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8 Day Culture, Art, Culinary Vacation in Greece
This listing has no upcoming availability. Check out these similar experiences

This listing has no upcoming availability. Check out these similar experiences

Cookery Holidays in Greece

Every cooking experience is an adventure for the eyes, ears, nose, palate and soul offered with genuine smiles from heart. And there is no tastier food than what is shared with a smiling face. Enjoy excellent traditional home cooking and cooking vacations in Greece. Get to know Crete in a unique way, the mountains, the villages, the culture, the cuisine. We offer you the means and the experience, our knowledge, our connections, and our love for the island we are living in!


  • Baking class
  • 3 cooking classes
  • Market visits, farm visit
  • Dancing class, art / craft class
  • Palace tour, excursions in Heraklion
  • Performance by a famous local entertainer
  • Daily breakfast, lunch, dinner
  • 7 nights accommodation


6 days with instruction
Airport transfer included: Heraklion International Airport (Nikos Kazantzakis Airport)
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Day 1: Arrival

  • Arrival at the airport of Heraklion. Reception at the airport. Transportation to the villa. Presentation of the program.
  • Rest of the day free to get over the jet lag and dinner at a local restaurant with number of vegetarian / vegan specialties.

Day 2: Excursion, food tasting

  • Knossos and mountain tour
  • The Palace of Knossos, Crete is the island of King Minos, whose name was borrowed to describe the Bronze Age period on the island (3000-1350 B.C. Today, after breakfast we drive to the site of Knossos, the mythical home of Minos himself and his son, the Minotaur!
  • Ending the visit we do a mountain tour, contact local people and taste fresh picked and cooked wild greens and vegetables from the near mountains.

Day 3: Market visit, cooking class

  • Morning we visit an open farmers market in the city of Heraklion. Shop the fresh ingredients needed, walk the city, have a break for a cup of coffee and back to the villa.
  • Todays hands-on class focuses on the casserole mageirefta or ladera| and youll use several types of wild greens, green beans, broad beans and other ingredients to create delicious dishes to enjoy them as the main meal accompanied of local wine and raki.

Day 4: Art / craft class, cooking class

  • Icon painting or wood sculpturing
  • Pancakes with honey or grapes must syrup cream pie and variety of fresh fruits for breakfast and time to learn the secrets of icon painting. 5 hours class.
  • Break for lunch at a local restaurant with variety of vegetarian dishes.
  • Early afternoon back to our villa.
  • Tonight's hands-on class is based on a variety of vegetables with prep techniques that transforms basic ingredients into a full table of colour. Meat free Moussaka, Aubergines imam in tomato sauce, fried vegetables in tomato sauce, smoked eggplant all the way vegan and vegetarian options will be in abundance. As always, local wine will compliment your meal and enhance your evening.

Day 5: Farm visit, market visit

  • Spend the day with locals.
  • Morning we may go with farm ladies to pick up greens and vegetables straight from the country land or go to an open fruit and vegetable market. In a warm relaxed atmosphere we work together in an easy to make way and make the dishes wanted.
  • Today the cook is farm house lady. She gives directions the way her mother or grand mother gave her to come to the taste she wants. When ready we all join the cooked food. We taste a variety of Cretan Mediterranean home cooked meals.

Day 6: Baking class, excursion

  • Learn to make Kalitsounia and Loukoumades, yogurt with honey and cheese pies for the vegetarian ones and moustokouloura sweet bread and oil cookies for the vegan ones, mountain herbal tea for breakfast, and leave on a tour to meet local people in their environment working preparing and making cookies traditional way and we all join, prepare and make spoon sweets. Lunch at a nice mountainous spot.
  • Dinner at local restaurant.

Day 7: Dancing lesson, cooking class

  • What better than join a natural - fresh healthy meal accompanying by traditional Cretan music and of course dancing lesson. You will join your meal the way Cretans do. We do it in a friendly relaxed atmosphere!

Day 8: Departure

  • Last day. Breakfast.
  • Transportation to the airport.

