The Essence of Greece
(Option: Customized Itineraries)
Poros Island, Greece - 7 nights
Available April to October - Saturday to Saturday
This week long culinary tour of Greece features fabulous food and excellent wines, colorful open-air markets bursting with gorgeous local products and four unique hands-on cooking classes that explore the healthiest and most delicious food in the world in one of the world's most captivating destinations. Nothing can bring you closer to the essence of Greece than this fantastic hands-on cooking vacation. This culinary tour takes you way beyond the usual tourist experience to get to know the real Greece – tasting, smelling, seeing, touching and learning how to create delicious, authentic Greek dishes yourself.
Get to know fascinating Greece by getting to know its food! Lively Poros Island, the winding alleyways of historic Hydra and the Trizina hills studded with olive orchards and lemon farms – these are the breathtaking backdrops for our cooking vacations in the Aegean Sea.
This week long cooking vacation takes place in the wider Saronic Gulf area, part of the Aegean Sea. Your base is Poros island (just 1 hour from Pireaus port on boat). Each stop on this culinary tour reveals more about the famed Mediterranean cuisine and diet. We offer you the opportunity to participate in cooking lessons at local people’s homes, restaurants, hotels and even a boat if you visit with us in October. The program is based on small groups so you get to go behind the scenes and gain an insider's insight into how the locals live.
Greece’s beauty and charm are undeniable… deep blue skies, whitewashed towns, a long and rich history and cultures, incomparable simplicity and hospitality, plus the lively and warm smile of the Greek people. As if this was not enough, the food and cuisine of Greece are outstanding! Enjoy them on this culinary experience tour and live like a Greek!
You will also be able to see how the ancient Greeks established the corner stone of the Arts & Sciences of the world. We will guide you to breathtaking archaeological sites such as the Theatre & Museum of Epidaurus the glorious town of Nafplio - a once in a lifetime journey, feel and taste the soul of Greece with us!
DAY ONE - SATURDAY
Welcome to Greece! You will be collected from Athens International Airport and taken to Piraeus Port to catch the ferry to Poros. Please note that you must organize your arrival flights to be in Athens AIRPORT between 10:30am and 15:00 (3pm) to be able to connect to your transfer from Athens to Poros. It is highly suggested to spend time in Athens prior to the program start date in which case you will be picked up at your hotel in Athens instead of the airport.
You will then be picked up at Poros Port and driven to your accommodation where you host will welcome you. Your hotel is overlooking the Saronic Gulf and is surrounded by a lovely beach, footpaths and breathtaking landscapes. Get to know your guide and learn more about this Greek cookery and nature holiday. If arrival is early in the afternoon, you will have the opportunity to relax by the pool or enjoy a swim in the blue sea.
In the evening, we will present you with the recipes you will learn during your week. Join us for a Welcome Dinner at the hotel's restaurant.
DAY TWO - SUNDAY
After breakfast, enjoy a Heritage Walking Tour. Follow an experienced local guide, who will lead you off the beaten track to discover Poros Old Town from a different perspective. In addition to that you will see the clock tower which is the symbol of Poros, and the wonderful architecture of the neo classical buildings.
Lunch at a town restaurant. The early part of the afternoon is free for individual activities.
Dinner tonight at the hotel. (included)
DAY THREE - MONDAY
After breakfast, you will have your first amazing cooking lesson with fresh and seasonal ingredients (3 hours).
Lunch will consist of the scrumptious dishes that have been prepared at the cooking school in Askeli. The school is within walking distance from your hotel.
Free afternoon for individual activities.
Enjoy dinner tonight on your own.
DAY FOUR - TUESDAY
After breakfast, a cooking lesson follows : we will prepare a typical “Greek meze” (Greek tapas - 3 hours).
Lunch will be served with the meze and other delicious homemade food at our cooking school. Three course meal with wine or refreshment.
Dinner tonight on your own.
DAY FIVE - WEDNESDAY
You are in for a special treat today!
After breakfast, we will go to the legendary island of Hydra, a must-see place! Hydra is right next door and is only a 30 minute trip by hydrofoil. No cars are allowed - the only transport are donkeys, bicycle or foot - so get ready for a day without vehicles!
After visiting the glorious main part (chora) of the island, you will have a great lunch at a beautiful restaurant. Fares are included.
Dinner included at the hotel.
DAY SIX - THURSDAY
Free day for you to explore Poros Island and/or its surrounding zone. Of course, we can arrange for you to rent a bike, or a scooter, or a car to travel across the mainland (e.g. Peninsula / Volcano of Methena ), or if you prefer you can go to a next door island called Aegina, or just relax by the beach or the pool.
Lunch and dinner on your own.
