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8 Days Currants Harvest Zakynthos & Cooking Vacations Greece

8 Days Currants Harvest Zakynthos & Cooking Vacations Greece

  • Villa Spiros Laganas, Zakynthos, 29092, Greece

Zante Currants Experience and Cooking Holidays Greece

Zakynthos Island is beautiful in any season, but during the currants harvest season, the whole island becomes a hive of activity, buzzing with industrious families turning their attention to the precious business of the currants harvest. Also called “black gold” by the locals, this superfood has been cultivated in Zakynthos since the 17th century, and ever since, it has gained a prestige place in local cuisine and the people's hearts. On this exclusive experience, you will have the opportunity to actually harvest and taste this wonderful fruit straight from the vine and soak in all the nutrients lovingly enveloped in that small deep purple fruit. With warm days, enjoy the tranquility of uncrowded beaches, enjoy walking, cycling, sightseeing and experience the Greek pace of life that makes this nation one of the healthiest in Europe.

Highlights

  • Harvest grapes straight from the vines
  • Visit an olive oil factory and sample the zakynthian “liquid gold"
  • Watch the grapes turn from a plump ruby red to a dry black currant
  • Join a traditional Greek cooking session with instruction from a local grandmother
  • Make together gliko koutaliou, the seasonal local spoon dessert with currants
  • Enjoy scones made with fresh currants you watched being processed
  • Take part in the sorting and drying of the grapes
  • 7 nights accommodation
  • 5 days with instruction
  • English
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Located on the beautiful island of Zakynthos and situated in Zakynthos’ liveliest and most exciting resort, Villa Spiros features a mixture of self-catering ground floor studios and first floor apartments, furnished to a high standard in a clean modern style. The rooms are all equipped with high speed Wi-Fi internet connection, along with a host of other modern amenities and features, stylishly and thoughtfully designed, ensuring the discerning holidaymaker or independent traveler a relaxing and comfortable stay. Countless excursions and sights are in close vicinity, and the close amenities complement the villa’s 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 guarantee a pleasant, authentic Greek hospitality and will point you to the very best this wonderful island has to offer.

Apartments

Situated on the first floor the apartments, the apartments comprise of two levels, separated by a wooden staircase. On the ground floor, there is a kitchen, shower room / WC, wardrobe, two single beds, and a balcony. On the upper level, there is the master bedroom with a double bed, wardrobe, and shower room / WC.The apartments are 60 square meters with balcony, suitable for a family or a group of friends (sleeps four to five people). The in-room amenities include two large wooden wardrobes with fitted security locks, two matching dressing tables with big mirrors, two TV sets, fully-equipped kitchenette with dining area, fridge, kettle and toaster, two shower rooms / WC, spacious balcony with table and chairs, air conditioning, two ceiling fans, central heating on both floors, and view to the vineyard.

Studios

Located on the ground floor, all studios are spacious and comfortably furnished. Each has a large verandas for enjoyable relaxing moments. The studios are 30-square-meters modern rooms with two single beds, suitable for two to three people. It has large, wooden wardrobe with fitted security locks, a matching dressing table with big mirror, TV, fully-equipped kitchenette with dining area, fridge, kettle and toaster, shower room / WC, spacious veranda with table and chairs, air conditioning, ceiling fan, central heating, views to the vineyard.

Zakynthos Island is beautiful in any season, but during the currants harvest season, the whole island becomes a hive of activity, buzzing with industrious families turning their attention to the precious business of the currants harvest. Also called “black gold” by the locals, this superfood has been cultivated in Zakynthos since the 17th century, and ever since, it has gained a prestige place in local cuisine and the people's hearts.

Day 1 - Arrival

On arrival to Zakynthos, you will be collected from the airport and transferred to your accommodation. You will have time to settle in and soak up the atmosphere and the new surroundings. Later, you are welcome to have a shopping trip to the nearby supermarket to shop for your holiday necessities. In the evening, you will attend a welcome meeting and buffet in the accommodation's cozy reception and garden. You will meet your hosts, the Vythoulkas family, and your fellow guests. Your hosts will be delighted to tell you about the traditions there are during “black gold” and familiarize you with the week's proposed itinerary, and also answer any questions you may have.

