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11 Day Olive Tree Program: Nature, Gastronomy, and Sustainability Tour in the Mythical Peloponnese

26 Koleti & Papanikolaou street Nafplio, Greece, 21100, Peloponnese

Greece Culinary Tour

The "Olive Tree" is an ideal program for those who want to meet the real Greece through the authenticity of local people, their culture, their organic food, and its nature. The olive tree is a symbol of wisdom and much more than the goddess Athena taught. Get off the beaten path in the Peloponnese with its great history, myths, and delicious local food and wine. Cheers to you or "yia mas" in Greek!

Meet the instructors

Stavroula
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Highlights

  • Olive oil and wine tastings
  • Join 2 cooking classes and 2 days of olive picking
  • Daily breakfast and snacks, 2 picnics in nature, 7 lunches, and 6 dinners will be served
  • Guided and walking tours and live Greek music nights
  • You will have 1 yoga and 1 Tai Chi session
  • Experience a thermal spa session
  • 10 nights accommodation

Styles


10 days with instruction in English
The organizer also speaks: German, Greek
Group size: 6-15 participants
Airport transfer available:
Kalamata International Airport (US$115 per person)
Airport transfer included: Athens International Airport
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Accommodation

Check-in Time:
11:00
Check-out Time:
00:00

All hotels for this tour are very well selected. Grecopaths have chosen the best of its kind that represents the beauty and the character of its area. Your accommodation will be in four-star hotels, unique traditional guesthouses, and boutique hotels. Single supplement is available upon request, please send an inquiry in order to discuss your specific accommodation requirements.

  • Day 1: Nafplio - Hotel
  • Day 2: Nafplio - Hotel
  • Day 3: Village house
  • Day 4: Village house
  • Day 5: Kalamata - Hotel
  • Day 6: Kalamata - Hotel
  • Day 7: Dimitsana - Guesthouse
  • Day 8: Dimitsana - Guesthouse
  • Day 9: Loutraki - Hotel
  • Day 10: Nemea
  • Day 11: Departure to Athens

Program

"If you disintegrate Greece, you will eventually find yourself left with an olive tree, a vineyard, and a boat. Which means, with so many more, you can rebuild it." Odiseas Elitis, a famous Nobel-awarded Greek poet. The famous Greek poet Odiseas Elitis said the phrase that gave Grecopaths the inspiration for this unique program for the Greece that you love or for the Greece that you should meet.

Day 1: Friday - October 29, 2021

  • Arrival from Athens Airport
  • Airport transfer to Nafplio
  • Dinner and live music
  • Overnight in Nafplio

Check in to your cozy hotel, rest, and at around 7 p.m. you will be picked up and led to the best local restaurant in town and live Greek music with a local band.

Day 2: Saturday - October 30, 2021

  • Half-day olive harvest and lunch
  • Free evening
  • Overnight in Nafplio

After your breakfast around 9 a.m., you will be driven to a nearby farm with olive trees. You'll need about a 40-minute drive from Nafplio. You will be transferred by minivan to the farm and then with their pickup truck to the fields. Around 10 a.m., you will start to harvest the olive trees according to the directions/information that you will hear on the spot.

After four hours of picking olives including breaks and a picnic lunch with handmade local goodies and an organic local wine in nature under the shade, aged old oak tree, and wooden table, you will go back to your hotel to rest and to spend your evening as you like. Many suggestions can be offered like wine tasting or city tour, you may decide on the spot if you want to book them or not.

Day 3: Sunday - October 31, 2021

  • Full day on the farm
  • Visit an olive mill
  • Taste warm, fresh extra virgin olive oil

This day will be different from the rest of the program or from your previous trip experiences. You will get up early in the morning as locals and workers do when they go for the olive harvest. That means at 8 a.m., you will check out of your hotel and be driven to the farm again. Today is a full day in the olive orchard including breaks and a picnic lunch.

Harvesting finishes before it gets dark around 4 p.m. and you will be transferred to a local olive mill to see the procedure of olive oil making and, of course, to taste the hot fresh olive juice (oil) direct from the machines to your glass! It's also well known with the name "green gold"! Your reward for a day of hard work is a fireside delicious homemade dinner cooked by the local housewife. Dinner at home!

Dine with the family, sharing experiences, and teasing each other with plenty of wine and fun! After this full-day, you will be transferred to an eco-village with only 24 residents. You are going to experience a different accommodation, village houses with wood stoves that are renovated and belong to locals who are staying in nearby cities.

