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Crete & Santorini

16th - 22nd September 2019

This is an 7 day tour

£2,650

Sgl Supp: £400
Deposit pp: £500

$3,975

(including flights from London)
Sgl Supp: $600
Deposit pp: $750

Be seduced by whitewashed buildings set against a clear blue sky as you enjoy the best in Greek wine and discover ancient archaeology

We arrive at Heraklion, a region which can claim to be on of the oldest wine-producers in Europe, where we get to know authentic Greek grapes as well as Mediterranean favorites. The tour takes us through ancient towns and Cretan wines including the iconic Boutari, before continuing to Santorini and the spectacular scenery of the Venetsanos Winery. As the home of the first advanced society in Europe, what better place, then, for the wine lover to get acquainted with the past in this perfect mix of wine and archeology.

A unique beer tasting experience is nestled between tours of dynamic wineries and opportunities to sample the incredible regional cuisine in Greece.  Tour the iconic Palace of Knossos ruins, pay private visits to renowned wine producers and soak up the atmosphere of these glorious islands on this epicurean seven-day holiday.

Itinerary

Day 1

Our tour begins with an early flight out of London’s Gatwick airport to the port city of Heraklion in Crete. We celebrate the start of this indulgent holiday with a welcome tasting, where we will be introduced to wines of the region, and afterwards we will sit down together for our first dinner as a group.

Day 2

This morning we pay a visit to Silva Daskalaki, an organic wine producer that uses both local Greek grape varieties and international ones, such as Sauvignon Blanc and Syrah. Afterwards, we travel to Douloufakis Winery, where Nikos Douloufakis has carried the generational torch and continued the winemaking legacy, focusing on improving quality and utilising a wide range of grape varietals. Later, there will be some free time in Heraklion before an independent dinner.

Day 3

We start our day with a guided tour of the legendary ruins of Knossos. Situated on the north point of the island’s main wine-producing area, the palace was semi-restored in the 1900s by Arthur Evans. A knowledgeable historian will take us around the magnificent site, illuminating us on the history as we go. Our next stop is Lyrarakis Winery, which offers a cross-section of old and new, from 14th century wine presses to its impressive modern tasting facility. Our tasting here will be followed by lunch on site. In the evening, we will visit Boutari, one of the most well-known Greek wine producers. This beautiful modern building is set on a small hill within its vineyards and here we enjoy both a tasting and dinner as the sun sets beyond the vines.

Situated on the north point of the island’s main wine-producing area, the palace was semi-restored in the 1900s by Arthur Evans. A knowledgeable historian will take us around the magnificent site, illuminating us on the history as we go. Our next stop is Lyrarakis Winery, which offers a cross-section of old and new, from 14th century wine presses to its impressive modern tasting facility. Our tasting here will be followed by lunch on site. In the evening, we will visit Boutari, one of the most well-known Greek wine producers. This beautiful modern building is set on a small hill within its vineyards and here we enjoy both a tasting and dinner as the sun sets beyond the vines.

Day 4

After a scenic ferry ride to Santorini, we experience the wines of Domaine Sigalas. Situated in the north of the island on the plain of Oia, this winery was founded in 1991 and has made excellent progress in the international wine world. We are treated to a sumptuous tasting as well as alfresco lunch here. In the afternoon, there will be leisure time to wander the streets of this stunning coastal town, which boasts whitewashed houses carved into rocky clifftops. Dinner tonight is independent and then we can return to our hotel to relax before another day of delicious visits.

Day 5

Today we take a short break from the world of wine to enjoy a brewery tour and tasting experience at the quirky Santorini Brewing Company. Next up, we pay a visit to Artemis Karamolegos. This is a dynamic winery that dates back to 1952 and the wines produced here have been recognised in numerous international wine competitions over the years. Their Assyrtiko is particularly good and there will be the opportunity to taste wines during our stop. In the afternoon, there will be some free time in Thira before we are welcomed warmly at Santo Wines, which sits high on the cliff on the outskirts of Pyrgos village. Enjoy stunning panoramic views of the caldera as we indulge in a tasting session and delicious dinner. With any luck, we will see one of the legendary sunsets this island is known for.

Day 6

The excavations at the archaeological site of Akrotiri unearthed one of the most important Minoan settlements in Greece and our guided tour of this area gets our day off to a truly captivating start. After exploring here, we visit the family run Venetsanos Winery, which was built in 1947 and was the first commercially exporting winery on the entire island. This sprawling cliffside building offers wonderful views over Caldera and we discover why gravity plays such an important role in the winemaking process during our tasting and tour. Later, we visit the 300-year-old winery, Gavalas George. Still very much a family enterprise, this winery produces excellent, crisp wines under the careful guidance and expertise of 4th generation George Gavalas. Our farewell dinner will take place this evening and there will be the chance to raise a glass to such a memorable week.

Day 7

This morning we return to the airport and catch our flight back home.

Guides

TBC

Wine Guide

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Return flights London to Heraklion*

*For UK bookings only

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Accommodation is a mixture of luxury hotels and charming wine estates throughout our journey.

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Most meals with wine as described in the itinerary

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Visits and tastings as per the itinerary

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Wine Guide & Tour Manager

 

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Contact Details

The Clock Tower,
Unit 4
Oakridge Office Park,
Southampton Road, Whaddon,
Salisbury, England, UK
SP5 3HT
01730 263111 (UK)
888-479-6040 (US)
sales@arblasterandclarke.com

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