8 Days Sensational Zakynthos Cooking Vacation in Greece

  • Villa Spiros, Laganas, Zakynthos, 29092

Authentic Culinary Vacations in Greece

Experience unique cooking experience in Greece with Villa Spiros. Spend a week on Zakynthos and learn the local cuisine from the experts. Immerse yourself in the culture of Zakynthos. Enjoy a slice of Greek island life. Have a taste of Zakynthian olive oil and wine. Leave your problems behind and soak in the blue waters of Zakynthos beaches. So, what are you waiting for? Sign up now!

Highlights

  • Local singing (kantades)
  • Experience a Greek night
  • Cooking classes with locals
  • Learn how to make the legendary baklava
  • Winery, olive grove visits and tastings
  • Visit a traditinal mountain taverna and enjoy a romantic sunset
  • Swim at world famous Shipwreck beach
  • Shop and taste local products
  • 7 days with instruction
  • Greek, English
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Studios

Located on the ground floor, all studios are spacious, tastefully decorated in style, with large verandas for enjoyable relaxing moments. In-room amenities: 25 - 30m2 spacious, modern rooms with 2 single beds, suitable for 2 people; large, wooden wardrobe, safety deposit box, matching dressing table with big mirror, TV, fully equipped kitchen with dinner table and chairs, fridge, shower room/WC, spacious veranda with table and chairs, air condition, ceiling fan, central heating, views to the vineyard.

Maissonaites

Situated on the first floor the maisonettes comprise of two levels, separated by a wooden staircase. On the ground floor of each maisonette, there is a kitchen, shower room/WC, wardrobe, 2 single beds and a balcony. On the upper level, there is the master bedroom with a double bed, wardrobe, and shower room/WC.

In-room amenities: 50 - 60m2 with balcony, suitable for a family or a group of friends (sleeps 4), 2 large, wooden wardrobes, safety deposit box, 2 matching dressing tables with big mirror, 2 TV sets, fully equipped kitchen with dinner table and chairs, fridge, 2 shower rooms/WC, spacious balcony with table and chairs, 2 air condition, 2 ceiling fans, central heating on both floors, view to the vineyard.

Day 1 - Arrival, welcome drink, traditional Zakynthian dinner with kantades (live traditional singers)

On arrival at Zakynthos airport or port, your private driver will meet you and transfer you to your accommodation in Laganas. Famed for being the home of the stunning sea turtle Caretta-Caretta Laganas will be your base for this fabulous culinary experience. After settling in you will have time to unpack, relax and unwind.

A little while later your hosts will welcome you to join them for drinks and snacks, a relaxing and informal meeting to answer any questions you may have and inform you about all the wonderful things there is to do and see in this diverse and lively resort, and nothing more than a few minutes walk from your holiday home from home.

In the afternoon, we meet and visit the romantic region of Bohali situated at the very top of the wonderful Zakynthos Town. Here you will enjoy a wonderful traditional welcome dinner with magnificent views out over the twinkling lights of the town far below, across the harbor and out to the sea. Marvel at this panoramic vista and let your stresses melt away, the locally produced wines and traditional Greek ouzo will certainly help you along. Relax while the traditional live local singers (kantades) set the mood.

What an amazing way to feel truly welcome, and get your Sensational Zakynthos experience off to a great start. (Already youre on your way to feeling like a true Zakynthian)

Day 2 - Swimming and Dining at the Heavenly Dafni Beach

Wake up at your own leisure and enjoy some free time on your own, exploring the marvelous surrounding area. Relaxing and chilled out, exciting and hectic, this great resort caters for all tastes and offers a great combination of everything a traveler may desire.

In the famous sweeping bay, with its wonderful, shallow, crystal clear water, you can enjoy swimming, snorkeling and if you are lucky, you may even find yourself swimming alongside some of the large, beautiful and extremely graceful loggerhead turtles. You can walk along the unending golden sands of Laganas beach, where little cages protect the turtle nests and holiday makers enjoy the wonderful beach life happily respecting the nests and this wonderful creature that calls Laganas bay, home.

There is also a varied array of idyllic beach bars and traditional tavernas. Scuba diving, water sports, boat hire and sun beds are plentiful making it easy to relax, play and lose track of time enjoying your carefree moments under the sun.

