8 Days in Crete
Crete is the southeast point of Europe at the crossroad of three continents and five seas. It is the meeting point of different populations, by ancient and disparate cultures of centuries. It is a Greek place, with a unique blend of elements from the creative assimilation of various cultural forms in a natural frame of astonishing beauty.
The island offers amazing variety, combining snow-capped mountains, rolling hills covered with olive trees, and over 1000 km of varied coastline. Crete has far more endemic plants than any other island in Europe.
Crete is also a mix of large tourist resorts, small fishing villages, remote settlements, and cities such as Chania, Agios Nikolaos, Rethymno, and Heraklion which have been inhabited for almost 8000 years. Whether you come to Crete for the sea and the sun, the culture and traditions, the peaceful seaside villages of South Crete, or the dramatic landscapes, there is something for everyone.
When we refer to the Cretan diet we should take into consideration that the diet in question was applied under specific social conditions and constituted an inextricable part of a general lifestyle. Apart from the specific choice of food, there were probably numerous other factors that contributed to the beneficial effects of this diet on human health.
The protective effect of the Cretan diet for human health was attributed to its high monounsaturated fat content, due to the daily use of olive oil, as well as to low saturated fat, due to the low consumption of red meat. At present, we are well aware that this particular nutritional scheme possesses important additional features since it is a diet that, when applied in sufficient quantities, provides all the necessary micro-constituents (i.e. vitamins and minerals), and is rich in fatty acids, vegetable fibers, antioxidants, and various phytochemicals, which have a significant influence on several body functions, and a beneficial effect on our health.
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Our nutrition has become internationally recognized in recent years as a distinctive dietary regime with great enduring gustatory and nutrition value. Scientific studies have shown that the Cretan dietary model - fundamentally based on the consumption of pure, natural products shields the human organism against diseases and leads to longevity.
Day 1 - Arrival Day, Welcome to Crete
Pick up at arrival time at Chania international airport or port and transfer to the cottage in the heartland of Crete in Vamos, near Geourgioupolis. Enjoy welcome drinks followed by some free time to settle in.
Tonight's dinner will feature contemporary Cretan cuisine and will be served by your hosts at a Vamos tavern.
Day 2 - Cooking Class
After breakfast during your free morning, you will have an opportunity to take a stroll around the charming village of Vamos or even take a bus or taxi to Georgioupolis. Lunch on your own.
In the afternoon, enjoy with Chef Koula in the Cretan countryside with a glass of wine in your hand, cooking at ease in our kitchen, and then devour the delicious foods you have just created! The lesson will take place at an Old Olive Mill. Dinner (included)
Day 3 - Visiting Local Producers
Today, we visit olive oil, honey, cheese, bread, and jam producers. A day to remember for the rest of your lives. You will also have the opportunity to see the last person on Crete to make sheep and goat bells. After lunch, we will visit a young couple who collect Cretan herbs, very beneficial for our health.
Free afternoon for personal activities (suggestions: you can go and relax to the beach in Kalives or trip to the beautiful town of Rethymno). Dinner (included)
Day 4 - Olive Oil, Wine Tasting and Cooking Class
We start at 10 in the morning, after breakfast, from the local Olive Oil pressing factory where the specialist will demonstrate the olive oil producing process. The taste of pure local oil is followed by the explanation of secrets of Cretan virgin olive oil. We continue on to a Winery: You will share the passion for Cretan wine & you will discover all the winery. Tour is followed by a wine tasting, sampling quality Cretan wines (served with some traditional meze), while the hosts will answer all of your questions. Lunch included.
In the afternoon, another delicious moment will start with your second Cretan cooking class waiting for you. You will have for dinner the dishes you prepared with your chef.
Day 5 - Food Tour in Chania
We will take you this morning to the famous town of Chania for an amazing Food Tour. This food tour combines a walking tour through some of the most picturesque parts of Chania while stopping to taste authentic traditional foods at shops along the way! You will enjoy a unique blending of local food culture, tradition, and history as you explore Chania with all your senses! After this, free time in the town where you can take the opportunity to do quality shopping or to have lunch in a great tavern in the port or in the narrows streets. Lunch included. You will be back at your accommodation in the afternoon. Dinner included
Day 6 - Free Day
Free day for your activities. There is an optional walking guided tour you can do in the morning. It is a walk in the mountain meeting history and nature. We can suggest and organize different wonderful options upon your request; for instance excursion in the south of Crete in the Lybian Sea, or to Samaria Gorges or to Knossos Palace in Heraklion. Lunch on your own. Dinner included.
Day 7 - Last Day of Cooking Class
Free morning for personal activities (suggestion: Kournas Lake NEAR Georgiopoulis)
In the afternoon, last cooking class. You will have the pleasure for the last time to see our legendary chef at the Old Olive Mill and enjoy cooking with her. After the class, a tremendous goodbye dinner will be offered.
Day 8 - Departure Day
Breakfast at the Cottage. Transfer to the airport or port of Chania.
*Transfers to and/or from the Airport or Port of Heraklion will be at extra cost. The transfers to and from the port or airport of Chania are included in the price. All the cooking classes and all activities last for approximately 4 hours.