Category: Wine

Mykonos activities, tours & other things to do 2022

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Activities and tours available on Mykonos in 2022

Images from some popular Mykonos activity and tour providers, from top left: Mykonos Horseland; Mykonos Raceland go-kart center; Mykonos Kayak; Maria-Eleni Sfaellou from Bespoke Mykonos guided tours; a cooking class at Mykonos Spiti & Farm; Kite Mykonos; a Mykonos Phototour picture of the Armenistis lighthouse; Yummy Pedals e-bikes; animals at the Mykonos Spiti farm; kids on a horse riding lesson at IPPOS Mykonos.

 

 

Editor’s note: This post is still under construction, as we continue to add more activities and attractions

 

Beyond the bars and beaches: Mykonos may be famous for its beaches, boutiques and nightlife, but there’s a lot more to do on the island than just sunbathe, swim, party or shop ’til you drop. Activities abound for visitors, whether they’re travelling solo, as a couple, with family or in a group — either visiting the island just for the day on a cruise stop, or staying on Mykonos for a few days or an extended holiday.

Want to go sightseeing? There’s a wide variety of guided tours available that will show you scenic off the main tourist path parts of the island either on foot, by bicycle, on horseback, or in a jeep or other vehicle.

Are you a foodie who’d like to take a cooking class, taste traditional Greek dishes, or learn about olive oil or cheese making? Or are you more interested in sampling local craft beer or wine, either at a craft brewery or local vineyard, or on a private scenic tour? There’s a number of tours focussed on food and wine, as well as specialized cooking classes and demonstrations, wine or beer tastings, and more.

Looking for fitness, fun outdoor activities or watersports?  You can choose from kayaking; horseback riding; windsurfing, kitesurfing & boarding; yoga, pilates & other fitness classes; go-karting; and boat, sailboat and yacht tours and excursions galore.

If you’re a history and culture buff,  the ruins and archaeological site of Delos island — a UNESCO World Heritage Site — are a must-visit, and easily reached by boats that depart from a pier near the town hall in Mykonos Town. There’s several interesting museums, along with a municipal art gallery and a number of excellent private art galleries that showcase works by Greek and international artists.

And for evening entertainment, how about watching a movie under the stars at the Cine Manto outdoor cinema in the heart of Mykonos Town?

Below, and on page 2 of this post, we spotlight those and other top Mykonos attractions and activities:

 

 

Guided tours, sightseeing excursions and day trips to other islands

 

Two Delos Tours vessels docked at the Delos island port

The most popular partial day trip/tour excursion available on Mykonos is one of the daily boat trips to nearby Delos island, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the most important and historic archaeological sites in all of Greece. (Admission to the site costs €8 per person, payable at the entrance gate.) Since the 1970s, the Mykonos-based family business Delos Tours has been operating boats that ferry tourists to Delos to explore the ancient ruins of what was once a thriving and wealthy cosmopolitan port city. From April until the end of October, the Delos Tours boats make daily return trips (weather conditions permitting), and visitors can either buy €22 per person tickets for just the boat transfer so they can see Delos at their own pace, or they can purchase €60 per person tickets for organized tours that include the boat trip, entrance to the site, and a guided tour of the ruins by a certified tourist guide. (Guided tours are free for children under 6 years old, and €30 for kids aged 6 to 12.) Full details of boat and guided tour schedules, and online ticket booking, are available on the Delos Tours website.

 

Tour activities offered by Kyklomar Tours on Mykonos

Operating for the past 27 years, Kyklomar Tours will resume its popular series of excursions and private tours this spring. Its City and Island Tours start on April 3, while its Jeep Safaris will begin on April 18. Tours to Delos island start May 2, Tinos island day trips on May 3, south coast boat cruises on May 21, and sunset cruises on May 22. A Wine & Culture tour can be booked anytime upon request.  The company also offers transfer services. Full details of the tours, including start times, meeting points and prices, are outlined on the Kyklomar Tours website

 

Yummy Pedals Mykonos bicycle and hiking tours

Open for bookings and requests throughout the year, Yummy Pedals began operating its guided bicycle and hiking tours on March 15.  Yummy Pedals offers a variety of half- and full-day adventures for people of all ages and abilities, with excursions tailor-made for singles, couples, families, honeymooners, and cruise passengers.  Romantic escapes and special events can be arranged, and electric bikes are available for booking.

