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7 Days Relaxing Cooking Vacation in Greece

Cooking Holiday in Crete

Enhance your holiday by exposing your senses to flowers, fruits, herbs, birds, bees, vegetables, fish, meat, plus all the sun, sea and sand of our Greek isle. Ofcourse the health benefits of the Mediterranean diet have long been known. Now a new study proves that Greek islanders live longer. Is it the food or the pace of life that makes the difference? In Crete we offer both! During these cooking classes you not only learn a Greek island style of cuisine, you experience the more traditional, natural way of gathering and preparing products.


  • 4 cooking classes
  • Enjoy wines during cooking
  • Complimentary bottle of wine
  • 6 nights accommodation
  • Instructions manual
  • Recipes


4 days with instruction in English
Spoken languages: English
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At the traditional village of Kalives squeezed among the foothills of the White Mountains, the olive trees, the vineyards, and the clear blue water of Cretan Sea in the greenest district of Crete we have built our self catering Family Hotel apartment and studio called Apokoros. Spending your holiday to our Family Hotel can be full of pleasant surprises. Enjoy welcome drinks, wine from owners cellar, homemade cake, small gifts, concerning personal relations, delightful surroundings and warm hospitality, which shall no doubt leave you with many fond memories.

The hotel is quietly situated on the hill Kasteli and by the sandy beach, that adjoins the small fishing harbour. Its a five minute stroll into the centre of the village and within a radius of 60 meters there are excellent restaurants, shops, bakeries, pharmacist, post office. Hear the nostalgic sound of sea waves and smell the sea breeze, while it is tucked away, at a quiet spot on the edge of the village, offering a great deal of privacy.

The rooms are spacious with lovely balconies and with exquisite pastoral views across rolling countryside to the distant White Mountains, the crystal water of Cretan Sea, the old Venetian Castle Aptera, and the beautiful sunset. If you prefer your breakfast alfresco, you're welcome to wander down to the rose garden terrace with the small blue tables. The smell of the roses and wild flowers will invigorate you!

Apokoros rooms vary to: Family rooms with two bedrooms four single beds and kitchen with sitting room and sofa bed, Apartment: with two bedrooms four single beds-kitchen with sitting room, Studio: two single beds, Triple: two single beds and open folded bed. All have basic kitchenette, all needed utensils for the kitchen, coffee makers, water cooker, fridge and en suite toilet and shower; all have a/c (available table fans too), 1-3 spacious balconies.


Learn cooking with Mrs. Koula, an experienced local chef, also writer of the cooking book Foods of Crete. Lessons will take place in the authentic atmosphere of an old renovated olive oil press, called Fabrica, located in a old neighbourhood of Vamos. The menu includes four starters, a salad, one main dish, desert. All ingredients are local, fresh and in season.

During class, information (cultural, historical) and copies of the recipes are provided to help you better understand the philosophy and application of the Cretan diet to modern life. After preparation, enjoy your gastronomic creations with local wine, raki (local drink), and bread.


Kalives village stands on a fertile site with abundant supplies of water and dense vegetation. The village is divided into two parts: the old settlement, with traditional stone-built houses, and the new quarter, with more modern structures. Currently in the area of Kasteli there are only the remains of a Venetian castle the Castle Bicorno / Apicorno/ Ipokoronio (out of which the district of Apokorona took its name), which has a splendid view over the whole region of Kalives.

Kalives is an ideal location for peaceful and relaxing vacations by the sea and an excellent starting point for day excursions to the surrounding sites. Kalives is a slice of real Greece squeezed among the foothills of the White Mountains, the olive trees, the vineyards, and the clear blue water of Aegean. Reaching the village the smell of the wild flowers, the herbs, and the sea breeze will manage to make you drunk before the traditional drink; raki.

One can see the remains of the fortified Venetian castle Bicorno situated on the hill Kasteli, an interesting archaeological site. The hill Kasteli has a splendid view over the whole region of Kalives. The name of the district Apokorona has taken the name by this castle. You can also admire the old German fireplace near the harbour which is (up till now you can differentiate the canon) hewn into the mountain. At the end of the cave there is a small window with a breathtaking view to the sea and cliff.

Moreover, you can not miss the beautiful church of Saint Paraskevi in the village square with the painted frescoes which was built during the German War with the help of all habitants. You must not miss to visit a bizarre collection of Gaudi-style stone buildings known as Koumos built by local man who has spent the past ten years erecting them. Paths are beset with mosaics, walls are stuffed with stones in the shape of fish, snakes and other creatures and rough tables and chairs of stone planted about for the visitor to view it all.

The place is eccentric enough to be really quite interesting and well worth a visit. Also, a visit to numerous Byzantine churches and monasteries around Kalives will leave you enchanted. Finally, a small tour around the small villages with the historical sites, and the natural beauties (rivers, lakes, and waterfalls) will make your stay special and unforgettable.

For those who love walking they can go around to the beautiful old part of the village with the narrow streets and the tiled houses full of roses and jasmines. They will end up to the old Byzantine church of Holly Mary with the nice forecourt and ancient frescoes. Above Kalives is the once powerful city state of Aptera. A visit to the archaeological site of Aptera (just 5km from Kalives) is indispensable.

The breathtaking city walls are traces of the Cyclopean walls of Tiryns and Mycenae which were destroyed in the catastrophic earthquake of Santorini in the 7th century AD. However, the visitor can still admire the enormous vaulted cisterns of the Roman period, the remains of a small temple of Demeter (built at the 1st century B.C.), a Roman theatre, the Turkish fortress Inzentin, a monastery of 12th century, and various other buildings.



