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13 nights hotel accommodation / double occupancy on bed & breakfast basis (fine located A Class 4**** & 5***** hotels ), 12 days English speaking private driver, 12 days private A/C vehicleFuel, Road taxes, Drivers accommodation and meals, All transportations Athens and Crete, Flight and ferry tickets in Greece, All breakfasts all lunches and dinners as per program
   Included in the price
§         Accommodation Athens double occupancy at DLX 5***** hotel for 2 nights (day 1 and 13)
§         ATHENS: Return transfers from/to Athens airport
§         Athens city tour including Acropolis in the morning  (private car, driver and tour guide)
§         Flight tickets ATHENS / HERAKLION - CRETE
§         CRETE: Transportation port / hotel by arrival and hotel / port by departure
§         Accommodation at the Thalori Traditional Complex in a twin/double room house for 5 nights
§         Accommodation at the Veneto luxury suites **** at Rethymnon double occupancy for 1 night
§         Cretan cookery lessons on day 3,4,5,and 6
§         A visit to archaeological sites of Gortys, Phaestos and Knossos (guiding/entrance fees are extra)
§         A visit to the women’s co-operative work shop of Marathos
§         A visit to the monasteries of Arkadi and Odigitrias
§         A visit to Argyroupolis natural springs and Matala caves and Zaros Lake
§         A gastronomic walking tour of Heraklion
§         A gastronomic walking tour of Chania
§         A visit to local bee-keeping honey producers and tasting of produce
§         A visit to local wineries and tasting of wine
§         All transport to and from the excursions
§         All cooking materials and ingredients
§         Breakfast each morning
§         Dinner on days 1-13
§         Lunch on days 2-13
§         Dinner on board on day 8
§         Dinner accompanied by bottled table water, and bottle of local wine every 2 persons 
§         Ferry tickets CHANIA – CRETE / PIRAEUS at DLX or A2 Cabin (double outside cabin with shower and WC)
§         Chartered vehicle with English speaking driver for the cultural drives in Crete for 6 days
§         Chartered vehicle with English speaking driver for the drives to Nafplion / Olympia / Delphi / Kalambaka / Athens for 5 days
§         Fuel and road taxes
§         Drivers accommodation and meals
§         Accommodation Nafplion double occupancy at 4**** hotel for 1 night
§         Accommodation Olympia double occupancy at 4**** hotel for 1 night
§         Accommodation Delphi double occupancy at 4**** hotel for 1 night
§         Accommodation Kalambaka double occupancy at 4**** hotel for 1 night
§         5 breakfasts / 5 lunches / 5 dinners when in Athens and mainland during the Classical Greece tour
Prices are based on two sharing a double room / house, a single supplement applies for those traveling solo 


Arrival Athens. Reception at the airport. Transportation to the hotel. Dinner at the hotel. Accommodation Royal Olympic 5***** Athens (Dinner)

Athens city tour Morning will come and pick you up and do Athens city tour including Acropolis and the new museum of Athens. End around 1.-1.30 PM. Break for lunch and transportation to the airport and flight to Heraklion – CreteUpon arrival at the Heraklion airport, you will be met by your Cretan host and driver George and before being driven for the 70 minute transfer to the Thalori Resort first take you to local restaurant for dinner with a variety of local food. Accommodation Thalori resort. (Breakfast – Lunch – Dinner)

Day 3. CRETE:
South Central Crete: Culture, Food and History
Enjoy a rich breakfast and ready to explore the south-central part of the island with your host George Today we’ll visit Gortys, the ruined capital city of the Roman province Including an impressive theatre, the Basilica of St. Titus the eponymous saint converted the island to Christianity and
was the first bishop, the Odeon and the Law code. Ending the visit drive west and the palace  of Phaestos the second most significant archaeological site of the Minoan civilization  Phaestos is located at the southern region of the prefecture of Heraklion in the valley of  Messaras. The site of the ancient city is very impressive and the palace compound, although not as extensively restored as the compound of Knossos, offers a detailed insight of the everyday life of such a historically remote period. According to mythology the king of  Phaestos was Radamanthes brother of king Minos of Knossos, and superior judge of the underworld.
Stop off in the fishing village of Kokkinos Pyrgos for lunch and enjoy local specialties – or freshly caught seafood 
at the sea front restaurant of Kokkinos Pyrgos  After lunch you’ll head back to the Thalori complex and head to the kitchen for your first cooking class. The today’s cooking class based on the fish and seafood that was purchased earlier in the day. Fish soup with rice in egg and lemon, the famous KAKAVIA (fisherman fish soup), fish with tomato and onion sauce baked in the oven, shrimps “saganaki” in tomato sauce, wine and feta cheese and cuttlefish in pot with fennel or octopus stew in tomato and onions are a few of the cooking menu items to create a  delicious dinner to enjoy with the other guests  and will be accompanied with copious amounts of pure, homemade local wine and raki. Accommodation Thalori resort. (Breakfast – Lunch – Dinner)

