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8 Day Greek Dessert and Pastry Cookery Holiday in Laganas, Zakynthos

Villa Spiros, Laganas, Zakynthos, Greece

Sightseeing and Cooking Vacation in Greece

If you are looking for an authentic Greek culinary experience that is hands-on and full of variety, but you have more of a sweet tooth, look no further! This decadent 7-night pastry and dessert cookery course, covers everything from syrupy and spoon desserts to cookies, cakes homemade fresh lemonade, ice cream, and everything in between. With outdoor markets, regional wine and olive oil, dinners by the sea, each day promises a new foodie experience leaving nothing out.

Highlights

  • 20 hours of cooking sessions
  • Wine and olive oil tasting experience
  • Learn how to make millfeig, loukoumades, Greek Baklava
  • Make lemonade, armenovil ice cream, and tsoureki with Effie
  • Boat trip to Keri caves and the Turtle Island
  • Exciting trip to Shipwreck Bay
  • 7 nights accommodation

Skill level

  • Beginner
  • Intermediate
  • Advanced

Styles


7 days with instruction
Group size: Maximum of 8 participants
Airport transfer included: Zakynthos International Airport
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Accommodation

Facilities

  • Kitchen
  • Smoke-free property
  • Terrace
  • Free Wi-Fi

Accommodation options

Villa Spiros, in Laganas resort (self-catering studios and apartments)

Join your welcoming hosts for your holiday on this gorgeous Greek isle, away from the workload and rush of the rest of the world. Stay at Villa Spiros, located on the Ionian Island of Zakynthos, with access to lovely cafes, seaside tavernas, a great spa and beauty salon, and just 300 meters from Laganas sandy beach.

Distinguished by the lure of its family-run and owned hospitality and extensive range of services, your villa excels with its warmth, hospitable ambiance, relaxing surroundings, and friendly hosts who guarantee a pleasant, authentic Greek stay and will point you to the very best this wonderful island has to offer.

The villa offers studio rooms with ensuite bathrooms, fully functional kitchens, and spacious verandahs. You also have the option to upgrade into a self-catering apartment that accommodates 1-6 people.

The area pulses with the new and the old, and can be as lively or as calming as you would like it to be! In addition to the tuition, excursions and things you will see, there will be some free time to simply relax and enjoy your surroundings.

Aside from your chosen activity for the week, you will have a holiday full of amazing and memorable activities, from finding the sea turtles famed in the region to swimming in natural springs and at Shipwreck Bay, dancing and listening to music in traditional tavernas, and discovering the history and culture of Zakynthos.

Features

  • 4 kilometers from Zakynthos Island Airport and ferry
  • On the ocean and in walking distance to the lively town of Laganas
  • Surrounded by wine regions, as well as bays and beaches, shipwreck cove, and the picturesque, magical region of Bohali
  • Free transfers to and from Zakynthos Island airport and Ferry terminal
  • Large verandahs off of your room to relax on
  • Free WiFi
  • Free parking
  • Greek and English speaking hosts with a wealth of knowledge about the area
  • Delicious local food and wine
  • Each room is spacious and has a private bathroom with a hairdryer
  • AC, safe deposit box, television, hairdryer, and fully functional kitchens in each studio
  • BBQ and bar on the grounds
  • Beach towels provided

Upgrade to Villa Antonio, in Romiri village (private villa with pool)

Perfect for those who seek privacy, Villa Antonio, is tucked away in the peaceful and picturesque village of Romiri, set over 2000 square meters of private fenced olive grove land, with its own outdoor swimming pool & breathtaking views to the countryside.

This traditional style Greek villa comprises three bedrooms and two bathrooms, an open plan kitchen, a living room, and verandas. It is surrounded by flower gardens, fruit and olive trees, and benefits from the warmth of the sun all day long.

The villa is suitable for couples, a family with children, or a group of friends or colleagues sharing. It accommodates from 1 to 7 people.

