-friendly wines with intense minerality. Undoubtedly, Assyrtiko is the precious gem of the Santorini’s vineyard and the best ambassador of the Greek wines worldwide. This noble grape produces the most age worthy white wines of Greece.

As for the reds, Mandelaria is the predominant grape, while Mavrotragano is the most promising red grape of Santorini which has been “rediscovered” recently, nearly 15 years ago.

Assyrtiko along with Aidani and Athiri grapes participate in the Santorini P.D.O. (Protected Designation of Origin) dry white wines. The sweet version of these grapes is the Vinsanto, produced from sun-dried grapes, which has also gained the Santorini P.D.O. status.

Gastronomy

The food treasures of an arid land

The rebirth of life on Santorini Island after the huge volcanic eruption in the late 17th century B.C. was a very long and challenging journey. The plant species which managed to survive had to adapt to an extremely inhospitable ecosystem. Even today, everything that grows here struggles to survive facing a poor volcanic soil, drought conditions, strong winds and high temperatures in summer.

Santorini is an arid island. There is lack of rainfall nearly all year round and at the same time there are no natural water sources. The dry conditions could last for months or years. For this reason, the sea mist during spring and summer months is precious. The porous pumice stone, predominant in the volcanic soil of Santorini, absorbs the water and allows the survival of everything that grows here. The yield is extremely low, but at the same time the flavors and the aromas are very concentrated.

The local growers call their products “anhydrous”, meaning waterless, cause basically they grow without water! The wine, the cherry tomatoes and the fava beans (yellow split peas) are the main and the most famous local products of Santorini. There are also capers, white eggplants, round zucchinis, katsouni (the local cucumber), prickly pears, figs and pistachios. The only local cheese is the fresh goat cheese “chloro”, but nowadays it’s rare to find it.

The European Union has recognized the rarity and uniqueness of Santorini’s ecosystem and today Santorini is proud of having three agricultural products with a Protected Designation of Origin (P.D.O.) status: the white wine (dry, sweet), the cherry tomato and the fava beans.

Santorini, apart from being a top worldwide destination, is the fastest growing oenogastronomic scene of Greece with 15 wineries open to visitors and several local tavernas, cozy “mezedopolia” (Greek tapas bars) and "New Greek Cuisine" restaurants offering authentic dining experiences.

Santorini Foodie Tour

Santorini Foodie Tour

The Santorini Foodie tour is the best choice for those who want to explore the food & wine culture and taste the volcanic wines and the local products of Santorini

Our first stop is a family owned farm where you will taste a rich selection of savoury and sweet delicacies and learn about the food culture, the gastronomy and all the local products of Santorini. The next part of the tour is the wine! We walk through old vines for better understanding the characteristics of Santorini’s “terroir” and the uniqueness of its wines and then we visit 2 award winning wineries where you will hear a couple of “inside wine stories” and taste all the types of wines produced on Santorini along with cheese and local bites.

Info
  • Visit a local farm, a vineyard and 2 award winning wineries of Santorini
  • Taste all the main types of wines produced on Santorini and a rich selection of local products and delicacies
  • Private guidance
  • Pick up & drop off

Daily except Sundays at 11a.m. from April 1st to October 31st
Duration: approx. 4+ hours
Languages: English, French

Because of Covid-19, all our tours for 2021 season will be PRIVATE (couples, friends, families)

2021 Prices for PRIVATE Santorini Foodie Tour
2 people: 160€ per person
3-6 people: 145€ per person

The prices include private guidance, pick up & drop off, comfortable transportation, all tasting fees and taxes (vat 24%).

For RESERVATIONS please send an email to santoriniwinetrails@gmail.com

Santorini Wine Lover Tour

Santorini Wine Lover Tour

This is our most popular tour and the best option to explore, discover and experience the terroir-driven wines of Santorini.

The vineyard is the key to understand the uniqueness of Santorini’s wines. So, our fist stop is an 80 year-old vineyard, where you will learn about the features of the volcanic soil, the climate, the local grapes and the “ambelia” - the ancient vine training technique of the island. Then, we visit 3 family owned, award winning wineries where you will experience the versatility and the ageing potential of the Assyrtiko, the “king” grape of the island, and taste all the types of wines produced on Santorini along with cheese and local bites.

