Day 1: Athens, Acropolis, Evening in a Taverna
We’ll gather at the Athens airport at 12:00 noon, local time. From there we transfer to our hotel in this classic city. You’ll check-in, freshen-up, and pinch yourself, as you prepare to embark on a walking tour of epochal sites in late afternoon.
The Acropolis of Athens, perhaps one of the most famed structures in history, is a city within itself, located on a rocky outcrop overlooking Athens, the location lending itself to the name “Acropolis” which translates to “city at the highest point”. Recognized for its architectural and historic significance, this UNESCO World Heritage Site houses the remains of many ancient buildings, including the Parthenon. Dating back to the 5th century BC, this remarkable site has seen the likes of ancient legends, philosophers, statesmen, politicians, and other colorful personalities through the ages.
Let the days events settle as you enjoy dinner at a typical Greek taverna and unwind as the locals do.
Day 2: Food Tour in Athens, Flight to Naxos, Dinner on the beach
Athenians are passionate about their food. For the average resident of Athens, food is so much more than simple sustenance. Food is a celebration, a way of life, a connection to the past, and a treasure for the future. For Greeks, food is a topic of conversation, and an art form that is appreciated daily. Today you’ll share in the proud tradition of Greek culinary culture. Each moment of our culinary tour will tantalize and transform you, sumptuous taste by sumptuous taste. Our highlights include: A walking tour of the city’s most authentic areas. Experience Athens like a local. A visit to the renown Athens Central Food Market. Discover uniquely Athenian specialty food stores. Sample and graze your way through a rich selection of local delicacies, both sweet and savory. You’re sure to be too full for lunch! Learn about the deep and abiding Greek food culture and proud gastronomy. Get the scoop from our fun and knowledgeable insider food expert in Greek cuisine.
We’ll begin our tour by visiting an authentic café where rich and robust coffee is made the traditional way, in hovoli, which is basically heated sand. As with all things food and drink in Athens, making traditional Greek coffee is elevated, and appreciated, as an art, and one of which the city is very proud.
After fortifying ourselves with this rich, aromatic delight, we will continue on our tour. As we sample and sigh over the treats that Athenians enjoy every day, we’ll gain insight into the recipes, traditions, and cooking methods passed down through the ages. Mouth Watering delicacies, both sweet and savory, will serve as our informal lunch today. Our movable feast will consist of such iconic Greek foods as olives, traditional pastries, and pies, Greek souvlaki, Loukoumades, epic Greek charcuterie, luscious cheeses, dry foods, nuts, and the ever-present Greek coffee. It is truly an unforgettable experience of tastes and unmatched epicurean discoveries.
True food artisans will allow us to glimpse into their craft as we visit them in their element. We’ll spend time perusing specialty stores known to cater to these discerning craftsmen who demand excellence in all components of their art. We’ll find out where some of these prized products are sold, and, as if the day could get any better, we’ll be treated to a stop at Athen’s vibrant central food market. Here we’ll find vendors and food growers, fishmongers, and Athenians gathered in an appreciation of fresh food and colorful culture from all around this beautiful country.
A treat for the senses, our visit to the central market will be complemented by our friendly and food-wise guide. Take home some tasty souvenirs, and memories to hold dear for a lifetime.
This afternoon we board our flight to the Island of Naxos. Once there, we’ll transfer to our accommodations and settle in to prepare for our evening candlelight dinner, on the beach. Our traditional Greek dinner will feature the fresh catch of that day.
Day 3: Discover Naxos with a local
Naxos is the largest in a group of Greek islands known as the Cyclades. Today we’ll explore the small, friendly villages of the island of Naxos, with a local guide, as we learn about the unique and special products produced here. The villages offer a visitor a picturesque view of iconic Greek life. Warm and welcoming locals, rugged landscape, and white and blue stucco buildings set against a backdrop of the Aegean Sea, as blue as a summer sky, while fishing boats troll the waters for the daily catch.
Today, we’ll enjoy life, as the locals do. Experiencing the delectable foods by tasting and tasting again. At our first stop, we’ll enjoy a picnic of local delights including jams, honey, bread, fresh fruit, and yogurt, along with juices and the ever-present coffee (which by now you’ve come to anticipate and long-for!), help making cheese pies, or olive pies.