Day 2 - The black gold journey

Today, you will have a journey through the fascinating process of currant production from vine to complete package product. After a delicious, leisure breakfast, you will begin the journey with harvesting this sweet fruit from the vine. Enjoy the sight of these little round grapes as they shine like rubies in the sunlight. Here, in the Zakynthian countryside, immerse yourself in the peace and tranquility of this stunning landscape as you hand-prune the delicious grapes from the vine and lovingly place them in the crates to be transported to the drying mats. This year, you are the area's privilege guest and they are happy that you are with them to be a part of this amazing experience. After an enjoyable morning’s work, you will take a break from the August sunshine to enjoy a cool, freshly-prepared country picnic in the shade of the trees. Around midday, you will be transported back to Villa Spiros to enjoy the rest of the day and evening as you like.

Day 3 - Turtle boat trip and farm-to-fork cooking activities

After a hearty breakfast, you will set off for an exclusive aquatic experience to the heavenly Marathonisi Island, remarkably shaped similar to the native sea turtle, Caretta caretta. Starting the trip from the small harbor at Agios Sostis, you will board the small boat, Poseidon, for an exciting sea trip in the famous sweeping bay, hoping to see and even swim alongside some of the large and extremely graceful loggerhead turtles. Next, you head out to the sea for a short crossing to the breathtaking, uninhabited Marathonisi Island with its fine powder like sand that captivates the water and nature lover alike. Later, back at Villa Spiros, you are ready for today’s farm-to-fork cooking activity based on barbequed rabbit, sliced thinly and marinated to give a beautiful tender meat, which you will eat on fresh sesame seed buns with homemade fresh currant sauce. Homemade wine and bread will accompany your traditional lunch. Another perfect day!

Day 4 - Sundried deliciousness and picnic in the sands

This morning, you will turn your attention to the sorting and drying of the grapes. Marvel as the long drying mats are spread into the distance, now the sorting and drying process begins. Firstly, the grapes are hand-sorted, removing any bad or damaged grapes. Then, they are laid out in the hot August sun to dry. For many days, the grapes are tendered to, racked, and turned to dry them thoroughly. During this process, the grapes turn from a plump ruby red to a dry black currant, favorite of Christmas puddings and desserts all over the world. Later, you will drive you back to Laganas, where you can relax and enjoy the sea. After a couple of hours, you will head to the beach to enjoy delicious baked scones using the freshly dried currants, with fresh cream and strawberries, and a selection of delicious tiny sandwiches. A delightful afternoon cream tea! Spend the evening at leisure in the lovely Laganas resort. In the famous sweeping bay, there is a varied array of idyllic beach bars, restaurants, cafe bars, and traditional tavernas to while away your evening hours.

Day 5 - Shipwreck Bay, swimming, and culinary experience

Wake up at your own pace today and enjoy a relaxing summer morning in the lovely Laganas resort. Around midday, you will set off for an exciting drive to the north of the island once again, with several gastronomic stops along the way. One of the stops will be an olive oil factory, where you can sample the Zakynthian “liquid gold”, the precious golden oil which gives the Zakynthian people their unique lust for life. Arriving at the picturesque port of Porto Vromi, you will take a delightful boat ride to the world famous Shipwreck Bay for a once in a lifetime swimming experience. Backed by towering white cliffs, a favorite for base jumpers, the area is beautiful with the most turquoise crystal clear waters anywhere on the island. A natural delight! Later, you will move on to a lovely lunch destination, a wonderful, family-owned-and-run, traditional mountain taverna. Here, in Orthonies village, you will experience an authentic traditional culinary experience! The grandmother of the family will show you step by step, how to cook a family recipe handed down from generation to generation. Free range stuffed chicken in tomato sauce with pasta, as well as a variety of starters including seasonal vegetables straight from the kitchen garden. While the lunch is cooking in the traditional wood fire, the hosts of this delightful establishment will guide you on a short walk to their vegetable and herb gardens. Next, you will see a variety of small animals hand-reared with care, which provides the family’s everyday nutrition needs. Later, back at the taverna, under the shade of a lovely old tree, you will enjoy an absolutely sensational lunch which you helped cook, accompanied by local wine. Homemade dessert will add that final sweet flourish to yet another wonderful culinary experience and satisfying lunch.

