14 Days Wine And Food Holiday To Mythical Greece Tour
We will be waiting for you at the Airport of Thessaloniki upon your arrival. Reception at the airport and transportation to the hotel in Thessaloniki Center. Later in the afternoon we can make our first walk in the city and have dinner at a local "tsipouradiko" with variety of traditional specialties. Accommodation Thessaloniki. Depending the time of arrival : (Lunch / dinner)
Very close to Thessaloniki, on the hills of Epanomi, at an ideal ecosystem for wine cultivation we will visit Domaine Gerovassiliou voted in the top 100 wineries for 2006. The varieties of Assyrtiko, Malagouzia, Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Viongier and Syrah, Merlot, Grenach Rouge, Limnio Mavroudi, Mavrotragano give the Regional Wines of Epanomi.
Less than 45 minutes North of Thessaloniki, on the slopes of Mt Vertiskos lie the vineyards of Babatzimopoulos Estate.
You will have the chance to walk around the organic cultivated vineyards, visit the winery and of course taste the wines. Meze class (Demo and partly hands-on); ouzo/tsipouro tasting. Visit distillery and maybe meet (and maybe even dance!) with the modern Greek Zorba…
Mr Anestis Babatzimopoulos is a visionary winemaker, so be prepared to be surprised from his wines that combine some of the most known international with local varieties.
Except from the great wines you will taste, there is a very interesting oenology museum, with a collection of rare corkscrews dating back to 18th century, 28 rare handmade wine-presses (18th -20th century), amphorae of Mycenaean and Byzantine time and many other old items and tools of the viticulturist.
Evening dinner we will have the chance to explore Thessaloniki's local cuisine (Breakfast / lunch / dinner).
After breakfast we drive to Kavala, following the Egnatia highway, built on the path of the Roman ‘Via Egnatia’. Arriving Philippi we visit the archaeological site of Philippi, i.e. the ‘Forum Romanum’, ruins of the two early Christian Basilicas (the prison where St. Paul was held and preached in 50 AD), as well as the ancient Greek theatre. Ending the tour at Philippi we visit the Texni Oinou domain at Mikrohori Dramas as well as the Vivlia Chora and the Manolesaki, 3 of the greatest wineries of Northern Greece Texni Oinou domain at Mikrohori Dramas: The district, enjoying propitious soil and climatic conditions, has a long history of wine-making, history which is now being revived thanks to the personal initiative and passion of the two winemakers, Yiannis Papadopoulos and Yiannis Kalaitzidis.
From these vineyards the estate produces each year no fewer than 60.000 bottles of its label Techni Alipias - the Greek word Techni meaning art or skill and the word Alipia from ancient Greek meaning absence of sorrow.
The name was inspired by ancient texts which tells us that " Dionysos, the son of Zeus and Semele, bestowed on making the gift of wine so that men might forget their sorrows".
Accommodation Drama (Breakfast / lunch / dinner)
Breakfast and the tour starts in the village of Arnaia, the best example of well-preserved traditional architecture in the area. Arriving the village quick demonstration by a honey producer and beekeeper and try five varieties of honey and the famous honey-tsipouro "Mountovina", only found here. Proceed to the local winery Papayannis and have a tour and wine tasting.
Have lunch as it was made in ancient Greece, prepared for you by a specialized chef. Reach the “Aristotle Park”, dedicated to the great philosopher Aristotle near the ruins of his birthplace, the ancient city of Stagira. Ending the tour we drive to the village of Polygyros where we accommodate. Dinner at the hotel with local specialties.
From Polygyros we drive to the village Ouranoupolis for a boat trip along the coast line of Mount Athos the unique autonomous monastic community internationally recognised as a sanctuary of the Orthodox Christian faith where they can view the unique landscape and the magnificent architecture of the monasteries. Departure time is 10:30 and the cruise lasts ca. 3 hours. The ship heads to the south western part of the peninsula and in ca. 10 minutes; it reaches the sea-borders of the monastic state and its territory.
