Type Land Only
Departure Date Friday, October 2nd, 2020
Return Date Wednesday, October 14th, 2020
Final Payment Date
Tuesday, June 25th, 2019
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Departure from the US for the Island of Crete. Overnight flight to Athens with a connection to Heraklion, Crete. Airfare is not included but Celestial Voyagers can provide service to get the best air fare and schedule.
Arrival in the Island of Crete
Continue with your flight to Heraklion airport in the island of Crete.
Assistance and transfer to the village of Axos (30 miles, approximately 1h 1/4 drive).
On arrival check in for 3 nights in the traditional village of ENAGRON, located at an altitude of approximately 1600 feet, near gorges and caves and just above the springs of Mylopotamos, the river that gave its name to the region. Accommodation is this eco-hotel is in a series of apartments beautifully set in a natural environment, each with a veranda with a view towards the mountains and gorges of the area.
Free time for lunch. In the afternoon, join a short guided hike across the vegetation of Enagron, walking through a network of botanic paths all linked to the economy, mythology, religions and medicine from ancient times till today.
You will see, touch, smell and even taste different species of plants that surround Enagron.
Meet your travel companions at a welcome dinner and welcome drink at Enagron’s restaurant.
Discover the Cretan gastronomy:
11h00-13h00: After breakfast we will participate in a Cretan culinary workshop with an introduction to seasonal cooking and local gastronomy. Through simple practical techniques, we will learn how to prepare several dishes of the traditional Cretan diet, one of the world’s best known examples of healthy nutritional models.
Lunch will be served during the workshop
After lunch we continue with the visit around the farm, the gardens, the vineyard, the orchard, the stable at Enagron where they cultivate olives, grapes, fruits and vegetables without the use of any pesticides or fertilizers resulting in the authentic flavor and ultimate quality of the products. The same applies to milk and eggs produced in the farm.
17h00-18h00: In the afternoon, you will learn how to make traditional bread and cheese:
Enagron’s cook, Stavroula, will take us on a journey into the past when every woman used to make the daily family bread in her home. First, she will show us how to knead and shape the bread and then how to bake our homemade bread in the wood oven with its iminitable flavor. Then, when the farm shepherd’s sheep produce fresh milk, Stavroula will shows us how to make our own local cheese, unique in that it can be enjoyed while hot and fresh .
Dinner at Enagron will be created from the dishes cooked in the workshop and the wood-oven fired bread.
Bucolic excursion to the Shepherd’s House
09h 00: Departure for an excursion in the wild nature of Cretan mountains. We hike up (1h ½ easy walk) on a path which leads up to the mountain into beautiful scenery, where Panousis, the Shepherd, keeps his herd next to the mitato (bucolic haze stone building). We will enjoy a view of the mountains and the coast of Rethymnon in the midst of this magnificent landscape.
13h30: Back at the mitato, we will enjoy a simple lunch prepared by the shepherd’s wife, Aphrodite cooked in the fireplace and relax until we set out to hike back to Axos.
In the afternoon we visit the city of Rethymno (30 miles, 1h00’) with a guided visit in this seductive city, which has a great charm and beautifully-preserved historic districts. Venetian and Turkish architecture can be recognized in the minarets and mansions of the old city.
Dinner 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.peskesicrete.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.
Ferry Crete to Santorini Akrotiri, Pyrgos & Oia
Transfer from your hotel to the port of Heraklion for departure by ferry boat to the island of Santorini.
08h40: Departure of the ferry (itinerary 2019 – schedule subject to change)
10h25: Arrival in Santorini
On arrival, visit the archeological site of Akrotiri, to explore the ruins of the site and the Prehistoric Museum of the island (3 hours).You will have the opportunity to experience some of the amazing discoveries of the ancient city, before the Minoan eruption of the Santorini volcano, about 3,600 years ago where we find houses, frescoes and even pottery.
Lunch at a local tavern to sample the local cuisine and flavors.
The next stop is the village of PYRGOS for a 30 minute tour of the famous Venetian castle. The last stop will be in the traditional village of OIA, where we will stroll the streets of the village and gaze upon the world’s most famous sunset.
