Oia Village, Sigalas Winery & Nomikos Foundation
The first stop on your tour will be at the village of Oia, perhaps the most beautiful village on the island and certainly among the most photographed sites in all of Greece.
Oia was almost completely destroyed in the 1956 earthquake, but has been slowly restored continuing the ancient tradition of dwellings excavated from the cliff face, with the cave-like houses clinging to the slope of volcanic rock. The most picturesque of the two main village streets is paved with marble and lined with tiny shops, cafés and restaurants, all waiting to be explored with your guide.
If you prefer to set out on your own, you can lose yourself in the maze of tiny streets over the rock, looking at the strange and interesting houses, superb chapels, and abandoned mansions. The views from the cliff are quite amazing, offering the best photo opportunities on this endlessly fascinating island.
Next, you will visit the small winery of Sigalas. Wander through the vineyard and see the strange Santorini-style basket-like vines. Watch how the wine is produced on the premises and then sample the results yourself if you wish (at your own expense).
Your final stop is at the Nomikos Foundation. On display are fascinating three-dimensional photographic reproductions representing the prehistoric wall paintings of Akrotiri and offering a glimpse of what life was like in the 17th century BC. The terrace in front of the building offers great views of Fira, the main town.
Your tour ends with a ten-minute walk down to the cable car station. Guests who wish to stay in town to shop or explore independently are welcome to do so, but must make their own way back to the ship.
Expect crowding and long lines at the cable car station.
Corkage policy: Onboard corkage fee is waived for one bottle of wine per person per tour for wine purchased during this Holland America Line shore excursion.