Greek cooking and wine holiday

Greek Islands, Zakynthos, Greece

8 days from
per person

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Holiday Itinerary

Join this wonderful 7 night Greek cooking and wine holiday in this amazing, lush part of the Ionian isles. This cookery holiday will ensure you experience the island of Zakynthos to the fullest as you learn Greek cooking techniques and the traditions and culture of the island.

The Greek cooking and wine tasting holiday is an authentic Zakynthian culinary experience for travellers who want to embrace all they can on their holiday time, who are looking for a real change from the normal mass-produced tours. You will be taken inside taverna kitchens, cook on traditional wood fires, visit family homes and make baklava with professional local confectioners.

As well as culinary activities, you will enjoy many different activities to immerse yourself in the culture of the island too. Swim in heavenly beaches, snorkel alongside the sea turtle, Caretta-Caretta, enjoy boat rides to secluded coves, eat fresh sea food, meet the locals, enjoy the Greek hospitality and visit world famous sites like Shipwreck Beach, the Blue Caves and Turtle Island. Marvel at the most beautiful sunsets and wonder around traditional timeless mountain villages.

The holiday includes accommodation in comfortable fully equipped rooms, with your Greek host family on site at all times; an authentic Greek home away from home.

Escape to Zakynthos island and immerse yourself into Greek culture, tradition and get familiar with their lust for life.

- Cookery holidays are suitable for all levels from complete beginners to experienced cooks
- Minimum age 25
- Your hosts are Greek-Australian but fluent in English
- Activities are conducted in English

Travelling solo?
- These cookery holidays make great singles holidays and singles are welcome to join an existing group
- To book a private single room, email or contact us via live chat (click on the ‘start chat’ link at the bottom of this page) or call us to check availability

Cooking holiday start days
- This holiday runs from 25 March to 11 November
- Cooking holidays are for 7 nights / 8 days
- If you wish to stay for extra nights, please email to check availability for your preferred duration and we will do our best to accommodate you
- If dates appear ‘on request’, please email us and we’ll check availability for your preferred day of arrival as quickly as possible

Cooking holiday itinerary
The itinerary is for guidance only and is subject to change depending on the group’s needs and wishes but is typically as follows:

Day 1 - Arrival, welcome drink and traditional Zakynthian dinner
- On arrival at Zakynthos airport or ferry port, your private driver will meet you and transfer you to your accommodation
- After settling in you will have time to unpack, relax and unwind
- Your hosts will welcome you to join them for drinks and a relaxing and informal meeting about the week ahead
- In the afternoon, you’ll  visit the romantic region of Bohali situated at the very top of Zakynthos
- You’ll enjoy a traditional welcome dinner with magnificent views out over the lights of the town far below, relax while traditional local singers (kantades) set the mood

Day 2 - Cooking lesson and swimming at Dafni Beach
- After breakfast, you will be cooking with your host, Effie
- You'll help her to prepare and cook a traditional light dish - Greek stuffed vegetables and 'bougiordi'
- As the food cooks, you are free to explore the local area before returning for lunch served in the garden with chilled house wine
- Later in the day, you’ll travel to the nesting nesting grounds of the Caretta Caretta sea turtle on Dafni Beach and learn about them at the museum before viewing them yourselves
- Heading on to the beach, you'll have to chance to relax or go snorkelling to look for turtles

Day 3 - An authentic farm-to-fork culinary experience
- After a hearty breakfast, set off for the north of the island, stopping at the 'healing' beach of Xigia and have an invigorating dip in the natural sulphur springs which bubble up from the sea bed
- You will then head north through tiny villages to your lunch destination, a wonderful family owned and run traditional mountain taverna for a farm lesson
- Watch Grandma Athina cook a secret family recipe, handed down from generation to generation, and as the food cooks, you will be shown around the family farm
- Back at the tavern, you can eat the sensational dinner you have prepared, accompanied by local wine and homemade dessert

Day 4 - Turtle boat trip, cooking & dining at a traditional winery
- After breakfast, you'll get stuck into your second cookery lesson of preparing rabbit in tomato sauce and tzatziki using organic ingredients
- While lunch is cooking, you’ll have the choice of either relaxing in the accommodation or going for an exclusive aquatic experience in a turtle boat to Marathonisi Island
- There you can enjoy a swim in crystal clear turquoise waters before returning to enjoy the lunch you helped prepare
- In the evening, you’ll visit a family-run vineyard and winery where you will be told about the wine making process before a wine and cheese tasting of the terrace