 

Mykonos Excursions tours and activities on Mykonos

A part of the Mykonian Spiti farm and cooking class business, Mykonos Excursions offers an extensive array of adventures and activities, including cooking demonstrations and classes; farm visits; hiking, walking and jeep tours; sunset and southern beach cruises; island tours; and even a day trip to Andros island.  Their season started in March.

 

Blue Lion jeep safari tours on Mykonos

Again this year, Blue Lion Safari is offering its selection of private and semi-private specialized Jeep tours of Mykonos.  The options include 5-hour private and semi-private morning tours and sunset tours through northern regions of Mykonos; a 10-hour full day private tour; and a special occasion private tour that will be customized to private a unique adventure experience on Mykonos. The tours include a meal and wine stop along the way. Maps and descriptions of the tour itineraries, along with contact information, are available on the Blue Lion Safari website.

 

Mykonos Photo Tour

Mykonos Photo Tour returns April 24, offering private island photo tours and photography shoots, location guides and travel coordination services hosted by its founder, Achim Eckhardt

 

Maria-Eleni Sfaellou of Bespoke Mykonos private guided tours

 Private guided tours on Mykonos are available now from licensed tour guide Maria-Eleni Sfaellou of Bespoke Mykonos. Starting on April 1, Maria-Eleni also will be available to provide guided tours at the Delos island archaeological site. 

 

 

 

Food, beer and wine-focussed tours, classes and activities

 

Photos of Mykonian Spiti and Farm on Mykonos island

One of the island’s best-known food and farm attractions, Mykonian Spiti & Farm hosts cooking classes and demonstrations, wine tastings, and tours of its farm. Located in the island’s Messaria district, Mykonian Spiti offers day and evening cooking classes hosted by Teta Fragedaki. The spiti’s other activities include wine tastings, traditional lunches and dinners, a farm bakery class with lunch, a farm barbecue, olive oil tasting, and a variety of experiences — ideal for children — on the farm.

 

Rizes Folklore Farmstead on Mykonos

Photo collage from the website for Rizes Folklore Farmstead & Restaurant Mykonos

A 5-acre property in the Maou area near Ano Mera, Rizes Folklore Farmstead offers guided tours of a re-created Chorio (traditional Myconian farmstead), including its house; chapel; vineyard, olive grove and vegetable garden; wine pressing vat; cheese workshop; folklore exhibitions; stable, dovecote and chicken coop; and a visit with the domestic farm animals. Cooking and bread baking classes also are offered.  In addition, the farmstead has a popular restaurant where visitors can enjoy freshly-cooked traditional meals, including  homemade pies, salads and spreads, and vegetable and meat dishes, all prepared according to Greek and Myconian recipes and techniques, and made primarily with local ingredients and products.  On Sundays, Rizes presents live Greek folk music entertainment, and hosts party feasts to celebrate national holidays and important religious events. During winter, Rizes was open only on weekends, but since April 16 has been open every day from noon until 9 p.m.

 

Mykonos Vioma Organic Farm & Winery

April 1 is opening day for Mykonos Vioma Organic Farm & Winery, located in the Maou area near Ano Mera. Operated by the Asymomitis family, the farm offers daily free guided tours that show visitors its biodynamic cultivation and wine making techniques. The farm also hosts tastings of their wines and local products, and kids can meet and play with the farm’s four-legged residents. 

 

Tour in Mykonian Land on Mykonos

The unique Tour in Mykonian Land experiences return on April 1. The two-hour guided tours of an estate in the Marathi area take visitors through an olive grove, vineyard and wine press facility, and conclude at the on-site taverna. There, guests are treated to traditional live music entertainment while they sample local food delicacies and some of the estate’s wines and olive oil. 

 

 

Mykonos Farmers cooking class workshop

Located in the Agios Lazaros area, Mykonos Farmers is a facility that specializes in the production of Mykonian cheeses (including the spicy Mykonos Kopanisti cheese) and other dairy products using traditional methods. Visitors are welcome to drop in for a tour of the facilities, and to sample the products. Mykonos Farmers also offers interactive cooking workshops that will introduce participants to cheese making, along with recipes to take home. Tours and workshops are available for large and small groups alike.