The next stop finds us strolling the village streets and taking in the local sites. We’ll discover a windmill, restored to its original state, in very good condition. Naxos, and the entirety of the Cyclades, are famous for their wind. Find out how the wind has been harnessed, for many centuries, to mill wheat for the local villages.
The third village we visit will, once again, appeal to the Greek’s favorite pastime. We’ll sample 5 different varieties of Naxian cheeses, and assist in creating a Greek meal of keftedes, and tzatziki, enjoyed with salad, bread, and favorite local wine.
Next, we’re on to the village of Chalki, where we’ll sample the popular local liqueur, Citron, right from the distillery. We’ll pay a visit to the Olive Museum, where you’ll have an opportunity to shop. This is a wonderful place to purchase olive oil to take home with you.
After this very full day, you can enjoy your evening at leisure. Set your own pace as you stroll along the marina, dine in a local restaurant, or get lost among the Nations among the white alleyways, browsing the unique shops exhibiting local artisans’ wares.
Day 4: Mykonos, Walking tour, lunch in a Mykonian home
At 10:40 am we’ll board the high-speed ferry that takes us to the cosmopolitan island of Mykonos (35 minutes cruise) A magical island, located in the very heart of the Cyclades, Mykonos is a haven for world famous celebrities, who want to loll away the spectacular Grecian summer in style. The island of Mykonos takes its name from the grandson of the god Apollo, and legend has it, was built on the bodies of the giants felled by Hercules. You just know you’re in for a spectacular experience in Mykonos!
The medieval town, also known as the “chora”, meaning principle town, lends itself to history buffs, as well as glitterati. Our tour sweeps us through the traditional way of life in Mykonos, as it is experienced by, quite literally, walking through history. You’ll relive the past memories of this beautiful place, which can be quite colorful, indeed.
Our guide will accompany us, sharing local lore, and knowledge, as we navigate alleyways, and secret corners, known only to the local residents. Well enjoy some delectable pastries, and refreshments at the Gioras bakery, a traditional bakery using an underground wooden stove, as it has for centuries. This stove is still operational today, and our experience at the Gioras bakery will fortify us or our next sightseeing adventure; five windmills that stand in a row, and are a source of pride to the people of Mykonos, as well as a fascinating attraction.
We’ll cross along the narrow, winding paths which take us to the Chora and Scarpa areas of Mykonos. Little Venice is located here, a popular area for photography. And it’s no wonder! The elegant homes perch precariously at the Aegean Sea very edge, whitewashed, and dazzling, in the sun, lie jewels from the sea. The charm of Little Venice is found in the easygoing air, and friendly, lovely, atmosphere.
For lunch today, we’ll dine in a stunningly beautiful local home. We will be immersed in Greek culture, cooking, and way of life as our friend, and host, shares her lovely home, regales us with stories of her life, her relatives, and draws us in as only Greek hospitality can, making us all feel a part of her family. We will enjoy an afternoon of storytelling, shared knowledge of customs, and lifestyle among the residents of this magical island, all accompanied by unlimited local wines, and an authentic Mykonian lunch.
We’ll say our farewells to our wonderful host, tucking the experience away as a special memory of Mykonos. You’ll have free time before our ferry boards at 6:40, to explore Mykonos as you wish, before returning to Naxos.
Day 5: Cheese farm in the morning, Magical dinner in the evening
Today we’ll visit a “mom and pop” cheese farm. Our hosts, the cheese makers, make cheese for the island of Naxos. Lucky us-we’ll be invited to take part in the craft of cheese making!
In the early evening, we board a ferry to the nearby island of Paros (45 minutes cruise), where we’ll stroll the old town of Parikia. Typical of the region, Parikia is a flower-filled village, of warm and welcoming locals. Parikia picturesque vistas, winding streets, and bustling activity make for excellent “photo-op”.
Naoussa is our next stop, a charming fishing village filled with glimpses of typical Greek Island life. Our dinner experience is, once again, like something out of a movie, with a stunning backdrop of this beautiful port. After dinner we’ll board a ferry for our trip back to Naxos.
Day 6: Cooking class
This morning we will take part in a cooking class which takes place in a lovely local village, as picturesque and iconic as you can imagine. The village is right out of a movie-realistic and the experience of a lifetime.
