Arrival Athens airport. Meet & Greet staff and transfer to your hotel. Welcome wine party and dinner at your hotel.
Day 2 Athens Sightseeing and Dinner at Varoulko
Athens the cradle of democracy and birthplace of western civilίzation is a vibrant city where the new and the old coexist. The majestic Parthenon rises above the city, its ancient glory still visible ίn the timeworn stones. Our panoramic tour ofΙ the city includes the most significant sites and a visit to the Parthenon on Acropolis Hill. Our dinner experience tonight is at Varoulko where Chef Lazarou proudly presents you with the best gourmet ideas and explains personally at your table, the most creative ways to prepare seafood. Each one of the 7 dishes you will taste is a new surprise! Chef Lazarou shares his secrets with you! Overnight in Athens.
Day 3 Corinth, Nemea Wine Tasting, Epidaurus & Bouzoukia!
Leave by the coastal road to the Corinth Canal, short stop. Continue on to Nemea. The hearty – and heady – wines of this famous since antiquity area, made exclusively from the red variety Aghioritiko, used to be called “Hercule’s blood”. Our host here has remarkably relined and updated the taste with his “Super Nemea” blend “Megas Oinos”, undoubtedly of cru classe quality. We then drive on to Mycenae, the Homeric city of the Atreides – the city “rich ίn gold” of the ancient poets. Visit the Lion’s gate, the Cyclopean Walls, the Royal Tombs. Continue to Epidaurus to visit the ancient theater (4th century BC) famous for its astonishing acoustics. One more stop at an olίve refinery for a short visit and we take the road back to Athens. This evening will mark your first acquaintance with a traditional Greek taverna ίn the Plaka area, while being entertained by folklore dancing and singing to the characteristic sounds of the Bouzouki!
Day 4 Flight to Thessaloniki-Wine Tasting & Lunch at Krania Village
Transfer to the airport for our flight to Thessaloniki, considered the “Queen of the North” and second capital of Greece! Arrive at Thessaloniki airport and drive to Dion, the most important monument of the Macedonian era. This sacred city of the Macedonians at the foot of Mount Olympus, was founded by the Kings of Macedonia as a place to worship Olympian Zeus. Drive to Katsaros estate near to Krania village. Sample the aromatic, robust and slow maturing Cabernet Sauvignon, made by Dr. Katsaros (from vineyards at an altitude of 750 m.!) and learn in a most pleasurable way. Lunch at Krania. Return to Thessaloniki where we overnight with dinner.
Day 5 Tour Thessaloniki & Wine Tasting at Anchialos
Today we start our tour of Thessaloniki. The city was founded in 315 BC, and was named after the sister ofAlexander the Great! The city flourished under the Byzantine Empire and its most important buildings date from that time. Our panoramic tour of the city will include the massive White Tower and the nearby Triumphal Arch of Gallerius, built in 303 AD. Continue to Anchialos where we meet a most colourful personality of the Macedonian wine worId – the Zorba of Greek wine Mr. Anestis Babatzimopoulos. Listen to his wonderful stories and discover, besides his refreshing bottles, some unique local varietal grapes. Dinner tonight includes a selection of cooked meat specialties. Overnight in Thessaloniki.
Day 6 Tour Vergina, Wine Tasting & Lunch Naousa-Dinner at Ladadika
Visit of the royal tomb in Vergina which is associated with the resting place of King Philip the Second, father of Alexander the Great. Then drive to the heart of Greece’s Burgundy, Naoussa. The Xinomavro, Naoussa’s dark skinned varietal – has been compared (and not only by the locals) to the noble Pinot Noir. John Boutaris, Greece’s top producer and negociant, guarantees that you will sample the region’s wine at its best. A taste of the local cuisine at Naoussa and return to Thessaloniki. This evening savour a delicious dinner at ”Ladadika”; over 15 dishes of Greek Mezes (hors d’ oeuvres) in the unique atmosphere of the oldest and most traditional part of town. Overnight in Thessalonikί.
Day 7 Flight to Crete, Tour Heraklion and Local Cooking Lessons
Transfer to Thessaloniki airport to board your flight to Crete. Upon arrival transfer to your hotel. Heraklion, the capital of Crete and its principal commercial port, is just three miles away from the fantastic ruins of the Palace of Knossos. Discovered by Sir Arthur Evans and partially reconstructed, the elaborate Palace is believed to be the mythical Labyrinth of King Minos and the seat of ancient Minoan culture. The Archaeological Museum in Heraklion displays many of the treasures found during the excavations. The afternoon is dedicated to a cooking lesson where the secrets of typical Greek dishes will be revealed. At dinner you may taste the fruit of your labors!
Day 8 Tour Knossos, Wine tasting and Olive making Experience
Visit Knossos Palace and continue to Vathipetro, where archaeologists have brought to light the Minoan wineries! Continue to Peza for a demonstration wine tasting of the very wine the Cretans are known to produce since the time of King Minos. We will also visit an olive oil refinery to observe the packaging procedure of virgin olive oil. Dinner in an old Cretan home converted to an excellent restaurant.
Day 9 Full Day Tour Sitia
Full day tour to olive oil refinery in Sitian area. The quality as well as the colour of this oil make it unique in the world and it is used in the mix of fine olive oils throughout the world! We continue on to the 14th century Moni Toplou, one of the wealthiest and most influential monasteries in Crete. There we will have the opportunity to see organic cultivation at work as well as the production of traditional bread and pastries. Tastings of olive oil and wine are included in this visit.
Day 10 Full Day Tour Rethymno & Chania
After breakfast, we depart for the old town of Rethymnon. The wooden lattice balconies overhanging its narrow streets, the several mosques and minarets are a reminder of the Turkish period. Continue along the coastal road to the old town of Chania, where you can visit the leather market, the meat and fruit market, famous for its shape and the variety of Cretan products. Time for lunch at the Venetian harbor. Both towns with their mosques and churches bear testament to the variety of cultures influencing the island. Our Cretan Village evening perfectly rounds off the day!
Day 11 Hydrofoil to Santorini
Transfer to Heraklion port to board hydrofoil to the Cycladic island of Santorini. Transfer from Santorini port to your hotel. The time has come for an ouzo session. Sip the traditional anise flavored drink accompanied by a variety of Greek meze. This will serve as an introduction to the intensely flavored dishes of rocky and dramatic Santorini. Even the humble tomato tastes as never before.
Day 12 Tour Pyrgos & Visit Roussos Winery
Today we shall visit Pyrgos, a charming village. Our walk there will give us an authentic taste of traditional village life and a panoramic view of the island. We continue to breathtaking Prophetes Elias, the old picturesque church of Panagia Episkopi and the old traditional Roussos winery. In the afternoon we shall visit famous for offering an exceptional view of the magnificent sunset this island is blessed with. Dinner at a traditional restaurant overlooking the caldera.
Day 13 Tour Akrotiri & Visits Boutaris Winery
This morning is dedicated to the archaeological site of Akrotiri. Often compared to Pompeii, Akrotiri boasts a much earlier age and preserves amazing ruins dating back to the second millennium BC. We continue with a visit to the Boutaris winery for an introduction to the wines particular to this enchanting island. The Farewell Dinner shall be a veritable least of the senses, whilst reminding you of all the wonders you saw and savoured.
Transfer to Santorini Airport for the Flight back home.