 

Anita Zachou of Mykonos Olive Oil Tasting

From May 15 to October 15, Anita Zachou of Mykonos Olive Oil Tasting will again host her group tasting workshops every afternoon. Private tasting sessions, special event tasting parties, on-yacht sessions and children’s workshops also are available. Full details of the company’s tasting sessions and activities, as well as booking and contact information, are available on the Mykonos Olive Oil Tasting website.

 

Mykonos Brewing Company

Mykonos Brewing Company is the island’s first, and only, craft brewery, and makes the local Mikonu brand of beers.  Located in the Argyraina area just outside Mykonos Town, the brewery is a complete brewhouse and taproom in an underground facility that once housed the island’s bowling alley. Visitors can advance book tours and tasting sessions, or can simply walk in to visit the taproom and sample the brews.  The taproom has windows offering a view of the brewery production area, and “is a family friendly, pet friendly, snack friendly, board game friendly space with a bar and table seating area.” The taproom is open year-round; its hours of operation for the spring and summer are Monday through Friday from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.

 

The Wine Society Mykonos

The Wine Society exclusive wine tastings return on April 1, along with other unique holiday experiences curated by Georgia and Stelios, co-owners of Your Concierge. Their company’s one-of-a-kind activities include a variety of walking tours (a morning excursion that includes a breakfast break; an evening tour that includes a stop for a cocktail, and another that features a beach picnic); a souvlaki cooking class; a Greek cocktail masterclass; and a fish meze picnic at a secret beach. Your Concierge also can create customized private tours and memorable activities for visitors celebrating special occasions. Their experiences can be scheduled for anytime between April 1 and October 31. Full descriptions and details of the various experiences can be found on the Mykonos Experiences page of the Your Concierge website.

 

 

Open-air movie entertainment

 

Cine Manto outdoor cinema on Mykonos

Cine Manto is an outdoor cinema located in a beautiful botanical garden oasis in the heart of Mykonos Town.  Open from the beginning of June until the end of September, it presents a nightly roster of original release, first-run movies (usually in English, with Greek subtitles).  Besides the nightly Hollywood entertainment, Cine Manto boasts a cafe-restaurant which operates from 10 a.m. to 1 a.m. daily, offering a unique, tree-shaded spot to escape the hustle and bustle of Mykonos and relax with a reasonably-priced breakfast, lunch or BBQ dinner meal and beverages.  The garden also hosts special events as well as mosaic workshops and morning yoga classes offered by Sweat Vacay (you’ll find information about both of those activities on page 2 of that post.

 

Please click on the link below to continue reading on page 2, where we profile fitness, sports and outdoor fun activities; cultural attractions and activities; and boat, sailboat and yacht tours and excursions.

 

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Greece Is magazine profiles food, culture and fascinating places in and near Thessaloniki

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Cover image for Greece Is magazine 2022 Thessaloniki edition

The cover of the 2022 issue of Thessaloniki, a special-edition magazine published in November by Greece Is 

 

City spotlight: We’ve got some good reading to look forward to during our holiday season downtime, thanks to the latest magazine published by Greece Is — an issue devoted entirely to notable places, sights and historic attractions in Greece’s second largest city, Thessaloniki, and its environs.

The city is on our bucket list of places we hope to visit in Greece within the next several years, so the new magazine — released in late November — will be a helpful resource for researching and planning our visit, whenever it might happen.

The main stories in this issue that caught our attention include:

♦   “The city in five walks,” a guide that invites readers to “head down to the sea, stroll through the narrow streets of the city center, visit some old haunts and new spots, and explore options for culture, entertainment and food.”

♦   A “Foodie Guide” to “new and classic” places to enjoy wonderful food and drink;

♦   “In the Xinomavro Zone,” a road trip through the Amyntaio-Naoussa wine region;

♦   “The sound of the city,” a guide to the Thessaloniki music scene “from its glorious past to its superb present”;

♦   two articles showcasing art and architecture: “Timeless Byzantine City,” which examines some of the city’s Byzantine-era monuments, and “Memories & Mansions,” which takes a look at buildings in the historic Exoches area;

♦   “In the shadow of Athos,” a tour of the historic monasteries at Mt Athos;

♦   “Mt Olympus: The three peaks challenge,” an account of a one-day climb to the highest points “on the mountain of the gods”;

♦   “Aigai reaches new heights,” an article about a new world-class museum scheduled to open in 2022 at Vergina, site of the former capital of ancient Macedonia; and

♦   the feature piece “Aristotle University of Thessaloniki,” which profiles “southeastern Europe’s largest institute of higher education.”