Picture also this: a hidden village surrounded by mountains with rich vegetation, watermills, fountains, fresh air, and completely quiet. With no cars, only sounds of nature; digital detox 100%, no TV, no Wi-Fi. Keep in mind, this program is for the experience, not for its luxury services (for these two specific days). There is, of course, the possibility that some of you may prefer to stay in the hotel in Nafplio, please let Grecopaths know, they can easily adjust the program for all kinds of tastes.

Day 4: Monday - November 1, 2021

  • Full day at the eco-village
  • Walk
  • Yoga
  • Cooking class
  • Wine and music

The new day will start with this small hidden paradise. How about a walking tour through watermills, stream waters next to a local river, and at the end, some yoga exercise in this majestic nature?

After your breakfast, start your day with a walking tour in nature and then yoga exercise. Rejuvenate your body and spirit in this beautiful place and discover what it was in antiquity with your local guide. Have a break with hot mountain tea and then have a hands-on cooking class! You will learn how to make a traditional dish and then all together, you will enjoy your late lunch and what you cooked at the only tavern of the village.

Have plenty of handmade goodies, a guitar and a singer will accompany the rest of the evening-night. Wine, laughs, fire at the wooden stove, delicious organic food, what else should someone ask for? The best way to close your day!

Day 5: Tuesday - November 2, 2021

  • Drive to Kalamata to visit ancient Messini
  • Overnight in Kalamata
  • Olive oil tasting with olive expert

Grecopaths couldn’t omit the famous Kalamata area and its olive oil. After leaving the village and local farm around 10 a.m., after your breakfast, you will be driven to ancient Messini near Kalamata. This archaeological site is off the beaten track. It is one of the World Heritage Sites of UNESCO. You will have the chance to visit this hidden gem and discover its glorious past. Grecopaths know of people that have visited the Great Wall of China and when they saw the ancient walls of Messini they were very impressed.

Begin your day with a guided tour of Ancient Messene and the museum. This site is simply outstanding. It is a rare example of an entire city that has never been destroyed or covered by later settlements. Follow the narration of your official guide and admire the architectural perfection of sites like the Sanctuary of Asclepius, The Herron, and the Stadium.

After visiting the archeological site, it is time for another tasty lunch with the panoramic view of this magnificent archeological site. After your lunch, you will be transferred to a nearby olive mill for a guided olive tour with an olive oil expert. You will learn all the secrets to distinguish bad olive oil from good olive oil and much more about the history and the tradition of olive oil in the Mediterranean basin.

After the guided olive tour and olive oil tasting, you will be transferred to your hotel. Check-in, relax, and at night, have dinner at a picturesque port of Kalamata.

Day 6: Wednesday - November 3, 2021

  • Kalamata city tour
  • "Lunch at home"
  • Overnight in Kalamata

After your breakfast around 9:30 a.m., you are going to explore the picturesque city of Kalamata. The walking tour includes coffee, some shopping in the old market, and relaxation. When it's lunchtime, you are going to visit another family of farmers and own a lot of hectares of olive trees, just a 40-minute drive away from the city center at the heart of the Messinian olive groves.

They are going to prepare you a tasty organic meal, 100% from their garden and local products. After lunch and chat with the family, you are going to return to your hotel for rest. Have dinner at a local restaurant in Kalamata.

Day 7: Thursday - November 4, 2021

  • Dimitsana to Stemnitsa
  • Visit monasteries
  • Hiking tour
  • Pasta workshop
  • Overnight in Dimitsana

After your breakfast around 9 a.m., it is time to leave Kalamata. This is a new day and you are going to explore a real gem in the center of Arcadia-Peloponnese called Dimitsana village. One of the most beautiful and well-preserved villages in mountainous Arcadia, with unique architecture, atmospheric guesthouses, impressive monasteries, the Canyon of Lucius, and Mount Mainalo, with its forest, ski center, and panoramic views. Dimitsana has long been a popular destination mainly for Greeks.

After about a 1.5-hour drive, you will arrive at one of the most impressive monasteries in Greece. You are going to visit two famous monasteries called Prodromos and Philosophos. They are connected with a beautiful path that you are going to walk. The monks will treat you well with sweet "loukoumia" (a Greek traditional dessert) and then, as you’ll walk out onto the wooden balconies of the Prodromos monastery, hanging from the cliffs of the Lousios Gorge since the 16th century, you’ll savor a view that is truly divine.

The beauty of the Peloponnese lies at your feet. From here, a path leads down to the Lousios River and then ascends to the other side of the gorge, bringing you to the Philosophos monastery, built in 1691. You’ll visit the 10th-century Catholic church and then enter the new monastery (Nea Moni Philosophou), to admire the murals that have embellished it since 1693. This is one of the most impressive attractions in the area; the visit can be made on foot or by car.