  • Kayak nearby
  • Mountain biking nearby
  • Night club nearby


  • Bar nearby
  • Caf nearby
  • Garden
  • Restaurant nearby
  • Terrace


  • ATM/banking nearby
  • Bicycle rental nearby
  • Free! Parking
  • Free! WiFi
  • Library

Things to do (optional)


Crete is the largest and most mountainous island of Greece, it boasts an incredible variety of scenery and vegetation, and an amazing history dating back to Minoan civilization. Kalives village is an ideal location and a great start point for all activities. Traditional mountain villages (Argyroupoli, Vrises), hiking in the beautiful gorges (Famous Samaria Gorge, Imvros Gorge, Saint Irene Gorge), magnificent biking paths, close to Kalives (Armeni, Neo Chorio, Stilos).

Swimming to crystal clear waters (Kalives Beach, Elafonisi, Fragokastelo,etc), Canoe Kayak, Serfing (Almirida village close to Kalives), Visiting museums and archeological sites. Crete, is a wonderful and dramatic island combining wild landscapes, endless mountains, deep blue sea, hills covered witholive trees, small historic villages and towns and more.

Springs and lakes

You must visit the springs of Stilos, walk around Plaka, visit Gavalochori full of traditional Cretan houses with preservation orders slapped on them, admire the unique lake of Kourna, the falling waters at Argiroupoli, and swim in the small gulps of Kokkino Chorio and admire the sunset.

Lake of Kourna is the only lake in Crete with fresh water. It lies at the foot of White Mountains with interesting fauna and flora. The lakes water changes colors throughout the day depending how the sun shines. The depth still remains a mystery for scientists despite the numerous attempts to trace the bottom of the lake. You also should not miss to swim at the exotic Elafonisi, at the island of Pirates; Gramvousa, and at Falaserna and the mythic Fragokastelo.

Surrounding villages

Due to its location in Chania Prefecture, Kalives offers easy access to many surrounding sites. Nature lovers and adventurers will be amazed by the fascinating beauty of Crete. The district of Apokorona it is known for its hospitable residents, its picturesque villages, and the nature.

It worths it out to visit all villages, each with its own tradition, history, customs and beauty. The distance from Kalives to all these villages is short: Stilos, Neo Chorio, Armeni, Plaka, Gavalohori, Kefalas, Vamos, Fres, Jijifes, Pemonia, Paidohori, Exopoli, Kalamitsi, Vrises, Vafes, Argiroypoli.

Taverns, cafes, restaurants

The village has many nice taverns (traditional restaurants) and caf shops along the seaside and in the picturesque village square with the four hundred years old plane-tree. By the river there is a small traditional caf with small tables and a hanging vineyard and an always cool atmosphere (because of the river) in which you can enjoy your drink.

There are three beaches in Kalives. The waters are deep blue and crystal clear (there is an EC blue flag to prove it). The golden sands are deep and soft and backed by trees beneath which white benches have been placed for visitors to take full advantage of any shade. There is even a sea sport centre and behind there is a narrow road lined with small, but excellent taverns that also set out tables on the beach.

When the night falls, Kalives is not a very busy village. However, you can choose among four caf bars. The one is close to the sea with international music and beautiful view to the sea. The other three are close to the square beautifully decorated with nice music. The bartenders will serve you the traditional Cretan drink raki and many other drinks.

For those who love Cretan music they can visit the restaurants which have every now and then Cretan nights, an unforgettable moment. All of the restaurants are nicely decorated and located either by the sea or another graphic location. The food is based on the freshest products from the local countryside and the sea, there are also biological products.

For those who are not exactly the type of a restaurant there are also nice fast food shops. However if you want some wild nights you can go to Chania, an easy drive from Kalives (15km away) and choose among a variety of bars and discos to drink and dance until the morning.

Walking through the Gorges of Crete

The famous Samaria Gorge (with the known kri-kri), definately breathtaking and known. The Polirinias Gorge, from Sirikari of the district of Kisamo to the ancient acropol of Polirinias. Beautiful walk with great view (walk duration about 2 hours). The Saint Irine Gorge, from the village of Saint Irene to Sougia.

A very beautiful gorge too (walk duration, 5 hours). The Lisos Gorge one hour from the harbor of Sougia to the ancient town of Lissos. The Aradena Gorge, from Anopoli Sfakion to the beach of Marmara, near to the picturesque village of Loutro. A really impressive gorge, with a mountain cut in the middle (walk duration 1 hour and 15 minutes).

How to get there

Driving directions from Heraklio

  • Kalives is located in the 17th km of Chania-Rethymno.
  • One coming from Heraklio in the 17 km of Chania-Rethymno he turns right to go into the village.
  • There is a sign saying to Kalives / Kalami.
  • You pass the village's main square and after 30 meters you meet the Agricultural Bank of Greece where you turn left.
  • You go straight and in the last restaurant called Elena you turn right.
  • And there we are. Our hotel is located on the main beach road.

Driving directions from Chania

  • Kalives is located in the 17th km of Chania-Rethymno.
  • If you are coming from Chania you turn left.
  • There is a sign saying to Kalives / Kalami.
  • You pass the villages main square and after 30 meters you meet the Agricultural Bank of Greece where you turn left.
  • You go straight and in the last restaurant called Elena you turn right.
  • And there we are. Our hotel is located on the main beach road.
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