Wine Tour Greece
Wine tour Greece - A quick intro ...
A wine tour to Greece is island hopping and wine tasting while enjoying a cool sea breeze, isn’t that great a great idea? Greece is, thanks to its many wine regions on the islands and the mainland, a wonderful destination for a wine tour that you will not soon forget. Moreover, it has everything for you for an authentic wine experience from delicious wines to authentic charming bed & breakfasts and other accommodation such as wine hotels, beautiful 3, 4 and 5 star hotels, with or without golf courses and spa or simply between the vineyards in a relaxing environment. Let’s not forget the Greek cuisine that completes your wine experience.
A wine tour through Greece, both on the islands and the mainland, gives you the unique opportunity to discover the still beautiful and authentic side of this wonderful country. One thing is certain, you can quickly fall under the charm.
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What are the wine regions and most beautiful wine routes to visit during a wine trip to Greece?
Wineroundtrips.com organizes wine tours for you to the wine destination in Greece of your choice. Greece is a well-known and popular tourist destination. That’s for good reason. All the places, islands and regions mentioned above have developed their own unique charm over the centuries. Curiously enough, wine has been grown in Greece for much, much longer than it is known as a tourist destination, but remains relatively unknown to this day when it comes to its fine wines except in the Greek restaurants where we now and then like to go once upon a time.
The culinary dishes on the islands will mainly consist of fish recipes. Whether you go for a grilled octopus fresh from the baking tray sprinkled with delicious local Greek olive oil or a freshly caught fish prepared locally, each island has its own local preparation of a certain well-known dish. The uniqueness of the islands is that on every island where wine is grown, you are served delicious matching local wine.
Below you can read how each wine region has made its unique wines, known grape varieties such as Merlot, Chardonnay and Syrah, but also local varieties that most of us don’t know such as the Xinomavro. These unique yet unknown wines certainly deserve to be discovered on an authentic wine tour to Greece. Combining one or more places is certainly possible.
Wine regions Greece
On the mainland :
Thrace is known as the birthplace of Dionysus, the Thrace God of wine and as the supplier of wine to the Byzantine empire.
Thrace is a region shared between Bulgaria, Turkey and Greece. The Greek part is a province at the extreme northeastern tip of Greece near Turkey and, together with Macedonia, is one of the oldest wine-producing areas in Europe. Thanks to a favorable climate and proximity to the Aegean Sea, the region has been producing its unique wines for centuries. Driving a wine route combined with Macedonia is the ideal solution to explore this little visited part of Greece.
During a few days driving around this region to discover the best wineries, you will be amazed not only by the quality of the wines but also the friendliness of the people.
Not only will you discover delicious wines, the nature lover will also be suprised. Beautiful beaches, the Giola lagoon – a natural swimming pool by the sea – and authentic villages with a cultural mix between the Greek Orthodox and some Islamic heritage of the various former Ottoman rule make Thrace a unique authentic destination.
The region west of Thrace, Macedonia is better known for the second largest city in Greece, Thessaloniki. The region is also known for attractions such as Mount Athos with its monasteries and monks. These monks also grow grapes that make a unique wine. Other attractions during a wine tour to this unique region are Thessaloniki with its Byzantine fortress, harbour, and beautiful churches, and deeper west Mount Olympus. Of course, there is much more to see.
Macedonia is a fairly large region. Not only does this translate into many places of interest, it also translates into an unbelievably wide range of grape varieties and wines. Within the region of Macedonia, a total of 8 wine routes have been mapped out, each with its particularities and geographical features and local dishes that you do not want to miss. To complete your wine experience, the region offers authentic accommodation on wine farms where you can also enjoy fun activities such as horse riding in the vineyards and mountains, participate in wine crushing and of course wine tasting at special wineries.
Epirus is a region in the western part of Greece on the border with Albania next to the more famous Greek island of Corfu. This region does not produce quantity, but quality wines influenced by mountains, sun and sea. The wine cultivation takes place between the mountains which provide unique landscapes for the wine lover who is also an amateur of photography. In addition to well-known grape varieties, local grape varieties are also grown.