Later in the day, we travel a short distance to another very important nesting grounds of the sea turtle Caretta-Caretta, the Heavenly Dafni Beach. First stop is at the turtle museum, where the passionate staff is always happy to share all their expertise on the subject of the turtles and show us around the museum.

Continuing our tour, we arrive at Dafni beach, where turtle nests are scattered all along the golden sands, protected by little cages, and watched over year round by an army of passionate volunteers. Just a little way out to sea the secluded uninhabited Island of Pelouzo and the protected beach of Sekania, provide a stunning backdrop to a spectacular setting. Time, now to truly unwind and enjoy a heavenly afternoon and evening. Swim, try a spot of snorkeling to see if you can spy a Caretta-Caretta, and dont forget your camera.

Cooking and Dining

Unlike regular holiday makers there is no need to leave this wonderful location, no need to rush off and dress for dinner, its all right here.

The owner of the family beach front taverna, Dafni beach, will welcome you to prepare and cook with him the most tantalizing dishes on the restaurants traditional menu. This is your opportunity to ask as many questions as you like. Take advantage of the wealth of experience that comes with many years of putting love and pride into every delicious spoonful. A wonderful learning experience!

On the menu tonight?

Stuffed vegetables, courgette balls, saganaki (fried cheese) and to finish a lovely lemon pie. We promise this will be the most delightful beach dinner you will ever have, a totally delicious and unforgettable experience.

Oh and dont forget to leave room for lots of after dinner conversation. Enjoy star gazing into nights inky black night sky, the soothing sound of the waves gently lapping at the shore, and why not wash it all down with a variety of locally produced Wines and Greek Ouzo, add the company of your hosts and a relaxed, family environment.

Could you ask for anything more?

Day 3 - An authentic farm-to-fork culinary experience

After a hearty breakfast, we set off for a great escape to the picturesque north of the island. Here a refreshing morning swim at the healing beach of Xigia will set you up for the day. The warm waters here have natural Sulphur springs which bubble up from the sea bed, making the waters mineral rich with famed healing properties, you can smell a slightly eggy aroma, which is the sulpher gasses exiting the water, so although a little smelly! Your skin will thank you for the experience.

We continue north, driving through picturesque tiny villages to our lunch destination, a wonderful family owned and run traditional mountain taverna. Here, you will experience an authentic Farm to Fork culinary experience!

After a warm welcome, and a cool welcome drink, the hosts of this delightful establishment will guide us on a short walk to their vegetable and herb gardens. Next, you will see a variety of small animals hand reared with care, which produce the familys everyday nutrition needs. There is a strong belief here that Happy Animals produce healthy meat. Later, back at the taverna, under the shade of a lovely old tree, we will cook! Todays lunch is based on a variety of fresh vegetables and live stock from the familys household, showing the true diversity of cooking within season and utilizing the produce available on the property and available locally. No mass produced supermarket rubbish here! The grandmother of the family will show us step by step, how to cook a family recipe handed down from generation to generation. Free range stuffed chicken or rabbit in tomato sauce with pasta, as well as a variety of starters including seasonal vegetables straight from the kitchen garden.

While the dinner is cooking, we will have time to relax, enjoy a cold drink or maybe a leisurely walk around the area. Back now to the taverna to enjoy the absolutely sensational dinner we cooked accompanied by local wine and homemade dessert to add that final sweet flourish to yet another wonderful culinary experience, and satisfying lunch.

Day 4 - Olive oil and wine tasting, cooking and dining at a traditional winery

This morning there are choices. Enjoy a relaxing morning in Laganas or join us for an exclusive aquatic experience. With a refreshing seasonal fruit juice in hand, we will walk for about 15 minutes to the picturesque port of Ag. Sostis for a turtle boat trip to the Marathonisi island. Let yourself go on this tiny, heavenly non inhabited island. We will enjoy swimming in crystal clear turquoise waters, go skinny if adventurous enough, and tuck into a beach breakfast while watching the rising sun make its way high into the blue sky to bless another glorious day. Can you imagine being there? Enjoy and relax!

Zakynthos produces 10.000 tons of extra virgin olive oil and 2.100,000 tons of wine annually. This afternoon, we visit the largest agricultural producing area on the island to taste pure extra virgin organic olive oil and wine straight from the local producers. Andonis, a local farmer, will host and show us his organic olive grove for an authentic olive oil experience. He will tell us about the procedure of turning the valuable olive fruit into the liquid gold, that makes Greek people amongst the healthiest people in Europe. Taste the fruit of his hard labor, delight in the wonderful taste of the precocious olive oil and olives and also enjoy a hands-on workshop making aromatic olive oil bottles to take home with us.