Info
  • Visit a vineyard and 3 award winning wineries of Santorini
  • Taste all the types of wines produced on Santorini with cheese and local bites
  • Private guidance
  • Pick up & drop off

Daily at 11a.m. from April 1st to October 31st
Duration: approx. 4+ hours
Languages: English, French

Because of Covid-19, all our tours for 2021 season will be PRIVATE (couples, friends, families)

2021 Prices for PRIVATE Santorini Wine Lover Tour
2 people: 160€ per person
3-6 people: 145€ per person

The prices include private guidance, pick up & drop off, comfortable transportation, all tasting fees and taxes (vat 24%).

For RESERVATIONS please send an email to santoriniwinetrails@gmail.com

Santorini Foodie Tour

Santorini Foodie Tour

The Santorini Foodie tour is the best choice for those who want to explore the food & wine culture and taste the volcanic wines and the local products of Santorini

Our first stop is a family owned farm where you will taste a rich selection of savoury and sweet delicacies and learn about the food culture, the gastronomy and all the local products of Santorini. The next part of the tour is the wine! We walk through old vines for better understanding the characteristics of Santorini’s “terroir” and the uniqueness of its wines and then we visit 2 award winning wineries where you will hear a couple of “inside wine stories” and taste all the types of wines produced on Santorini along with cheese and local bites.

Info
  • Visit a local farm, a vineyard and 2 award winning wineries of Santorini
  • Taste all the main types of wines produced on Santorini and a rich selection of local products and delicacies
  • Private guidance
  • Pick up & drop off

Daily except Sundays at 11a.m. from April 1st to October 31st
Duration: approx. 4+ hours
Languages: English, French

Because of Covid-19, all our tours for 2021 season will be PRIVATE (couples, friends, families)

2021 Prices for PRIVATE Santorini Foodie Tour
2 people: 160€ per person
3-6 people: 145€ per person

The prices include private guidance, pick up & drop off, comfortable transportation, all tasting fees and taxes (vat 24%).

For RESERVATIONS please send an email to santoriniwinetrails@gmail.com

Santorini Sunset Wine Experience

Santorini Sunset Wine Experience

This tour is the best option for those who want to combine a wine tasting experience with the fabulous sunset of Santorini

First, we walk through old vines for better understanding the characteristics of Santorini’s “terroir” and the uniqueness of its wines and then we visit 2 emblematic wineries where you will taste some premium wines of Santorini with cheese and local delicacies. At the second winery, you will enjoy your wines by watching the sunset on its private terrace.

Info
  • Visit a vineyard and 2 award winning wineries of Santorini
  • Taste some premium wines of Santorini with cheese and local delicacies
  • Enjoy the sunset on the private terrace of a winery
  • Private guidance
  • Pick up & drop off

Daily at 5p.m. - 5.30p.m. depending on sunset time from May 15th to September 30th
Duration: approx. 3 hours
Languages: English, French

Because of Covid-19, all our tours for 2021 season will be PRIVATE (couples, friends, families)

2021 Prices for PRIVATE Santorini Sunset Wine Experience
2 people: 130€ per person
3-6 people: 120€ per person

The prices include private guidance, pick up & drop off, comfortable transportation, all tasting fees and taxes (vat 24%).

For RESERVATIONS please send an email to santoriniwinetrails@gmail.com

your-wine-guide

Your Wine Guide

I was born and raised in Athens. I studied winemaking (enology) in Athens and Bordeaux and I hold the WSET(*) Advanced Certificate in Wine & Spirits. I have also attended the WSET Diploma courses. I started my career in 1994 as a trainee enologist at an emblematic winery of Santorini and since then I have worked in the wine communication of the Wines of Greece association, in the organization of wine fairs and events in Greece and abroad, in the management of the first wine club in Greece, in restaurants in Athens and Mykonos as a sommelier and in the hospitality management of several wineries in Greece.

In 2014, after 20 years of experience in the Greek wine industry, I decided to follow my own trail by creating the Santorini Wine Trails, a small business exclusively focusing on intimate and personalized wine tours, tastings and experiences on Santorini Island. I believe that we truly experience the soul of a place when we smell its flavors and aromas, taste its wines and cuisine and meet the locals.

It is always a pleasure for me to share with you my experience, knowledge and passion for Santorini and its wine & food treasures in an intimate and comprehensive way.

Cheers!

Iliana Sidiropoulou




(*) Wine & Spirits Educational Trust, www.wsetglobal.com

contact us

Contact Us


Santorini Wine Trails
GR84700 Santorini, Greece
M. +306979000568 (available on WhatsApp)
E. santoriniwinetrails@gmail.com

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