A Food Lover’s Foray
Through Athens and the Greek Island of Aegina
During your visit to one of the most glamorous destinations in the world, you’ll be introduced to the Greek kitchen through foodie tours and restaurants in Athens, and see the Parthenon and Acropolis complex to re-live 2,500 years of history. Greek food is simple and elegant, using only the freshest organic meats and vegetables locally produced. All Greek meals are joined with wine and conversation, many such interludes lasting all afternoon or into the night. Your culinary adventure provides the opportunity to experience one of the most colorful, historic and food-centric cities on Earth. Three days in Athens will combine foodie tours, tastings, markets, sightseeing, typical local restaurants, and a city tour of Athens that includes an Acropolis visit. The ferry trip to Aegina Island will transport you to four days of island living. Three hands-on cooking classes, foodie activities including Ouzo tastings, a fish market tour, and a visit to a Pistachio Nut plantation are planned. Taking in the wonders of Aphaia Temple, a Monastery and Church, fishing villages...plus time to relax and become a part of the local lifestyle are all on the menu.
Land and Sea Package - One Person (Dbl Occ)
Your nights are in a hotel located in the historical triangle of Athens. Magnificent views of the Acropolis, Lycabettus Hill, Piraeus Harbor and the sea are visible from the Hotel Stanley. A full Greek breakfast buffet consisting of ham, eggs, cheese, bread, and fruits will be offered each day. The roof top gardens and swimming pool operating seasonally offer a respite from the city.
Airport Transfer to Hotel & Welcome Dinner
Upon your arrival at the Athens Airport you will be met and transferred to the hotel by an English speaking driver. The hotel is located in the Athens city center, a 45-minute drive from the airport. In the afternoon your host will meet you at the hotel and review all necessary information for your time in Greece. You will then be escorted to your first authentic Greek experience in a taverna in the old town of Plaka under the Acropolis. A traditional taverna, it is the preferred choice of distinguished personalities of the political world, business circuit and art scene. The menu is abundant in fresh selections, with a broad range of traditional Greek dishes and fabulous desserts.
Foodie Tour of Athens with Tastings Galore
The English speaking guided foodie tour of Athens is a wonderful opportunity to sample a wide variety of local delicacies ranging from the mouth-watering syrupy “loukoumades” to traditional meats, and the ever-popular sesame “koulouri". You will visit various specialty food shops, colorful and enticing delicatessens, aromatic and tempting bakeries, grocery and pie shops. A genuine Athenian food tour would not be complete without a visit to the vibrant central Varvakeios food market, with its bustling energy and loud bargaining. This colorful world of fruit, spice, meat and fish stalls will fascinate you. The tour is conducted using necessary public transportation such as the Metro or a bus and you will have free time later in the afternoon to stroll the Athens city center.
Ancient Greek Dinner
Dinner is in a unique restaurant featuring an Ancient Greek menu. The foods of ancient Greece were varied: meats were roasted on spits and cooked in ovens, fish was often cooked with cheese and there was a concentration of vegetables, legumes and fruits. You will learn the ancient Greek recipes and their unique way of eating. They used only forks and spoons, not knives, as eating was a peaceful and friendly encounter and knives were considered to be “war” tools. The infamous potatoes and tomatoes will not been seen during the meal as they were imported much later ... around 1828, after the revolution against the Turkish occupation. The ancient flavors delight the palate and bring the old world into the present.
Discover Athens Guided Tour
After breakfast a guided 3-hour city tour promises discovery of the wonders and magic of Ancient Athens and the Athens of today! The shopping in one of the largest pedestrian zones in Europe (Ermou Str) is amazing. The Monastiraki Flea Market is one of the principal shopping districts in Athens. The area is home to fabulous street food, boutiques, specialty stores, souvenir shops and is a major tourist attraction for bargain hunters. A visit to the Acropolis listed in "1,000 Places To See Before You Die” will be forever etched in your memory.
Ferry to Aegina Island with Resort Welcome
After the Athens tour, you will be driven to Piraeus port for a seventy-minute trip on the ferry to Aegina Island. As you enter the port, drink in the view: a moon crescent harbor with fishing boats, fruit filled kayaks and glamorous yachts jostling for position. Aegina is known for its small ouzeries and fish mezedes on the waterfront, easily recognizable by the small grills and fish cooking on them. Upon arrival you will be greeted and taken to your hotel to check in and enjoy a drink and light refreshment.
Mezedopolio Dinner Experience
Variety is the “spice of life” and you’ll feast on a wide assortment of wonderful appetizers and main dishes. This is an opportunity is to sample many wonderful flavors and creations from the Greek kitchen. The Meze in small plates will be served in the middle of the table so that the many tastes can be enjoyed together. The emphasis here is on sharing; collective dining that transforms a meal into an experience. There will be ample Ouzo and local wine to compliment the dining experience. The chef will also prepare some recipes based on the Aegina pistachio nut in both main courses and desserts. The chef will share some of his cooking “secrets” with you to take home to your own kitchen.