After the sunset transfer to your hotel.
Arrival at HOTEL EL GRECO 4*. Check in for 2 nights.
Dinner on your own at the hotel or at a nearby local restaurant
Wine tasting & cooking class tour of Santorini
Departure from you hotel for a unique experience, a 6-hour tour to explore the “real” Santorini,a magical and authentic feeling of the island.
The first stop is the traditional village of Megalochori where you can experience Santorini’s past. A walk the narrow streets of the village will bring you back in time.
Next stop, a winery, will be your first encounter with the unique local wine of the island at a family canava (winery). Afterwards, learn about seasonal products in the field, and have the exceptional experience of cooking local dishes in the kitchen of Mrs. Maria, eating the dishes you have created along with a wine tasting while enjoying the splendid colors of the countryside.
Sample menu for the cooking class
• Tzatziki (yoghurt, cucumber, garlic and herbs)
• Santorini Fava (beans boiled with onion)
• Santorini tomato balls (fried batter with tomato pieces, onion and herbs)
• Santorinian salad (Tomatini, Santorini cucumber, chili [Santorini cheese, Santorini capers, onion, olives)
• Santorini aubergine stuffed with feta cheese, garlic and basil,.or kleftiko (meat with seasoned vegetables,
wrapped in grape leaves and baked)
• Dessert of local yoghurt with spoon sweetest
Thirassia island & volcano in the morning
After breakfast transfer to Athinios Port and embarkation on a ‘Caique’ (wooden boat) for a cruise to the volcano, walk to the crater and visit of Thirassia Island escorted by your guide.
Free time for lunch on your own before returning on the ferry.
Ferry to Naxos in the afternoon
15h30-17h30: Ferry Santorini – Naxos (itinerary 2019 – schedule subject to change)
Arrival in the port of Naxos and transfer to your hotel
Check in at 3-star HOTEL XENIA for 2 nights in this hotel which is nicely located in the town center.
Remainder of the day at leisure to discover the area and the capital of Naxos
Dinner at a local restaurant.
Naxos culinary experience
Departure from your hotel for a full=day tour with a delicious and leisurely lunch at a traditional mountain village tavern, featuring local specialties prepared with ingredients from their own garden, flocks (milk and meat), and bakery. This innovative gastronomy tour incorporate Naxian history, culture and cuisine. You will experience the joy and richness of all Naxos has to offer. Taught by local chefs, the cooking class will be a unique and unforgettable experience.
Lunch will be served during the cooking class.
After lunch, we will have a guided walking tour of the island so you can get to know all its charm, sights, flavors and its warm and hospitable inhabitants.
Return at your hotel in Naxos city center, where you will have the opportunity to discover and find great taverns or restaurants for dinner on your own.
Departure to the port of Naxos to take the Ferry for Athens
09h30 -15h00: Naxos – Piraeus (itinerary 2019)
Lunch on your own, on board the ferry
15h00: Arrival in the port of Piraeus and transfer to your hotel.
En route, panoramic tour of Athens: passing by the Temple of Olympian Zeus, Hadrian’s Arch, the National Garden, the Parliament, the Presidential Palace with its Evzones and the tomb of the Unknown Soldier, we arrive at the Panathenaic Stadium where the 1st modern Olympic Games took place (15’ stop). Then we proceed, passing the Academy, the University, the National Library, Omonia Square, the Place of Constitution.
This tour offers an insightful resume into the multiple cultural flavors of Athens, through a variety of attractions that range from classical ancient monuments, such as the Acropolis, to Byzantine structures and Modern Greek Monuments.
Check in for 2 nights at PALLAS ATHENA GRECOTEL, a 4 star boutique hotel (or similar) (www.grecotelpallasathena.com) o
Dinner at a local tavern in the city center TO AVGO TOU KOFORA. Van transfer is included.
