Departure from the US for overnight flight to Athens. Connect to flight to Heraklion, Crete (one way only; return to Athens is via ferry). Airfare is not included but Celestial Voyagers can help you get the best airfare and schedule.
Continue with your flight to Heraklion airport on the island of Crete.
We will meet and assist you at the airport. Next, we’ll drive to the village of Axos, a 30-mile drive, about 1¼-hours.
Check in to Enagron for three nights. This eco-hotel is located in a series of apartments artfully set in the natural environment, each with a veranda and views of the area’s mountains and gorges. Enagron is at an altitude of about 1,600 feet near gorges and caves just above the springs of Mylopotamos.
Join a short, guided hike in the afternoon through Enagron’s network of botanic paths filled with native plants, including more than 40 types of herbs used from ancient times till today for food, medicine, and self-care. Breathe deep and immerse yourself in the beauty of the surroundings.
Afterwards, relax and then have a drink and join your travel companions for a welcome dinner at Enagron’s restaurant.
After breakfast, take part in a Cretan culinary workshop to discover its seasonal cooking and gastronomic culture. Learn simple techniques to prepare iconic dishes of the Cretan diet. During the workshop, enjoy a simple Cretan lunch.
In the afternoon, visit Enagron’s farm, gardens, vineyard, orchard, and stable where they cultivate olives, grapes, fruits and vegetables without pesticides or fertilizers yielding sun-ripened produce with deep flavor and superior quality. Milk and eggs are produced on the farm with the same care.
Next, make traditional bread with Enagron’s cook, Stavroula, and bake it in the wood oven. If the sheep are producing milk, she will show us how to make a unique cheese eaten while hot and fresh.
Savor the dishes that you have prepared at dinner, accompanied by that crusty wood-oven fired bread.
Hike on an easy 11/2-hour walk up into the mountains where the shepherd, Panousis, keeps his herd next to his mitato, the small stone hut which provides shelter and a place to make cheese. View the magnificent landscape of Cretan mountains and the Rethymnon coast.
View of the Cretan Mountains from Enagron
Back at the mitato, enjoy a simple lunch cooked in the fireplace by Aphrodite, wife of Panousis, and relax until the walk back.
Later, visit the city of Rethymno (1 hour drive) with a guided walking tour of this charming and seductive city. Spot Venetian and Turkish architecture in the minarets and mansions of beautifully-preserved historic district.
Dine at a local taverna in Rethymno and return to the hotel.
Departure towards Heraklion and Cnossos to visit the palace. Cnossos was the capital of Crete in the Minoan era and housed the famed Palace of King Minos, which has been the most important royal construction ever since its discovery in 1878. Today, Gnossos is the largest archeological site known to humanity, remarkable among the civilizations of archaic Europe.
Next is a visit to the village of Archanes (7 miles, 15’) where we will prepare our own lunch at Anabellos tavern working with a local chef.
After lunch, we visit the Archeological Museum of Heraklion where almost all of the discoveries made in Crete related to the Minoan civilization are housed. We continue with a walking guided visit through the city of Heraklion followed by free time to explore the town on your own.
Dinner at PESKESI (www.peskesi crete.gr), a restaurant specializing in local cuisine in Heraklion.
Return to your hotel by foot (15’ min walk)
Overnight in Heraklion, Crete at CASTELLO CITY HOTEL 4* (www.castellocity.com) or similar.
In the morning, transfer to the port of Heraklion for departure by ferry to Santorini, a 2-hour boat ride through the azure waters of the Aegean Sea.
On arrival, visit the archeological site of Akrotiri, to explore the ruins and the Prehistoric Museum. Learn about the amazing discoveries of the ancient city before the Minoan eruption of Santorini’s volcano about 3,600 years ago including houses, frescoes and pottery.
Lunch at a local tavern to sample the cuisine and flavors of Santorini.
The next stop is the village of Pyrgos for a tour of the famous Venetian castle. The last stop will be in the village of Oia, where we will stroll the streets and gaze upon the world’s most famous sunset.
After check-in to your hotel for two nights, enjoy dinner on your own at the hotel or at a nearby local restaurant.
A 6-hour tour exploring the “real” Santorini will give you the magical and authentic feeling of the island.
The first stop is the village of Megalochori where a walk through the narrow streets will bring you back in time.
At the next stop, learn about and sample the island’s unique wine at a family canava (winery).
Then, learn about seasonal products in the field and cook local dishes in Mrs. Maria’s kitchen. At lunch, eat the dishes you have created accompanied by a tasting of those local wines amidst the splendid colors of the countryside. Typical dishes include yogurt-cucumber tzatziki, Santorini fried tomato & herb balls, stuffed eggplant with feta, and kleftiko meat-filled grape leaves. Receive a certificate of attendance along with the recipes so you can recreate the marvelous flavors of Santorini at home.
