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Join our Greek Culture and Gastronomy tour and learn, taste and savoir the secrets of Greek Cuisine, one of the tastiest and healthiest worldwide.
Rich in authentic flavors and aromas, it represents an age-old cultural constancy (approx. 4,000 years old) with special characteristics based on pure fresh produce of the Greek land. Actually, it was Archestratos who wrote the first cookbook in history around 330 B.C.!
Greek cuisine is much more than just “moussaka”, “souvlaki” and the famous “tzatziki”. It offers a great variety of delicious and healthy dishes, both for vegetarians and meat lovers, with countless scientific studies that prove the positive effect of a balanced Greek diet on our health, beauty and longevity.
Join our Greek Culture and Gastronomy Tour and we will seduce your palate with some of the most delicious recipes, all made with fresh Greek ingredients, while on the same time we visit some of the most beautiful parts of our country!
Traveling with Aegean Outdoors, means nothing will get past you. During this tour, you will experience first hand why food is a special element of Greek culture, the endless variety of what mother nature provides us with during each season, how different spices may have different uses and what makes Greek cuisine so unique!
First day of our Greek Culture and Gastronomy journey, so we meet in the hotel lobby for introductions, followed by a short walking tour in the city’s oldest neighborhood, Plaka with its narrow alleys, little squares with small churches, lively shops and cafes and grand neoclassical-style houses. Our own professional archaeology guide waits for us at the entrance of Acropolis, eager to pass on the knowledge about this world famous and important site!
We’ll have the chance of seeing and learning about the Parthenon, dedicated to the goddess Athena and definitely feel the energy! Later we visit the New Acropolis museum, a brilliant building, in order to explore its artifacts and enjoy a delicious meal at its veranda.
After our lunch we will be leaving the lively city of Athens, towards Nafplio, considered one of the prettiest towns in Greece. It was the first capital, after Greece’s independence and has been a major port since the Bronze Age. After settling in our hotel, we will visit the old town for an evening stroll and our dinner at a “magical” place!
Overnight in Nafplio (B/L/D).
After our first breakfast together, let us explore some of the best preserved and world-known sites of Greece, Epidaurus and Mycenae, always with the help of our private professional guide!
In Mycenae, we admire the enormous Cyclopean walls – remains up until today a wonder how they were created- and enter the imposing Lions’ gate to the site that dates back to 1350-1200 BC. Just outside the walls, the vault-shaped tombs of Aegisthus and Clytaemnestra and the Treasury of Atreus are waiting for us to explore them!
Our next stop is the Ancient Theater of Epidaurus, one of the best-preserved classical Greek structures renowned for its perfect architectural proportions and exemplary acoustics. This UNESCO Heritage marvel is located within the archaeological site of the Sanctuary of Asklepios, God of Medicine and son of Apollo.
In ancient times, sick people came on a pilgrimage to spend the night at the shrine, in the hope that Asklepios would appear in their dreams with a diagnosis and a cure! Asklepios could not only heal the living, but also raise the dead to life, to such an extent that even Hades from the underworld complained..
Having enjoyed our traditional Greek lunch we then continue our journey to the port of Rafina to catch our ferry to Tinos island, where we will spend the night.
Overnight in Tinos (B/L/D).
Our hike starts in Volax, a village noted for its unique round boulders. We follow a winding path downhill to the village of Koumaros, known for its old fountains and medieval arches. In Xombourgo we are welcomed into a traditional Greek home with an aperitif of Tinian raki, a spirit distilled from wine. Our host Nicoletta (a lovely Greek lady) will provide a lesson in preparing a lunch of local specialties; we dine together, sharing stories of family and island living. Our hike ends in Chora (Tinos Town), and there is free time to rest or explore before dinner. Dinner is at a local tavern. (B,L,D)
Hiking: 5.5 miles, 3.5 hours; elevation gain 660’/loss 1,667′
Overnight in Tinos island (B,L,D)
We ferry to Naxos, the largest and most fertile island of the Cyclades.
Legend has it that the god Apollo, who was extremely worshiped in the island of Naxos, left his son Aristeus, a superb cheese maker, there to teach the inhabitants the art of cheese-making!
Decades later, Naxos cheeses are among the most famous in Greece (and very popular all around the world) and today we will visit a local family run cheese factory to learn more and savoir exceptional Naxian cheese. Today’s explorations end in Chalki with a visit to a small distillery that produces Kitron, the specialty liquor of Naxos. Dinner in the village.
Overnight in Naxos (B,L,D)
Today, after our mighty breakfast, we will travel to Santorini, the fairest of the Cycladic islands!
