Photo by the Klugs, May 2014


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The Ship - Silver Spirit

Venice, Italy

Ravenna, Italy

Trogir, Croatia

Kotor, Montenegro

Corfu, Greece

Katakolon, Greece

Santorini, Greece

Kusadasi, Turkey

Istanbul, Turkey

Dikili, Turkey

Patmos, Greece

Rhodes, Greece

Mykonos, Greece

Athens, Greece

Santorini, Greece

What an extraordinarily beautiful island! We visited Santorini on our last cruise and now have the opportunity for two more visits. Last year we simply explored Fira and the town. May be on our upcoming visits there will be clear skies as it was overcast nearly all day last year. This trip we plan to do two excursions - one to Oia and the other to the Akrotiri Excavations.

Standing at the top of Fira elicits "oohs and ahhs" from your soul. Looking across the island and down to the caldera you can nearly imagine time past and the possibility that this was once the home of Atlantis. Warm, sunny with sweet breezes.

We did not realize that the site at Akrotiri had re-opened for tours. Wikipedia describes Akrotiri - "Akrotiri is a Minoan Bronze Age settlement on the volcanic Greek island of Santorini (Thera). The settlement was destroyed in the Theran eruption about 1627 BCE and buried in volcanic ash, which preserved the remains of fine Frescoes and many objects and artworks. The settlement has been suggested as a possible inspiration for Plato's story of Atlantis. The site has been excavated since 1967." When we visited last year it had just re-opened. This trip we will visit the site on our second stop.

For our first stop we will take a tour over to Oia, the town most photographed for the beautiful pastel colored houses and the windmill.



Map of Akrotiri

Akrotiri Excavations

(photo from Wikimedia Commons, Norbert Nagel)

Akrotiri Map (from Wikimedia Commons, Maximilian Dorrbecker)

Oia as seen from the Silver Wind sailing away from Santorini (photo by C Klug, May 2014)




What we plan to do:

16 June 2015 (First stop) - Profitis Ilias, Oia, Winery & Fira -

Experience the village life and spectacular scenery of Santorini during this four-hour island tour.
Pyrgos Drive past typical Greek houses, an ancient Venetian fortress and several Byzantine churches en route to the Profitas Elias. A brief stop here, the highest point of the island, offers a spectacular panorama of the caldera below. Leaving Pyrgos, re-board your coach for the drive to Oia.
Oia Nestled in a fertile countryside, the village of Oia is among the most picturesque towns of the Cyclades Islands. This dramatic little village, built on a steep slope of the caldera, has many of its dwellings nestled in niches hewn into the volcanic rock. Once the home of wealthy seafarers of the past; still evident are their two story mansions painted in a spectrum of pastel colors. As you traverse its narrow cobbled streets you will come across many tiny shops which offer a varied and unusual collection of handmade works of ceramic art, paintings and semi-precious jewelry. Coffee shops perched on the edge of the cliffs offer spectacular views of Fira and the volcano. Oia was once a major fishing harbour. Today, however, it is recognised as one of the most peaceful areas in the island chain. Following your walking tour of this quaint town, some free time is made available for you to take a leisurely stroll along the narrow, winding streets, and admire the beautiful old houses and charming, tiny shops.
Winery Departing Oia, your next stop is one of the local wineries to taste some of Santorini's better wines, renowned for their quality. A tour and explanation of the wine processes is followed by a wine-tasting accompanied by light snacks.
Upon returning to Firá Town, you may proceed to the cable car station, make your way down to the tender landing area and rejoin the ship, or remain in town to explore the town and return at your leisure. The ship's tenders depart from the pier at Skala Harbour, located just a few steps from the lower cable car terminus.

23 June 2015 (Second stop) - Silver Shore Collection – Akrotiri Excavations -

Discover the newly re-opened excavation site of famed Akrotiri during this half-day Silver Shore Collection.
In prehistoric times, the people who inhabited what today is known as Santorini, called the island Strongyle (round). These people enjoyed a high standard of living; they built two-story houses, tilled the earth and were skilled artists, recognising the beauty of colour.
Akrotiri's Destruction A volcanic eruption circa 1,600 B.C. destroyed all life on the island, and the island itself sank beneath the waves. Excavations at the archaeological site of Akrotiri document the existence of life on Strongyle, legendary Atlantis; although no written records have ever surfaced to support this. Marvelous frescoes were found in some of the houses and are now on display in the national archaeological museum in Athens.
Akrotiri Excavations Depart the ship by a local tender to Athinios, where you join the waiting motor-coach. Enjoy your scenic drive to the southern end of the island and the archaeological site of Akrotiri. The excavations at Akrotiri, led by Professor Spyros Marintos, began in 1967. It is an amazing city with houses, streets, squares and workshops, all of which had been covered under a thick blanket of pumice since 1,600 B.C. You are able to walk around this ancient city among well-preserved buildings, which will give you an insight into the ancient civilisation of Santorini, the center of a civilisation akin to the Minoans of Crete.
Self-Exploration After the tour of the excavations discover the nearby village and explore one of the 5 fortified settlements on the island in medieval times. (Optional walking tour on your own along the narrow streets of the village for access to this polygonal tower-castle and admiring the stunning views towards the south and west side of the island). At the end of tour, return through the beautiful countryside to Fira, the picturesque capital town of the island built on the rim of the caldera wall. Time permitting, enjoy the town at leisure or perhaps relax over a coffee and enjoy the magnificent panoramic views of the volcanic island, the caldera and the sea.





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