The path is six kilometers long in total, medium difficulty, downhill to the river bed, and then uphill until the monastery; return the same way. After the visit to the monasteries, visit a tiny nearby village and an agrotourism collective where you will also attend a country cooking class.

The collective is an effort to couple the innovation with heritage and tradition. The facilities, among others, feature a traditional pasta factory, organic gardens, and a collection of rare cooking books. Spend the afternoon at this model establishment and learn about sustainable growth in the Greek countryside

After your tasty lunch and cooking class, head back to your beautiful guesthouse. Grecopaths have selected a renovated manor house dated back to 1850. Time for rest and relaxation. For dinner, the center of the village is within walking distance. Grecopaths can suggest good local taverns or you can just walk around and have a drink or a hot mountain tea.

Day 8: Friday - November 5, 2021

  • Overnight in Dimitsana
  • Dimitsana Museum
  • Relax
  • Taste local specialties

This day is dedicated to this small picturesque village. You can walk around on its cobbled paths and admire the stone build buildings, the view, the quietness, or you can just sit and enjoy your coffee where locals hang out. You can also visit the famous open-air Water-Power Museum, the only one of its kind in Greece, it displays the technology of the pre-industrial period that exploited the driving force of water. By touring the facilities, the restored gunpowder mill, the tanneries, the water mill, the distillery, you’ll learn all about these modes of production.

When it's lunchtime, you will continue in the minivan to the next picturesque and traditional village called Stemnitsa (15-minute drive) and you will enjoy your meal in a local traditional tavern. After lunch, explore this beautiful village on foot. Stemnitsa village is famous for jewelry workshops and the whole village is built on the slopes of Mount Mainalo at an altitude of 1080 meters.

Time for your coffee or tea with handmade local dessert at a local kafeneion-coffee shop and maybe some shopping tour at their famous jewelry shops. When you finish your walking tour of Stemnitsa, go back to your hotel and have your free leisure time until the next morning.

Day 9: Saturday - November 6, 2021

  • Loutraki thermal spa
  • Lake of Vouliagmeni
  • Temple of Hera
  • Overnight in Loutraki
  • Fresh local fish menu

Thermal spa day! It is time to leave the beautiful mountainous villages and your direction now is Loutraki, near to Corinth, on the way to Athens. After a 1 hour and 40-minute drive, you are going to reach this small city. The city of Loutraki is the same place as the ancient commune of Thermae, where 3,000 years ago, the ancient Greeks, then the Romans, and the Byzantines, had already discovered the ancient alternative approach to healing and prevention, psychosomatic relaxation and rejuvenation.

When you arrive, a stop for coffee with a sea view is a must-do. Continuing on, visit the famous thermal spa. The ultra-modern Loutraki Thermal Spa welcomes you to its contemporary facilities to offer exclusive wellness services for individuals and small groups, including a selection of relaxing, revitalizing, beauty treatments with the life-giving power of Loutraki's thermal water.

Before your thermal spa session, Grecopaths suggests 1-hour of Tai Chi at the indoor lobby of the facilities. Then, they suggest the basic hydromassage pool program for 60 minutes and then you can add services like massage, sauna, or others upon request. After your thermal spa, what could be better than a healthy tasty lunch with fresh fish and a sea view?

After your lunch, Grecopaths will drive you to the best hotel in the region with a sea view to relax. At sunset, you will enjoy fantastic views of a nearby lake and ruins from the temple of Hera. In the evening, return to Loutraki to spend the evening as you like. There is also the famous casino of Loutraki where you may want to test your luck!

Day 10: Sunday - November 7, 2021

  • Wine day! Wine tasting from a local experienced enologist in three different wineries.

You are going to visit the birthplace of the god Dionysus and where Hercules, the mythical Greek hero, killed the Nemean Lion. In the region of Nemea, which is one of the biggest wine-producing areas of Greece with more than 40 wineries to visit, Grecopaths have chosen the best for you to visit.

After your breakfast, depart for Nemea and its archaeological site. The protected region for wine production of Nemea has a history of vine cultivation since ancient Greek times. Due to its fertile soil, Mediterranean climate, and slopes facing the sun or the sea at the right altitude, Nemea is famous for its wines. Especially for the Agiorgitiko grape variety that has been certified as a "Protected Designation of Origin" wine and has been cultivated in Nemea for more than 2,500 years.