Our most gracious host will gently guide us, and instruct us, in the true style of creating such luscious Greek dishes as eggplant stuffed with tomato and onions slowly caramelized, topped with local cheese, fresh local beef cooked in a tomato sauce with just a touch of cinnamon and allspice, pita and tzatziki, naxian-style Greek salad, and the traditional favorite, spanakopita. All of our mouthwatering foods will be paired with local wines. A memory-making adventure in taste and treasured conversation. Like family!
We would suggest you take part in Naxos’ delightful local scene. Enjoy a relaxed dinner in one of the outstanding restaurants along the picturesque marina. Or, if you choose, dine in a tavern with local music. There’s also a jazz bar where you can enjoy a taste of true Naxos nightlife
Day 7: Moving to Santorini
The morning is yours to spend in a local cafe, or you may want to indulge in some shopping before we say goodbye to this wonderful Greek island. In a few short hours, we will board our afternoon high speed ferry to the storied island of Santorini. (1.5 hour cruise)
This gorgeous island features a rugged landscape, courtesy of a 16th century volcanic eruption. The homes, and buildings of Santorini’s two principal towns, villages really, Fira, and Oia feature the iconic cubiform and white-washed architecture, nestled amidst the natural formations created by the volcano.
Upon arrival in Santorini port, we will whisk away to a local winery that boasts some pretty spectacular views. The wine produced here is a treat and we will all enjoy a delightful wine tasting.
Next we Will check into our hotel accommodations and freshen up. The rest of the evening is yours to enjoy. Stroll the maze of streets and choose from the many restaurants and bars in which to while away, people watch, and experience the vibrant town of Fira.
Day 8: Santorini Highlights
Today is a full day of the highlights of spectacular Santorini!
We’ll begin our day early, so we beat the crowds. At 8:45 a.m. we’ll head to the magical village of Oia, a true island fantasy. We’ll begin making our way to the northernmost part of Santorini, where this beautiful town is located.
When you imagine the Greek Islands, it’s likely the image you picture is very much like what you will see in this idyllic village. A photographer’s paradise, Oia has long been the favored home of sea captains, and sailors, as well as visitors seeking the iconic charm of authentic Greece.
Together we’ll roam the narrow, cobbled marble, streets of this rich village. We’ll marvel at the stunning architecture of the homes belonging to sea captains, the dignitaries of this stunning island. Have your phones set to photo, or your camera at the ready, as we explore the picturesque corners of the cosmopolitan village that is Oia. Feel free to take as many pictures as you like. Our personal tour guide will allow plenty of time for photography, exploring the unique shops along the way, or enjoying a snack, or refreshment together as we delight in our time is gorgeous Oia. Memories of time spent in this treasured jewel of the Greek islands will forever stay tucked in your heart, so take time to fill up your senses with the beauty of Oia.
Keep your cameras at the ready as we next make our way to Imerovigli, another photographer’s dream. Our guide will take us to the very heart of Imerovigli as they explain the different buildings’ architecture. These cathedrals, homes, hotels, and chapels are perched on the steep cliffs of the caldera.
The caldera cliff offers a vista unlike any other. You’ll be awestruck by the stunning, colorful cliff formations, and the whitewashed buildings, blue-domed chapel, and incredible architecture you see before you. The chapel, it’s image so epically Greek, is a favored site of young (and not-so-young) couples in love. Many proposals, as well as weddings, take place beneath the bright blue dome. You’ll easily smile as the sheer serenity and sense of peace of this beautiful landscape finds its way into your heart forever!
Our next stop is the village of Firostefani, which lies just north of Fira. It’s considered to be the crown of Fira. Prepare yourself to be thoroughly enraptured by the sheer beauty of Fora’s crown. The enchantment of the deep blue sea lagoon set in the rugged landscape of Firostefani is absolutely breathtaking., The blue-domed church, which is often pictured in photos and postcards of Santorini, is a must-see. The million-dollar views are spectacular. Prophet Ilias Mountain is regarded as the core of the island of Santorini. Life on this island essentially began around this solid rock mountain. One of the summits holds Prophet Elias Greek Christian Orthodox Monastery. The monastery is dedicated to the self-disciplined, austere and ascetic Old Testament Prophet Elijah.
Established in the 18th century, the monastery was instrumental in the Greek Revolution, by offering fleet. A portion of the monastery is open to visitors, and the views from the highest point on the island are truly breathtaking.
