The Top Ten Food And Drink Holidays In Greece

  • by XpatAthens
  • Wednesday, 19 August 2015
The Top Ten Food And Drink Holidays In Greece
Here, we examine the Daily Telegraph's pick of the top 10 food and drink holidays in Greece for 2015, including wine tasting, olive harvest and traditional Greek cookery courses, in destinations such as Santorini, Paros, Crete and the Cyclades Islands.

1) Sifnos
Sífnos in the Cyclades has one of the more distinctive, scrumptious island cuisines, and was the birthplace of Nikolaos Tselementes (1878–1958), author of the first Greek cookbook and Greece’s answer to Mrs Beeton. He documented such local dishes as revytháda (baked chickpea stew), mastélo (lamb and red wine clay-pot casserole), and kókoras krasáto (cockerel in wine sauce). Course participants will get to grips with these and other recipes as well as mastering a repertoire of local herbs. Courses can be booked on the spot through the concierge service of the comfy Verina Suites in Platys Gialós or the equally cutting-edge Verina Astra just outside Artemónas. 

Courses: £16 per day including ingredients and lunch. Verina Suites and Verina Astra from £80 a night

2) Santorini
Santorini is the other Cyclade with a notable local cuisine, relying on indigenous white eggplants, fava (split yellow peas, not the sound-alike broad bean), baby tomatoes, caper greens, cheeses and sausages from neighbouring islands.  Yiorgos Hatziyannakis, head chef at Pyrgos village's acclaimed Selene Restaurant and Bisto, has been instrumental in the revival and promotion of traditional island cooking.  Selene offers three foodie experiences. The most popular is the guided folklore museum visit, short cooking demonstration and set bistro menu.  There is also a one-day hands-on cooking course (every Thursday from 10:30am) at the upstairs restaurant.  And the three-day course, which includes winery and cheese-factory visits, a fishing trip and various meals, is available for groups only by pre-arrangement.

Museum visit/cooking demonstration£35, drinks extra; one-day course £65 or £110 with gourment meal; three-day course from £275

3) The Cyclades and Thessaly
Cooking courses on the Cycladic island of Tínos, famous for its dovecotes and marble relief sculpture, or in the historic Thessalian hill-town of Ambelákia with its ornate mansions are offered by Cooking Lessons Greece. Tínos is a short ferry ride from either Piraeus or Rafína (the latter close to Athens airport). Ambelákia, 150km south of Thessaloníki and 350km north of Athens, is best accessed with a hire car as part of an extended mainland trip. The one-day (10am–5pm) Tínos lesson involves ingredient-shopping for a three-course lunch and then preparing it.

The two-day course includes a tour of a local winery or the local Nisos brewery (same group size, price €290–350).
The one-day Ambelákia course (9am–5pm) is similar (same group sizes and prices) but includes breakfast.
The two-day course throws in a winery visit. 
One-day courses from £120, two-day courses from £230

4) Arhanes village, Crete
Since the 1990s, Crete has been a leader in the promotion and revival of traditional Greek cooking and ingredients. With its long growing season and established pastoral culture, the island was a natural for the role. The bistro-deli Bakaliko, in the central square of Arhánes village 14km south of Heraklion, offers light sit-down menus as well as local products to take home – wine, raki, the rusks much loved across Greece, olive oil and paste, carob products, cheese, charcuterie and more. It also runs single-day cooking courses (9.30am–3pm) each Tuesday from May to October inclusive. After a welcome snack and pitches by local producers, the lesson begins in earnest with five pan-Hellenic recipes given a unique Bakaliko twist, ending with participants consuming the feast produced.
£85 a head for 4–5 people, otherwise £70, to a maximum of 12

5) Monemvasia
The luxurious Kinsterna Hotel, 7km south-west of fortified Monemvasiá, opened in 2010 in a painstakingly restored 17th-century mansion. Its spa, rooms, suites and “residences” have since set a new quality benchmark for the Peloponnese. Kinsterna hosts short demo courses run by its head chef. In Session I, participants select fresh ingredients from the gardens, which find their way into hearty filo-pastry pies. There’s a fish dish to tackle too. Session II focuses on spoon sweets, marmalades and a sweet tart. 

Rooms from £170, lessons from £60

To read more, please visit: The Daily Telegraph