The wine-growing zone of Lagopodo is a blessed wine region with 9,000 fertile acres of vineyards. There, we find our favorite Grampsas winery, which opens up its cellar doors and invites us for an intoxicating journey in the world of wine. We will meet and speak with the Grampsas family; three generations of wine makers, while they take us on a tour of their prized vineyards and winery. Here we learn about the harvest and production process and sample some of the wonderful varieties that they produce. The wine here is so good with very little of it ever gets to the export market!

Next in the winerys lovely garden, among the natural scents of the vineyard, and beautiful natural surroundings, we are ready for todays cooking activity including the making of traditional village bread, rabbit in tomato sauce, tzatziki using organic ingredients from the familys household giving the dishes a taste like no other! What another perfect day!

Day 5 - Swimming at the Shipwreck bay, magical sunset dinner

Wake up at your own pace today and enjoy a relaxing summer morning in the lovely Laganas resort. Around midday, we set off for an exciting drive to the north of the island once again with several gastronomic stops along the way. We will take a delightful boat ride to the world famous Shipwreck bay for a once in a lifetime swimming experience.

If we are lucky we may see base jumpers and paragliders launch themselves from the towering cliff tops above. If the weather is too windy for the boat, we will still be able to admire the shipwreck from the viewing platform set into the cliff top.

A traditional dinner is coming up later at the locals favorite taverna ever, in Kabi. Not only is this restaurant famous for serving authentic Zakynthian cuisine and lovely owners, but also for the most magical sunset on the whole island. Relax and take in the captivating views over rugged crags and shimmering ocean. Another amazing ending to a wonderful day! Zakinthos really is the jewel in the crown of the beautiful Ionian Sea.

Day 6 - Sweet revenge, a Greek night to remember!

Today, we visit Zakynthos town. Here, you will discover hidden gems, the amazing history and culture of the Old Town, living happily alongside the cafe culture of the modern Town. Take a break and relax in one of the many specialty caf shops, or maybe enjoy a delicious homemade ice cream and indulge in a spot of people watching, a favorite Greek pastime. Last minute shopping, coffee stops and a leisurely walk, time to enjoy being alone to wander, enjoy!

Later, one of the most traditional confectionery workshops of the Town, plays host to a tantalizing sweet revenge. The fourth generation confectioner and shop owner, will put on his apron and will show us how to make the favourite all-time classic Baklava with almonds, walnuts and spices folded into a syrupy filo pastry. Simply irresistible!

Arriving back in Laganas around lunch time, there will be enough time to relax and enjoy your day as you wish. We meet again this evening, at Villa Spiros to set off for one of the locals favourite greek tavern for its quality chops barbequed on the charcoal. Here, we will enjoy an exclusive Greek night, featuring mixed grill as well as a wonderful traditional array of mezedes (small plates) of accompaniments, dips, breads and salad. Local wine and of course desserts, will compliment this rustic meal! Phew! Relax and let that wonderful meal go down because Greek Dancing will definitely follow!

Day 7 - Departure

This morning enjoy a lovely traditional breakfast, maybe a walk to Laganas Main Street for last shopping or a stroll to Laganas beach to take a last dip in the wonderful Ionian Sea, if time allows.

For sadly today we say goodbye. When time your driver will take you safely to the airport or port for your departure, y now you will truly be feeling at home here, Zakynthian through and through, and definitely like a member of our family.

If this has happened then we have done a good job and you have had a wonderful experience like no other. We will miss you greatly, and will wait to welcome you back for another exciting experience soon. Kallo taxidi! (safe journey).

  • Stroll around Laganas
  • Swim at Dafni beach
  • Swim at Marathonisi island
  • Swim at Shipwreck bay
  • Swim at Xigia beach
  • Visit an olive grove
  • Visit Bohali region
  • Visit Grampsas winery
  • Visit Orthonies village
  • Visit the local market in Zakynthos town

Located on the beautiful island of Zakynthos and situated in Zakynthos liveliest and most exciting resort, Villa Spiros features a mixture of 3 self-catering ground floor rooms and 4 first floor maisonettes, furnished to a high standard in a clean modern style, incorporating everything the discerning holidaymaker or independent traveler will need for a relaxing and comfortable stay. Villa Spiros enjoys ideal, peaceful and relaxing surroundings, surrounded by lovely vines and well-kept flower beds.