Features

  • 6 kilometers from Zakynthos Island Airport and ferry
  • Free transfers to and from Zakynthos Island airport and Ferry terminal
  • Free shopping trips upon request
  • 2 kilometers from nearest bakery, supermarket, butchers and groceries store (they all deliver to the villa)
  • AC and safe deposit boxes in all rooms
  • TV set
  • 2 hairdryers
  • Comfortable lounge / dining room
  • Sun lounges & beach towels provided
  • Large garden with hobby farm
  • Selection of books
  • BBQ facilities

Program

Every level is welcomed and you will be guided on your dessert adventure by local qualified and self-taught chefs, whose passion for creating incredible dishes will teach you not only how to cook, but also how to fall in love with cooking and all of the rewarding results that come with it.

Stay in a beautiful and relaxing near the beach boutique villa, with a Greek host family available at all times to ensure your stay is as relaxing and enjoyable as possible and full of local knowledge about the area. Amazing excursions by boat and car are planned for you to explore the island, swim and get a taste of the local cuisine and culture. This sweet holiday has it all.

Holiday Itinerary

Please note, the following itinerary is for guidance only and subject to change depending on the season and group’s needs and wishes, but all the following activities will take place some time during the week.

Day 1: Arrival and Zakynthos town welcome dinner

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 sea turtle Caretta-Caretta, Laganas will be your base for this sweet hands-on cooking experience.

You will have time to unpack and settle into your new surroundings. A little later, your hosts will welcome you to join them for drinks and an informal meeting. They will answer any questions you may have and tell you about all the things to do and see in this diverse, lively resort all just a few minutes’ walk from your holiday home from home.

In the evening, you will visit Zakynthos town. Here, you will enjoy a traditional welcome dinner, with magnificent views across the harbor and out to sea. Relax while traditional singers, singing serenades set the mood. The local wines and Greek ouzo will help you along!

Day 2: Making desserts with your host Effie and swimming at sandy Laganas Beach

After a delightful breakfast with local delicacies, jump right into your dessert-making adventure. Join your host Effie in her kitchen and master the bases and fillings of four Greek classic desserts, you will prepare later in the afternoon. Learn how to make, a juicy orange pie, a crunchy millfeig, a creamy frigania dessert, and chubby loukoumades with honey.

After your cooking class, enjoy some free time on your own to relax and explore the surrounding area with the 7-kilometer long Laganas beach lying only 500 meters from the villa. In the famous sweeping bay, with its shallow, crystal clear water, you can enjoy swimming, snorkeling and if you are lucky, you will find yourself swimming alongside the large, graceful loggerhead turtles. Sun beds are plentiful if you just want to relax and water front tavernas if you would like to enjoy a light lunch before your evening dessert-making class.

Later, in the evening back at the villa, to create your desserts and enjoy them later after tonight’s “Tastes of Zakynthos” homemade dinner with your hosts in the little pretty garden of Villa Spiros.

Day 3: Sweet treats in Zakynthos town, shimmer satin body peeling and spa therapy at Aeonian wellness & spa center

Wake up at your own pace today. Mid-morning, you will visit a confectioner’s shop in Zakynthos town. The fourth-generation confectioner and shop owner will put on his apron to show you step by step how to make the legendary Greek Baklava (almonds, walnuts, and spices folded into buttery filo pastry).

You will then go on a gentle walk around the town to take in some history and culture. The first stop is at the Church of the island’s patron saint, St Dionysius. The saint’s remains are here in a silver casket, which on some occasions is open for viewing. At St. Markus Square sit and enjoy lunch while watching the world go by at an outdoor traditional all-day café. Batteries are recharged and you are ready to visit the shops in town.

Arriving back in Laganas around midday, you will have enough time to relax or swim, before the Villa Spiros team drives you a short distance to Aeonian wellness & spa center, to enjoy a Shimmer Satin body Peeling treatment followed by an hour use of the spa facilities.

Revel in a deep cleansing full body massage with sea salts, corals, hazelnut, and coconut oils. A cocktail cream of sea minerals completes this experience which aims to hydrate, nourish, and prepare your skin to be safely exposed to the sun.

