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Food and Wine of Mainland Greece
12 days/11 nights
April 17-28, 2024
based on double occupancy
($1250 optional single supplement)
$150 extra hotel night before the start of the tour based on double occupancy, $215 for single occupancy
• 11 breakfasts,
• 7 lunches (wine included)
• 3 dinners (wine included)
• Transfers from Thessaloniki airport and to Athens airport
• All accommodations from start to end of tour
• All transportation during the tour (air-conditioned bus or minivans)
• All included group activities, wine tastings, entry fees as per itinerary
• A full-time Two Dog Travel tour director with you and available 24/7
• A local professional bi-lingual guide for most activities
• All local guide, driver and restaurant tips are included per itinerary
What's not included
• Airfare, airport taxes and other transportation to and from the pickup location
• Personal charges such as laundry, telephone calls, rooms service, mini-bar, souvenirs
• Private excursions not mentioned in the itinerary
• Gratuities for chambermaids or personal porters
• Gratuities for your Tour Dog Travel tour director (at your discretion)
Tour Director - Stephanie Kinnebrew
The tour begins in Thessaloniki and ends after breakfast in Athens. You should arrive into Thessaloniki by 4 pm on April 27th and can depart from Athens any time on April 28th.
NOTE: Would you like more time in Athens or perhaps a few days on a Greek island? Let Two Dog Travel know what your are interested in and we can make the arrangements.
Day 1 - Overnight in Thessaloniki - D
Welcome to Greece! After your arrival at Thessaloniki Makedonia Airport, you will be met by a driver and transferred to the historic Bristol Hotel, a centrally-located hotel near the sea and our home for the next three nights. The Bristol, a member of the Historic Hotels of Europe, was built in 1870 as the Ottoman Post Office of Thessaloniki. We will begin our Greece Food and Wine adventure with a welcome dinner where we will enjoy our first taste of Greek cuisine at a quaint restaurant located near the hotel.
Day 2 - Overnight in Thessaloniki - B, L (food tour)
Our first full day in Greece will begin with food! We’ll enjoy a fun walking tour of Thessaloniki where we will taste local food and walk through some of the oldest food markets of Europe to discover the rich foodie side of Thessaloniki. A local food expert will share an up-close insider view of the city culinary traditions, revealing how food is a fabulous fusion of ingredients brought together over centuries as merchants and traders traveled the Mediterranean. We’ll start with a traditional Greek coffee before we enjoy tastings of different local cheese, olives, desserts and, of course, stop at a local tavern to taste a bit of ouzo and enjoy lunch. After tasting and enjoying the foods of the region, you’ll have the rest of the day to spend as you’d like. You might choose to enjoy one of the fabulous museums in Thessaloniki, or perhaps do as the locals and stroll along the sea wall before stopping in a cafenion for an afternoon coffee and people watching.
Day 3 - Overnight in Thessaloniki - B, L
After breakfast, we’ll begin the day with a tour of the highlights of Thessaloniki. We’ll see the famous White Tower, the most prominent monument in the city, which had been used as a fort, a garrison and a prison. Because of its fame as a notorious prison it was also known as “Tower of Blood” (Kanli Kule) or “Red Tower.” We’ll visit the church of Agios Dimitrios and its famous crypt. We’ll drive through the city to view some of its more famous sites such as the Arch of Galerius before heading up to the Byzantine fortress wall to one of its towers. Here we’ll enjoy an amazing view over the city, down to the harbor and, weather permitting, on to Mount Olympus. After our short tour of the city, we’ll head south of the city to a local winery. We'll visit the vineyards and learn about their wines. We'll enjoy a tasting with the owners before sitting down to lunch. Next, we'll visit a small family business cultivating some 15 hectares of Sultana vineyards where they produce 11 different products but yet not a single drop of wine. Their best known product is the vineleaves and traditional Greek dolmades or stuffed vine leaves. We will visit the 30-year-old vineyard and learn about their products before having a short dolma rolling class where we will try creating our own perfectly-rolled dolmades. Next we’ll taste some of their products includng the dolmades, olives, vinetops and pies (with Feta) handmade by the village’s women association, founded by the family’s mother, Marianna. Upon returning to Thessaloniki, you'll have the evening to spend as you'd like.
Day 4 - Overnight in Kalabaka/Meteora - B, L
After breakfast and checking out of the hotel it’s time to head south toward Meteora. On the way we'll stop in the quaint mountain town or Siatista. Here we’ll enjoy a special day as we tour one of the historic mansions Archontiko “Poulkos." The town enjoyed great wealth during the 18th and 19th centuries, thanks to the fur trade and the production and sale of liasto wine. After our tour we'll visit the locally-owned winery, Diamantis, where we'll meet the owners, visit their vineyards and cellar, taste their wine. Then we'll enjoy lunch at a local taverna with more Diamantis wine.. After this unique day we’ll travel the rest of the way to Meteora, one of the most amazing places in Greece and a UNESCO world heritage site. After checking into Dellas Boutique Hotel, situated in the shade of the rocks of Meteora, you'll have the remainder of the evening free to spend as you'd like.