 

Greece Is magazine foodie guide to Thessaloniki

Thessaloniki recently became the first Greek city included in the UNESCO global network of Creative Cities of Gastronomy.  The latest Greece Is magazine’s “Foodie Guide” spotlights some of the “new and classic” dining establishments that have helped put Thessaloniki on the world’s culinary map.

 

Not-to-be-missed reads for anyone planning to visit Thessaloniki in 2022 include:

♦   “New arrivals,” which offers a peek at two recently opened hotels, a gallery, a food spot and a new Aegean Airlines lounge at Thessaloniki International Airport;

♦   “The cool factor” — a collection of insider city tips and secrets shared by six local influencers; and

♦   “Always something on” — an agenda of upcoming major exhibitions and cultural performances.

While we can’t wrap our hands around a physical copy of the Thessaloniki magazine since we’re not in Greece at the moment to pick one up, we — and you — can conveniently access a digital version on Issuu.com to either read online or download.

Greece Is has previously published six other special magazine issues focussed on Thessaloniki. If you’re interested in reading any of those, you can find digital versions on Issuu.com.

The Greece Is publishing portal is one of our favourite sources of reliable advice, inside information and fascinating insights into Greece destinations, travel, culture, arts, architecture, food and much more.  If you’re not already familiar with the brand, here are links to its website, Instagram profile and Facebook page, all of which are filled with photos of beautiful places in Greece and links to a treasure trove of information to inspire and assist your travels:

Web: The main Greece Is online portal contains a vast collection of feature articles, photos, news items, blog posts, Greek product profiles, and more.

Instagram: @greece_is

Facebook: @my.greece.is 

Twitter: @MyGreeceIs

Top Greece travel reads of 2019: Greek food and wine

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Screenshot of Aegean Blue Magazine Issue 80 article about Vegan food in Greece

“Long before it became a fashionable trend and part of a new philosophy, dishes without any meat or animal products were a fundamental part of Greek cuisine, and they remain so today,” says the introduction to an Aegean Airlines in-flight magazine article about vegan food.

 

Feta. Greek Yogurt. Plant-based cuisine. Local Greek Island specialties. Wine bars in Athens. Vineyards open to visitors. These are a few of my favourite things in Greece, and they’re also the subject of magazine and newspaper articles I found particularly informative and instructive to read in 2019.  If you love food and wine yourself, and have a trip to Greece in your sights for 2020 (or later), the publications I spotlight in this post will give you an advance taste of the culinary and oenophilic delights you can plan to experience.

The articles I have selected as best reads for 2019 cover some topics that interest me personally, and others that will be useful to people who have emailed me or asked questions on social media or online travel forums that I regularly follow, like the Greece forum on TripAdvisor.

For instance, there’s a question that has become increasingly common in the past couple of years: “Will I be able to find vegan food & restaurants in Greece?” The answer: “Absolutely!” Brand-new restaurants specializing in vegan cuisine have been popping up in Athens, Mykonos and other major tourist destinations in recent years, while many existing eateries have been adding a range of vegan dishes to their menus to meet rapidly rising customer demand. But even in off-the-tourist-path places, travellers won’t have any trouble finding delicious meals that haven’t been prepared with meat or animal products.

As writer Nana Daroti notes in the article Vegan: Made in Greece, which starts at page 110 in Issue 80 of Blue, the Aegean Airlines on-board magazine,  Greeks are devoted to vegetable dishes known generally as ladera, and which can be found everywhere from “summer seaside tavernas to mountain retreats.”

“Olive oil, vegetables, beans and grains play leading roles in Greek recipes, not because they’re fashionable, but because they’re encoded in the Greek DNA,” Daroti explains.

