A 12 Day Culinary Journey through Greece
Athens - ferry to Naxos - ferry to Santorini – ferry to Crete - flight to Athens
A 12 Day Culinary Journey through Greece
Kick off this culinary adventure in the capital city of Athens. Visit a famous wine-producing monastery before beginning the island-hopping portion of your tour. Cruise by ferry to Naxos, sampling some of its most delicious wines and eats, including renowned bites in the mountainous village of Aeiranthos. Experience the island of Santorini with a wine and history tour as well as a cooking class to learn how to create traditional Greek dishes. Another cooking lesson follows on Crete, along with wine tasting and touring before the grand finale in Athens, touring Acropolis Hill.
At a Glance
|Arrive into Athens International Airport and take private transfer to the city, enjoying it on your own.||Athens|
|Take a day trip to a wine-producing monastery, enjoying wine and lunch in the vineyard.||Athens|
|Catch a ferry to beautiful Naxos in the Cyclades, exploring some of its highlights independently.||Naxos|
|Visit the mountainous Naxos village of Apeiranthos to sample its famously delicious eats.||Naxos|
|Journey by ferry to Santorini where you’ll have the rest of the day to take it in at your leisure.||Santorini|
|Enjoy a wine and history tour, including a visit to Akrotiri and Prophet Elias Monastery.||Santorini|
|Participate in a cooking class followed by sharing and tasting of traditional Greek dishes.||Santorini|
|Hop on the ferry to Crete, experiencing the island’s beautiful and diverse scenery independently.||Crete|
|Learn to prepare traditional Cretan dishes using fresh herbs and veggies grown on the island.||Crete|
|Taste and tour at three local wineries followed by a traditional Cretan meal with wine.||Crete|
|Fly back to Athens and then take a guided tour of Acropolis Hill.||Athens|
|Departure day, return to Athens International Airport by private transfer.|
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Day by Day Itinerary
Arrival into Athens
Start this memorable adventure through Athens and the stunning islands of Naxos, Santorini and Crete in the Greek capital. You’ll be met with your private transfer at the airport, taken to your hotel to get settled in before enjoying the rest of the day exploring on your own. Perhaps visit one of the world’s greatest antiquities museums. The Archaeological Museum boasts an impressive collection of Greek jewelry, pottery, sculpture and other objects, including a 2,000-year-old computer discovered in a shipwreck. Other options including visiting the Parthenon atop Acropolis Hill, or browsing shops and people watching from one of the cafes in the historic Plaka district.
Wine enthusiasts have a lot to look forward to today. After a 90-minute drive from the city, hop on a train to enjoy one of the world’s most scenic rides. Travel through stunning Vouraikos Canyon to Kalavryta to explore the Museum of the Kalavritan Holocaust. The wine portion of your journey begins with a visit to a famous monastery producing wines in harmony with the area’s wild landscape. Walk through the Mega Spileon vineyards enjoying the picturesque scenery before sampling some of the fine wines with lunch. You’ll also visit Aigialia, a mountainous region known for its elegant wines made with Roditis grapes characterized by high aromatic intensity, to sip those and other varieties along the way.
Catch the ferry to Naxos this morning, enjoying the remainder of the day at your leisure. The largest island in the Cyclades, this uncrowded gem offers diverse terrain that includes some of the country’s top sandy beaches, soaring mountains for hiking and waterfalls for viewing along with nearly four dozen villages that include white hill towns glistening under the Mediterranean sun. Take a stroll through Chora with its impressive Venetian architecture, perhaps sampling crepes with locally made jams in one of the hidden cafes before enjoying a refreshing drink on a rooftop patio that brings the sparkling blue waters of the Aegean into view.
Enjoy a day trip to the unique village of Apeiranthos today, a mountainous village that many consider to be Naxos’ crown jewel. It’s famous for its striking natural beauty and its food, including rich Rosto (pork with garlic) that impressed the late chef/author/television personality Anthony Bourdain. Thanks to the high altitude as well as being amphitheatrically built along the slopes of Mount Fanari, you’ll be able to enjoy extraordinary views from the restaurants here, most serving local produce while overlooking lush valleys and peaks. As you take a stroll along the marble paths, the village’s old-fashioned arts and tasty dishes will be revealed.