Enjoy the rest of your evening at leisure.

Day 4: Turtle boat trip, evening dessert-making masterclass and the secrets of making a delicious souvlaki

Wake up at your own pace today. After breakfast, enjoy a three-hour boat trip to “Keri caves & the Turtle Island.” Let yourself go on this tiny, non-inhabited island, spot turtles, swim in crystal clear turquoise waters, capture magnificent pictures and sunbathe on the island’s fine golden sands.

You must be hungry by now. Return to Villa Spiros and join your hosts and fellow guests for a homemade lunch focused on "Land and the seasons".

Enjoy some free time to rest, before your evening dessert-making class with your host Effie, which is going to be refreshing, full of summer colors and aromas. Learn the art of making “tsoureki”, Greece favorite Easter sweet brioche bread, a creamy galaktobouriko, homemade lemonade and armenovil ice cream. Effie welcomes questions, as she is proud to share her knowledge and experience of local and Greek desserts.

In the evening, join your hosts in a fun making activity and learn how to make the original pita souvlaki with either pork or chicken skewer and homemade tzatziki. Simple, yet wonderful!

Day 5: A farm to fork culinary experience and cooking class, prepare local delicacies to take home with you

After a hearty breakfast, together with your host Denia, set off by car for an authentic “culinary escape” to Orthonies village. A wonderful family-owned and run traditional mountain tavern, plays host to an authentic “Farm to Fork” experience and cooking class. Grandmother Athina will share her long experience for creating and preparing village bread, cookies, jams, and spoon desserts with seasonal fruit and mountain herbs that you will be able to take home with you as a long-lasting reminder of this memorable holiday.

Later, you may join Athina to prepare today’s lunch with chicken cooked on traditional wood fire oven and garlic aubergines straight from the family’s kitchen garden. While lunch is slowly cooking, you may explore the surrounding area or catch up with your book before it’s time for another sensational lunch under the shade of an impressive oak tree.

A relaxing evening and maybe a swim is next on today’s agenda. Your host Effie will prepare a light dinner you can enjoy alongside Antonio’s chilled house wine, in the little pretty garden of Villa Spiros.

Day 6: Boat trip to the Shipwreck Bay and the Blue Caves

Wake up to another fun and exciting day. Today, it is all about swimming and exploring not only the coastal treasures of this beautiful island but also the exquisite local cuisine.

From Agios Sostis fishing port, take the boat for a once in a lifetime experience towards the breathtaking west coast of Zakynthos with secluded coves, crystal clear water, and dramatic caves to arrive at mesmerizing Shipwreck Bay. This is what we call a natural eye delight. If the weather is too windy for the boat, you will drive north and you will still be able to admire the shipwreck from the viewing platform set into the clifftop.

A romantic seaside dinner is planned for the evening. You will drive at a locals’ favorite restaurant with fine Zakynthian cuisine and mesmerizing sea views over Laganas Bay.

Day 7: Olive oil and wine tasting, pie masterclass by a local artisan, a farewell Greek celebration to remember

Enjoy a relaxing morning. After breakfast, together with Antonio, visit Aristeon Olive Press & Grampsas winery.

At the olive oil museum, learn how the humble olive becomes liquid gold the precious oil that gives Zakynthians their lust for life. See the display of machinery from the old days before touring the modern factory with your guide. In the end, there is a chance to taste a variety of extra virgin oils on village bread and buy their products.

You continue the tour visiting Grampsas winery run by the third generation of the family, widely respected by Zakynthians and international clients alike. During the summer months, the yachting fraternity visit regularly to restock their boats with wines for their Greek Island Odyssey.

The winery is beautifully presented, from the neat rows of vines to the display of winemaking equipment from bygone days. Son Tassos will talk you through the whole winemaking process before inviting you to sit on the shady terrace to sample white and red wines with local cheese.