Emporio is the largest village on Santorini, with plenty to offer any guest who ventures here. Among the sites you’ll enjoy in Emporio are the ruins of fortresses which date back to the Byzantine era, and historic windmills. Some of the windmills of Emporio have been painstakingly restored into gorgeous homes.
Megalochori is yet another gift of this bountiful island that will delight your senses. The views! Can you ever get tired of looking at such stunning vistas, iconic buildings, and sheer beauty? Santorini’s Megalochori will, once again, take your breath away. Some claim this to be the favorite of Santorini’s villages as it is stunning in beauty, yet away from the more touristy parts of the island.
Upon the end of the tour and return to the hotel Spend some free time on your own after the tour but get ready for a fun and memorable night ahead!
At 9 p.m. tonight we will attend a Greek Wedding! This is an interactive musical theatre production where guests will sing, dance, and even…break some plates! Opa!
Day 9: Departure
After so many memories, new friends, and such a beautiful experience, we are now at the end of the tour.
You may opt to spend more time (or forever?!) in this enchanting Santorini, making your own plans, or you can depart today. Either way, there are many flights to Athens, as you choose. In Athens you will catch your flight home.
The program includes:
- 8 nights Accommodations (1 Athens, 5 Naxos, 2 Santorini)
- Round trip group transfer from/to Athens airport to the hotel.
- Guided tour of the Acropolis.
- Group (Afternoon) flight from Athens to Naxos. (Limited)
- Transfer from Naxos airport to the hotel.
- Transfer from the hotel in Naxos to the port.
- Transportation during day trips
- Ferries tickets.
- Hands - on Cooking class
- 3 Dinners
- 3 Lunches
- Food tour Athens (informal lunch)
- Food tour in Naxos (informal lunch)
- Cheese farm visit (Informal lunch)
- Wine tasting
- Sightseeing in Naxos, Mykonos, Paros, santorini.
- English speaking guides.
The program does not include
- International flights
- Travel insurance
- Personal expenses
TERMS & CONDITIONS
A deposit of $500.00 per person is required at time of booking to guarantee the space on the tour.
Balance of the full amount is due 90 days prior the first day of the tour.
The order of the itinerary may change according to ferry schedule and other factors that are beyond our control.
Your deposit is refundable within the first 30 days of your deposit, so long as you have booked more than 180 days before the start date of the tour. If you book within 180 days of the start date of the tour, your deposit is immediately non-refundable. 90 days or less before the start date of the tour, the tour is non – refundable unless we are able to rebook another participant for the date/tour you are booked on.
*** Deposit: We have adjusted our policies due to covid-19. - In the event of a travel ban or such extraordinary event where travel is not possible - You will receive a credit voucher that you can use for booking any Food N' Wine Vacations trip by 12/31/2022.
90 days or less before the start date of the tour, the tour is non – refundable unless we are able to rebook another participant for the date/tour you are booked on.
**** We have adjusted our policies due to covid-19. In the event of a travel ban or such extraordinary event where travel is not possible - You will receive a credit voucher that you can use for booking any Food N' Wine Vacations trip by 12/31/2022.
Food N wine vacations, Inc reserve the right to re-calculate prices due to currency fluctuations. For full terms and conditions refer to Terms and conditions page.
You will be staying in all suites hotels. In Naxos you’ll stay in a new all-suites & Spa family owned hotel, which is located only 100 ft from the beach and surrounded by restaurants, cafés and shops.
The tour is limited to 10-12 guests.
DATES & PRICES
The tours in the fall are scheduled to run.
We plan to re-evaluate the global travel situation at the end of April unless something changes.
Sept 2 – Sept 10
- $ 3700.00
Sept 26 – Oct 4
- $ 3700.00
- 8 spots
- $ 3700.00
May 26 – June 3
- $ 3700.00
June 26 – July 4
- $ 3700.00
Sept 1 – Sept 9
- $ 3700.00
- Sold out
Looking for a Private Group Tour?
We can accommodate private groups year round
We highly suggest purchasing travel insurance to protect your travel investment. Many travel products are non-refundable.
Emergencies happen when you least expect it. Travel protection provides coverage for Trip Cancellation, Trip Interruption, Medical and Dental, Emergency Assistance and Transportation, Baggage, Baggage Delay, Travel Delay and much more. Plus, we offer our exclusive One Call 24-hour Traveler Assistance Service to help you with emergency situations that arise during your trip.