Day 5 - Swimming at Shipwreck Bay and a magical sunset dinner
- Wake up at your own pace today and enjoy a relaxing summer morning in lovely surroundings of your accommodation
- Around midday, you’ll set off for an exciting drive to the north of the island once again, with several gastronomic stops along the way
- You’ll take a delightful boat ride to the world famous Shipwreck Bay for a once in a lifetime swimming experience
- A traditional dinner will be held at the locals’ favorite taverna in Kabi, not only famous for serving authentic Zakynthian cuisine but also for the most magical sunsets on the island
- Relax and take in the captivating views over rugged crags and shimmering ocean
Day 6 - Sweet treat in Zakynthos town

- Mid-morning, one of the most traditional confectionery workshops in town plays host to a tantalizing sweet revenge! The fourth generation confectioner and shop owner will don his apron, and show you how to make the favoured classic, Baklava
- You will then go on a stroll around the town to visit the church, harbour and square before a coffee stop to recharge your batteries and get you ready for lunch at a traditional tavern; a good chance to try souvlaki or gyros
- On your return, there will be enough time to relax and enjoy your afternoon and evening as you wish

Day 7 - Farewell Greek celebration to remember!
- Today you may wake up on your own pace and enjoy the day as you like
- You may choose to spend time on the endless sandy beach and wonderful, shallow clear waters of Laganas bay; alternatively, treat yourself to today’s exclusive optional excursion or let your hosts know if they can help you arrange something specifically for you
- In the evening, you will be guests at the farewell party in a nearby local tavern
- There, you will enjoy an exclusive Greek celebration, comprising of great food and great company, plenty of local wine, and of course Greek music and dancing - a perfect complement to this rustic farewell meal!

Day 8 - Departure day
- You will arise to have a lovely traditional breakfast, maybe a walk to Laganas Main Street for some last minute shopping, or a stroll to Laganas beach to take a last dip
- When it is time to leave, your driver will take you safely to the airport or port for your departure

About your hosts
- Your host Denia was born and raised in Zakynthos and studied Economics in the UK
- Denia now runs the family business
- Antonis, the father, is in charge of all transfers, trips out, and any additional driving one may need; he also  makes his own olive oil and wine
- Effie, the mother, is in charge of all things domestic and is always ready if you need anything; she has a keen eye for detail and takes great pride in the family villa
- They work well together to combine all of the elements of the culture to let you experience the cooking, the wine, and the music - what Zakynthos is all about!

What will I learn?
- Old school Greek recipes and styles of cooking
- Cheese tasting
- Cooking rabbit
- How to make Baklava
- Food tours
- Olive oil tasting
- Cultural and historic tours
- The wine making process

Sample menus
Dishes vary according to the season and what food is available but may include:
- Wild rabbit with tomato sauce
- Tzatziki
- Baklava
- Stuffed vegetables
- Aubergines cooked in tomato sauce
- Saganaki (fried cheese)
- Woodfire cooked Chicken
- Mixed grill

- You will stay in studios complete with bathrooms, fully equipped kitchens and verandahs for relaxing on
- All rooms have AC, TV, and WiFi
- Accommodation is included for 7 nights / 8 days
- Check in anytime after 12pm on day 1 and check out by 12am on day 8

Restricted mobility access
Please find below some information regarding the accommodation and location of the holiday which may be useful when deciding if this is the right holiday for you; should you have an further questions, please contact us and we will be happy to help
- There is no official disabled access
- There are ground floor rooms
- The hosts will do their best to place you in a ground floor room where available (please check availability first)
- All showers are walk-in with one small step

- Breakfast is included on days 2-7, lunch is included on day 3, and dinners are provided on days 1, 2, 4 & 6
- All soft drinks and wine are included with every meal
- If you have dietary requests, these must be communicated at the time of booking

Enjoy the stunning surroundings on the Greek island of Zakynthos, for a truly unforgettable experience on this cooking and wine holiday with a difference.