Cretan cuisine

Vegetarian and vegan cuisine

Cretans eat an abundance of fruits and vegetables. The fat we use in our cooked food and salads is mainly olive oil. We eat pulses and vegetables in large amounts. They are the basis in our daily diet. No more than two or three days would go without pulses in a meal and not a day without vegetables, wild greens, olives, uncooked fresh vegetables and greens as salad, Cretan rusks and fruits. We eat more fruit than most, in fact, 4 times more than the other inhabitants of the Mediterranean.

A traveler in Greece when goes for lunch or dinner can find a huge variety of vegetarian / vegan meals in Estiatorion (restaurant). In these restaurants they present their specialties in show tables so guests can view the meals and choose one of them. Estiatorion is restaurant that operates mostly for local people. They always supply a big number of free-meat dishes we call them Ladera. You can find them at taverns or other kind of restaurants but Estiatorion is the ones I always suggest.

I have no compunction in saying that Crete and Greece is an ideal destination for a vegan / vegetarian, at least nutritionally. There is still a long way to go to connect with the philosophy and spirit of the vegan way, but any vegan visitor will be surprised at how harmoniously local Cretan people live with animals, almost all of whom free range in the fields or mountains. I hope and believe respect is a good first step between Cretans and vegans / vegetarians worldwide.

For many Greeks (especially in the countryside and islands), five days a week their meal is vegetarian or vegan. Yes, Greeks are meat and dairy eaters, but because such a large percentage of our diet consists of pulses, vegetables, greens and fruits, a vegan or vegetarian visitor will not have any difficulty in finding a huge variety of vegetarian food all over Greece. You dont have to apologize or explain why you dont eat meat.

Taste the healthy Cretan and Greek Mediterranean meat-free delicacies and our fine wine. You shall feel strong humanity, away from the stress of our daily life. You shall feel the warmth of Greek and Cretan company. You shall be captured by the place, perhaps because you think that time has stood still or because they welcome you with a shot of Tsikoudia with Cretan rusks and fresh tomato or a tsipouro or an ouzo.

Cretan dishes

  • Casseroles
  • Dolmadakia vine leaf wraps stuffed with sorrel, pumpkin flowers
  • Ladera
  • Mageirefta
  • Moussakas
  • Saganaki (fried cheese)
  • Sfakiani (stuffed pitta)
  • Soups
  • Stuffed peppers, tomatoes, courgettes and Aubergines (Papoutsakia)

Cretan bakery and desserts

  • Cookies: On Crete, these cookies are traditionally made and served over the Christmas and New Year's holiday season. They are enjoyed at other times of year as well, but in December and January, they come together to create a fabulous collection of tastes and textures.
  • Kalitsounia: These sweet cheese pastries are an Easter favourite on the island of Crete.
  • Kouloura: These sweet breads are an Easter favourite as well on the island of Crete.
  • Kourabiethes: Kourabiethes (also kourambiedes) are traditional celebration cookies, served at Christmas, New Year's, weddings, and baptisms. Toasted almond shortbread-type cookies topped with a generous coating of confectioner's sugar, they melt in the mouth.
  • Melomakarouna: Melomakarona are a Christmas tradition in Greece (but enjoyed at other times of the year). All over Greece, kitchens will be filled with the wonderful smell of these spice cookies that will adorn tables, be given as hostess gifts, and eaten in huge quantities.
  • Pastries: these cookies are traditionally made and served over the Easter holiday season.
  • Pies: Crete is famous for its cuisine and mostly of its traditional Kalitsounia, which are small pies that can be filled with different fillings, such as cheese (tyropitakia) or greens and wild herbs (Hortopitakia). These unique delicacies are served across the entire island and are a very tasteful and healthy snack you can enjoy any time of the day, as an appetizer or light meal.
  • Spoon Sweets: Spoon sweets are healthy confections, visually pleasing, distinctive, and extremely versatile. Offering them to guests is a wonderful tradition and a sign of "sweet" hospitality. Nowadays they are used as healthy spreads, in baked goods, and to top ice cream, cakes, and yogurt. Spoon sweets reflect the spirit of the Cretan and Greek hospitality. Spoon sweets are a traditional offering in Greek homes. Spoon sweets are fruits, preserved in syrup. They are commonly known as "spoon sweets" which translates to sweet of the spoon. due to the traditional way of serving the sweets on a well-filled teaspoon accompanied by cold water.