Time to indulge ourselves with the absolute sailing experience, swim & snorkel in a quiet bay, and reach the sulfuric Hot Springs of the volcano and the famous Red and White beach.
Onboard we’ll enjoy a freshly prepared Greek meal along with some exquisite local wine or beer.
What better way to finish our day than sitting back and enjoying the breathtaking Aegean Sea, waiting for the sun to set…
Overnight in Santorini (B,D)
Dorians, Venetians, and Turks occupied Santorini, but its most influential early inhabitants were Minoans. They came from Crete sometime between 2000 BC and 1600 BC and the settlement of Akrotiri, dubbed as the Greek Pompeii, dates from the peak years of their civilization. Alongside with our professional guide you will have the opportunity to walk the streets and squares of the city, which was buried in volcanic ash after the volcanic eruption.
Off we go now for our Santorini Sea Kayak tour! Let us enjoy views of spectacular rock formations, paddle, swim and snorkel in crystal clear waters and admire beautiful beaches in the southern part of the island. En route we will also enjoy a delicious picnic meal.
Upon completion of this amazing experience, we’ll visit an exquisite location in Megalochori village for an authentic and fascinating cooking class. What better way to finish the day, than tasting the outcome of your own cooking talents with good company and delicious wine form the world-famous vineyards of Santorini !
Overnight in Santorini (B,L,D)
Relaxing day of our Greek Culture and Gastronomy Tour, with a free morning and ferry to Crete (Heraklion). Settle into our beautiful accommodation and off we go for a Cretan food sampling dinner!!
Overnight in Crete (B,D)
Let’s start our day by visiting the Archeological Museum of Heraklion, which opens a fascinating window into the ancient world.
It hosts the world’s largest and finest Minoan collection and our visit here will enrich your understanding of Knossos’ archaeological site, our next stop for today.
Knossos was by far the largest of the Minoan Palaces, thriving more than three and a half thousand years ago at the heart of a highly sophisticated island-wide civilization. After out “trip” into ancient Greece we visit a local winery to taste exquisite Cretan wines and delicacies before we drive to the city of Chania and its beautiful old town.
Overnight in Chania (B/L/D)
Starting from Vamos village we drive through one of the greenest roads of our area towards Paidochori village. Surrounded by the prestigious presence of the White Mountains…in the middle of nowhere, we will find ourselves in front of a gate. Exactly there, Manolis (our guide) will be waiting for us to open the gate of a paradise land. Let the journey begin…
Olive trees will welcome us in their dancing shapes as we are slowly wandering among charming fruit-bearing trees and various other plants having the unique opportunity to smell, touch and savoir their aromatic fruits. Manolis, who is also the owner of the premises will introduce us to his philosophy about the cultivation of land and his effort to record and protect rare species of local plants.
The fascinating purple of the thyme mixed with the fragrances of oregano, sage, marjoram, etc., in the atmosphere will stimulate our senses leading us to explore a garden full of healing- and aromatic herbs. We may collect some of them. Manolis will show us how to recognize the Cretan herbs and reveal us the ancient secrets of how to use them not only for cooking but also for healing purposes. It is a good moment to sit, relax, enjoy a cup of mountain tea and admire the incredible view of the White Mountains.
Later we will visit an old olive farm and with the assistance of our experienced local cook and amazing woman, Mrs. Koula, you will learn to prepare 6 delicious traditional Cretan dishes, the secrets of the olive oil and the mountain herbs, how to select fresh ingredients and many other useful tips.
Once the cooking is done, you will enjoy all together the fruits of your creativity with local wine and raki, fresh bread, Greek music and nice stories……around an old monastery-style table!
Overnight in Crete (B,L,D)
Today an amazing experience lies ahead of us! After our mighty breakfast, we will embark our private boat on a unique tour! Heading towards Gramvousa we’ll observe geological phenomena, sea caves and beautiful waters. Upon arrival at Gramvousa island we will hike up to the Venetian castle and learn about its history and great importance.
Our next stop is the world famous Balos, one of the most beautiful places on earth, a heaven for selfie-enthusiasts!
Here we will have the privilege of swimming in the shallow and warm waters!
In the evening we take a short flight to Athens and have our farewell dinner at the rooftop garden of a unique establishment!
Overnight in Athens (B,L,D)
Breakfast is at your leisure at the hotel. (B)
END OF SERVICES
Price is based on a minimum attendance of 4 people (please contact us for less or more participants).
This is not a fixed list, but more of a guideline, so feel free to add and remove items as you see fit. Greece has a temperate climate. Base your clothing on the “layering system”, if it is hot you can “peel off” layers quickly, if it is cooler and windy you can quickly “dress up”.
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