For me, a far more difficult challenge than finding vegan food is shopping for wine in Greece, and not just because the labels on many bottles are written only in Greek.  Since we’re not familiar with local varietals and vineyards, we can never be certain what might suit our palates, and often wind up choosing a bottle at random and hoping we like it. We’ve found some pleasurable hits that way, but also some sorry misses. Happily, buying wine should be considerably less confusing on future holidays thanks to Wine Plus Magazine, which devoted its 2019 summer edition (Issue 57, pictured below) to all things a visitor needs to know about Greek wine.

In a welcome message, Editor Maria Netsika says the issue takes readers on “a journey through the wines of Greece … a travelogue to pleasure.” The Wine Plus trip itinerary includes the regions of Thrace, Macedonia, Epirus, Thessaly, Central Greece, the Peloponnese, Aegean islands, Ionian islands, and Crete, and visits not only the country’s leading vineyards, but also lesser-known wine makers. For each region, the magazine suggests “must try” and “must buy” local cuisine and food products, and provides directions to vineyards and wineries to help visitors plan their “oenotourism stops” in whatever area of Greece they may be travelling. Directories highlight specific regional wines, and conveniently include photos of the bottles.

Cover of issue 57 of The Wine Plus Magazine special issue on Greek wines

The Summer 2019 edition of The Wine Plus Magazine is a veritable encyclopedia of Greek wine, packed with everything you need to know about Greek grapes, vineyards, wine regions, production, and more.  

 

Please turn to page 2 to see more of my favourite articles about Greek food, wine and beverages from 2019.

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Getting a taste of Greek wines before my upcoming trip

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A Taste of Greece in Toronto

Sampling Kamara Winery‘s Malagouzia 2015 at Taste of Greece, a special event held in Toronto by Wine Align and  New Wines of Greece 

 

Vintage Greece: Sunday May 15 was a bizarre day here in Toronto, bringing us weather from all four seasons in less than 24 hours — snow flurries, sleet, rain, high winds and occasional breaks of sunshine. But it was nice and toasty inside a special events hall at the Royal Ontario Museum, where hundreds of people got to enjoy a taste of Greece for a few hours and forget they were actually in chilly Toronto.

The event was Taste of Greece: Brilliant Wines, Inspiring Food, Timeless Culture, and featured hundreds of product tastings offered by nearly 50 different wineries from all over Greece.

New Wines of Greece

Some of the 500 people who packed a special events hall in Toronto to taste hundreds of wines from nearly 50 different Greek wineries (Photo from the New Wines of Greece Facebook page.)

 

Taste of Greece took place at a perfect time for me personally — just two weeks before I fly to Greece for my next holiday — and gave me some inspiration for wines to look for while we are exploring the Peloponnese.

But besides giving me and 500 other people a unique opportunity to sample dozens of Greek wines under one roof, Taste of Greece was providing support for a good cause. 

 

 

Proceeds from the event, which was hosted by WineAlign and presented by New Wines of Greece,  will assist the Friends of Boroume charity, a non-profit organization committed to reducing food waste and distributing surplus food to the needy throughout Greece.

Similar Taste of Greece events also were held in Montreal on May 11 and New York City on May 18.

For those of you Down Under, you’ll get your own chance to experience a taste of Greece when New Wines of Greece returns to Australia for the second time in June with events in Sydney, Melbourne and Adelaide. Click here to see details on the New Wines of Greece website.

 

A Taste of Greece Toronto

The Toronto wine tasting was one of 3 Taste of Greece events in North America this month —  the other two took place in Montreal and New York City. Similar events will be held in Australia in June.

Up-and-coming small wineries to watch and visit in the Cyclades

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Manalis Winery Sikinos

Wines produced by Manalis Winery on Sikinos (pictured below) are displayed on the winery’s open-air restaurant and events terrace, which offers spectacular views of the sea and nearby islands. Both photos are from galleries in the Manalis Winery website.

 

Manalis Winery Sikinos Greece

 

Cycladic vintners: Winery tours and tastings will be on the agenda for thousands of tourists visiting Santorini this year, no doubt because of the island’s worldwide fame for its local Assyrtiko varietal. 