You may also consider ‘Cancel for no reason’. It may seem costly, but if you are deeply concerned about things like Hurricanes, strikes, Coronavirus outbreak, terror attack and such, you should look into that.
For pre existing condition, it’s important to purchase a policy within 10 days of your deposit.
it is best to fly to/from Athens.
We provide a complimentary consulting with your pre or post travel plans. Don’t hesitate asking.
PRE AND POST IDEAS
You may chose to arrive to Athens a day or two earlier.
The tour ends in Santorini. You can take a ferry to the island of Crete. (2- 2.5 hours ride)
We provide a complimentary consulting with your pre or post travel plans.
walking pace is like walking around town.
You will be walking in cobblestone streets and some uneven roads.
we try to start the days after 09:00 am – 09:15 am.
The itinerary is balanced between activities, sightseeing and leisure time.
What should I wear?
Stay casual and comfortable. Mornings and evening are chilly but during the day it’s warm. Even in full summer, hot days can quickly turn into cool evenings. Be prepared with a light sweater during the summer months, and something a little heavier in spring and fall.
You won’t need to dress up anywhere you go. If you would like to try to blend in with the locals as much as possible, think “smart casual” or “preppy” for men, and “light and stylish” for women. Italians are very fashion conscious, but not formal.
In the summer months, you will most likely want to wear shorts. Make sure they have good pockets. However, always make sure you also have some long pants
Bring flat shoes, as you will be walking in medieval towns with cobblestone streets or farms with unpaved roads.
If you want to dress up for dinner, dress as if you are having dinner with friends.
How many bags can I bring?
We recommend bringing one medium suitcase and another small bag or trolley.
Please check our packing advice.
We advise you to pack light. We also recommend planning what you need based on each day of your travels.
You will need the extra space for souvenirs. You may not think about it now, but believe us; you’d want to take home that tasty olive oil, a bottle of wine that you can’t find at home, local specialties, or ceramics.
On that note, the best advice we can give you is “bubble wrap”. Bring bubble wrap with you. It’s cheaper and more convenient to bring it from the U.S and you will probably never leave home without it.
We highly recommend you use packing cubes for efficient packing and to keep things organized. You can search for videos on YouTube to learn more about it.
Do I need a passport?
Copy of passport
We strongly suggest that you to make a copy of your passport.
Should I bring my cell phone?
It is a good idea to bring a cell phone. See our tips for communications while on a tour down below.
Do I need converters or transformers?
European power outlets run at 220 volts. You must buy a transformer to avoid shorting out and/or causing permanent damage to your devices. You will need it for cell phones, cameras, tablets, and other US-made electronics.
Tip: If your electronics can be powered by either 120 volt or 220-volt outlets (the device will usually have this listed in the technical specifications in a format like 120/240 volts, meaning the device can be powered from any power outlet around the globe), you will only need a plug adapter. Please note that a plug adapter is not a transformer, and using one with a device not capable of handling 240 volts will cause permanent damage and may even render the device unusable.
We find that a debit/credit card of a credit union bank has low rates for an ATM withdrawal or credit card charges. In addition to credit union banks, here is a list of cards that offer a low or no foreign transaction fee: Capital one no fee hassle card, Chase Sapphire preferred, Chase ink business card, United mileage plus, Barclays arrivals world, Amex platinum card, Capital one venture reward, bank Americard travel reward, Marriott, Southwest, Barclaycard arrival plus, United mileage plus, Citi Hilton honors.
It is also important to let the credit card company or your bank know what country you are traveling to and the exact date
It is recommended to have a cell phone with you, however, if you plan to bring your smart phone, make sure to turn off mobile data right before you board the plane. If the data is not turned off, your mobile provider may charge you hundreds of dollars for using their services outside the U.S. On certain phones, you may be able to disable data roaming (phones that support this feature will most likely have it turned off by default). This will automatically turn off data outside the U.S.
You may want to check with your cell phone provider what data/voice/ text they offer when you travel to Europe. Things are changing for the better. For example, if you have an unlimited plus plan with AT&T you can pay $10 a day and continue using your phone in Europe as if you were at home.
WhatsApp is a free service that lets users message one another seamlessly between mobile and desktop devices.
WhatsApp is known for its enhanced privacy features, like end-to-end encryption, and its free, web-based international calling. Read on to find out how you can leverage the Facebook-owned messaging giant to make free international calls.