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3 Day Food Culture and Culinary Vacation in Heraklion, Crete

Heraklion, Nomos Irakleiou, Crete, Greece

Magical Cretan Culinary Vacation Greece

Experience three days of flavors, aromas, scents, and sensations while getting acquainted with the culture of Crete. Spend two days in two local rural villages, getting to know the basic nutritional elements of the world-renowned Cretan diet, while engaging in a hands-on experience with Cretan cooking. During this journey, you will have the opportunity to get to know closer the local life of the people of Crete, the food and flavors of their everyday diet and the secrets that make Cretan dietary model one of the healthiest on the planet.

Highlights

  • Olive oil tasting session
  • Cretan cheeses tasting session
  • Local cuisine cooking class in a village
  • Cretan bread and rusk workshop using sourdough
  • Daily tasty breakfast at the hotel and lunch in two different village houses
  • Maps and printed material for your trip provided
  • Airport transfers - transfer to the workshops
  • 2 nights accommodation

Styles


2 days with instruction
Airport transfer included: Heraklion International Airport
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Accommodation

During this retreat, you will be staying at a boutique hotel in Heraklion, just by the old Venetian port.

Program

Day 1: Arrival

After arriving at Heraklion, you will get transferred to a central boutique hotel. A member our team will meet you there to give you a more detailed explanation of the following days, plus some hints about Heraklion. You will then have a free day to explore the city.

Day 2: The food culture of Crete, olive oil, cooking and say cheese

The day starts with breakfast in your hotel. You will then get transferred to a beautiful village, 35 kilometers from Heraklion, passing through a picturesque hilly scenery with olive and vine cultivation and interesting rock formations. There you will experience a day of flavors, aromas, scents and sensations while getting acquainted with the culture of Crete. An experienced foodist will initiate you to the basic nutritional elements of the world renowned Cretan Diet, one of the healthiest around the planet, while engaging in a hands-on experience with Cretan Cooking.

Olive Oil Tasting

Experience olive oil and the characteristics that make it special and unique. Through this session you will be able to experience 4 different qualities of olive oil. During this process you will learn to identify the different characteristics of its flavor and to distinguish the different qualities available.

Cheese Tasting

Taste a variety of cheeses that exist in the daily food consumption patterns of the people of Crete. Let your pallet wonder through the several textures, densities and flavors of the Cretan cheeses. You will soon understand why the people of Crete are among the biggest consumers of cheese in the world.

Cooking Class

This experience would be incomplete without your engagement with the local cuisine together with two local Moms. Get involved in the kitchen, use the local ingredients and make your own creations from the variety of dishes in the Cretan cuisine. Match olive oil with different flavors and learn how to use it in your daily routine.

This experience can only make sense in a proper setting. This is why you will experience this in a small village in Crete in order to come closer to the ways of the people and their everyday practices. Walk through the small isles, experience the true local hospitality away from the mass attraction sites, and get to know the true culture of Crete through engaging with the locals.

You will experience the passion for Crete, which will unfold in front of your feet through your senses. Experience Crete with the taste of the local products, the smell of the local cuisine, the touch of the local handshake, and the sound of the Cretan nature.

You will then be transferred back to your hotel. Please note that the dishes you will prepare are based on seasonal products and might change from one season to the next. If there is a special product you would like to taste or get to know please inform Petassos Travel in advance. If you require a trekking of certain distance it can be arranged after request.

Day 3: The magic world of traditional bread & rusk making

The last day starts again with breakfast in your hotel. You will then get transferred to a village just out of the city where you will explore the magic world of bread and cretan rusk called Paximadi. Our aim is to connect the ritual of bread making with the modern lifestyle, in the context of historical continuity from the Stone Age until nowadays. Who would be better to host us than a passionate local “Mama” that stays in search of ways to evolve while staying close to the tradition and an archaeologist with a passion for nature and agroecology.

