Zakynthos, Greece - 7 nights
Available March to November - Saturday to Saturday
The magical Greek island of Zakynthos awaits your arrival. Zakynthos, located in the Ionian Sea, is known for its pristine crystal beaches. Picture clear turquoise waters and beautiful landscapes, meet warm people and taste simple and delectable cuisine - and you have found Zakynthos! This will be an unforgettable experience as your hosts, a local family, will introduce you to all that is authentic on this small island. You will be in the company of local islanders and after your stay you will become family. The itinerary provides plenty of time to swim and to be on the water - afterall, this IS the home to the famous loggerheard turtles and perhaps you will be lucky enough to swim with one beside you!
During your stay you will take cooking classes from locals who will teach you authentic Greek recipes. You will visit a winery and visit the must-see sites of the island including Shipwreck Beach. Above all, you will experience the kitchens and traditions of this captivating island of Zakynthos. Your accommodation is located in the perfect spot - a short walk away from Laganas beach as well as a five minute stroll down to the lively downtown area with quaint shops, restaurants and tavernas.
Welcome to fabulous Greece!
DAY ONE - saturday
ARRIVAL TO GREECE - TRADITIONAL WELCOME DINNER
You will arrive at either Zakynthos airport or Zakynthos port and will be met by an English speaking private driver and driven to your accommodation in a traditional village which is home to the stunning sea turtle Caretta caretta. Laganas will be your base for this fabulous culinary experience. You can check in anytime after noon. All accommodations have en-suite bathrooms and kitchens.
Relax and get settled into your new home for the week. Later you will receive a warm welcome from your hosts who will join you for drinks and go over the weeks' itinerary. They will be happy to give you advice on everything to do in your free time.
In the afternoon, you will have a visit the region of Bohali, at the very top of Zakynthos town.
Afterwards you will enjoy a traditional welcome dinner here, with spectacular views across the harbor and out to the sea. Enjoy an evening of tradition - listening to local singers serenading you while you sip local wines and Greek ouzo!
DAY TWO - SUNDAY
COOKING CLASS AND SWIMMING
After a delicious breakfast, you will be cooking with your lovely hostess who will teach you how to prepare and cook a traditional light dish full of vitamins, summer colors and great aromas! Today you will cook traditional Greek stuffed vegetables and a colorful organic Greek salad with feta cheese. Your instructor is happy to share her vast knowledge of the traditional cuisine of Zakynthos.
Time to explore the surrounding area. Where you are staying offers you the opportunity to enjoy the famous sweeping bay, with its shallow, crystal clear water, where you can swim, snorkel and maybe run into the famous loggerhead turtles.
Then, return to the accommodation and join your hosts for the lunch of your creations which will be served outside in the a garden.
DAY THREE - MONDAY
FARM TO FORK CULINARY EXTRAVAGANZA
After a traditional breakfast, we head out to the picturesque north of the island. A refreshing swim at the “healing” beach of Xigia will set you up for the day. Sulphur springs bubble up from the sea bed, making the warm waters mineral rich. There’s a slightly eggy aroma, but your skin will thank you for the experience!
We will continue driving north through picturesque villages to a family owned and run mountain taverna where you will enjoy a farm to fork culinary experience.
After a warm welcome, and a cool welcome drink, Grandmother Athina will show us, step by step, how to cook a family recipe handed down the generations: stuffed free range chicken in tomato sauce with pasta, plus a variety of starters.
While the food cooks in a traditional wood-fired oven, our hosts take us around the farm to see where the ingredients were grown and to meet the livestock.
Then back to the taverna where in the shade of a spreading oak tree we will enjoy the food we cooked, plus local wine, and homemade dessert to add that final sweet flourish.
DAY FOUR - TUESDAY
BOAT TRIP TO TURTLE ISLAND - COOKING CLASS
Today is another exciting day! After a lovely breakfast, you will have another cooking class. This lesson will explore making rabbit in tomato sauce and tzatziki, using fresh and organic ingredients right from the owner's land.
While the rabbit is cooking, take a break if you wish by exploring the town or hanging by the beach, or you can join us on a boat trip to “Turtle Island”, which is a tiny uninhabited island. You can enjoy swimming in crystal clear turquoise waters and sunbathe on the island’s golden sands. Return to the villa and enjoy the lunch you helped prepare.
In the evening, we will visit a vineyard and winery run by the third generation of the Grampsas family. It is beautifully presented, from the neat rows of vines to the display of winemaking equipment from bygone days. Son Tassos will talk you through the whole wine making process before inviting you to sit on the shady terrace to sample white and red wines with local cheese.