It is one of the best kept secrets of Greece with its preserved authenticity. The largest city in the region, Ioannina which has a beautiful centre with tiled streets. Other must-see places are the mountain villages such as Zagoria, archaeological sites from ancient Greece such as Vradeto, and beautiful beaches. On a culinary level, the region also offers local dishes and authentic accommodation.
Thessaly is the region in central Greece between roughly Athens and the Adriatic Sea and best known for the Meteora monastery complex located on high standalone rocks. It is also one of the better wine places of this region. Thanks to the many mountains and unique grape varieties, the region produces many special wines.
In addition to the many special wines, the region is also full of beautiful sights that you definitely want to see during your wine tour to this region. Of course, you want to visit the Meteora monastery complex which is listed on the UNESCO world heritage list, but not only. Other places of interest are the unique landscapes with the villages with high cliffs in the background, such as Kastraki, Lake Plastiras, the beautiful beaches of Pelion and much more. On a culinary level you will also find plenty of unique dishes that you must have tasted.
If you want to do a city trip and combine it with wine tasting in beautiful wineries, then Athens is a perfect destination for you. The Greek capital is located in the middle of the wine region of Attica. The beautiful wine hotels, some by the sea, if you prefer to avoid the bustle of the capital, offer you a unique wine experience. Also, on a culinary level there is no shortage of many top restaurants, many with a view of the Acropolis. Some employ their own sommelier. Even during a wine city trip to Athens, you can experience an entirely authentic wine experience.
On the islands :
The Ionian islands are located on the western side of Greece and are mainly known for their beautiful white beaches where it can get very busy especially in the summer months. Still, you can avoid mass tourism here by going on a wine tour to these islands. Indeed, the Ionian Islands are not really known for their delicious wines made here. The island with the main wine production is Kefalonia. While the most important grape variety in Kefalonia is the Avgoustiatis, in Corfu it is the Kakotrygis and the Petrokorithos.
Lemnos or Limnos is an island in the northern part of the Aegean Sea with a volcanic subsoil that allows only very specific grape varieties to grow on it. The Alexandria variety, together with the more famous Muscat, supplies the vast majority of the vineyard area.
When you visit Lemnos on a wonderful wine tour through Greece and from island to island, you can expect small-scale authentic wine farms, some of which produce organic wines. During your stay on Lemnos you will stay in a hotel from where a transfer will be arranged for you to the daily tastings. If you have other ideas, for example a few days on one side and a few days on a different corner of the island, just let us know and we will arrange that for you.
Tinos is located in the northern Cyclades Islands at more or less the same latitude as the capital Athens. Thanks to a dry, sunny and windy climate and the location of the vineyards grown in a hilly landscape, the island of Tinos has managed to develop unique wines. Not only well-known Greek varieties are grown here such as the Assyrtiko, Avgoustiatis, Malagousia, Mandilaria or the Mavrotragano, local varieties such as the Koumari, Potamissi, and the Rozaki will also contribute to the unique wines of this island.
Besides fine wines, Tinos is a beautiful island with traditional white houses and beautiful beaches where it can be busy especially in summer. At Tinos we have selected beautiful, more secluded, authentic cottages, bed & breakfasts and hotels for you with all modern basic facilities and comfort.
Ikaria is at the same height as Tinos but a bit more east towards Turkey and is certainly interesting when talking about wines. The varieties you will find there include the Assyrtiko, the Athiri, the Begleri, the Fokiano, the Kotsifali and the Mandilaria. Due to the fairly hilly landscape, the vineyards grow here in terraces against the mountain slopes.
If you want to visit a quiet island, also relatively quieter in the summer than its neighbours such as Samos and Chios, Ikaria is an excellent choice for wine lovers and those seeking tranquillity. You will also find beautiful authentic houses, bed & breakfasts and hotels for an authentic Greek wine experience.
Samos is located east of Ikaria and Tinos, against Turkey and mainly produces sweet Muscat wines. Most of the Samos vineyards are located at an altitude of about 800-900 meters against mountain slopes.
You can easily reach Samos in the summer by direct flights from the UK and other Europeans destinations.