Day 4. CRETE:
Crete: the caves of Matala, the monastery of Odigitrias lunch with locals and the Moussaka cooking class
Breakfast, slow drive to the monastery of Odigitrias or Xopateras. Rich history back to the Turkish occupation. Centre of revolutionary against conquerors. Beautiful frescoes. Next stop the beach and caves of Matala has by far the best-known beach in Heraklion province. These are believed to be ancient tombs first used by Romans or early Christians to more recently inhabit by a sizeable hippie community. Modern artists as Bob Dylan, Cat Stevens, and Joni Mitchell, amongst others.  Lunch in Matala at sea front restaurant with local specialties. On the way back we buy fresh fish and sea food that will be on our tonight’s cooking class and dinnerThis evening’s hands-on class focuses on vegetables and George will teach you preparation techniques that transform basic ingredients into the stars of the table, full of richness colors and flavors. Tonight’s hands-on class is based on a variety of vegetables and minced meat with prep techniques that transforms basic ingredients into a full table of colour, flavours, variety and richness. Moussaka, Aubergines Papoutsakia, fried vegetables in tomato sauce, smoked eggplant and Pastitsio (the Greek Version of Mac and Cheese),After the class sit down as a group and enjoy the meal you’ve learned to cook accompanied by local wine. Accommodation Thalori resort. (Breakfast – Lunch – Dinner)

Day 5. CRETE:
Crete: the lake of Zaros, small winery and wine tasting, and joining lunch with locals, Beehives and Art pastry at the women cooperative of Marathos village
After a rich breakfast, we drive north direction the lake of Zaros. Beautiful environment. Have a break for a while for a cup of coffee and drive east north to Sivas a village near Heraklion. We visit small well known family winery, depending the season we may have the chance to join the way they produce the Cretan Raki. We taste Raki and home made unique wines and spend few hours with the locals join them on their daily life and try various home made plates. After lunch drive North West to a place 20 km far from the city of Heraklion; Beautiful virgin nature is perfect pasture for bees. Old traditional bee keeping methods ensure ecological, clean and free from any additives honey and other bee products. First honey of the season is collected from spring thyme blossoms this golden
yellow honey is perfect source of nature’s ingredients. We do a visit to a small local café / restaurant run by the owners since 1949. The owners (two brothers) have been beekeepers since all their lifetime taking the business from their father, therefore, we taste honeycombs straight from the beehive and learn everything about bees and beekeeping as well as having a kind of pancakes we call  them –tiganites – deep in honey and small cheese pies with honey in company with local wine and the Cretan snap – Raki -. You will definitely feel the positive effect to your body and soul.
A visit to a women cooperative at the near village of Marathos where they make the very special – unique art pastry small and bigger round breads – called XOMPLIASTO KOULOURI – and the forgotten monastery of Halepa. Bbreak for lunch at the small village of Drossia and drive back to Thalori for the 3rd cooking class. This hands-on class will take you through the process of making stuffed tomatoes, peppers, courgettes, and aubergines…as well as  Dolmadakia (little stuffed wraps) with vine leaves, sorrels or pumpkin flowers. These all will be enjoyed as our dinner and will be accompanied with copious amounts of pure, homemade local wine and raki. Accommodation Thalori resort. (Breakfast – Lunch – Dinner)

Day 6. CRETE:
Crete: Knossos, Walking Heraklion, 4th cooking class
Today we visit the palace of Knossos. When visiting the island of Crete someone must see the ancient palace of Knossos, built 3.500 years ago.  Ending the visit of Knossos drive to Heraklion. A walk in the heart of the city of Heraklion with stops at small shops, tasting special cheeses with a shot of raki and having lunch at a small Mezedopolion is a wonderful way to round out your week on the Island of CreteWe will walk the streets of the city and meet nutritional wanderings elevating the palate to heaven!! Will explore unique tastes on this walking tour of Heraklion. Will join the real daily lifestyle the people of Heraklion live. The day will start from the best small pastry shop in the city. Gloria: Artistic feeling+ imagination+ pure fresh ingredients = fascinating for your palate. We taste the “Galatoboureko” custard cream and filo dough pastry in syrup and “trigono” cheese cream and filo dough pastry in syrup. Incredible taste never have taste anything like that!! Walk the central market and stop for an OUZO with MEZE (Small bites accompanies the spirit) at one of the traditional Mezedopolion of the street. We will be part of the people walking / talking / arguing. Visit the cathedral of the city Saint Minas, and then the Morozini fountain at the heart of the city, the Venetian church of Saint Marcos / now gallery, the church of Saint Titus. Break for lunch at city center with variety of local specialties and drive back to the resort. Get ready for the last cooking class which is Pork bites in tomato sauce in oven with orzo, and Drunken Pork bites cooked in wine and oregano are wonderful appetizers paired with Raki. Boneless pork with celery and egg and lemon sauce, Oven baked pork or Lamb with potatoes called pseeto, Cretan sausages in tomato sauce and chilli type hot Cretan peppers also on the menu. Dinner will be accompanied with copious amounts of pure, homemade local wines. Accommodation Thalori resort. (Breakfast – Lunch – Dinner)

