Greek Isles Culinary & Culture Trip
Greece, 10 Days From $ 2,500 per person Themes
A Greenloons exclusive guided luxury tour that highlights the spectacular islands of Naxos, Delos, Mykonos and Santorini, their culinary delights, culture and sense of adventure. We've even included a mini Greek language workshop that will have you ordering your calamari and ouzo with ease!
A seamless tour that allows for you to enjoy the sun, the crystal clear sea water and the soft sanded beaches of Greece. Walk on mountain paths of amazing beauty and breathtaking views of the surrounding landscapes, and discover the Greek flora and fauna. Be introduced to the most important Greek archaeological sites, monuments and museums, and be filled with the sacred energy of the Ancient Greek Mythology.
Participate in local celebrations and ceremonies and experience traditional Greek folk dancing. Visit Greek organic farms and wineries and learn how world-renowned homemade Greek products are made. Savour the culinary delights of traditional Greek and International Mediterranean cuisine, enjoy the quality and diversity of sensuous foods, decadent desserts, and naughty exquisite cocktails at the best restaurants and bars of the idyllic Greek islands, and learn from our cooks how to prepare some of the most tasteful Greek recipes at home. Plans offer carefully selected alternative menus for vegetarians, vegans or pescetarians.
Available May through October
Hiking & Trekking
History & Culture
Why Authentic Ecotourism?
Clients experience an extensive connection with local entrepreneurs and innovators, participate in celebrations and customs, come close to the contemporary art and also learn about the problems and concerns of the locals, which especially today are 100% interconnected with the European or even universal problems and needs. This exchange of information and knowledge could lead to a deeper understanding of one's own and the visited culture. It could help travelers and locals alike to realize the global interaction between all aspects of our societies, like the economy, the food chain, energy or climate matters.
Specifically, the company provides opportunities for travelers to interact with local people and experience culture first hand, through:
- Excursions to known, but also to non touristic places
- Participation in cultural events, local feasts and traditional concerts
- Visits to distilleries, vineyards, olive oil presses, beekeepers, organic farms etc
- Mini workshops on local cuisine and folk circular dances
- Lectures on the local customs, the famous Greek Mythology, the modern language and its live connection to the ancient Greek language as well as its connection to other modern European languages
- Hands-on traditional healing applications of the local herbs
- Explaining to travelers which of their activities or consuming preferences might indirectly endanger animals or natural resources or contribute to the bad trade habits of the local businesses
- Facilitating communication of our values to both travelers and the local community, educating them in sustainable tourism practices
- Helping in keeping the local fair trade alive and strong, by bringing travellers to the source of the local production, where they can buy in fair prices and benefit the local producers directly
- Putting back into the communities and regions we visit by supporting aid, development and conservation projects in these areas, like we do with ARCHELON, ALKIONI and other NGOs. Our guests are invited to contribute
- Asking from our local partners (hotels, restaurants, tour guides) to become involved in sustainability and social responsibility and we explain to them the significance and importance of such a choice
- Offering a percentage of its annual profit to the NGO Archelon, the Sea Turtle Protection Society of Greece, so it can continue its valuable work
Day 1 - Arrive in Naxos
Arrival day, free of guided activities. You will be welcomed at the Naxos port or airport of the island and driven to your hotel. Just rest, get to know the new environment, walk around on your own, swim, sunbathe and relax. During the welcome dinner, you will be presented with the fully detailed itinerary as well as a discussion of how to enhance sustainability and be a responsible traveler.
Day 2 - Naxos
After breakfast, you will be escorted to Chora, the capital city of the island, where your guide will take you inside the archaeological museum and later up the Venetian castle for a guided tour inside a very beautifully preserved old Venetian house. You will have enough free time for swimming in the afternoon. After dinner, we will get together for a mini workshop on the Greek language and alphabet, to be able to read and pronounce Greek correctly!
Day 3 - Cultural Walk Around Naxos
What a day this will be with a very interesting walking and cultural expedition. You will walk through 4 traditional mountain villages of the island, visiting a picturesque Byzantine church, a pottery workshop, a traditional distillery, an authentic olive press and much more. You will come back in time for you to enjoy a swim. After dinner, there will be a presentation on the basic elements of Greek Mythology focusing on the myths about Naxos island and the Aegean Sea. For example, it was on Naxos that an ungrateful Theseus is said to have abandoned Ariadne after she helped him escape the Cretan labyrinth. As usually happening in love stories, she was soon entwined with Dionysos, the god of wine and ecstasy and the island's favourite deity. Naxian wine has long been considered a fine antidote for a broken heart!
Day 4 - Boat Trip to Delos & Mykonos
Today, you will visit the famous Delos island. The worldwide known antiquities of the sacred island will intrigue the imagination and your local guide will illuminate for you the life, the culture and the religious beliefs of the ancient Greeks. And what a contrast: After Delos we will visit Mykonos island, the number one travel destination in Greece, known for its picturesque Chora, its wonderful sandy beaches, its elegant market, but mostly known for its exquisite nightlife! There will be time for swimming on Mykonos. We will not be able to stay very late to experience Mykonos by night, but instead plan to show an entertaining Greek movie back at the hotel.
