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3 Day Wine Culture, Bread and Rusk, and Gastronomy Vacation in Heraklion, Crete

Heraklion, Crete

Magical Cretan Gastronomical 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. 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, the culture of the vine, its products and the world of Cretan rusk that is consumed in great quantities by the locals. Several secrets that make Cretan dietary model one of the healthiest on the planet will come before you.


  • Wine tasting session
  • Wine tour and hike in the vineyards
  • 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


2 days with instruction in English
The organizer also speaks: French
Group size: Maximum of 12 participants
Airport transfer included: Heraklion International Airport
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During this retreat, you will be staying at a boutique hotel in Heraklion, just by the old Venetian port.


Day 1: Arrival

After arriving at Heraklion Airport (HER), you will get transferred to a central boutique hotel. A member of Petassos Travel 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 secret aromas of Cretan wines

The day starts with breakfast in your hotel. You will then get transferred to a traditional beautiful village 20 kilometers away from Heraklion where you will start a trip through Dionysus' 'juices' (musts), in the most famous wine-area of Crete guided by an oenologist (wine specialist).

How many secrets are actually hidden in the grape and in the cultivation of the vine? A glass of wine includes the aroma of the fluorescence of the vine and the herbs which grow on its borders, the taste of the ripe grape that the picker tastes before throwing it in the bucket, the sound of the viticulturer’s steps and the pickers’ laughs, the touch on the shoots which is either soft or violent, the sight which is lost in the extended green (canopy) and calms the spirit.

The wine is a result of senses but is as well enjoyed with them. Each of the senses has its own role, the sight corresponds to the color, the smell to the aromas, the taste to the flavors, the touch to the mouthfeel, but what about the hearing?

In the ‘secret aromas of wine’, it is hidden the term of ‘terroir’, which corresponds to the soil, climate, cultivation and personality factors, that make a wine unique, means with identity.

The indigenous Cretan grape varieties are well incorporated, since centuries, in the natural environment of the island and express the richness (in flavors) of the land which had nourished them.

Those are the elements to be discovered by the travelers of Petassos, at this full-day trip, in the heart of the viticultural area of Heraklion. The trip includes a picnic in nature, a light lunch in the tasting room as well as a visit to the unknown ancient open-air wine presses in the surrounding area.

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.

Day 3: The magic world of traditional bread and 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. The 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 you 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. You will grind some local seeds to make a part of the flour you will use for your 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 your health.

Knead your own bread / rusk

A mystical and purifying procedure. You'll experiment discussing the little secrets of good kneading and shaping, which boost the rising of your bread. The shaping depends on the type of bread products you want to have.

Bake your dough

After letting it rest for a while in the shape you want, you will put it in the oven, electric for smaller quantities, or wood oven for larger, and take your precious bread. The second baking required to get the Cretan rusk called “paximadi”, will be described thoroughly.

You will either leave the house with the warm bread that you have made or bring it with you in rusks (Petassos Travel team will make the second baking) in the next days if possible.

Taste the local cuisine

While the bread is rising, you will taste 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 make 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.


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 20 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.


During this retreat, you will be served delicious breakfast at the hotel and Cretan cuisine lunch on both workshops on 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.

Please mention if you have any allergies or intolerance on any food.

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

Things to do (optional)

Visit the archaeological museum with the greatest collection of Minoan artifacts in the world

Visit the palace of Knossos

What's included

  • Wine tasting session
  • Hike in the vineyards with light picnic
  • Local cuisine cooking class in a village
  • Cretan bread and rusk workshop using sourdough
  • Lunch in two different village houses
  • Wine 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

Arrival by airplane

Please book your flight to arrive at Heraklion International Airport (HER). Transfer from this airport is included in the price.

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 --

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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