Optional Private Excursions available for purchase
Avoid the crowds and hustle and bustle associated with a group activity. For a memorable trip ashore, we invite you to consider a private shore excursion. Enjoy the undivided attention of your own driver/guide and the flexibility of experiencing the aspects of the local culture that most interest you. Below are just some samples of the private shore excursions we can arrange for you. Give us a call or email us. Let us personalize your experience!
You will be met by your English-speaking guide upon disembarkation from the ship, at the bottom of the cable car at the Old Port of Fira. Our lovely tour starts with a scenic drive through the plains of Santorini to picturesque Oia, the crowning glory of peace and tranquillity.
Built on the northern part of the caldera rim, it is here where many artists have been inspired due to its magnificent location with its most superb views of the caldera, the rest of the island and the Aegean Sea.. We then stop at one of the famous wineries to enjoy a wine tasting tour of the fine wines produced on the island. Our final stop is Fira, the islands capital town.
The island used to be circular, but a massive volcanic explosion around 3,500 years ago blew out the centre of the island. (Many people attribute the decline of Minoan civilization on Crete to this cataclysmic eruption. High cliffs jutting into the sea are all that's left of the crater rim.
The surrounding islands are the remains of the sides of the crater, and the sea has filled in the gaps, forming a beautiful bay. Sunsets on the island are particularly striking; all the restaurants and bars in Fira face west over the sunken volcano and the Aegean Sea.
We will welcome you at Selene Restaurant with fresh juice, coffee and traditional Greek cookies. A lecture by Yiorgos Hatziyannakis will give you an introduction to the cuisine of the Cycladic Islands and particularly of Santorini. Following the lecture, we will introduce to you the unique local products of our island. The volcanic eruption that broke the island of Santorini apart almost 3500 years ago left the dramatic caldera that you see today. With more than 300 days of sunshine and its rich volcanic soil, the island yields a bounty of unusual indigenous herbs and vegetables: white eggplant, capers and caper leaves, fava (small yellow peas), exquisite baby tomatoes - all grown virtually without water.
We will introduce you to the Santorini wine, to the grape varieties and to the Santorini vineyard, and you will have the chance to sample four different wines in the wine tasting we have arranged for you. Cheeses and sausages from several other Cycladic islands, including Naxos, Syros, Ios, Tinos, brought especially for this occasion, will accompany the wines.
At about 12pm the presentation and the demonstration of four different recipes will take place. You will learn how to prepare an entire Greek menu: an appetizer, a salad, a main course, and a dessert. Food items include:
- Fava with tomato caper sauce or Tomato fritters (tomatokeftedes)
- Eggplant salad with octopus or Taramosalata
- Rabbit with egg- cheese sauce or Lamb in grapevine leaves
- Cheese and honey sweet pastry or Melitinia (traditional Santorini cookie)
Duration approx. 5 1/2 hours
Note: The program is available for couples and small parties of up to 8 persons
The program starts at approx. 10am. Lunch is served at 2pm.
A visit to Domain Sigalas or Boutari Wines will convince you that this small island, with some the oldest vineyards in the world, produces truly unique white wines. Or if you are an art lover you may like to visit the unique experience that is the Art Space, an art gallery set within caves of pumice rock. These carved chambers are those of a century old winery that is still in production now. The old winery production machines can be viewed alongside contemporary art from around the globe followed by a tasting of the wine produced there if you wish.
- Drive to Fira to visit the Archaeological Museum before heading to Oia, the most picturesque little town on the island
- Try some of the white wine produced on the island from some of the oldest vineyards in the world
Tour can Operate: Morning / Afternoon
Wheelchair Accessible: Please enquire for more information
Physical Activity Level: Light
• Private transport by luxury car or minivan
• An expert local guide for 4 hours
• Entrance fees to all sights and museums
• All taxes
• All cruise travel, personal items, meals and associated costs