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Santorini’s gorgeous cliffs and international reputation have made it one of the busiest islands in Greece, even riding out the Greek financial crisis with only a small dent in its usual crowds. But Santorinians are savvy and decided to see if they could encourage even more visitors to discover some of the inner bliss of the island. What makes people happy? Food. So the Municipality of Santorini declared this year, 2013, as the Year of Gastronomy for the island in the Cyclades.

Santorini is ideal for a gastronomic push – its local products all take on the character of the unique volcanic soil, the slightly sulfurous atmosphere, and extremely dry conditions. These factors affect everything from how vines are cultivated to the intense flavors and thicker skins of some of the vegetables grown here.

The participating venues form a loose aggregate – most food-focused restaurants and hotels will be providing something special in honor of the theme of the year.

Foodie Fun Around the Island

Different hotels and organizations are focusing on different time periods during the summer.

The Vedema Resort at Megalohori on Santorini is offering a special gastronomic menu and other food-related experiences between June 20th and July 7th. Possibly one of the most important is a heritage seed exchange event on June 22nd, where seeds for Santorini’s special varieties of foods will be given away and traded. The Santorini “anhydrous” tomato, with its characteristic little dimple, deep crimson color, and ability to survive and thrive on little more than the morning volcanic mists, is bound to be among the precious seeds provided. Santorini is also proud of its local variety of fava and its cultivation of white eggplants. Also at Vedema, executive chef Melina Chomata will be taking inspiration from the ancient Minoan frescoes from Akrotiri and creating new dishes based on ancient predecessors. While it is debatable that the ancient Minoans or Theras had discovered the distillation of alcohol – though recent evidence seems to indicate they may have – the Vedema will be offering a special collection of cocktails using liquors hand-infused with local herbs growing on the island.

Pyrgos Restaurant and event venue is located in the middle of the island, south of Fira (Thira). Pyrgos is presenting special dishes and tasting menus throughout the summer. The village of Pyrgos is on a hilltop and adds a little extra oomph to the panoramic views of the island and the Aegean sea. It’s also close to the Santos Winery mentioned below.

Selene, arguably one of the best restaurants in Greece, is also located in Pyrgos, making the village a gastronomic destination all by itself. They will also be offering special gastronomic menus featuring local ingredients. Selene shares a courtyard with a fascinating small museum devoted to Santorinian agriculture, with a detailed look at the cultivation of the local tomato, and other folk arts, making it an ideal spot to stop for lunch and a visit to the museum. Contact them for hours.

Santo Wines, arguably the most advanced wine facility on Santorini, is also participating in Santorini Year of Gastronomy 2013. It offers regular winetastings at a beautiful location with a great view of the caldera and its islands.


Useful Information

Year of Gastronomy Website
Official Email for More Information –
Schedule of Official Events
Santorini Year of Gastronomy on Pinterest

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