This little oasis of calm, is only 300 meters away from the lovely Laganas beach and only a 5-minute stroll from Laganas main street with its parade of shops, restaurants, bars, bus stops and medical center. Countless excursions and sights in close vicinity complement the villas location perfectly. Distinguished by the lure of its exceptional family run hospitality and extensive range of services, Villa Spiros excels with its warmth, hospitable ambiance, relaxing surroundings and friendly hosts who will point you to the very best this wonderful island has to offer.

  • 7 nights accommodation
  • Cooking sessions
  • Excursions as per itinerary
  • Meals as per itinerary
  • Private driver/guide
  • Transportation

Arrival by airplane

Daily flights from Athens airport (ATH)

Twice a week from Thessaloniki (SKG)

Direct flights operate to Zakynthos from most European countries (including Russia and Israel) during the tourist season, April to October

Easyjet flies from London Gatwick directly to Zakynthos or from Manchester to Athens. Book your flight at www.easyjet.com

Ryanair flies every Monday from Charleroi in Brussels directly to Zakynthos. There are also frequent all year round flights with RYANAIR to Athens. Book your flight at www.ryanair.com

Zakynthos can be easily reached by direct charter flights from most European countries (including Russia and Israel) or domestic flights via Athens.

Arrival by ferry

As an alternative to flying, guests that arrive to Athens international airport can use a shuttle bus or taxi from the airport to Kiffisos bus station. The national coach service KTEL has direct connections to Zakynthos. It is approximately a 4-hour journey and an hour journey on the Zakynthos-Kyllini ferry. Total commute is approximately 5 hours. By car this journey is reduced to approximately 3 hours.

Ferry boat from Venice, Ancona or Brindisi in Italy to Patras is an alternative for you who travel either by car or train. It takes about 20 hours with the Superfast Ferries from Venice to Patras. Then there is a further hour drive by car or bus from Patras to Killini, from where the ferry boat takes you to Zakynthos town in one hour.

Zakynthos can be easily reached by boat from Killini port or Kephalonia Island.

Distances

  • Bus stop, 150 meters
  • Kalamaki resort, 3 kilometers
  • Keri resort, 14 kilometers
  • Laganas beach, 300 meters
  • Laganas main street, 150 meters
  • Shipwreck (from above), 30 kilometers
  • Vasilikos resort, 20 kilometers
  • Zakynthos airport, 5 kilometers
  • Zakynthos town, 7 kilometers
  • The deposit is non-refundable, if the booking is cancelled.
  • The rest of the payment should be paid on arrival.

Testimonials

  • Review by Jelena N
    10 out of 10

    "First of all I have to say that everyone was very friendly and nice. The owners helped us with every concern we had and tried to find the best solutions to improve our stay on the island. "

    "We stayed in a studio for 4 people and it was quite clean and comfortable. Another very positive thing to mention is that the accommodation was near the main street of Laganas, where all the clubs and bars are located, but at the same time it was far enough so you don't hear the loud noises from the party street. There is also AC and wifi."

    "Something I'd definitely recommend to everyone is the boat tour to the Turtle Island and other beautiful places nearby offered by the owner. All in all it was a great holiday with the perfect accommodation and we'll definitely come again to enjoy and discover more of Zakynthos!"

    TripAdvisor website, edited

  • Review by Felicia P from Linkoping, Sweden
    10 out of 10

    "The owners made our stay in Laganas one to remember! Really friendly they took us out on day tours to explore the rest of the island and gave us some really nice food experience! Good location from the main street. You couldn't hear any loud music or anything. Close to the beach and supermarkets."