As I reported in a post on January 21 2014,  Wine Enthusiast magazine cited Santorini and two other Aegean islands in its listing of the world’s top 10 wine travel destinations for 2014. Not surprisingly, winery tours have long been ranked among the leading attractions on TripAdvisor’s chart of Things to do in Santorini. In fact, as of May 17, Santo Wines was the #5-rated attraction on the island, while the Venetsanos Winery and the Koutsoyannopoulos Wine Museum ranked in the top 20 out of almost 300 key attractions on Santorini.

But while the Santorini wineries are attracting the warmest glow of international attention for now, several small wineries on nine other Cyclades islands could be basking in the limelight soon.

Earlier this year, the excellent culture and gastronomy website Greece Is published an informative article entitled 11+1 Unknown, Small Wineries in the Cyclades. Written by Nikoleta Makryonitou, the article notes that the wineries she mentions are among the smallest in the world, so they aren’t top destinations for wine lovers just yet. “Still, there has been a rise in the production of bottled wines and a turn to quality, which are creating high expectations for the near future,” she observes.

 

 

Her article profiles the following wineries, most of which will arrange tours or visits if contacted in advance:

Moraitis Winery on Paros (the only one of the bunch that I have personally visited for wine tastings)

Moraitiko on Paros

Manalis Winery on Sikinos

♦ Korres Family Winery on Naxos

Konstantakis Cave Winery on Milos

Syros Winery on Syros

Mykonos Vioma Organic Farm & Vineyard on Mykonos

♦ Kipos Xydaki on Mykonos

♦ Tinian Vineyards on Tinos

♦ Fonsos Winery on Tinos

♦ Votsari Wines on Sifnos, and

♦  Chrysoloras Vineyards on Serifos

Click here to read Nikoleta’s full article, and be sure to bookmark it for reference should you happen to be island-hopping in the Cyclades this summer. The article provides contact telephone numbers for the various wineries so you can call them directly to inquire about available tours or to arrange visits.

Also take a good look around the Manalis Winery website, where you can view dozens of photos showing the breathtaking, to-die-for views from the winery’s restaurant terrace and special events veranda.  People rave about the amazing views from Santo and other wineries on Santorini, but I think the images show that the views and scenery from Manalis are equally impressive.

Manalis Winery Sikinos

The hillside terrace at Manalis Winery on Sikinos has spectacular views of the Aegean Sea and other islands (Photo from the winery website.) 

Wine Enthusiast features Greece’s Aegean Islands on list of top 10 wine travel destinations for 2014

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View toward Oia on Santorini

This is just part of the jaw-dropping caldera view that tourists enjoy while visiting SantoWines on Santorini. At upper right is the clifftop village of Imerovigli, while in the distance beyond the cruise ships is the scenic village of Oia. This photo appears in Wine Enthusiast Magazine’s profile of the Greek Aegean Islands as one of 2014’s top wine travel destination.

 

 

All about the Assyrtiko: A leading international wine magazine has named Greece’s Aegean Islands as one of the world’s top wine travel destinations for 2014.

The listing by Wine Enthusiast Magazine cites three islands in particular as great places for oenophiles to visit this year: Santorini, Samos and Crete.

“With whitewashed villages that cling to steep hillsides, which drop precipitously toward the deep blue sea, few people think of the Aegean Islands as a wine destination. But if you look carefully, you will see that the island of Santorini is essentially one large farm, Samos has terraced vineyards on Mount Ambelos, and Crete is home to a variety of white and red grapes,” writers Mike DeSimone & Jeff Jenssen observe.

The magazine’s profile of the Aegean Islands wine destinations includes tips on things to see and do, places to dine, where to stay, and of course where to taste the local wine.

It recommends visiting the SantoWines facility on Santorini (seen in the photo above) to taste wines while enjoying the fabulous scenery and watching one of the island’s legendary sunsets. 

“In Crete, sit back in a comfortable reclining chair, sample a variety of wines and learn about the history of Greek winemaking at Boutari’s state-of-the-art theater. On Samos, visit the Malagari Winery, part of the Union of Vinicultural Cooperatives of Samos, to sample the local sweet wines and to visit the Samos Wine Museum,” the profile adds.

You can read the full Aegean Island profile, as well as the listings for nine other top wine travel destinations, in the Top Wine Getaways feature on the Wine Enthusiast Magazine website.