This is a unique culinary seven days journey of flavors through time in lovely Crete.
A week-long cooking holiday, experience to discover the gastronomic heritage of Crete and learn how the local food culture has changed from the Minoan times to today, a great introduction to the authentic cuisine and local culture of this unique Greek island.
Most of the people are wondering what makes rural Crete so special and unique ... maybe the welcoming people, the wonderful food and wine, the history of food since the ancient times and the long meals among friends and family?
Your base or better "your home" for this week will be a small olive farm, surrounded by olive groves and vegetable gardens, in the district of Apokoronas in the north western part of Crete, a 30 minute drive from Chania's picturesque town. The property includes a traditional cottage with a terrace that looks across the plain to The White Mountains. There’s a kitchen in the cottage, but also an outdoor kitchen in the yard with a wood oven, barbeque, sink and an extremely large wooden table, just right for outdoor eating.
- A full-on experience of every aspect of the local gastronomy and its evolution since the Minoan times.
- Greek cookery workshops, so you learn and take home new skills.
- Visits to artisan producers here will really get you under the skin of life in rural Crete and help you appreciate why it is so centered around food and socializing.
Greek cooking workshops and meals:
The holiday includes three hands-on cookery sessions based on Cretan cuisine, the gastronomic heritage that holds the secrets to longevity. Most of the cooking takes place in a wood fire. During the workshops you will get a chance to sample a selection of Greek wines with some produced by local varieties. All your meals have been specially selected and organized so that you can experience the real flavors of Greece with award wining, fresh and seasonal local produce.
Visits to artisan producers:
Honey, wine, olive oil and local cheese. Four products that will be on daily menu – so visiting the people behind these products is essential. Scattered in different villages in the area a beekeeper, a wine producer, an olive oil producer and a cheesemaker will welcome us to their production units and offer a bit of their knowledge. Honey will no longer be just honey! And you will never look at a goat the same way again.
Nature and sites of Archeological importance :
As well as getting to know the culinary heritage of Crete you will have the chance to enjoy Crete’s outstanding nature sites, during our visits to wonderful beaches and Natura sites, nature reserves well known for their unique biodiversity. Alternatively you may choose to visit famous sites of archaeological importance.
Let us know when you book and we will give you all the options.
Your accommodation can range from small traditional cottages that sleep 2-4 people to larger luxury villas. All accommodation is located in and around the village of Litsarda, close to The Olive Farm. When you get in touch to plan your holiday we will discuss your specific accommodation requirements. We will provide a range of options for your particular tour, with photography, before you book the holiday.
Day 1 / Arrival
- Pick up from the airport – or the city center of Chania.
- Transfer to your accommodation in the area of Apokoronas, a leafy region in the Northern coast of Crete with numerous villages between the olive groves and vineyards. Small reception with drinks and meze and info on the schedule of the week.
- Free evening to explore the village – bikes are available
- Meals: Snack
Day 2 / Introduction to Cretan Gastronomy – Central Market
- Visit Visit the central food market in Chania along with our chef – buy provisions for our workshop and identify the products that have their roots in ancient Greece.
- Visit the Venetian harbor of Hania and walk round the old part of town
- Cooking workshop – Dinner at the Olive Farm – The menu also includes ancient Greek dishes.
- Meals: Breakfast & Dinner
Day 3 / Honey bees – Olive oil Soap
- Cycle to the local apiary. Learn about the local flora combinations and the types of honey produced in the area. We will sample honey and buy supplies for our cooking workshop (protective equipment will be provided). Option for car transfer is available.
- Al fresco lunch at the local “kafeneio” (café) or at the beekeepers garden with wine and raki, herbal tea and honey sweets.
- Olive oil soap workshop, learn to make your own handmade soap using olive oil. We have revived the original ancient Greek recipes.
- Evening free to spend as you like
- Meals: Breakfast & Lunch
- Cycling or walking: 40 min - Difficulty: easy
Day 4 / Day excursion to Knossos Palace and Zeus Cave
- Alternatively (tell us what you prefer during booking), we can spend the day visiting the Palace of Knossos and learn about the Minoan Civilization (1700 – 1450 BC). A private archaeologist will provide all the necessary information. Our next stop will be Zeus Cave – a natural cave that legend suggests it was the birthplace of Zeus.
- Early dinner in one of the best restaurants in the area serving traditional Cretan food and dishes rooted to the ancient times.
- Meals: Breakfast & Early Dinner
Day 5 / Local winery
- Visit the local winery – spent some time at the vineyard and have cheese and wine tastings during lunch at the winery. Crete is famous for its wine from local grape varieties and its goat’s cheese so you should never leave the island without having tasted both!
- Cooking workshop and dinner at the Olive Farm – we will revive ancient Greek recipes and cook in clay pots as it was done during the Minoan civilization.
- Meals: Breakfast & Light Lunch & Dinner
- Cycling or Walking: 40 min - Difficulty: easy
Day 6 / A coastal palm forest – Slow food
- Excursion to the coastal palm forest of Preveli in Southern Crete, a protected area and nature reserve. You will have the chance to admire the nature, swim in the river or the sea and even take up a windsurfing lesson if you feel like it on the next bay!
- Slow food restaurant dinner in a small establishment in the foothills of the White Mountains.
- Meals: Breakfast & Dinner
Day 7 / Farewell Dinner
- Free day – You may spend the days as you like, we can arrange archeological visits in Chania – Let us know when during your booking
- Our final cooking workshop at the Olive Farm with a farewell BBQ party. By now you are an expert and have grasped the true spirit of Greek gastronomy.
- Meals: Breakfast & Dinner
Day 8 / Departure
- Breakfast and Departure for the airport or the city center of Chania depending on further traveling arrangements
- Meals: Breakfast
Suggested dates 2017
11 Apr – 18 Apr (A1)
25 Apr – 02 May (A2)
02 May – 09 May (A3)
23 May – 30 May (A4) (Solo Travellers)
06 Jun – 13 Jun (A5)
20 Jun – 27 Jun (A6)
18 Jul – 25 Jul (A7)
01 Aug – 08 Aug (A8) (Solo Travellers)
22 Aug – 29 Aug (A9)
12 Sep – 19 Sep (A10)
26 Sep – 03 Oct (A11) (Solo Travellers)
10 Oct – 17 Oct (A12)
- Accommodation in traditional guest houses
- Breakfast – Lunch – Dinner except day 6 and 7 which are Breakfast and Dinner.
- Carefully selected top quality traditional meals
- All transfers to and from excursions
- All workshops and and activities fees Cheese, wine and honey tasting sessions
- Visits to artisan producers and any entrance fees
- Single rooms
- Meals adopted to specific allergies
- Bicycles and bike equipment
- Car rental although we encourage biking
- Private driver
- Specific dietary needs at your accommodation
- Extension of visit in Crete
- Guided visits and transportation to archeological sites
Price per person: From 1450.00 Euros (based on a group of 10 people )
Get in touch and we will give you a quote depending on your preferences and exact requirements. Children receive up to a 20% discount.
Please contact us for availability and further information when you have some dates in mind to check for availability, along with any other questions you may have.
All e-mails are answered promptly, usually within 24 hours.
From time to time itineraries may be amended, either for operational reasons or in response to feedback from customers. Please ensure you have read the latest Trip Notes before booking or traveling on your tour. Please note that while we operate successful trips in this region throughout the year, some changes may occur in our itineraries due to inclement weather and common seasonal changes to timetables and transport routes. This can happen with little notice so please be prepared for modifications to the route.