Learn about cereals

Species and local varieties, their characteristics, their evolution and course through time. We will grind some local seeds to make a part of the flour we will use for our bread, while discussing on several products and the benefits of grinding cereals at home.

Understand sourdough

What exactly is this smelly thing? The way to start a sourdough and how to maintain it, how it helps in bread-making, other ways to make the bread rise in comparison with sourdough, and its benefits for our health.

Knead your own bread / rusk

A mystical and purifying procedure. We experiment discussing the little secrets of good kneading and shaping, which boost the rising of our bread. The shaping depends on the type of bread products we want to have.

Bake our dough

After letting it rest for a while in the shape we want, we will put it in the oven, electric for smaller quantities, or wood oven for larger, and take our precious bread. The second baking required to get the Cretan rusk called “paximadi”, will be described thoroughly. We engage either that you leave the house with the warm bread that you have made or to bring it you in rusks (our team will make the second baking) in the next days if possible .

Taste the local cuisine

While the bread is rising, we will take taste of the Cretan cuisine, a cuisine simple but not simplistic, full of colors, aromas and vivid, yet distinct, tastes. Simple creations of minimum effort with pure local ingredients, smells that makes you travel, unique tastes in danger of disappearing through time. All the above will be accompanied with warm, fresh baked bread.

In the afternoon you will be transferred back to Heraklion from where you can continue your holidays or take an evening flight back home. Please note that the dishes you will enjoy are based on seasonal products and might change from one season to the next. If there is a special product you would like to taste or get to know please inform Petassos Travel in advance. The program can be adjusted according to your schedule and travel arrangements.

Included excursions

The food culture of Crete, olive oil, cooking and say cheese

The magic world of traditional bread & rusk making

Location

This culinary holiday takes place in Heraklion, the capital city of Crete, one of the largest islands of Greece. To maximize your culinary experience, you will visit two local villages located 10 and 35 kilometers away from Heraklion for your tasting and cooking sessions.

Crete is a very mountainous island, with an extremely diversified landscape and ground relief, which makes it very interesting and endless. There, new discoveries and exploration never end. The great advantage of Crete is the possibility to visit very different areas in a very short time from the forest to the desert, from the big mountains to the fascinating sea, isolated but also cosmopolitan villages and busy cities, ancient sites with at least 6000 years of history, and modern technological centers full of institutions and universities.

Food

During this retreat, you will be served delicious breakfast at the hotel and Cretan cuisine lunch on both workshops of day two and three. Please note that the dishes you will prepare are based on seasonal products and might change from one season to the next. If there is a special product you would like to taste or get to know, please inform Petassos Travel in advance.

The following meals are included:

  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Drinks

The following drinks are included:

  • Coffee
  • Tea
  • Alcoholic beverages

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

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

What's included

  • Cretan cheeses and olive oil tasting session
  • Local cuisine cooking class in a village
  • Cretan bread and rusk workshop using sourdough
  • Lunch in two different village houses
  • Alcoholic beverages on day 2
  • Tea, coffee, fresh orange juice / homemade lemonade on day 3
  • Maps and printed material for your trip
  • Daily tasty breakfast at the hotel
  • 2 nights accommodation
  • Heraklion Airport (HER) transfers
  • Transfer to the workshops
  • Phone support 24 hours a day
  • Taxes

What's not included

  • International and internal flights
  • Guided tours and entrance fees to museums and organized archaeological sites, unless mentioned above
  • Tickets for national parks, buses, boats, and archaeological sites
  • Beverages (soft drinks), tips, and personal expenses
  • Personal insurance
  • Anything not mentioned above

How to get there

Recommended Airports

Airport: Heraklion International Airport Airport transfer included: Heraklion 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 30 days before arrival.
3 days / 2 nights
from --
Availability

This vacation is available from May to October, please select an arrival date below.

 

Low season
  • May - mid June 
  • The last 2 weeks of October

 

High season
  • Mid June - mid October

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For this organizer you can guarantee your booking through BookCulinaryVacations.com. All major credit cards supported.

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