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Special Santorinian Treats

Santorini, Anafi & SikinosSpecial Santorinian Treats

I’ve mentioned some of these “special treats” specifically, above in my “Suggestions for Several Halfday Itineraries,” but you can also approach them alone, or combined with other activities:

The Boutari Winery (near Megalochori Village; Tel: 22860 81011, 81606; www.boutari.gr; santorini.winery@boutari.gr): There are myriad fine wineries on Santorini, and you may want to tour several facilities while you’re there. I can also recommend the Sigalas, Hadjidakis and Venetsanou wineries. But Boutari is just so elegant! There are films and displays here documenting the island’s history, tours and wine tastings, from April till end-October, Monday through Friday, 10:00 a.m. till 7:00 p.m. (last tour begins at 5:30 p.m.); and on Saturday and Sunday, from 11 a.m. till 7:00 p.m. (last tour beginning at 5:30 p.m.). I recommend a tour and tasting of wines from Boutari’s private vineyards; then, purchase some wine to drink later on your hotel balcony.

Aboard the Blue Lagoon

Cultural Centre Megaro Gyzi (in Phira, between the Catholic Cathedral and the Dominican Monastery, near the cable car; Tel: 22860 23077; www.megarogyzi.gr; info@megarogyzi.gr): Built in 1700, the Megaro Gyzi is one of the few grand residences of Phira to have survived the 1956 earthquake. Permanent exhibitions here include maps, paintings, costumes, historical documents and photographs which give visitors a richer picture of life on Santorini between the 16th and 19th centuries. Contact the Megaro for their summer program of fine arts and music. Open May through September: Daily, 10:30 a.m. till 1:30 p.m. and 5:00 p.m. till 8:00 p.m.; Sunday, 10:30 a.m. till 4:30 p.m.; October: Daily, 10:00 a.m. till 4:00p.m.; Sunday, 10:00 a.m. till 4:00 p.m.

The Petros M. Nomikos Conference Centre (in Phira, near the cable cars; Tel: 22860 23016-19; Fax: 22860 23020; www.idryma-theras.org.gr; info@idryma-theras.org.gr): By all means, visit the “Wall Paintings of Thera” exhibition here, which comprises three-dimensional, life-sized reproductions of the wall paintings, and the rooms they decorated, at Ancient Akrotiri. And access the Thera Foundation website to find out what other exhibitions and events may be scheduled here at the time of your visit to the island.

The Monkeys Wall Painting

Santorini Sailing (Santorini Yacht Marina, near Vlychada Beach; Tel: Cell phone: 6944241162; www.santorinisailing.com; santorinisailing@att.net): Charter Ted and Dina Stathis’s 41-foot-long, 26-foot-wide catamaran, the Blue Lagoon, or the 43-foot-long Triton, for private or shared excursions lasting a morning, evening, or longer, and see the caldera, the dramatic south coast, or Anafi island from a completely unique perspective. The Stathises are gourmet chefs, as well, so that boat-top or beach-side barbecue is going to be delicious.

Vassilis Apostolopoulos, Physiotherapist/Masseur 

Doris Athanassakis, Masseuse

Vassilis has trained in formal body work, Chinese medicine, Shiatsu, and reflexology all over Europe, but the man has a true natural gift--"good hands"--for relieving longstanding pain, spinal problems and energy imbalances. He's legendary in my own Santorini "parea" (group of friends), but also practices in Athens, from December through March. Doris Athanassakis, my very best friend, has now joined Vassilis's practice and provides relaxing or lymphatic-drainage massage combined with aromatherapy. Call 6978066902 or  6970886581 (the couple's mobile numbers) or 22860 28645 (Santorini home phone) to book appointments; or e-mail vasilisapostolopulos68@gmail.com or d.athanassakis@gmail.com. Your massage may be done in the village of Imerovigli, at a wonderful spot on the caldera, or at your hotel.

Your Own Wedding in Oia? Contact my old friend Markos Karvounis, of Karvounis Tours in Oia. He’s arranged over 600 weddings in this picturesque little town (Tel: 22860 71290, 71292; www.idogreece.com; mkarvounis@otenet.gr), but I wouldn’t try to do it in the height of summer, necessarily, when Oia resembles Myrtle Beach or Daytona, only with cliffs.

Santorini wedding party