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Spend your weekend in Crete, exploring the nature, flora, and cuisine of this beautiful place, while staying in a traditional village just outside Chania. This holiday is a celebration of Cretan nature and all you need in advance is the desire to explore. You will enjoy guided foraging, hiking, and cooking activities, which will be perfect if you are an enthusiast of nature and good food.
During this holiday, you will be staying in the traditional Vamos Village, located just outside Chania. Depending on the number of participants, there will be one or two shared guesthouses with two or three double bedrooms each. Buildings from 18th, 19th, and early 20th century have been sympathetically restored paying particular attention to their individual architecture, the aesthetics of the house, and the local environment.
Materials used for restoration were mainly stone and cypress wood and the plaster was made using the special techniques of local builders. Furnishings and decoration are also of local handicrafts; however, bathrooms and kitchens have been adapted to take into account modern day requirements.
The houses are spread out in the old neighborhood of the village with views of the White Mountain and flowering gardens. Vamos is also only a short distance from the northern beaches of the Cretan Sea, which guarantees you the chance to combine a beach and mountain village holiday.
Foraging is the search for wild food. Although it has seen a revival around the world in recent years, foraging has been common throughout the history of Crete, including in recent times. Through drives and walks around the island, you will embark on a group culinary adventure full of flavors, scents, and imagery.
The trip will combine the knowledge from two complementary scientific fields: botany and ethnobotany. Botany will teach you how plants function in their natural environments, while ethnobotany will teach you how people use plants. a scientist will teach you about the biology of plants, as well as their uses in Crete and other places.
Although there is a schedule in order to help you experience a diversity of scents, flavors, and images, the pace will be leisurely. Forage Crete appreciates you are on holiday and wants you to relax and have fun.
You will meet at 10:00 and check into your room. In the morning, you will have a relaxed walk around the village, learning about some of the edible and medicinal plants in the area, followed by a traditional Cretan lunch prepared locally in the village. After a quick rest, you will head off to forage in the surrounding area, around the Krionerida gorge. Return to the venue at 18:00, have a rest, and start cooking the foraged foods together at 19:00. Dinner will be served around 20:30.
This morning, you will leave at 09:00 to visit the stunning gorge of Agia Irini for an extended foraging trip in Cretan nature. You will gather local wild greens and herbs. Have lunch at a restaurant and return to the venue around 17:00. After resting for some time, at 19:00, you will start cooking the food you have gathered together. Dinner will be served around 20:30.
Ιn the morning, you will collect aromatic plants from the local area and then spend the late morning in a secluded beach. Lunch will be held at a local taverna by the beach. After resting for a while, you will join a workshop on how to make sustainable soap from used olive oil and the herbs you have collected on your morning trip. Then, you will have dinner at one of the local restaurants in the village.
Enjoy a relaxing breakfast before leaving the venue around 11:00. You will then head to a local organic winery for a wine tasting accompanied by a light lunch until 14:00. You will then return to Chania and say goodbye.
This holiday will take place in Western Crete, Greece.
The food you will be preparing will be vegetarian or vegan. The meals that you will not cook will be served at Vamos Village or at traditional Cretan tavernas. These will offer several traditional vegetarian or vegan options but non-vegetarian meals can also be purchased.
Foraged foods are an integral part of the trip; however, the food you will prepare is not 100% foraged. Although Forage Crete makes every effort to keep the meals they prepare as forage-based as possible, it is not always feasible to forage for every single ingredient. This is due to several reasons. First, depending on the availability of wild food, they might not be able to prepare full meals based only on foraged foods.
Second, several ingredients that have been incorporated into traditional Cretan cuisine, such as tomatoes, rice, and potatoes are not native wild foods. Finally, some ingredients that could be foraged, such as olive oil and flour, would require days' worth of effort to produce.
You can be sure that Forage Crete tries to keep the cooking as self-sufficient as possible. You will prepare some dishes and drinks that are 100% foraged and use local organic ingredients for the rest.
Please book your flight to arrive at Chania International Airport (CHQ). Transfer from and to the airport is included. Forage Crete will pick you up from the airport. The transfer service can be provided from Chania at 8:45 a.m. on day one and back to Chania after the end of the trip on day four.