As Naxos fades away, the bucket-list island of Santorini comes into view. Your first introduction is sure to impress as you step off the ferry and gaze up at the steep sides of the caldera. You’ll have the day to enjoy it on your own, perhaps touring Akrotiri, frozen in time after being buried by ash during the massive 1646 BC volcanic eruption, or hiking the path between Thira and Oia, one of the most stunning routes on the planet. With the sunsets from Oia one of the best vantage points for the island’s famous sunsets, you might want to plan a trip that will put you there at dusk.
Embark on the ultimate tour for wine enthusiasts and history buffs, look forward to enjoying jaw-dropping views of the island’s iconic caldera and exploring Akrotiri with an expert guide to get a better perspective of one of the Aegean’s most important prehistoric settlements. You’ll be able get your questions answered and hear the story behind the fabled city of Atlantis too. Then journey 2,000 feet from sea level to listen to the chants of the monks at Prophet Elias Monastery and take in another impressive vista. Afterward, sip tasty local wine at a traditional winery and then stroll the narrow streets of whitewashed Oia village.
Enjoy a fun, authentic gastronomic experience with a visit to a traditional home where you’ll get to enjoy warm Greek hospitality along with a cooking lesson. Of course, sharing and tasting will be included in this relaxed, informal excursion as well. You’ll be welcomed with local wine and appetizers, getting a brief intro to the island’s local foods and gastronomy before heading into the kitchen for expert instruction with the chef. Help prepare the traditional Greek dishes using fresh, local ingredients, and then gather with all on the lovely terrace where you’ll share and taste the delicious meal everyone helped put together.
Hop aboard the ferry, cruising to Crete, one of the largest of the Greek islands. Upon your arrival, enjoy exploring this enchanted isle at your own pace, perhaps a hike to discover Minoan ruins or a visit to one of the beautiful beaches. You’ll find plenty of museums and galleries to wander through, along with shops, restaurants and nightlife to indulge in, one of which is sure to be perfect for unwinding with a drink as you gaze out at the magnificent scenery and experience daily life on the island. You won’t be disappointed with the flavorful local cuisine, renowned for the quality and freshness of its ingredients, typically featuring wild herbs and greens.
Discover the art of making mouthwatering Cretan cuisine with this tour that begins by collecting wild herbs before visiting a traditional home in a small village to join a cooking workshop. Enjoy a welcome drink made from one of the indigenous island herbs and then learn all about herbs, including how to identify them and what some of their curative properties are. You’ll put on an apron help prepare pesto, salads and appetizers using fresh herbs and veggies from the garden before sitting down to a traditional Cretan lunch paired with homemade Cretan wine followed by a tasty traditional dessert and homemade raki liqueur.
The ultimate wine lovers’ tour offers a unique opportunity to learn about Cretan wine and winemaking. You’ll be able to taste many different local varieties while learning about the methods used to make them as well as the challenges faced in order to produce the island’s fine, award-winning wines. During the tasting you can also try options made from international varieties but grown on Crete to compare as well, guided by an expert sommelier. The excursion includes visits to three wineries, strolling through the vines to learn about cultivation and harvesting, with it all capped off by a delicious traditional Cretan meal complimented by Cretan wine.
After bidding farewell to Crete, catch your morning or mid-day flight back to Athens where you’ll enjoy a tour of Acropolis Hill in the afternoon. Discover this UNESCO-listed archaeological site with an expert guide, taking a trip back in time as you walk the footsteps up ancient greats, reflecting on the wealth, power and splendor of this incredible place with architectural masterpieces built in the 5th century BC. Your knowledgeable guide will share stories of the past and interesting information about the Parthenon and other monuments you’ll marvel at on the tour for an especially insightful experience.
Today is departure day – after enjoying breakfast, check out of your hotel and prepare for pickup by private transfer, returning to Athens International Airport for your flight home or wherever your travels might take you. If you aren’t ready to head back just yet, talk to our travel experts about extending the journey.
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