Day 6 - Free day

Today, you can enjoy the day as you like. You may choose to spend time on the unending sandy beach and wonderful, shallow crystal clear water of Laganas Bay. Take a leisure walk, swim, snorkel, and if you are lucky, you may even find yourself swimming alongside some of the large, beautiful and extremely graceful loggerhead turtles Caretta - Caretta. Scuba diving, water sports, boat hire, and sun beds are plentiful, making it easy to relax, play, and lose track of time enjoying your last carefree moments under the Greek sun. Alternatively, treat yourself to today’s exclusive optional excursion or let the staff members know if they can help you arrange something specifically for you.

Day 7 - Gift making and farewell dinner

Enjoy your breakfast, then meet others at Villa Spiros where you will enjoy a culinary activity, making little gifts to take home. You will make together gliko koutaliou, the seasonal local spoon dessert with currants. You can also pack some freshly dried currants. These are gifts to you, a lasting remainder of your wonderful black gold experience in Zakynthos. In the evening, you will visit Zakynthos town, where you will have two hours to wander through the tiny streets and visit the main shopping street of Alexandrou Roma to browse and shop. Then, you will be collected and transported to the romantic region of Bohali, situated at the highest point above beautiful Zakynthos town. Here, you will enjoy a wonderful traditional farewell dinner with magnificent views over the twinkling lights of the town and harbor below. Marvel at this panoramic vista and feed your senses with the beauty and tranquility of the scene. Relax, while the traditional live local singers (kantades) set the mood. Mesmerizing!

Day 8 - Departure

This morning, why not enjoy a final walk to Laganas main street or the beach? When it's time to go, your driver will take you safely to the airport for your departure. By now, you will truly be feeling like a Zakynthian through and through and definitely like a member of the Vythoulkas family. They really hope that they have kept their promise and you’ve experienced the most amazing holiday. If they pleased you please tell others, if they didn’t please tell them. Kallo taxidi! or safe journey!

  • Explore Zakynthos town
  • Head to Bohali for a romantic dinner
  • Join a boat trip for a visit to Marathonisi Island
  • Olive oil factory visit
  • Visit a traditional mountain taverna in Orthonies village
  • Visit Laganas and enjoy the sea
  • Visit the famous Shipwreck Bay

Featuring a 9-kilometer long, sandy beach and a lively main street with an ample choice for quality shopping, excursions and activities, vibrant night life, as well as a variety of restaurants and tavernas, Laganas is widely considered the most popular and must experience resort in Zakynthos. Located on the south coast of the island, Laganas offers a great combination of everything a traveler may desire, relaxing and chilled out or exciting and hectic, this great resort caters for all tastes.

Nearby places:

  • Laganas beach, 200 meters
  • Laganas main street (shops, restaurants, bars, bus stop, and medical center) - 2 minutes
  • Zakynthos International Airport (ZKH), 5 kilometers
  • Zakynthos town, 7 kilometers
Activities
  • Boating nearby
  • Cooking classes
  • Cycling nearby
  • Scuba diving nearby
  • Shopping nearby
  • Snorkeling nearby
  • Swimming nearby
  • Wine tasting / tour
General
  • Air-conditioned rooms
  • Balcony
  • Bar nearby
  • Barbecue facilities
  • Beach
  • Café nearby
  • Dining area
  • Kitchen
  • Lounge
  • Luggage room / storage
  • Restaurant nearby
  • Terrace
Services
  • Baby sitting
  • Bicycle rental nearby
  • Car rental nearby
  • Child care
  • Free parking
  • Laundry
  • Library
  • Medical assistance
  • Room cleaning
  • Tour assistance
  • Wireless internet

Throughout this holiday, you will have the chance to taste Greek culinary, homemade scones with dried currants, sandwiches, and other local specialties such as olive oil.

  • 2 cooking sessions, including cooking and dining
  • 2 days currant harvest and currant packaging
  • 7 nights accommodation
  • A romantic dinner with local music
  • A welcome meeting and buffet
  • Airport transfers
  • Daily breakfast
  • Guided excursions as described in itinerary
  • Shipwreck Beach swimming
  • Swimming with the turtles
  • Anything else not mentioned in the itinerary
  • Airfare

Arrival by airplane

Please book your flight to arrive at Zakynthos International Airport (ZKH). Transfer from and to the airport is included. The organizer will pick you up from the airport.