    TripAdvisor website, edited

  • Review by a traveler from London, UK
    10 out of 10

    "We visited in mid-September, which is the perfect month to have a holiday here if you want to avoid the busy clubbing atmosphere. The apartments are tucked away behind the busy strip so the location was ideal. We stayed in the maisonette which had two bedrooms, two bathrooms, balcony, small dining / kitchen area. The style of the apartment was simple but clean and comfortable with plenty of storage space which was very handy.The property is owned by a lovely family. They were very friendly and accommodating and made our holiday extra special. At a reasonable cost they provide meals and excursions which I highly recommend. They took us on two excursions, they were perfect as there was only a small handful of us which meant we could relax more and timing wasn't limited - whereas when you book excursions with tour companies, you always travel in huge groups and the experience doesn't feel exclusive.The property is accompanied by lush land of pomegranate trees, olive trees, a vineyard and other beautiful plants and trees. Make sure you purchase some olive oil and wine from here, that the family makes themselves! Laganas itself was a perfect base for us. There are many excursions you can do from here; they also provide trips to Athens, Kafelonia and Olympia. There are plenty of bars, clubs, restaurants, shops, and medical centers.You will be spoilt for choice, but it is a good idea to get some suggestions from the family if you want to visit good Greek restaurants. The beach was lovely, but I suggest you walk to where Cool Peppers restaurant is, as the beach was much cleaner. There are plenty of other restaurants near Cool Peppers but I only remember this one because that's where we sunbathed. All the restaurants provide sunbeds too. It is a sandy beach with clean, clear water.You have to walk very far out before the water gets deeper so it's ideal for children or anyone who can't swim. So to summarize, I highly recommend you stay at Villa Spiros if you want that homely family feel, which is the best way if you want to experience authentic Greek culture and personalized excursions that you won't get from tour companies. I hope to visit again; this holiday was one of my best."

    Trip Advisor website, edited

  • Review by Lisa A. from Georgia, USA

    "The owners went out of their way to make my stay comfortable and enjoyable. They were also very helpful in providing details about local attractions and transportation options. As a solo traveler, I was not interested in renting a car or a motorbike. I opted for the local buses instead. I received helpful information for reaching the famous Red Beach and going to Oia to see its world famous sunset. I truly enjoyed my conversations with Niko at the end of each day. He helped me with the complex Greek alphabet and language too!"

    Trip Advisor website, edited

  • Review by Carlos Armando from Lima, Peru
    10 out of 10

    "We enjoyed our stay in Villa Spiros. The perfect room, good service, and helpful team will give you a great experience in Perissa. You will feel like at home. Also, the Wi-Fi works perfectly in the whole place and each room has A / C that is perfect at summer nights."

    Trip Advisor website, edited

  • Review by Yuma from Japan
    10 out of 10

    "The host, Antonio, was extremely kind. We went to Zakynthos on off season, so we were the only guests. He took care of us a lot, he made a day trip plan for us and showed us around the island. We want to go back next summer!"

    Booking website, edited

  • Review by Tina L. from Zakynthos, Greece
    10 out of 10

    "This is a nice, simple and clean accommodation with very homely feel and excellent hosts. Its only 5 minutes walk from Laganas beach but set back from the main road in a quiet backwater. Its a lovely place for a stress-free stay. There are lots to do out and about, and all the amenities you could need are within a 5-minute walk. I stayed for 3 weeks and did not want to leave. The owners will go out of their way to make your holiday everything you'd like it to be. Do yourself a good turn and book a stay."

    Trip Advisor website, edited

  • Review by Lucy from Southampton, UK
    10 out of 10

    "The rooms are lovely, big, and clean. The owners welcome you with open arms and, on arrival, will have a drink for you. We were lucky enough to try their own homemade wine, which was lovely. Villa Spiros is a 1-minute walk from the strip but it is still quiet. Its a 5-minute walk to the beach! It was truly a lovely place to stay and if I go back to Zante, I will stay there again."

    Trip Advisor website, edited

  • Review by Oneya from Belgrade, Serbia
    10 out of 10

    "I stayed at Villa Spiros in June and it was excellent. The accomodation is wonderful and the owners are very pleasing. The apartment number 9 is the best since it is quiet for sleeping at night. The villa is 5 minutes away from the main street with all that clubs and discotheques, but it is not noisy in the evening. Its 10 minutes away from the beach.The sea is calm and beautiful. Anyone who will travel should see the Navagio beach, Xigia, and the blue caves and beautiful sunset in Porto Roxa. If you want an active vacation, look for Milan from Serbia. He will make your vacation excellent. I would go back one more time."

    Trip Advisor website, edited

Ionian Islands, Greece

Villa Spiros offers a clean and modern accommodation as well as culinary vacations in peaceful and relaxing surroundings.

from --

8 days / 7 nights

This vacation is available from April to November, please select an arrival date below.

High season
  • July & August
Medium season
  • June & September
Low season
  • April, May, October & November
Departure:
Monday August 7, 2017
(8 days / 7 nights)

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