Porto Club

Porto Club Travel Services

Porto Club is a family founded company that set out to share the wonders and mysteries of Cretan regional cuisine with the world. Founded on the principles of passion, sharing and learning we pride ourselves in enjoying with others the uniqueness, wonders and pleasure of Cretan Vegetarian regional cuisine while ensuring to intertwine these with an understanding of the production, pride and culture specific to each region.

In Crete, a meal is not only a celebration but also a culmination of various events. Enjoy culinary explorations that blend all the secrets particular of the region of Crete and let you enjoy and learn about them first-hand alongside the locals. Going from one region of Crete to another changes not only what you eat, but how you eat it, how its prepared and what accompanies it. Each region is a mystery unto itself. Immerse yourself in the fantastic flavours and mouth-watering smells of regional Crete.

Porto Club Vegetarian & Vegan Tours

We believe that the most authentic way to experience and understand the heritage of Cretan culture, nutrition, history, way of life and its people, is in the company of a local scholar, walking through streets which are alive with religion, art and history, immersing in the architecture, learning about the life, traditions, and customs of Cretan people, past and present.

You will sample some of the finest meals as well as fruit and vegetables in the world. You will drink selected spirits (ouzo, raki, liquors) and wines that will elevate your spirit and help you relax, and relish the excellent traditional cooking in some of the less obvious restaurants that we will point you out.

Follow Porto Club Vegetarian lead, come on a route of adventure, travel and wonder as you explore the mysteries, flavours and customs particular to various Cretan regions on our unique & authentic Cretan vegetarian food holiday. We can promise you we will not be part of any tourist trail or the sheep following mentality. Our aim has always been to offer quality not quantity, so Porto Club remains small but perfectly formed.

Porto Club Cooking Trips

We offer a unique opportunity to experience at first hand authentic Cretan regional cooking techniques and recipes that have been developed and handed down over generations. All of the ingredients you will use are bought each morning from local open market and so you will be working with fresh fruit and vegetables in season.

Throughout our cooking you will learn about the ingredients and the traditions around the dishes. You will learn the passion of the Cretan kitchen and, importantly, have a lot of fun and enjoyment doing it.

Your week in Crete will be as much a hands on cooking experience as a cultural one. George will introduce you to the philosophy of local cooking and its traditions. You will learn about the history of Cretan cuisine and how it was influenced by its occupation for more than 2000 years.

You will learn the inspirations behind the Cretan dishes, the methods employed by local producers, how to make a variety of Cretan dishes from simple ingredients you can find back home, how very few ingredients can be the basis for 6 or 7 dishes.

You will learn how to prepare traditional Cretan dishes adapted to vegetarian requirements but never compromising on flavor as well as the cooking techniques and methods used to create the dishes.


What's included

  • 1 icon painting lesson
  • 1 Cretan dancing lesson
  • 7 days exclusive chartered vehicle with English speaking driver
  • 7 nights accommodation on a private villa or home on double occupancy
  • All meals: 7 breakfasts, 6 lunches, 7 dinners according the program
  • Daily cooking lessons / classes of the Cretan Mediterranean nutrition
  • Daily services from 8 am to 10pm
  • Fuel
  • Info material, maps
  • Private performance by a famous Cretan music player / singer
  • The palace of Knossos guided tour with entrance fees
  • Transportation airport - villa - airport
  • Visits to small villages, churches, monasteries, open markets, women cooperatives, excursions, homes, farms

How to get there

Recommended Airports

Airport: Heraklion International Airport (Nikos Kazantzakis Airport) Airport transfer included: Heraklion International Airport (Nikos Kazantzakis Airport) No additional charges. You can request this in the next step.

Cancellation Policy

  • A reservation requires a deposit of 30% of the total price.
  • The deposit is non-refundable, if the booking is cancelled.
  • The rest of the payment should be paid on arrival.
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