The island of Paros is located about half way between the island of Tinos and Santorini and has a small vineyard. The most commonly grown grape varieties are the Monemvassia and the Mandilaria. Due to its unique climate of constant warm wind and sandy surface, the island produces unique white and red wines.
You don’t have to worry about good accommodation and restaurants. Paros has a wide range of both authentic and modern hotels and restaurants, of which we have selected the best ones for you and where you can eat delicious food and enjoy a unique wine experience.
The island of Rhodes is located south of Samos near Turkey and is a unique island when it comes to wines. Thanks to its favourable climate that is less dry than Crete and Santorini, Rhodes produces rather delicious fresh sparkling wines. The main grape varieties of Rhodes are Athiri, Mandilaria and Muscat.
Rhodes is a busy tourist destination, especially in the summer months. When you visit Rhodes for a wine tour through Greece, you can count on us to have selected a handful of hotels for you that meet our high quality standards, including being close to good restaurants or even having a good restaurant and being relatively quiet and authentic for the best wine experience.
The island of Kos is located north of Rhodes and can be reached by a direct flight from the UK and many other European destinations in the summer season. Although there are only two wineries on Kos at the moment, the quality is there and a stop on Kos for a wine tasting and a few days stay is definitely recommended. It is best to combine Kos with some other islands during a wine trip to Greece.
Kos has a wide range of hotels and other authentic bed & breakfasts, of which we have selected a number, especially for you as a wine lover. Also, in Kos you can be sure with us that you can look forward to a beautiful and peaceful stay.
When we talk about special Greek wines, the wines of Santorini stand out with head and shoulder. The volcanic and poor soil make the vines adapt to a unique microclimate with warm summer and balmy winters. This gives the wines of Santorini their unique taste. The most cultivated grape varieties in Santorini are Aidani and Assyrtiko. Despite the fact that Santorini is a small island, compared to other islands, it has a relatively large number of wineries, each with its own specific characteristics.
If you want to experience an authentic Greek wine experience, Santorini is one of the ideal destinations in Greece. If you prefer a luxurious and authentic wine trip, Santorini is also a perfect choice thanks to its many luxury hotels, some with private pools. Santorini is also easily accessible with direct summer flights from the rest of Europe.
Crete has a large number of endemic grape varieties with a wine tradition that dates back to about 4000 years. This makes it one of the oldest places in Europe where wine is produced. Thanks to its southern geographic position, many mountains, and maritime climate, Crete produces unique wines. Moreover, Crete is the largest island in Greece, so there is a huge variety of wine routes, wines and cuisine. It is therefore possible to enjoy a wonderful wine tour in Crete alone with excellent authentic accommodation and delicious regional cuisine for a complete and successful wine experience.
Whichever island or part of the mainland you want to visit or combine, Greece is a larger wine country with more unique wines than you could imagine. At Wineroundtrips.com you are therefore at the right place for organizing your unique and authentic wine tour. We have selected only the best wine hotels and authentic accommodations, restaurants and wineries for you so that you can experience the most authentic wine experience possible.
Best wineries to visit
Where in France you have wine chateaus or in Tuscany wine farms and agritourismos in idyllic hilly landscapes, in Greece you will find authentic wineries with thick white walls and roofs to keep the inside cool and at constant temperature in the warm summers to keep the wine in optimum conditions. Most wineries have a modern spacious wine tasting room and will have accommodation possibility. Sometimes you can even get delicious local regional dishes during unique dinners made and composed by the owners with fresh local organic products.
The best accommodation for your wine tour through Greece
Greece has everything you need for an authentic and successful wine tour. Unique and delicious wines, beautiful authentic accommodations, and unique sights. You can also combine your wine experience with delicious regional dishes from Greek cuisine at local restaurants or in the restaurant of the hotel where you are staying.
Whatever activities you want to undertake during your wine tour or approach you wish to give to your wine tour, for example a culinary tour, every region, every hotel has something unique to offer. From small boutique hotels and bed & breakfasts with a lot of charm and authenticity to larger luxury wine hotels with a more modern design and sometimes their own wellness and spa centre or golf course, each type of accommodation offers the opportunity to fully relax, relax and enjoy your unique wine experience.