Local flavor of Santorini, Greece via Azamara Quest
There are many ways to explore Santorini when visiting the island situated in the southern Aegean Sea. For me, it was about destination immersion, which was delivered via an exclusive tour offered by Azamara Quest. Guests who opted to get a sneak peek of the boutique cruise line’s new Cruise Global, Eat Local series, which will officially launch in 2015, headed off to the nearby town of Pyrgos Village.
The Cruise Global, Eat Local tour in Santorini was perfect for cruise foodies; there were five of us and we had an amazing time.
Heading off by tender, our small group was met by our local guide. On our way up the hill outside of Fira, we learned about the history, geography, and highlights of the island.
Before lunch we had a chance to learn about Pyrgos Village, which was once the island’s capital. The traditional Greek village offers cruise visitors a chance to experience an authentic local neighborhood. Not as touristy as Fira or Oia, this tour was perfect those craving destination immersion.
Upon arrival in Pyrgos, we had time for a walking tour. I was happy that I listened to the recommendation of the ship to wear comfortable walking shoes because our stroll (perhaps hike is a better word) ended up at the top of a street near the remains of a Venetian castle.
Cruise Global, Eat Local
The Land Discoveries description promised that we would eat at a typical place that locals frequented: and they were good on their word. We enjoyed a leisurely lunch that lasted for about two hours.
Our menu included: Kallisti Salad (a modified version of a Greek salad consisting of tomato, goat cheese, capers, olives), Fava (similar to hummus but made with fava beans), tomato fritters, stuffed tomatoes, grilled white eggplant; we had an option to select lamb stew or Mousaka as our main dish.
As an added bonus, we had a wine tasting and learned about the local wine industry while sipping white and red wines from a local vineyard.
What I liked
I liked that the Cruise Global, Eat Local tour allowed me a chance to hang out like a local for a few hours. Besides the great hospitality we received at the tavern, our group from the ship was well suited,. Because we all shared a passion for cuisine we had a lot to talk about. Since we also had a tour escort from the ship, we had everything organized for us so that we could just kick back and enjoy.
After lunch, we were dropped off in Fira where our group went their separate ways before heading back to the ship.