Day 7. CRETE:
Crete: the Arkadi monastery, City of Rethymnon and waters of Argyroupolis
After a rich breakfast, you will enjoy a slow drive through the vineyards and small villages of the region. You will visit the 16th century monastery of Arkadi, the small village of Margarites popular for the ceramics they produce and a slow drive to the Water of Argyroupolis where lunch will be served with a variety of Cretan vegetable and cheese specialties and abundance of grilled meats. After lunch, drive back to the city of Rethymnon where every street will take you on a journey through history. Venetian and Turkish buildings have become small restaurants, cafés and shops. Your walk down the narrow streets will take you to small tourists’ shops and coffee houses where you can mingle with locals. We accommodate at the beautiful restored 16th century palazzo turned to one of the most beautiful small boutique hotels in Crete and we dine to the famous restaurant of the hotel. (Breakfast – Lunch – Dinner)

The bread of Georgioupolis and region of Chania Culinary tour and city walk
After a full breakfast buffet, you will depart direction Chania. First break at the small sea front village of Georgioupolis where they are baking a special smoked taste bread for last 100 years every day including Saturday, Sunday and Holidays, and depending on the season, Winter or Summer they making between 600 to 1000 loaves per day with a consistent quality, definitely not the supermarket sliced loaf but proper bread in the old tradition. We buy and taste this bread. Keep driving west to the city of Chania  The town market of Chania dating back to the 1900’s is a cross-shaped gallery that houses over 65 food stores, presenting fresh fruits, vegetables, meat, dairy products, breads, legumes and anything else you may want such as cafés, restaurants and shopping. Lunch will be in Spaltzia (Turkish quarter during the Turkish occupation) at an old harbour restaurant featuring a variety of local specialties and sea foods. Later in the afternoon we drive to the port of Souda (port of Chania) and embark the ferry for the night ferry trip to Piraeus. Check in our cabins (DLX or A2 as per boats availability. Dinner or board. Accommodation on board (Breakfast – Lunch – Dinner)

Arrival port of Piraeus early in the morning. Break for breakfast on our way and departure direction Peloponnese. First stop for a coffee break at the Canal of Corinth. The tour will continue to Epidavros for visiting the Ancient Theatre. Break for lunch. Our next stop will be at Mycenae for visiting the famous Palace, the Lions Gate and the Tomb of King Agamemnon. Passing by the Bay of Nafplion, we will arrive in the picturesque town. Dinner and overnight in Nafplion. Accommodation Nafplion at a 4**** hotel (Breakfast – Lunch – Dinner)

Driving through the central Peloponnese, Arcadia, as well as the town of Tripoli and Megalochori . A visit at the little village of Vasta to visit the little church of Agia TheodoraThis little church was build somewhere between the 11th and the 12th century. This church has 17 trees on the roof, each tree weight over 1000 kgr.
The ground isn't solid enough for those trees to be placed. Another unexplained phenomenon is the underground water which flows from the church and beyond. But the most interesting part is that nowhere you'll find a root from the trees inside the church. Many researches has been made, even with X rays to find wherever the roots are inside the walls of the church, but its not. Additionally the trees heights are almost 30 meters!
 Now imagine a tiny church not more than 3x2 meters having 17 trees on the roof of each weights 1 ton (or maybe more if you calculate also the weight of the leaves for each season, and weather conditions such wind and storms), 30 meters height, since 12th century, without any physical explanation or damage. That’s got to be a miracle!! Keep driving west an hour later arrive in Olympia, the cradle of the Olympic Games. There you will have the opportunity to visit the Sanctuary of Olympian Zeus and the museum. Dinner and overnight in Olympia. Accommodation Olympia (Breakfast – Lunch – Dinner)

Departure from the hotel for Delphi through Patras, the capital of the Peloponnese. Cross by the bridge from Rio to Antirion and passing by Nafpaktos (Lepanto) and having break for lunch at a sea side small beautiful restaurant. Keep driving and make a stop at the seaside areas of the beautiful Galaxidi . Arrive in Delphi. Dinner and overnight at Delphi. Accommodation Delphi (Breakfast – Lunch – Dinner)

Delphi was truly a Pan-Hellenic site for the ancient Greeks; they all gathered here to celebrate Apollo and to get practical advice from the Pythia, the priestess. Aside from its historical importance, Delphi is a wondrously beautiful place. Morning visit the museum and the ruins of Delphi. Drive north direction the holly rocks of Meteora. Arrive afternoon. Accommodation Kalambaka the little city at the slope of Meteora. (Breakfast – Lunch – Dinner)

Meteora is a must-see on any trip to Greece. Here are some of the most ancient, active monasteries on all of Greece, perched miraculously atop the mountains along the Pinios River. Their history goes back to the 14th century when the monks sought refuge in the Cliffside caves then fled higher to build the original wooden shelters, later transformed into monasteries. They are veritable Byzantine museums exhibiting superb icons, old manuscripts and unique mosaics and frescoes. Visit the women monastery of St. Andreas. Break for lunch and drive direction south to Athens. Arrive late afternoon. (Breakfast – Lunch – Dinner)

Breakfast and transportation to the airport for the flight back home (Breakfast)

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