Join me next Easter in Athens, Olympia and CorfuDec 2nd, 2013 | By Peter Minakis | Category: Air Travel, Athens, Best of Greece, Cooking Tour of Greece, Corfu, Culinary Experiences in Greece, Culinary Tour of Greece, Easter, Featured, Festive, Food Event, Peloponnese, Travel
Join me next Easter in Greece as we tour Athens, ancient Olympia and finish the week celebrating Easter in Corfu from April 13 – 22nd. I have partnered with some friends who created the Thessaloniki-based company Culinary Experiences.
DAY 1 Athens – Arrival and evening walkArrival & check in at the hotel. Head to the city centre and enjoy a delicious dinner in a modern Greek restaurant with a fabulous view to the beautiful Parthenon!
The tour in the city centre continues. Walk around Ermou Street and stop at various small stores for product tastings, to get introduces to the traditional pies, the local spices and their uses, and other delicacies. Reach Varvakios Market, the big downtown market, and see all the fresh fish, meat and fruit that lie on the traders’ benches in abundance, and get a flavor of what original Greek products taste like! Move on to a gourmet greek restaurant and practice your cooking skills under the guidance of expert chefs.
Start your day taking your breakfast on the terrace of the Acropolis museum, enjoying the captivating view. Visit the museum and Acropolis itself and then follow a half-day comprehensive tour from Acropolis to Omonia and see all the famous sites of ancient and modern Athens. The tour includes stops at Panathinaiko Stadium, where the first Olympic Games took place in 1896, Zappeion and the Temple of Olympian Zeus, the National Garden, Hadrian’s Arc, St. Paul’s Church, Parliament, Tomb of the Unknown soldier, Schliemann’s House (Numismatic Museum), Catholic Cathedral, Old Parliament, Constitution Square, Russian Orthodox Church, and much more, offering a perfect overview, especially if this is your first visit to Athens. Follows a hands-on cooking class on greek cuisine and a delicious lunch!
Day 4. PeloponneseToday we tour around the Peloponnese, heading from east to the west. We start with a quick visit to the truly beautiful Nafplion, a city located by the sea inside the Argolic Gulf, with its romantic and relaxing ambient. Moving on to Nemea, a region famous for its vineyards, we do some tasting of quality wines in one of the most well-known wineries of the region., before we enjoy a mouthwatering lunch, prepared with the best local products, and homemade sweets at a traditional tavern in the mountainous village of Vytina. In the late afternoon we arrive at our hotel in Olympia where we will spend a relaxing evening.
DAY 5 Olympia – Acherontas – CorfuExplore the glory of ancient Greece with this unique tour in Olympia, a UNESCO’S world heritage site. Ancient Olympia is the birth place of the Olympic Games. You will visit the archaeological site with the Temple of Zeus, the Temple of Hera, the altar of the Olympic flame, the Stadium. You will also visit the world famous Archaeological Museum of Olympia where you can admire, amongst many priceless exhibits, the marble statues of the Temple of Zeus and the unique statue of Hermes, carved by the ancient Greek sculptor Praxiteles.
Leaving Peloponnese behind, we start heading to the north and our next stop is Mesologgi, where we will learn about and taste the grey mullet bottarga, or avgotaracho as is known in Greece, that is locally processed. Follows some light trekking in the crystal clear yet cold waters of Acherontas, a river that runs through a region of exquisite flora, following a path where, according to mythology, Hades used to take along the dead people with his boat and descent them to the “other world”. Time permitting, we will also visit the Nekromantio, a sanctuary and oracle, to complete this trip of yours to the rich mythology of the area, before we move on to Parga, a colorful, vibrant town by the Ionian Sea. Enjoy a tasteful meal in the local fish-taverns and take some time to walk in the little allies of the town, with apparent influences from the long presence of the Venetians and the Ottomans, and see the impregnable Castle of Parga. Final stop of the day is at Igoumenitsa, to take the ferry across to the magnificent island of Corfu, where your trip continues..!
DAY 6 CorfuCorfu is like an open book of history that invites you to read it in every step of the way, from the cobbled streets of the Old Town, to the important sights around the city. During the Easter period, Corfu is bustling with people coming from all over the place to take part in its numerous customs and feel its festive atmosphere!
Walk around the Town’s walls, make short stops treating yourselves with the famous Corfiot beer and various local delicacies. This walk will bring you at a restaurant in the heart of the Old Town, where you will learn how to prepare food that is appropriate for fasting according to the Orthodox religion as well as sweets and other stuff that are being specially prepared for celebrating Easter in Greece.
Good Friday is a day of mourning according to the Orthodox religion, and later this evening we will be following the procession of the Epitaph around the Corfu city centre.
Holy Saturday and all day in Corfu is a unique experience! Starting from the morning, sit around the Spianada square in the centre and listen to the melodic sounds of the philharmonic orchestra of Corfu that accompany the procession of the Epitaph of the St.Spyridon’s church. Then the mood becomes more festive: watch the local custom of Mpotides, where the locals throw huge jars filled with water out of their nicely decorated windows with the fresh flowers. And the sounds turn cheerful and the fiesta begins!
Spend the rest of your day wandering around in the city and mingling with the crowd, and then we meet again for attending the Resurrection of the Christ, first at the Catholic Duomo for anyone who wishes to do so and then at the Orthodox church. After midnight, taste some of the traditional dishes, such as the famous magiritsa, served to celebrate the evening.
DAY 8 CorfuEaster Sunday will find you celebrating at a simple and beautiful space, a space that combines excellent aspects of gastronomy with a playful touch and is situated in a wild natural setting with amazing panoramic views of central Corfu.
Learn about the history of the place, wander around the vineyard, get acquainted with a big variety of herbs and vegetables in the garden, see the permanent exhibition of equipment that was used for traditional production of wine and olive-oil, and much more. But more importantly, help the hosts in the preparations of the Easter table, learn how to roast the lamb traditionally and all the other customs that Greeks and Corfiots in particular do at Easter time, practice your cooking skills, become part of a big group of people that has gathered to celebrate together, eat, drink and dance!
DAY 9 Departure day
Last breakfast at the hotel, before proceeding to check-out and getting transferred back to the airport. Fly back to Athens, where if you have some free time before heading back home, you can explore the city further and learn even more of its beautiful “secrets”!
We are pleased to offer you the following:
- Dates & Rates:
|Total number of nights||8|
|Group size||8-12 adults|
|Rate per person (in DBL / or SGL)||2450,00€ / 2700,00€|
- Accommodation in 5* & Boutique Hotels
- Airport pick up at Athens & airport drop off at Corfu
- Private group transfers
- 7 full-day guided tours
- Cooking courses and demonstrations by skilled chefs
- 8 breakfasts
- 6 lunches and 4 dinners (10 meals)
- All entrance fees for scheduled activities / visits
- English speaking guide
- Travel insurance
- International & domestic flights, unless otherwise mentioned
- Meals & Drinks, where not listed as included in the itinerary
- Optional additional tours or activities during free time
- Tips and items of a personal nature
- Above rates are per person and include all taxes.
- Should included taxes change, rates will be adjusted accordingly.
- This trip is not recommended for children.
Enquiries and payment made be arranged by emailing—->reservations[at]placesandflavors.com
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