All Things Stuffed Cooking Class
Greece is a nation of small farmers who produce an incredible array of mainly organically produced cheeses, oils, fruits, nuts, grains, legumes, and vegetables. The Chef will lead as you prepare cheese pie and a wide variety of stuffed vegetables (gemista) with traditional fillings prepared from the freshest of local ingredients. Proper temperature and serving styles enhance flavor of these dishes and you will learn both. Side dishes and meza will be chosen from the local seasonal ingredients.
Fisherman’s Dinner in Lovely Village of Perdika
The traditional fisherman village of Perdika is the site for this evening's dinner. Many visitors love this village with a great passion. Perdika is built on a hill, with fantastic views toward the blue waters of the sea and the small island of Moni. Perdika is one of the towns on Aegina that is extremely picturesque and has maintained its traditional look and characteristics. Mr. Notis, the owner of the restaurant, will personally prepare your meal of a variety of starters and 2-3 main courses served in the traditional Greek family-style presentation.
Aegina Island Tour & Dinner at Hotel
The island tour by private car and English speaking escort gives you the highlights of Aegina. On the tour you will see important sites such as Aphaia Temple, an ancient temple built in the 5th century BC and used as a model for the Athens Acropolis and Parthenon. The Monastery and Church of St. Nektarios was built to honor one of the mostly widely known of Greek Orthodox Saints. Visit a pistachio nut plantation. The Aegina pistachio nut is a product very famous all around Greece and the rest of the world known for its unique taste and quality. These nuts will be used in many of your cooking classes. Taste ouzo and small fish appetizers (meze) for lunch at a traditional small tavern in the fish market. This is a great way to get acquainted with your island home. There will be time to relax before dinner being served at the hotel.
Traditional Greek Sweets Baking Class
After breakfast, the morning is filled with pure indulgence as you learn to prepare the traditional Galaktoboureko, crispy pastry with honey and filled with vanilla cream, which is baked to perfection. The Glyko Koyaliou dessert can be made from any kind of fresh fruit cooked with syrup of water sugar and cinnamon. This is a great opportunity to embrace the culture, and relax with Greek coffee and new friends.
Free Day & Farewell Aegina Cooking Class
After breakfast, you have a full day to enjoy the great sandy beaches and stroll through the town of Aegina. Notice that it is a real living and working island, thankfully not a victim of mass tourism. Tonight’s farewell Greek cooking offers an incredibly rich and diverse array of foods that are the culmination of literally thousands of years of living, cooking and eating. While each Greek meal is fresh and inviting, it is also a trip back through Greece’s history. Learn the basics of the traditional Greek kitchen. The selection and preparation of classic cuisine using pure olive oil, tomatoes, olives, onions, feta cheese, garlic and fresh herbs will be explored. In this hands-on cooking class, you’ll prepare some traditional favorites of the Greeks such as the healthy Greek Horiatiki Salad, Tzatziki, Cretian style vegetables and the popular Grilled Pork Soulaki and Pita Bread. Feast on all your hand-made dishes with local wines as you savor the experience.
Port Transfer, Ferry to Athens & Airport Transfer
After breakfast, say good-bye to the lovely Aegean Island. Transportation is arranged from the hotel by car to the port of embarkation on the ferry to Piraeus Port in Athens. Car service will then take you to the Athens airport for your departure flight. Please arrange departure flights no earlier than 12:00 noon.
What Our Customers Say
In Aegina we got to know the people of the island, visited people in their homes, learned about their favorite foods. Ate at a variety of restaurants. Yannis was the perfect host. What a very nice and special person. Enjoyed meeting his family and friends. He even gave us a fabulous Greek cookbook as we were boarding our boat.
Linda – August, 2016
Our Ancient Athens and Aegina Island food adventure was amazing! We were able to get to know Greece, the Greek people and Greek food better than we could have by simply travelling to Athens or Aegina on our own. Our guide, Yannis, not only gave us terrific tours of all of the sites on Aegina Island, he provided us with the historical and cultural background for them. The accommodations were perfect in both Aegina and Athens. In addition, the cooking classes were amazing. Not only did we learn some great new recipes (which we have already shared with friends), we got to really experience Greek life. We were able to talk with the people we cooked and ate with and learn about them, their way of life, and their view of the world. This was truly a once-in-a-lifetime vacation, and it was so much more than just a cooking and food adventure. It changed our understanding of Greece and gave us new insights on its people. We ate, we cooked, we visited, and we learned. Remarkable.
Lynn – November, 2013