Day 5 - Overnight in Kalabaka/Meteora - B, L
After breakfast it’s time for another unusual adventure as we head to the forest to go truffle hunting! We’ll watch as the talented truffle-hunting dogs lead us to the secret spots where the truffles are hiding. After collecting the truffles, our guide/chef will begin to prepare, in a huge dish out in the forest, a tasty truffle pasta dish. As he’s preparing our lunch we’ll learn about the secrets of truffles, why they grow and how to use them in your recipes at home. Once the pasta is done, it’s time to sit around the table, open bottles of wine and enjoy our lunch. After our meal, we’ll spend some time visiting the Natural History and Mushroom Museum, being led by our guide and focusing mostly on the mushrooms. We’ll taste some mushroom delicacies, both savory and sweet, and have the opportunity to purchase some products to take home. Next we’ll have free time to freshen up before heading out to watch the sunset. We’ll visit a couple of special places before siting on the edge of the cliff surrounded by perhaps one of the most awe-inspiring landscapes you’ve ever experienced. After savoring the beauty of the area, the rest of the evening will be free to enjoy as you’d like.
Day 6 - Overnight in Kalabaka/Meteora - B
After breakfast it’s time to visit one of the beautiful monasteries of the area. After our visit, we'll get off the beaten path as we hike on one of the local trails. We'll view some of the smaller monasteries, learn about the local history and enjoy some awe-inspiring views. The rest of the day will be free to spend as you'd like.
Day 7 - Overnight in Nafplio - B, L
Today is our one long driving day as we work our way south to the Peloponesse Peninsula and Nafplio, said to be the most beautiful town in Greece. Along route we’ll see some beautiful scenery as our local guide explains the topography and history of the region. We’ll make a stop for lunch at a local taverna at the entry point of the amazing Corinth canal, an engineeering marvel. After lunch we’ll stop to see the canal up close and take photos before continuing on to Nafplio mid afternoon. After checking into the beautiful boutique Hotel Grand Sarai, its construction period estimated around the second Venetian occupation [1685-1715], you’ll have free time to explore this beautiful seaside town on your own.
Day 8 - Overnight in Nafplio - B, L
Today it's time to explore the Nemea Wine Region. We’ll start the day with a visit to the ancient theatre of Argos. We'll spend time exploring the site before making our way to Domaine Skouras. Here, among the beautiful setting, we will enjoy a tour of the facilities and a tasting of some of their wines. Next, we will get off the beaten path where we will drive into the hills and vineyards and meet up with a local independent wine producer. Here we will have the opportunity to meet the wine maker and taste some of his wine. We'll walk through his vineyards. We'll then drive to his house and enjoy lunch as we continue to taste and learn more about this beautiful wine region of Greece. We'll meet the family and leave as friends. Upon returning to Nafplio, you’ll have the rest of the evening to spend as you’d like.
Day 9 - Overnight in Nafplio - B, D
Today it’s time to slow down a bit. You’ll have the entire day to do as you’d like. Perhaps you’ll choose to climb the 999 steps to the Palamidi Fortress, (no worries, you can also hire a taxi to driver you to the top). Or maybe you’ll want to walk the path along the coast to the rocky beach of Arvanitias. Or you could choose to continue along the path and go all the way to the sandy beach of Karathona. You’re sure to be gifted with amazing scenery along the way. Or you could spend your day shopping the quaint steeets to Nafplio where there is sure a treasure to be found to take home. After a relaxing day spent as you choose, we’ll meet back up for an evening of entertainment and food. Dancing is a huge part of the Greek culture and tonite we’ll have the opportunity to watch a professsional dance group as we eat our traditional souvlaki meal. After the group has performed their traditional dances it will be time to join in on the fun, if you choose. We’ll learn some of the dances and feel a bit of that true Greek philoxenia.
Day 10 - Overnight in Nafplio - B, L
Today we'll visit a traditional mountain village located at the slopes of Mount Artemision. With approximately 300 residents we'll enjoy seeing how the locals live. Our cooking class will happen outside at a family taverna under the shade of plain trees in the central square. We'll separate into three groups and learn to cook a typical Greek meal of cheese pies, Greek salads, Tzaziki and Gemista (stuffed vegetables). When the pies are ready we visit the home of a Greek yiayia (grandmother) and see her traditional Greek village wood oven. We'll take a walk through the town before heading back to the taverna to enjoy our lunch.
Day 11 - Overnight in Athens - B, D
After breakfast we will check out of our hotel and make our way to Athens. Upon arrival we’ll drop our luggage at our hotel and meet our local archaeologist guide. We’ll visit the crown jewel of the ancient world, the Acropolis and its Parthenon, and better understand the engineering marvel that it is. We’ll also visit the Theatre of Dionysus at the foot of the Acropolis, the location where theatre was born. Next we’ll follow in the footsteps of Socrates as we visit the Ancient Forum and The Temple of Hephaestus, the best-preserved ancient temple in Greece. After our tour, you’ll have a free afternoon to visit other sites on your own or wander and shop in the Plaka area before meeting back up for our farewell dinner. We’ll toast to the beautiful country of Greece, our new friends and the wonderful memories that we’ve made. Yamas!
Day 12 - B
Unfortunately, it’s time to leave this beautiful country. After breakfast, you will be transferred to the airport according to your flight schedule.
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