From there, it arrives in ca. 15 minutes in the area of the first Russian cloister and after sailing by unique beaches, it arrives in the area of the first monastery, Iera Moni Dochiariou, in ca. 40 minutes. Another 7 monasteries follow then, as well as the Holy Mount’s central port, Daphni, and finally the cloisters, small villages, where groups of monks live in every house.
Ending the boat trip break for lunch and next visit the Papayannis winery at Arnaia. Back to the hotel late afternoon. Dinner and accommodation at Polygyros.
Today we will head to the area of Chalkidiki. Sithonia hosts the largest winery in Greece and it is also considered one of Europe’s largest at 400 ha. Across the gulf to the east on the Athos peninsula, within the monastic republic is a Tsantali vineyard, which has the goal of bringing the traditional Mount Athos wines to the outside world.
The two of the wineries we will visit today: Domaine Porto Carras and Tsantali Agios Pavlos Winery. Lunch in one of the two wineries and early afternoon back to the hotel. Dinner and accommodation at Polygyros.
Just a 70 minutes drive from Polygyros, the caves of Petralona are a very popular destination. When you enter the caves of Petralona, it’s like embarking on a voyage to the beginning of time with fascinating stalactites and stalagmites including the remains of what is thought to be the oldest in Europe - 700,000 years old. The caves are also considered among the most important monuments of human prehistory with finds including the fossilised cranium of a prehistoric man. A possible visit to the Petralona winery and lunch with big variety of sea food at Nea Moudania. After lunch drive back to Thessaloniki where we accommodate. Dinner at Thessaloniki at a Tsipouradiko with variety of dishes and tsipouro
Thessaloniki is Greece’s second largest city and the capital of Macedonia (also voted “Best Mid-Sized European city for human capital and lifestyle” by Financial Times in 2014). It offers a rich cultural and historical heritage as well as a cosmopolitan café life. We will visit some of the splendid churches as well including the Byzantine church of St. Dimitrios. Naturally, there’s also time to enjoy the shopping and cafés downtown.
What do you get when you combine Greek coffee, pastries and breads, sweets, Meze, and ouzo? The best introductions into Greek cuisine and culture, all on this tasty Thessaloniki tour.
We taste koulouri and bougatsa While koulouri is a fairly plain (but nonetheless delicious!), bougatsa can be filled with almost anything – cream, spinach, cheese, mince and much more. With both breads having a history that dates back to the Byzantine A tour of the Modiano Market with charming paved alleys, hundreds of people and fresh vegetables, fruits, fish, meat, spices, dairy, homemade products, and many local specialties filling the stalls and “Meze” lunch at Modiano. The tour could not end without a visit to one of the city’s oldest confectioneries for a sample of siropiasta. These syrupy sweets are still made from the original recipes that Greek refugees brought with them during the1920s from Istanbul and Asia Minor, the perfect Thessaloniki food to finish off this tour (and aid your digestion!). Evening dinner will be on to Athonos Square, and be amazed by beautiful scenery that compliments the numerous old-world ouzeris and small taverns. Visit one of the best ouzeris in the city and taste meze accompanied with ouzo or tsipouro - some flavors you won't be forgetting in a hurry, that's for sure! Accommodation Thessaloniki
Today we will head to one of the most historic places in Greece and the old capital of the ancient Macedonia state. The ancient capital of the Macedonian empire, this has been a wine producing region since antiquity. Archaeological finds have depicted Dionysus the Greek god of wine.
Some of the most important remains are the palace, lavishly decorated with mosaics and painted stuccoes, and the burial ground with more than 300 tumuli, some of which date from the 11th century B.C. The tomb of the Macedonian King Philip, father of Alexander the Great is recognised as a Monument of World Heritage by UNESCO. Philip's tomb complete with its unique valuables are kept in a specially designed museum. The first and the second capital of Macedonia Vergina and Pella give to the visitors the whole history of Macedonia with the spectacular findings of the royal graves in the outstanding museum of Vergina and the brand new museum of Pella. The archaeological sites are 2 of the most interesting in Greece.
From here we will continue to Naoussa, the area of Xinomavro.