DAY SEVEN - FRIDAY
Today you will have two cooking lessons. One is in the morning at our cooking school (you will learn how to prepare pies). You will enjoy a three course meal with wine or a refreshment (2 hours).
Another cooking lesson will be held in the afternoon. It involves making two famous Greek pastries which you will taste at the end (1.5 hours).
Dinner included at the hotel.
DAY EIGHT - SATURDAY
After breakfast, you will be transferred to Poros Port to purchase your ferry tickets to Athens. (once you arrive Athens: buses, the underground and taxis take you directly to the airport or anywhere else in Athens).
*We suggest making departure flights after 3pm, not in the morning and the later the better. If you cannot keep flight times within these parameters, plan to spend extra time in Athens before and/or after your cooking vacation.
*The content or order of the itinerary may change depending on dates, availability of services or activities, local festivals/holidays, weather constraints, etc. Menus are samples and may vary according to the season
NON RESIDENTIAL DAY COOKING CLASS
You will visit one of the oldest and most traditional Greek taverns in Poros marina and you will be initiated into our cooking secrets with plenty of “hands on” preparation and cooking.
Our chef and restaurant owner will show you how to prepare a 3 course meal, which you will enjoy at the end of the lesson.
The venue is a warm and traditional family owned tavern, famous for years among locals for its delicious home style cooking. The owner will welcome you with a small glass of “ouzo” which is a traditional Greek spirit for the newly introduced and a great courage booster for all amateur cooks who are about to enter into the fascinating world of Greek cooking.
The hands on class include 2 starters and a main course, starting in the morning from Monday to Friday from mid April to the middle of October.
A minimum of 2 participants is required to run this tour and the tour is limited to a maximum of 12 participants.
(The number of participants refers to how many persons are required to run the tour, not to how many persons you must have in your party. Please inquire.)
HOW TO ARRIVE
Closest Airport: International Airport of Athens Venizielos
First possibility : The airport is 1 hour from Piraeus Port. Then, from Piraeus Port to Poros Island it is 1 hour with the fast boat.
Second possibility: Galatas Port is about 2 hours and 15 minutes from Athens Airport by the coast road; and then Galatas to Poros it is 2 minutes to cross with taxi boat.
(this option only applies to groups of 10 or more)
Poros is an island, transfer times are dictated by the ferry schedule.
Please note that you must organize your arrival flights to be in Athens AIRPORT between 10:30am and 15:00 (3pm) to be able to connect to your transfer from Athens to Poros.
For departure day, check in at the airport must be after 12:00pm, not in the morning. We suggest organizing your flight for 3pm or after (the later the better).
If you cannot keep flight times within these parameters, plan to spend extra time in Athens before and/or after your cooking vacation. In most cases, it will also be possible for pickup and drop-off directly from/to a centrally located Athens hotel.
2024 Fees Per Person
*Pricing may vary depending on market fluctuation
After availability is confirmed, a 30% non-refundable deposit per person and the completed and submitted registration form will secure your reservation. Final payment is due in full 75 days before your arrival date.
Available April to October based on availability - Saturday to Saturday
SEVEN NIGHT PROGRAM
*Transfer from Athens Airport (or Athens hotel) to Piraeus Port on arrival day
*Ferry ticket to Poros (tickets will be waiting for you at the port)
*Seven (7) nights' accommodations at a 4 star hotel with daily breakfast
*Meals mentioned in the program: 7 breakfasts, 4 lunches, 3 dinners
*Four (4) Greek cooking lessons learning one course in each lesson
*One (1) guided heritage walk in Poros town
*One (1) excursion and guided tour to Hydra
*All transport to and from the activities
*All cooking material and ingredients
Airfare, museum entrance tickets, the meals and drinks and excursions that are not listed in the program, travel insurance, personal expenses, tips, ferry ticket back to Piraeus Port from Poros on departure day and the transfer once back in Athens on departure day are not included.
NON RESIDENTIAL DAY COOKING CLASS
*Cooking lesson with three course meal (2 starters, 1 main course) plus water, wine, drinks and one dessert
For further inquiries or to register, click here.
Please contact us for cancellation policy information. Travel insurance is highly recommended.
Mimi B., Fircrest, Washington
Suzanne P., Portland, Oregon
Melanie S., Olympia, Washington
I will make many of the dishes that were taught to me as they were simple to cook but very delicious Our local guy was so enthusiastic and helpful to our group of older women every day.
I loved the small village feel of the island of Poros. We felt safe and comfortable and pampered! I certainly would recommend Active Gourmet Holidays to my friends and to strangers because I thought it was a wonderful experience and a great value. AGH did a great job!"
Marlene P., Vancouver, Canada
Anne K., Evergreen, Colorado
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*In some cases mapping may give clients a general sense of location due to changes in venue. Please inquire about specific location.
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