Greek cooking and wine holiday

Greek Islands, Zakynthos, Greece

8 days from
per person
£1,297

Average user rating

Holiday Itinerary

Join this wonderful 7 night / 8 day 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 traditional Greek recipes during hands-on lessons with local cooks.

The cookery holiday is an authentic Zakynthian culinary experience for travellers who want to embrace all they can on their holiday time and 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 and visit family farms and wineries.

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 and visit world famous sites like Shipwreck Beach and Turtle Island.

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

Who is it suitable for?
- Cookery holidays are suitable for all levels from complete beginners to experienced cooks
- You’ll be learning to cook great homemade rustic dishes with local cooks
- Minimum age 18 with no upper age limit and families with children
- Activities are conducted in English

I’m travelling solo - can I join?
- This holiday is perfect for solo travellers as you’ll join activities and excursions with other like-minded travellers as well as your hosts
- There are no single supplements for solo travellers so you will have your own ensuite room at no extra cost

When can I start?
- This holiday runs from 25 March to the start of November
- Arrival dates are flexible to suit your needs; this means there is no fixed group but the holiday will be just as sociable
- 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

Typical holiday itinerary
Please note this itinerary is for guidance only and is subject to change depending on the group’s needs and wishes as well as weather conditions but is typically as follows:

Day 1 - Arrival, welcome drink and traditional Zakynthian dinner
- On arrival, you will be collected from the airport and transferred to your accommodation with time to unpack and settle in
- Your hosts invite you to join them for welcome drinks and a relaxing and informal meeting about the week ahead
- In the evening, you’ll enjoy a traditional welcome dinner in Zakynthos Town 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 Laganas beach
- After breakfast, you will be cooking with your host, Effie, in her kitchen
- You'll help her to prepare and cook a traditional Greek dishes - Greek stuffed vegetables and organic Greek salad with feta cheese
- As the food cooks, you are free to explore the local area in the afternoon and maybe even relax on the local beach just a short stroll from the accommodation
- In the evening, join your hosts for dinner with the meal you helped prepare, alongside Antonio’s chilled house wine, in the little, pretty garden of the B&B

Day 3 - An authentic farm-to-fork culinary experience
- After a hearty breakfast, set off north through tiny villages to your lunch destination, a wonderful family owned and run traditional mountain taverna for a farm lesson
- There Grandma Athina will show you how to make the local “Frigania” dessert, with layers of syrupy rusks, vanilla-infused cream, cinnamon, fresh cream and cherry topping
- As the dessert chills, you’ll help Athina prepare a family recipe handed down the generations: stuffed free range chicken in tomato sauce
- While the food is cooking in a traditional wood-fired oven, your hosts will show you around the farm to see where the ingredients were grown and to meet the livestock
- Back at the taverna you’ll enjoy the stuffed village chicken, plus a variety of starters, local wine and Frigania dessert in the shade of an oak tree
- In the evening, you’ll visit Zakynthos Town  to explore the churches and shops before returning to Laganas where you might want to try the local’s favourite gelateria

Day 4 - Revealing the secrets of moussaka and a turtle boat trip
- After breakfast, get ready for today’s cooking lesson with Effie
- Today, she is happy to offer you a choice between cooking “Giouvetsi”, orzo pasta with lamb in the oven or the Greek famous moussaka
- While lunch is cooking, you’ll have an exclusive aquatic experience in a turtle boat to Marathonisi Island
- There you can enjoy a swim in crystal clear turquoise waters or go snorkelling
- In the evening, back at the accommodation, enjoy the meal you helped prepare together with your hosts and fellow guests

Day 5 - Beach picnic, wine & olive oil tasting & a seaside dinner
- Wake up at your own pace today and after a relaxing morning you’ll head to Kalamaki sand dunes for a picnic lunch and a dip in the sea
- This area is one of the most important nesting grounds for the Caretta-Caretta sea turtle; here you will unwind, swim and maybe even try some snorkelling
- After, together with Antonio, you'll head to Lithakia village and see the unique perennial olive trees, truly amazing natural sculptures
- Then there is a visit to Aristeon Olive Press, where you will learn how the olive becomes liquid gold, the precious oil that gives Zakynthians their lust for life
- At the end is a chance to taste a variety of extra virgin oils on village bread and buy their products
- Continue your tour visiting Grampsas winery run by the third generation of the family
- Son Tassos will talk you through the whole wine making process before inviting you to sit on the shady terrace to sample white and red wines with local cheese
- For dinner, you’ll head to a seafood restaurant by the sea
 
Day 6 - Swimming at Shipwreck Bay & a family dinner
- Today is all about a fantastic boat trip to the world famous Shipwreck Bay for a once in a lifetime swimming opportunity as well as a catch to see the breathtaking west coast of Zakynthos
- If the weather is too windy for the boat, you will drive north and still be able to admire the shipwreck from the viewing platform set into the cliff top
- In the evening, join your hosts for a meal and learn how to make the traditional pita souvlaki with either pork or chicken skewer in the gardens of your accommodation

Day 7 - Farewell Greek celebration to remember!
- Today is yours to spend as you wish; lying on the beach, a dip in the sea or exploring more of the island's sights
- 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
- Enjoy a traditional breakfast at the villa and maybe your last dip in the sea
- When it is time to leave, your driver will take you safely to the airport 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, wine and music - what Zakynthos is all about!

Where will I be staying?
- You will stay in the family-run B&B in the village and beach resort of Laganas
- The accommodation is 300 metres away from Laganas beach and a 2 minute stroll from Laganas main street
- You’ll have your own studio complete with ensuite bathroom, fully equipped kitchen and a verandah for relaxing on
- All rooms have AC, a TV and WiFi
- Accommodation is included for 7 nights
- Check in anytime after 12pm on day 1 and check out by 12am on day 8

Villa upgrade
- If you would prefer to stay in a quieter part of the island, your hosts also offer accommodation in their private villa for an additional cost
- The villa is set in Romiri village in over 2000 square metres of private fenced olive grove and gardens, with its own outdoor pool
- There are three bedrooms and two bathrooms, an open plan kitchen, living room and verandahs
- The villa is suitable for couples, friends or family with children; please contact us for a quote

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 any further questions, please contact us and we will be happy to help
- There is no official disabled access
- There are ground floor rooms and 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

Are meals included?
- Breakfast is included daily at the accommodation
- 8 meals are included; 6 dinners and 2 lunches
- All soft drinks and wine are included with every meal
- If you have dietary requests, these must be communicated to us at the time of booking