An alternative is offered for those who have been to Mykonos or do not wish to follow this boat trip for any reason. A cooking workshop will enable you to cook some of the recipes which determine what we all know as the Mediterranean Cuisine. Ranging from light, leafy salads to rich, aromatic casseroles, a dish can be found to tantalize any taste bud at any time of the year. Renowned mainly for its seafood and ubiquitous Greek salad, many of the best traditional dishes remain yet undiscovered by holiday makers - until now!
Day 5 - Naxos
Today, you will see the highlights of the island, but it will not be hectic as we will adjust our time schedule according to the weather of the day and our mood or special needs of the moment. There will be time to observe, understand and reflect on the visited attractions and there will be time for what will now be the daily time for swimming and sunbathing. Lunch will enjoyed by the sea in peace and tranquility. The tour includes some hours of hiking too. In the evening we will attend a Greek music concert!
Day 6 - Naxos Bike Tour
In the morning, you will hop on some quality bikes and ride to a nearby ancient temple enjoying the fresh Aegean air and the views on the way. This will be a short tour today, because we wish to leave the rest of the day free for you to spend it any way you like and the team of guides will be available for you, if you decide to ask for their help in any way. A cooking workshop, a stretching or Yoga class, a diving class or water sports activities, and even a massage may be easily arranged on site, if you only wish.
Day 7 - Santorini
One of the natural marvels of the world. Today, you will depart for Santorini, where you will spend the rest of your vacation. The first day on Santorini will be a relaxing one. You will be so amazed by the landscape that you will simply wish to be left alone to adjust to this island's beauty at your own pace and enjoy the scenery with all your senses. You will have time to enjoy the area on your own, walk around, shop, swim and relax. You will be accommodated in one of the best hotels of the island and you will probably not want to go away from the pool bar and the spectacular view over the volcano and the sunset.
Day 8 - Santorini Volcano, Hot Springs & Thirassia
Today, you will have the opportunity to discover the Nea Kameni island (the volcano), the famous hot springs and the picturesque island of Thirassia. At the volcano, you will stop for about 1 hour and 30 minutes. The tour guide will show you the craters of the Volcano and inform you about the history of one of the most important volcanoes of the whole world. The second stop will be on the Palaia Kameni island and its famous hot springs. The temperature of the water is 5 Celsius / 41 Fahrenheit degrees warmer than the rest of the sea around Santorini. Also the sea water is mixed with sulphur.
Finally, you will visit the picturesque island of Thirasia. Thirasia was an extension of Oia thousands years ago. Now, it retains a unique character away from the growing life of the rest Santorini. There, you can feast on fresh fish, traditional mezedes (snacks) and local wine or take a donkey and visit the traditional village of Manolas. The total duration of our trip is about 5h and 30min.
Day 9 - Santorini Caldera Walk & Wine Tasting
Starting from Imerovigli, you will walk to Oia through the caldera path that connects Fira and Ia. The path was created by locals from long ago when the island did not have roads and the only way to transport goods and people was by the help of donkeys and mules. This path, considered one of the most interesting of the few remaining, crosses a big part of the caldera sharp cliffs and offers a breathtaking view. You will end up at a winery to rest, rehydrate and taste the worldwide famous Santorinian wines combined with local flavours.
Again, there is an alternative a tour around the island by car (includes wine tasting as well) for those who prefer not to walk or if the weather that day is too hot or the tour happens right in the middle of the summer. This is the itinerary of the alternative: You will hop in our air conditioned minibus and be escorted by a local guide to the village of Mesa Gonia where you will visit one of the island's greatest treasures; the little Panagia Episkopi Church built in 1115 AD, during the Byzantine period and housing one of the three most priceless icons in the world. We will then be whisked up the hill to one of the more traditional villages, Pyrgos, which also boasts the ruins of a Medieval Venetian castle. The village is overlooked solely by the Mount Profitis Ilias and as one of the highest points of Santorini, offers a fantastic view of the crescent shaped island. Next, you will be off to a wine tasting at a family owned wine estate in Megalochori, where you have the opportunity to learn a little about wine and sip on some of the famous wines of Santorini.
The Grand Finale of the tour sees you entering the gates of the ancient site of Akrotiri, also known as the "Minoan Pompeii" which was destroyed and covered by the ashes of an enormous volcanic eruption in 1450BC. The settlement contained sophisticated multi-story buildings and magnificent fresco paintings signifying the just how advanced the Minoans were at that stage.
In the evening, you will enjoy a farewell dinner at Oia village, overlooking the world's most unique sunset of Santorini.
Day 10 - Departure Day
On this day, you can transfer to the airport or port of Santorini at your leisure.
Half-board provided including breakfast and one other meal daily.
- International & domestic arrival/departure flights
- Domestic transport to Naxos
- Travel/Medical Insurance
- Accommodation in 4 star hotel (Naxos island) and traditional yet luxury studios or apartments (Santorini island)
- Half board (breakfast + one meal)
- All transfers after arrival on Naxos and until departure from Santorini
- All activities as described in the itinerary
- Tour guide attending the group throughout the trip