Flavours of Northern Greece: A Culinary Journey

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Vineyard in Siatista, Kozani (northern Greece)

Greek Food Guru, Diane Kochilas have taken our budding friendship to another level as we have organized a tour of Northern Greece that will excite even the most world-weary traveler with some of Greece’s best cuisine, artisan producers of Greek products and some of Greece’s top wineries. Diane bring her expertise as a cookbook author, columnist and cookery tour operator and I’ve provided my knowledge of the region with my ancestry bring from Northern Greece (Macedonia).

Diane and I have decided to create a new site, “Flavours of Northern Greece: A Culinary Journey” as a dedicated web portal to announce the itinerary of the tour, provide updates or any changes to the program and offer a glimpse, a teaser for this ambitious and much anticipated culinary and wine tour of Northern Greece. Diane and I will also offer recipes from the region and touch upon some of the artisans and unique Greek products they produce. Have you made any plans yet for this September?

Sample Program
(Subject to adjustments)
Day 1
Arrive Thessaloniki
Settle into Daios or Electra Hotel, near Aristotelous Square
Welcome dinner (TBA)
Day 2
Walking tour: Layers History on the Streets of Salonika (Ancient, Roman, Byzantine, Jewish, etc.) 3 hour walking tour of the city with an excellent guide.
Noon lunch TBA  Theme: Intro to the Flavours of Northern Greece
Afternoon free. Or optional visit to a local cheese maker in Soho.
Later afternoon: Depart for Babaztim. Meze class (Demo and partly hands-on); ouzo/tsipouro tasting. Visit distillery and meet (and maybe even dance!) with the modern Greek Zorba…
Day 3
Morning: Intro to the Cornucopia of Northern Greece: a tour of the Modiano Market.
Meze lunch at Modiano.
Afternoon free to roam.
Wine tasting dinner: An intro to the Great Wines of Macedonia and Thrace with local wine expert / sommelier  We’ll learn about the most important local grape varieties and their unique range of flavors.
Day 4
Early morning departure for Vergina/Pella with guided tour of site.
Visit to nearby winery for a vineyard lunch and cooking lesson: Theme: Products of the Vine, from Antiquity to the Present in the Greek Kitchen
Tasting of Macedonian artisanal cheeses.
Back to Thessaloniki and sleep!
Day 5
Depart early morning for Naoussa, the heart of northern Greek wine country. Witness the harvest.  Tasting of the best Naoussa reds, roses, and blanc de blancs. Focused tasting of local cheeses, paired with wines. Lunch and cooking class of local specialties.  Theme: Harvest Foods from the Vineyard Country
Later afternoon return to Thessaloniki.
Evening free to roam. Restaurant list provided.
Day 6
Early morning departure for Xanthi, one of the most picturesque cities in Greece. Wander and explore. Visit local artisan producers of tahini and other local specialties. Lunch and cooking demo in local homes or taverna TBA.
Return late afternoon to Thessaloniki.
Evening dinner in Thessaloniki.
Day 7
Day trip to Siatista, a gorgeous 19th century fur trading town that has some of the most unique vineyards and foods. Return early evening to Thessaloniki.  OR (TBA) Visit to nature preserve and/or game farm and agrotourism venue.
Evening free.
Day 8
Phyllo, Savory Pies and More!
Early morning visit to Halkidiki, for a hands-on cooking class with one of the best-known local cooks and food artisans. Optional swimming, weather permitting.
Early afternoon return and day free.
Sunset farewell dinner at fabulous Gerovasiliou Estate in nearby Epanomi. Visit the wine museum and enjoy a feast of local specialties and some of the finest wines in Greece.
Day 9 Depart for home.

Cost: $3,750


If you are not reading this post in a feed reader or at  http://kalofagas.ca then the site you are reading is illegally publishing copyrighted material. Contact me at truenorth67 AT gmail DOT COM. All recipes, text and photographs in this post are the original creations & property of the author.

© 2007-2011 Peter Minakis

© 2011,
Peter Minakis

. All rights reserved.

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13 Comments for “Flavours of Northern Greece: A Culinary Journey”


Great idea Peter and we could well have been interested – it’s high time we visited northern Greece again and we’re particularly interested in the cuisine since reading this blog! However, our September is fully booked. Hopefully, we’ll be sampling some home cooked Italian cuisine instead. :) Good luck with it all.


Bummer I’ve already booked trips to Sweden & Alaska this year with a possible knitting retreat in Iceland so, no Greece this year.



I’m so excited for this tour! I lived in Komotini for a year, and after returning to the U.S. I feel like northern Greece is a blank spot on many people’s culture maps. It’s so beautiful up there, and the food was interesting and fantastic – I eagerly await reading about your journey!

Sadly, I don’t know if I can make it out in September :(


The whole tour sounds delicious! I love Greece and the food even more, and I haven’t been back there for years.
Wonderful job putting this together!


This announcement made me wistful; sounds wonderful.I just don’t know at this juncture where on the planet I will be come September! (US or Lebanon); if in Lebanon, I would love to be a part of it.


Great idea!
About time the north was showcased!
It’s always Mykonos, Mykonos, Santorini and Crete! (not that there’s anything wrong with that, but……..
My dad’s side hails from the doorstep of the Babatzim vineyard @ Ossa.
I will be there in Aug/Sept 2011 on my own foodie trail……..
Would love to join, however your costs prohibit.
All the best!