The Aegean and Ephesus

“If you go back to the Greeks and Romans, they talk about all three – wine, food, and art – as a way of enhancing life.” – Robert Mondavi

Santorini - that most quintessential of Greek Isles and at the top of just about every traveler’s bucket list -, is the crescent-shaped jewel of the Aegean. The oft-pictured landscape summons up the very image of Greece for those who have been fortunate enough to visit and for those who still dream of its whitewashed Cycladic walls and brilliant blue domes.

Start with history – the Akrotiri excavation site is a must. Here, the Minoan Bronze Age settlement resurfaces bit by bit, almost perfectly preserved due to the volcanic eruption that covered it in the second millennium BC. You’ll stroll among three-story buildings that survived, winding roads, drainage systems and stashes of almost-intact pottery – this is as close to time travel as it gets!

With more than a million and a half visitors annually, the island is popular, yes, but with our help, you can whisk away for private moments. Embark on an exclusive catamaran journey, sailing into the caldera, visiting hot springs, gazing at towering multi hued volcanic cliffs and snorkeling before a BBQ dinner as the sun melts into the Aegean Sea.

The beaches are divine, boasting white, red or black sand, or volcanic pebbles, dramatic rock formations and lunar-like landscapes.

Venture to Fira, the island’s capital, perched high on the edge of the caldera – together with Oia, Imerovigli and Firostefani, these villages make up the “caldera’s eyebrow.” Stroll through vast vineyards, narrow streets and overflowing gardens – the island’s rich volcanic earth gives an exquisite twist of taste to its locally grown products, especially its famous cherry tomatoes and white eggplants. Oenophiles will gravitate toward the Assyrtiko, Athyri, Aidani, Mantilaria and Mavrotragano varieties and we can arrange tastings at celebrate wineries – some of which also operate as interesting museums.

Our younger guests are particularly smitten with a kid-centric musical experience performed at a 13th-century Venetian tower. Here you’ll drink in panoramic views while marveling over ancient Greek folk instruments and enjoy a live performance. The children are invited to engage in a musical journey, even constructing their own folk instrument to take home as a precious island souvenir.

An island that has surely long lived in your imagination, Santorini comes alive in its ancient history, exquisite beauty, welcoming hospitality and magical intrigue.