Return to the hotel for a free evening and dinner or a snack on your own.
In the morning, embark at Athinios Port on a traditional wooden Caique for a cruise to the island of Thirassia and its volcano. Escorted by your local guide, walk to the crater and visit Thirassia Island.
Free time for lunch on your own perhaps enjoying some ultra-fresh grilled octopus. In the afternoon, return by ferry to Naxos. Dinner will be at a local taverna with the evening at leisure to discover the area and the capital of Naxos.
Depart from your hotel for an innovative gastronomic tour that incorporates Naxian history, culture and cuisine and a cooking class taught by local chefs for a unique and unforgettable experience. Experience the joy and richness of all Naxos has to offer at a delicious and leisurely lunch featuring local specialties prepared with ingredients from their own gardens, flocks (milk and meat), and bakery.
After lunch, we continue with our guided walking tour of Naxos, a chance to get to know its charm, sights, flavors, and warm and hospitable inhabitants.
Return at your hotel in Naxos city center to explore and find your own favorite taverna or restaurant for dinner.
Depart to the Naxos to take the ferry for Athens, a ride of about 71/2 hours across the waters. Lunch is on your own on board the ferry.
After arrival at the port of Piraeus, en route to our hotel, we’ll have a panoramic tour of Athens to understand the essentials of Athenian culture and history while viewing classical ancient monuments, such as the Acropolis, Byzantine structures and modern Greek monuments.
Farewell dinner at VAROULKO
(www.varoulko.gr), a Michelin-Starred Restaurant. Subject to his schedule, meet and greet Chef Lazarou (chef and owner of the restaurant for many years.) Return to your hotel in the city center for your last night.
Breakfast at your hotel and check out. Transfer to Athens International airport for your departure flight back to the US (or extend your stay in Athens–we can help).
Due to Covid 19 pandemic, the proposed hotels may not be the one we will be confirmed in October but any replacements will be of equal or superior quality. Greece is opening to tourism as of July 1 under strict hygiene rules determined by the government. Your safety and comfort are among our top priorities and final confirmation of hotels will depend on a very careful selection related to the appropriate safety regulations.
The itinerary is subject to possible changes or adjustments due to weather and traffic conditions or other unpredictable events. We will make every effort to ensure that any substitutions are of equal value and interest.
This trip is offered by Aliza Green Culinary & Cultural tours
$5975 per person, sharing a double room
Single supplement + $995
|This trip is offered by Aliza Green Cultural & Culinary tours
This trip is a land only program. You can book your airline ticket prior to travel. Celestial Voyagers is an IATA licensed tour operator. We will be able to advise the best schedule, the best routing and best value for your ticket to Greece. Please contact us before booking your flights. Should you choose to purchase your airline ticket on your own provide us with a copy of your schedule. You may have to book additional private transfer between airport and hotel.
Celestial Voyagers Terms & Conditions relate to specific contracts with their Greek partners. The policies below are special and unique due to the situation with the recent pandemic.
Aliza Culinary & Cultural Tours, Celestial Voyagers and all their partners in Greece will surpass your. expectations and deliver a trip of superior quality similar to those they offered prior to the pandemic.
As the situation develops, we may make adjustments to the program but we will commit to creating the best possible program for guests with safety, comfort, and ease our top priorities.
Should the trip cancel due to the evolution of the pandemic all payments will be refunded up to October 1st, 2021
After October 1st, 2021, suppliers in Greece will be paid in full and refund to participants will be subject to whatever refund will be allowed from the suppliers.
A cancellation can always be replaced with a new participant and name change fees will be waived.
We highly recommend that you protect yourself with trip cancellation insurance including medical coverage
All changes and cancellations must be provided in writing via email or postal service.
We advise all travelers to purchase travel insurance in case of any unforeseen circumstances and if you are no longer able to travel. We offer the following insurance policies through Allianz Travel Insurance: Basic, Classic, and Classic with cancel anytime. Prices vary with age and amount insured.
Click on the link below for more details:
Most countries require that a passport be valid for six months beyond the completion of a trip. If your passport expires before May 1st, 2022, you must apply to renew your passport. If you are not a US citizen please check with the consulate of Greece or a visa agency for the latest requirements. You will also need a re-entry permit to return to the USA.
Francoise is the president and founder of CelestialVoyagers. She graduated with a tourism degree at Nice University in France and has worked as a tour director and operation manager in France, Australia and Mexico. Returning to New York City, she founded CelestialVoyagers with the aim of creating uniquely curated group travel for Universities, Schools and other communities having special interests.