Next, to Machairado village, to Villa Spiros' favorite local bakery, known for its delicious homemade pies and syrupy desserts. There, you will pick out lunch and meet Nikos, the handsome shop owner and artisan, who will share his passion for making savory and sweet pies from scratch.

In the evening dress up for a farewell party at “Dennis”, Villa Spiros team's favorite tavern in Lithakia village. There, you will enjoy a traditional Greek celebration, with great BBQ and plenty of local wine and of course Greek live music and dancing. Enjoy the sounds of bouzouki while learning how to dance syrtaki.

Phew! A grand finale to a great week!

Day 8: Departure day

This morning, enjoy a lovely traditional breakfast, maybe a walk to Laganas Main Street for last-minute shopping, or a stroll to Laganas beach to take a last dip. Your driver will take you to the airport or port in good time for your departure. By now you will truly be feeling at home here, Zakynthian through and through, and definitely like a member of Villa Spiros' family.

“Kallo Taxidi! (safe journey)

About the holiday

The program is suitable for all from beginners to advanced levels. Your hosts and tutors are locals speaking fluent English and all activity classes are taught in English.

Many people on the course travel solo, and this course attracts guests from around the world for a wonderfully sociable and creative experience. Many solo guests travel on this holiday and the groups are fun and sociable.

Each guest is allocated a private ensuite room with fridge and fully equipped kitchen and there is no single supplement.

Location

This sightseeing and culinary holiday takes place in Zakynthos, Greece.

Food

Included in the price are daily breakfast, four lunches, and six dinners. Also included is 20 hours of dessert classes. All dietary requirements must be communicated at the time of booking

The following meals are included:

  • Breakfast

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

  • Regular (typically includes meat and fish)
  • Other dietary requirements on request
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)

Extra activities (not included in the price)

  • Group yoga / pilates session: 35 EUR
  • Private yoga / pilates session: 40 EUR
  • Transports to extra sights and activities: 20 EUR
  • Private tours: starting from 50 EUR
  • Massage therapy and spa treatments: from 60 EUR
  • Handmade creations workshop: 80 EUR
  • Cooking lessons including meal: 60 EUR

The following activities are priced seasonally, but your hosts will get you the best prices while you’re there:

  • Horse riding through a pine forest and Kalamaki sand dunes
  • Sailing
  • Kitesurfing
  • Cycling
  • Hiking
  • Kayaking
  • SUP
  • Diving

What's included

  • 7 nights accommodation at Villa Spiros with breakfast
  • Airport transfers
  • 20 hours of dessert masterclasses (orange pie, millfeig, frigania dessert, loukoumades with honey, Baklava, fresh lemonade, armenovil ice cream, tsoureki, galaktobouriko and spinach pie)
  • 10 meals (4 lunches & 6 dinners)
  • Boat tour to the west coast of the island
  • Swimming at the Shipwreck Beach and the Turtle Island
  • Swim at Laganas Beach
  • Tour to Zakynthos town
  • Wine & olive oil tasting
  • Dinner alongside local serenades
  • Traditional homemade meals
  • Greek live music and dancing
  • Seaside dinner

What's not included

  • Airfare
  • Extra activities

How to get there

Recommended Airports

Arrival by airplane

Please book your flight to arrive at Zakynthos International Airport (ZTH). All transfers are included from Zakynthos Airport or from the Zakynthos ferry terminal to the villa. Full, detailed directions will be shown on your booking confirmation voucher.

Airport: Zakynthos International Airport Airport transfer included: Zakynthos International Airport No additional charges. You can request this in the next step.

Cancellation Policy

  • A reservation requires a deposit of 10% of the total price.
  • The deposit is non-refundable, if the booking is cancelled.
  • The rest of the payment should be paid on arrival.

Value for money
Accommodation & facilities
Food
Location
Quality of activity
8 days / 7 nights
from --
Early bird discount

The price for 1-person option below includes an early bird discount of 10% per person. To benefit, book or reserve before June 30, 2020.

Holiday information

Non-activity participating guests are welcome to join. Prices will be discounted accordingly.

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