DAY FIVE - WEDNESDAY
SWIMMING AT SHIPWRECK BAY - MEMORABLE SUNSET DINNER
Today you can sleep in if you'd like - relax and enjoy a leisurely morning on the property.
Around noon we will visit several gastronomic stops on the way to the northern part of the island where you will hop on a boat to go swimming in Shipwreck Bay. Many times there are paragliders who launch themselves from the towering cliffs - quite a sight!
If the weather is too windy for the boat, we will still be able to admire the shipwreck from the viewing platform set into the cliff top.
Tonight you will be treated to a traditional dinner at a local taverna. The restaurant is famous for the Zakynthian cuisine and its welcoming owners, but also boasts the most magical sunsets on the island. A spectacular day all around!
DAY SIX - THURSDAY
MAKING BAKLAVA IN ZAKYNTHOA
Mid-morning, we visit a confectioner’s shop in Zakynthos town.The fourth generation confectioner and shop owner will put on his apron to show you step by step how to make classic Baklava (almonds, walnuts and spices folded into buttery filo pastry).
We will then go on a leisurely walk around the town with our first stop at the Church of the island’s patron saint, St Dionysius. The huge inside is richly decorated with gold and icons. The saint’s remains are here in a silver casket, which on some occasions is open for viewing. Then walk along the harbor and sample a local custard-type pastry from a street stall before walking through Solomos Square and hearing about the poet. At St Mark’s Square sit and watch the world go by outside a traditional coffee shop. Batteries recharged, you are ready to hit the shops before a final stop for lunch at a traditional taverna. There’s a wide choice of food, but this is a good chance to try the famous souvlaki or gyros.
Arriving back in Laganas around lunch time, you may relax and enjoy the afternoon and evening as you wish.
DAY SEVEN - FRIDAY
FAREWELL - GREEK STYLE!
Today is yours - enjoy a leisurely day - perhaps a day at the beach, or just relaxing with a good book. We can also suggest some excursions if the word "relaxing" is not in your vocabulary!
Tonight will be a farewell party at a nearby taverna. Feel free to wear that special, more dressy outfit tonight. We will enjoy a traditional Greek celebration, with great food and company, plenty of local wine and of course Greek music and dancing.
A perfect ending to what we hope was an incredible and memorable week!
DAY EIGHT - SATURDAY
Enjoy a leisurely breakfast and perhaps take a stroll for some last minute shopping or take a dip in the ocean one last time until next time! Check out by noon.
You will be driven to the airport or the port in plenty of time to catch your flight.
We hope you had an amazing stay and hope special memories were made here on Zakynthos Island!
*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
A minimum of 1 participant is required to run this tour and the tour is limited to a maximum of 7 participants. (Please inquire about larger groups up to 15)
(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: Zakynthos Island Airport (3 miles from accommodation)
Closest port: Zakynthos Port (4 miles from accommodation)
LOW SEASON (MARCH, APRIL, MAY, OCTOBER, NOVEMBER)
(Excluding Special Greek Easter Week of April 25-May 2, 2019 - please inquire)
MID SEASON (JUNE AND SEPTEMBER)
HIGH SEASON (JULY AND AUGUST)
*Pricing may vary depending on market fluctuation
After availability is confirmed, a 30% non-refundable per person deposit and the completed and submitted registration form will secure your reservation. Final payment is due 75 days before arrival.
Available March to November - Saturday to Saturday (please inquire about alternate arrival day)
March 30-April 6
April 25-May 2 – Special Greek Easter Week (please inquire about pricing and itinerary)
May 25-June 1
June 29-July 6
July 27-August 3
August 31-September 7
September 28-October 5
October 26-November 2
*Seven (7) nights' accommodation (in a studio or an apartment with en-suite bathroom and kitchen)
*Airport or ferry/port transfers
*Four (4) hands on cooking classes - a total of 10 hours of cooking
*Four (4) lunches
*Three (3) dinners
*Boat trip to Shipwreck Beach and the Blue caves
*Boat trip to Turtle Island
*One (1) Baklava making lesson and confectionery visit
*Visit of the Turtle museum
*Swimming at Dafni beach
*Tour of the town of Zakynthos
*A memorable Greek celebration night
Airfare, personal expenses, optional tour suggestions and city tax (.50 cents per day) are not included.
For further inquiries or to register, click here.
Please contact us for cancellation policy information. Travel insurance is highly recommended.
Furnished upon request.