Schramsberg & Davies Vineyards
2018 Wine Cruise
Ports of Call
The landmark hill of the Acropolis looms over Greece's busy metropolis. This age-old symbol of Athens was built by the Athenians during the 5th century BC in honor of the goddess Athena, patroness of the city. The temple complex was regarded as a citadel of the gods, with the Parthenon standing out as the most architecturally sophisticated temple of that period.
In 1834, Athens became the capital of modern Greece with a population of fewer than 10,000. Today, about a third of the country's more than four million people live in the city. The central area of modern Athens is relatively small, stretching from the Acropolis to Mount Lycabettus. Its layout is simple: three main streets - Stadiou, Venizelou and Akademias - link the two main squares, Syntagma and Omonia. A stroll around the main squares or in areas off the beaten path can provide a feel of the unique character of Athens. Observe the activities at the central market or simply enjoy a cool beverage in one of Athens' many sidewalk cafés.
Mykonos is famed as a cosmopolitan destination among the Greek islands and widely recognized as one of the great travel meccas. In Greek mythology, the Mykonos was named after its first ruler, Mykonos, the son or grandson of the god Apollo and a local hero. The island is also said to have been the location of a great battle between Zeus and Titans and where Hercules killed the invincible giants having lured them from the protection of Mount Olympus.
Mykonos Town (Chora) is a stunningly picturesque Cycladic town with a maze of tiny streets and whitewashed steps lanes, houses and churches, gathered around its harbor in the middle of a wide bay. It is one of the most cosmopolitan and crowded towns of the Aegean. The streets are lined with little shops, boutiques, art galleries, cafes, stylish bars and restaurants.
The largest of Greece's Dodecanese islands in terms of land area, Rhodes is known for its beach resorts, ancient city ruins and remnants of its occupation by the Knights of St. John during the Crusades. The city has an Old Town, declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site and featuring the medieval Street of the Knights and the castle-like Palace of the Grand Masters. Outside the city of Rhodes, the island is dotted with small villages and spa resorts with mineral-rich spring water offered for various health treatments.
Of all the Cyclades Islands, Santorini is often considered the most dramatic. Once an active volcano, in approximately 1620 BC, the volcano erupted with such force that the center of the island literally exploded, leaving a submerged crater. The island's small villages were preserved in the ashes giving a fascinating view of everyday life from 3,600 years ago. Santorini's landscape offsets its simple buildings, which shine in the brilliant sunlight. The rich volcanic soil is ideal for grapes and the local vines produce a crop known for its "special volcanic taste." Thíra, or Firá Town, is laid out along the edge of a cliff that forms a portion of the rim of the now extinct caldera. This picturesque site has a charm and atmosphere that can be attributed to the easy-going Greek lifestyle
Valletta, The Fortress City, Citta' Umilissima, "a city built by gentlemen for gentlemen" is Malta's capital city. The magnificent fortress city grew on the arid rock of Mount Sceberras peninsula, which rises steeply from two deep harbors, Marsamxett and Grand Harbor. Valletta has many titles, all recalling its rich historical past. It is the "modern" city built by the Knights of St John; a masterpiece of the Baroque; a European Art City and a World Heritage City. Today, it is one of the most concentrated historic areas in the world.
The city is busy by day, yet retains a timeless atmosphere. The grid of narrow streets boasts some of Europe's finest art works, churches and palaces. Walking around Valletta you'll come across an intriguing historical site around every corner: votive statues, niches, fountains and coats of arms high up on parapets. Narrow side streets are full of tiny quaint shops and cafés, while Valletta's main streets are lined with larger international branded shops for fashion, music, jewelery and much more.
Messina (Sicily), Italy
Explore lovely medieval Messina with its historic churches and the cathedral where it is rumored Richard the Lionheart worshipped in 1190.
Messina is the 3rd largest city on the island of Sicily and gateway to Mt. Etna, the awe-inspiring and still-active volcano. Also known for its rich Sicilian wines which are gaining fame worldwide for their rich body and incomparable flavor. The 62-acre San Michele Estate, within driving distance of the port, creates wines that take advantage of the location's unusual, sheltered microclimate and volcanic soil
Amalfi / Positano, Italy
Located roughly between Salerno and Sorrento, Amalfi was already an important maritime republic in the Middle Ages. In fact, the Amalfi Tables represent the oldest maritime code in the world, which were observed throughout the Mediterranean until the late 16th century.
Today, Amalfi is one of the most popular resorts and stopovers along the famed Amalfi Drive, Italy's celebrated corniche that hugs the mountainous coast and carves its way through sheer rock. Opulent villas, cloaked in brilliantly colored bougainvillea, hide behind high walls and wrought-iron gates. Waves pound against the steep shoreline and tortuous bends challenge a steady stream of tourist vehicles. Around every hairpin turn spectacular scenery awaits
Ajaccio, Corsica, France
Considered Corsica's primary commercial and cultural hub, the largest city and regional capital of Ajaccio is situated on the west coast of the island, approximately 400 miles southeast of Marseille, France. Founded in 1492, vestiges of ancient Corsica in this ville impériale revolve around the city's most famous son, Napoléon Bonaparte, whose family home—now the national museum Maison Bonaparte—pays tribute to the emperor's historical influence. Indeed, Napoléon takes center stage in this lively city of approximately 64,000 inhabitants, from the exceptional Palais Fesch/ Musée des Beaux Arts to eponymous street names and statues sprinkled around the town's accessible squares, gardens, and courtyards.
Remnants from what was originally a 12th-century Genoese colony are still visible around the Old Town near the imposing citadel and watchtower. Perfect for exploring, the luminous seaside city surrounded by snowcapped mountains and pretty beaches offers numerous sites, eateries, side streets, and a popular harbor, where sailboats and fishing vessels moor in the picturesque Tino Rossi port lined with well-established restaurants and cafés serving fresh local fare.
Set on the blue waters of the Golfe de Saint-Tropez, this modern version of a medieval town is most popular for the line of luxury yachts in her harbor and the
facing line of terrace cafés, divided by a parade of strolling tourists and slowly cruising sports cars. Night life
is very lively and often one can see helicopters bringing elegant guests to private parties, in one of the many luxurious villas in the bay. "People watching" is a favorite sport in Saint-Tropez in the summer. Visitors like to sit in the outdoor cafés, hoping either to be seen or to see someone else.
Barcelona is the capital of Catalonia as well as Spain’s second largest city. Dominated by Montjuic, Vallvidrera and the Tibidabo Hills, sophisticated Barcelona is rich in ancient and modern architectural and artistic treasures. Many talented artists, sculptors and architects lived here, including Picasso, Miró, Mares and Barcelona’s best-known architect, Antonio Gaudí.
Barcelona’s beginnings as a major port can be found already in Roman times. However, the most significant period was during the Middle Ages when the city's wealth equaled that of the whole Catalunya province. Splendid buildings from the Middle Ages and a unique ambiance still make Barcelona one of the most attractive cities in Europe, drawing scores of visitors to see and enjoy the sights. In addition to its medieval setting and narrow streets of the Gothic Quarter, there are magnificent avenues through the modern part of the city, which are particularly noted for their landmark buildings of Gaudí’s design.