The area of Naoussa is known for the VQPRD Naoussa' made exclusively of Xinomavro. Wine taste in one of the eleven wineries in the area! From Xinomavro and the other red varieties cultivated in the region (mainly Merlot and Syrah) are produced the Regional Wines of Imathia, a white 'Blanc de noirs' and a fleshy and opulent red that endures through time.
Esperides hotel Naoussa offers relaxing atmosphere, and with our dinner arranged at the hotel we have nothing to worry about, except what wine to choose to accompany our dinner, specially prepared for us with local recipes.
Morning departure for the Macedonian hinterland. This mountainous region of Greece has become a large wine-producing region. One of the highlights is Kastoria, an ancient centre known for its fur productions, beautifully situated on Lake Orestiada. The town of Kastoria, renown centre of the fur industry and also famous for its lake and 75 Byzantine churches. A Neolithic lake settlement, 7000 years old, was discovered here, and you will have the opportunity to stroll through and admire the reconstruction of the village which represents the contemporary musicological concept. Wine taste in one of the few of the wineries: Amyndio Winery, Kir Yianni Amyndio Winery, Voyatzis Estate, Zandes Winery. Keep driving south direction Meteora and Kalambaka where we accommodate. Dinner at Kalambaka.
Visit Meteora among striking scenery, perched on the top of huge rocks which seem to be suspended in mid-air, stand ageless Monasteries, where you can see exquisite specimens of Byzantine art. Depart from Kalambaka direction Delphi. Arrival Delphi early afternoon. The Greek kitchen cooking class at Delphi. Accommodation Delphi.
Visit the Archaeological Site and Museum and drive the mountain of Parnassus to the village of Polydroso where we visit the winery Argyriou - one of the best small wineries in Greece -. Wine tasting and lunch on spot. Departure direction Athens. Arrival Athens early afternoon. Dinner at a beautiful restaurant of Athens. Accommodation Athens.
Guided Athens city tour including Acropolis. Lunch at the most well known restaurant in Plaka Mpairaktaris. Walking tour and shopping time at the center shopping area of Athens Ermou Street. Farwell dinner. Accommodation Athens.
Breakfast and transportation to the airport for the flight back home.
All prices listed are in US$. If you are paying in a different currency, your price is locked in with US$. but the price in your currency will depend on the exchange rate at the time your deposit is charged, then again when your balance is due. If you would like to lock in a price with a currency other than US$, you can do so by paying the full amount at the time of your reservation.
30% of the total is due at time of booking to secure your spaces. The balance is due 60 days before your tour begins.
If you booked more than six months in advance. your deposit is refundable within 50 days of the time you place your reservation.
If at the time of cancellation, it is more than 180 days in advance of the vacation, and also more than 50 days after you made your deposit, your deposit is non-refundable, but we will be happy to apply 100% of it toward any of our other vacations anytime within the next 12 months.
If at the time of cancellation, it is between 180 and 90 days in advance of the vacation, your deposit is non-refundable, but we will be happy to apply 40% of it toward any of our other vacations anytime within the next 12 months.
Once the Full Balance is paid (60 days or less before the start date):
If at the time of cancellation, it is between 60 and 14 days in advance of the vacation, your deposit is non-refundable, but we will be happy to apply 40% of it toward any of our other vacations anytime within the next 12 months.
If at the time of cancellation, it is between 14 and 0 days in advance of the vacation, your deposit is non-refundable, and we unfortunately cannot apply any portion to future vacations.
These cancellation terms reflect times that we must pay out expenses for your trip on your behalf. At times that we no longer offer refunds, we have already paid out the associated costs, and refunds are not available to us. Because of this, we are unable to bend these terms.
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Alumni discount is available. Please contact us.
Gratuites / tips
In Crete, tipping drivers, guides, etc. is customary but not mandatory. Our guides, host, driver, etc. all happily accept tips, but they are never expected. We have seen guests leave huge tips for our staff, and we have seen guests leave no tip at all. Either way, both of those guests are equally appreciated.
Mr George Portokalakis