It gives the noblest wine of the Greek red varieties and is also called "The Blood of Hercules" because of its deep red color. Agiorgitiko wine has soft tannins and evolving for many years, gives a rich body and long after-taste, its aromas are of red fruit and caramelized butter when young.

In the evening, enjoy good eclectic wines and late lunch at a winery with your local experienced enologist. It is time to share all your experiences and enjoy the last night in Greece! Last but not least, it is also time with a little help of the god Dionysus, to learn the symbolism of the goddess Athena and the olive tree. It is a spiritual tool that will be very helpful to your mental health in demanding everyday life.

Day 11: Monday - November 8, 2021

  • Athens
  • Flight

Until next time! Check out after breakfast and according to your flights, you will be transferred back to Athens airport or to a hotel if you wish to stay one or more nights.

Included excursions

During this tour you will have the following activities and visit the following locations:

  • Half-day olive harvest and lunch
  • Full day on a farm
  • Visit an olive mill
  • Full day at am eco-village
  • Visit ancient Messini
  • Olive oil tasting with an olive expert
  • Kalamata city tour
  • Visit monasteries
  • Hiking tour
  • Dimitsana Museum
  • Loutraki thermal spa
  • Lake of Vouliagmeni
  • Temple of Hera
  • Wine tasting from a local experienced enologist in three different wineries

Instructors

Stavroula Tsirikou

Location

This 11-day Olive Tree program will be held at the mythical Peloponnese, just a two-hour drive from the Athens airport. The huge island, as they use to call it, while it was connected to the mainland by the Isthmus of Corinth, where the Corinth Canal is.

Seven of the "12 Labors of Hercules" were held here. Five monuments of the World Heritage Sites of UNESCO are here (Mycenae, Epidaurus, Tiryns, Olympia, and Messene). There are beautiful scenery alternations within a few kilometers, you can be at the sea level and after an hour drive, you can see mountains, rivers, waterfalls, etc., preserved traditional mountain villages, and architectural monuments.

Food

Daily breakfast and snacks are included during this tour, as well as seven lunches, six dinners, and two picnic lunches. The following gastronomical activities are included as well:

  • 1 olive oil tasting
  • 1 wine tasting with licensed experts
  • 2 days of olive picking
  • 2 cooking classes

The following meals are included:

  • Breakfast
  • Snacks

The following drinks are included:

  • Water
  • Coffee
  • Tea

The following dietary requirement(s) are served and/or catered for:

  • Vegetarian
  • Gluten Free
  • Organic
  • Regular (typically includes meat and fish)
  • Seafood
If you have special dietary requirements it's a good idea to communicate it to the organiser when making a reservation

What's included

  • 1 olive oil tasting and 1 wine tasting with licensed experts
  • 2 cooking classes
  • 2 days of olive picking
  • Daily breakfast and snacks
  • 7 lunches and 6 dinners
  • 2 picnics in nature
  • 2 guided tours in Ancient Messini and Nemea and their museums with entrance fees
  • 2 walking tours
  • 1 thermal spa session in Loutraki
  • 1 1-hour yoga session
  • 1 1.5-hour Tai Chi session
  • 2 live Greek music nights
  • Entrance fees for the museum in Dimitsana and archaeological sites
  • Services of 2 local guides
  • 10 nights accommodation in four to five-star hotels
  • Athens Airport transfers
  • All land transportation in luxury seven to nine or 19-seater minivan
  • Gifts

What's not included

  • Other meals not mentioned in the itinerary
  • Optional activities not included in the itinerary
  • All personal expenses, beverages, phone calls, and laundry not detailed in the itinerary
  • Excess baggage charges, visa, and passport fees
  • Personal travel insurance
  • Flights

How to get there

Recommended Airports

Airport: Kalamata International Airport Airport transfer available: Kalamata International Airport (US$115 per person) Additional charges may apply. You can request this in the next step.
Airport: Athens International Airport Airport transfer included: Athens International Airport No additional charges. You can request this in the next step.

Cancellation Policy

  • A reservation requires a deposit of 50% of the total price.
  • The deposit is non-refundable, if the booking is cancelled.
  • The rest of the payment should be paid on arrival.
11 days / 10 nights
from --
Minimum group size

This trip requires a minimum of 6 participants

Availability

Arrival: Friday October 29, 2021
Departure: Monday November 8, 2021

Availability information

This tour will be held from October 29 to November 8, 2021. You can also suggest a date of your choice for a private tour (Minimum of 6 and maximum of 15 persons) from October 2021 until the middle of December 2021 as long as it lasts the olive harvest season. For more information, please send an inquiry.

 

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