Flavors of Greece: culinary week on a Greek island.

This holiday will give you the chance to get acquainted with various aspects of the Greek cuisine, discover rare regional recipes and sample some excellent local products, savoring the leisurely pace of island life in a relaxed and intimate atmosphere. You will take four different cooking classes during which you will learn to prepare several dishes from various regions of Greece, have a wine and cheese tasting, and enjoy a beach picnic.

During the week you will have the chance to visit the local market where you can taste and buy local delicacies, to explore the medieval settlement and some fishing villages, walk in beautiful nature and forage herbs, and swim on pristine beaches.

You will be staying in a mansion full of old world charm, in the magnificent town of Ermoupolis, which is the capital of the Cyclades and one of the most beautiful towns in Greece.

The cooking class will take place in the villa’s ground floor, originally a cellar with stone arches and an ancient well, now transformed into a professionally-equiped kitchen catering for the villa’s guests.

The program

Day 1

Arrival by morning or evening ferry. For those arriving in the morning, free time to explore the town or have a swim at Vaporia.

Evening welcome drinks and buffet dinner with local specialities. Getting to know each other and talk about the week’s schedule.

Day 2

Breakfast in the courtyard.

Organic and homemade! With freshly baked whole meal bread, cakes ( such as carob, cinnamon and orange, nuts and raisins), jams made with fruit from our garden ( fig with rose geranium, lemon/lavender, Seville orange marmalade), thyme honey, butter and yoghurt from the local dairy farm, our homemade seed, fig and nut granola, fresh fruit…

Morning cooking class at 10: Learn the basics of Greek cuisine. Why it is one of the most balanced and healthy in the world. Secrets and techniques.

A hands-on 3-hour class during which we will prepare a Greek feast of several dishes, that we will then enjoy in the shaded courtyard.

This class will be focused on cooking with vegetables, herbs, grains and pulses, which are a particularly Greek staple.

Sample dishes

  • traditional olive bread
  • parsley/garlic dip
  • beetroot/walnut and yoghurt salad
  • split peas purée with caramelized onions, capers and sun-dried tomatoes
  • chickpeas with rosemary
  • stuffed peppers and tomatoes with herbs, bulgur, pine nuts and black currants
  • sweet milk pie

Free evening.

Day 3

Breakfast in the courtyard.

Market tour where we will visit the fruit and fish market, a shop selling loukoumia ( a kind of mastic or rose flavored Turkish delight) and halvadopites ( a kind of nougats ), the traditional sweets Syros is famous for, as well as shops where you can find and sample the local products from the Cyclades (louza, the local cured spices ham, many different cheeses, award-winning thyme honey, capers, pickled rock samphire, olives and olive oil, olive oil soaps, pickled artichokes, sun dried tomatoes, pasta, liqueurs etc.)

Lunch in a local taverna, where you will try some of the local specialities.

Evening cooking class at 5 (optional)

If you wish, you can join Elisa in the kitchen to prepare some of the dishes for tomorrow’s picnic. The focus will be on traditional pies, each one with different pastries and techniques, such as:

  • mizithra( Greek ricotta) and onion pie from Mykonos
  • courgette, goat cheese and mint pie from Syros
  • “ladenia” with tomatoes, onions and olives from Kimolos
  • “flour pie” with feta and eggs from Epirus

Afternoon rest or swim.

Day 4

Breakfast in the courtyard.

Beach picnic. We will visit one of the pristine northern beaches, accessible only by boat or on foot. We can opt for a short drive and a boat trip (if the weather permits) or a short drive and a 45 minute walk in spectacular scenery.

We will spend the day at the beach and have either a picnic with dishes we have prepared or a BBQ.

Optional: On our way back, if you wish you can enjoy a sunset dinner. If we return by boat, it will be in a taverna on the waterfront of Kini village, and if we hike, in a taverna perched on top of the hill in Apano Mera, the northern part of the island, with spectacular sea views.

Day 5

Breakfast in the courtyard.

There are two options for this day.

Option 1: foraging and cooking class on herbs

We will drive to Megas Yalos where we will meet Maria, a herb specialist and chef who will take you on a foraging walk. You will learn to recognize various plants as well as their uses and properties, both culinary and healing. We will then return to her house where we will have a cooking class and lunch.

Cooking class at 11: The class is focused on Cycladic cuisine, in which the key word is simplicity, and the use of herbs. We will prepare a few dishes using the plants we have gathered and learn new ways to use herbs, infusions and spices, and then have lunch.

Return to town, afternoon rest.

Free evening.

Option 2: Cooking class: a seafood feast

Free morning to explore the town. You can go with Elisa to the fishing boats where she will buy fish from the day’s catch for the evening’s class.

Evening cooking class.

We will prepare regional fish and seafood recipes and then have a seafood feast.

Sample dishes

  • fish roe dip
  • steamed skate with lemon and mustard sauce
  • octopus salad with potatoes, rock samphire, capers and onions
  • fried cod with beetroot and aioli
  • stuffed sardines with tomatoes and herbs
  • anchovies wrapped in vine leaves with lemon and fennel sauce
  • stuffed calamari with rice, herbs and currants

For dessert we will prepare a traditional semolina halwa, or a lemon verbena and lavender sorbet.

Day 6

Breakfast in the courtyard.

Free morning to swim or rest.

Optional: guided tour of Syros industrial museum

In the evening we will visit Ano Syros, the traditional medieval settlement perched on a hill above Ermoupolis. We will walk in the cobblestone streets, admire the spectacular views and then have dinner in a local taverna.

Day 7

Breakfast in the courtyard.

Free morning to visit some of the town’s sights and museums or have a swim.

Evening cooking class at 5: On our last evening, we will prepare a feast with more than 10 different mezedes, small dishes that will accompany our wine tasting. We will try white, rose and red wines from small producers from several Greek regions. We will also have a cheese tasting where we will taste sheep, goat and cow cheeses and we will use cheese in some of our recipes.

Sample dishes

  • aubergine rolls with ricotta cheese and tomato sauce
  • figs stuffed with goat cheese and mint
  • smoked aubergine dip
  • raw zucchini salad with lemon and herbs
  • black lentil and barley salad with red peppers and walnuts
  • vine leaves with rice, herbs and a tahini sauce
  • almond figs poached in sweet wine with yogurt

Our dinner may be accompanied by live music played by some excellent local musicians. You will get acquainted with “rebetiko”, the popular music which Syros is famous for.

Day 8

Breakfast in the courtyard.

Free morning to explore the town, visit some of the sights and museums, or, if the weather permits, have a swim at Vaporia.

Departure with the afternoon ferry at 4.00.

 

Cost per person

1.350 € (private room)

1.150 € (shared twin or double room)

Minimum number of participants: 4

Maximum number of participants: 12

For 1-2 participants, there is a 400 € supplement per person.

For 3 participants, there is a 200 € supplement per person.

What is included

  • 7 nights accommodation
  • 7 breakfasts
  • 1 buffet dinner with wine
  • 4 cooking classes (3 of which followed by lunch or dinner)
  • 1 cheese and wine tasting
  • 1 visit/walking tour to Ano Syros / drinks and dinner in a taverna
  • 1 market tour/ lunch
  • 1 beach picnic/boat trip or hike
  • 1 dinner with wine and live music
  • All transport for the scheduled excursions
  • Refreshments, teas, coffees during your stay
  • All the cooking class recipes

What is not included

  • Airfare, ferry tickets
  • Extra drinks/meals not mentioned above
  • Optional activities

 

Note

This holiday can be tailor-made on requested dates.

Some activities may change depending on the weather and time of the year.