Departure by bus, accompanied by your local guide for the Acropolis and its Museum. Before reaching the Acropolis we will walk to the flea market in the centre of the city (2’ min walk from the hotel) to discover the traditional Greek spices and herbs that are a main ingredient in the local gastronomy. Also the Varvakeion agora with its endless choices of fish and meat, enriching your culinary experience
Then we depart by bus for the visit of the Propylaea, the Temple of Athena ‘the victorious’, Parthenon and Erechtheon.
We continue with a visit to the New Acropolis Museum which houses objects from monuments and excavations on the Acropolis: bas-reliefs, statues and ceramics from prehistory to late antiquity.
Free time for lunch in the area of Plaka, the old district of Athens. After lunch we will continue with a walk in the historical city center passing by the ancient Agora, the Stoa of Attalos, the temple of Hephaestus, the flea market of Monastiraki and the picturesque district of Plaka. Guided walk at Plaka, the old quarter of the city with the famous narrow tangled streets, low houses, Byzantine churches, taverns, steep terraces and many popular galleries.
Leisure time in the afternoon and return to the hotel.
Departure in the evening to the south of Athens and the small port of Mikrolimano.
Dinner at VAROULKO (www.varoulko.gr) and subject to his schedule, meet and greet with Chef Lazarou (chef & owner of the restaurant) for many years.
Breakfast at your hotel and check out. Transfer to Athens International airport for your departure flight back to the US.
• Breakfast daily, 6 lunches and 7 dinners (beverage not included)
• All culinary activities as mentioned in the itinerary
• Professional English speaking local guides
• Wine tasting and cooking classes according to the program
• Airport assistance on arrival and departure
• Entrance fees to museums, monuments
• All boat tickets for the ferry crossing
• Luxury coach or minivan for transfers and excursions
• Chef Aliza as your tour leader
• 10 nights accommodation with shared double room
• 3 overnights at 3* Hotel Enagron, Axos, Crete (or similar)
1 overnight at 4* Hotel Castello City, Heraklion, Crete (or similar)
2 overnights at 4* El Greco Hotel, Santorini (or similar)
2 overnights at 3* Hotel Xenia, Naxos (or similar)
2 overnights at 4* Hotel Athena Pallas Grecotel Boutique, Athens (or similar)
• Single room supplement + $995.00
• International flights from the US to Heraklion, returning from Athens
• Meals not mentioned in the day by day itinerary
• Gratuities to guides and drivers
• All personal expense
• Optional trip cancellation and travel insurance
• Passport & visa fees. Passport expiration must be after Jan. 13, 2021
Everyone needs a passport valid until January 13, 2021. If you are not an American citizen, a visa may be required. A Green Card or equivalent is compulsory.
• Online: During your registration, you can submit your payment by e-check or by credit card (Visa, MasterCard, Discover & American Express). There is a 3% service fee for all online payments. To avoid this fee, you can mail a check or money order.
• Phone: We accept credit card & e-check payments by phone. Credit card payments incur a 3% service fee but there is no service fee for e-checks.
• Post Mail: You could also mail a paper check or a money order. Checks should be made payable to “Celestial Voyagers” and mailed to the address in the “Contact Us” section.
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, Deluxe, and Classic with cancel anytime. Prices vary with age and amount insured.
Click on the link below for more details:
Package Price $5,975 per person, sharing a double room
Early Bird special $5685 if the deposit is received before December 15, 2019
Currently this information is not available
CelestialVoyagers Terms and Conditions relate to specific contracts with various suppliers.
The policies and regulations below must be strictly enforced.
Aliza Cultural & Culinary Tours and Celestial Voyagers Terms and Conditions relating to specific contracts with the service providers. The policies and regulations below must be strictly enforced. No extension to the early bird deadline can be considered as it depends entirely on the suppliers
• $1000 Deposit at the time of reservation is transferable but non-refundable
• $3000 2nd payment due by April 10, 2020
• Balance due July 31, 2020
• For cancellation received between prior June 30, 2020, penalty 30% of the trip value
• For cancellation received between June 30 and August 17, penalty 50% of the trip value
• For cancellation received after August 17 and for no show penalty 100% of the trip value
Currently this information is not available