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8 Day Greek Culinary Vacation and Kaleidoscope of Artistic Pursuits in Zakynthos, Ionian Islands

Villa Spiros, Laganas, Zakynthos, Greece

Craft and Culinary Holiday in Greece

Seven amazing, inspiring local people, Dionysia, Mika, Effie, Lilian, Athina, Adonia, and Nikos have come together in this ultimate artist’s paradise to bring you a unique experience. A seven-night arts and crafts holiday, created for creative minds who seek luxury, inspiration and a charming near the beach setting with so many delightful arts to get your hands on! Each day will present a new creative challenge from soap making to wood carving and ceramics to cooking lessons, while you are well-fed, relaxed by the beach and looked after by your hosts, a Greek-Australian family.

Highlights

  • Cooking sessions
  • Wine and olive oil tasting
  • Dine in style in a seaside taverna
  • Painting, woodcarving, ceramic classes
  • Suitable for all from beginners to experienced artists
  • Swim at the Shipwreck Beach and Turtle Island
  • 7 nights accommodation
  • Airport transfer

Skill level

  • Beginner
  • Intermediate
  • Advanced

Styles


7 days with instruction in English
The organizer also speaks: Greek
Group size: Maximum of 8 participants
Airport transfer included: Zakynthos International Airport
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Accommodation

Facilities

  • Air-conditioned rooms
  • Barbeque facilities
  • Dining area
  • Garden
  • Kitchen
  • Lounge
  • Free Wi-Fi
  • Laundry
  • Medical assistance
  • Parking lot

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 km 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 and breathtaking views to the countryside.

This traditional style Greek villa comprises of 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 km from Zakynthos Island Airport and ferry
  • Free transfers to and from Zakynthos Island airport and ferry terminal
  • Free shopping trips upon request
  • 2 km 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 and beach towels provided
  • Large garden with hobby farm
  • Selection of books
  • BBQ facilities

Program

For this holiday, every level is encouraged, and you will have the inspiration needed to find your own artistic strength and voice. Aside from that, it is simply pure fun, whilst being spoiled and looked after on a Greek island. Whether you come alone or bring friends, you will be meeting new people with similar interests, who enjoy a good laugh and love being creative.

Get inspired, embrace the local culture, be open to meet creative instructors and like-minded people, explore the surrounding area and get a taste of the local cuisine and tradition. This creative holiday has it all.

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 sometime during the week.

Day 1: Arrival and welcome traditional Zakynthian dinner with your hosts

On arrival, you will be transferred to your accommodation, Villa Spiros in Laganas. Famed as the home of the sea turtle Caretta caretta, Laganas will be your base for this exciting Kaleidoscope of Artistic pursuits holiday. You will have time to unpack and settle in your new surroundings.

A little while later your hosts will invite you to join them and fellow guests for an informal welcome meeting and home-cooked meal over which you can discuss the week’s proposed itinerary and familiarize yourself with the many things there are to do and see in this diverse, lively resort.

In the evening, you may like to enjoy a leisurely stroll along the unending Laganas Beach. Let the sound of the sea and the gentle breeze melt away the stresses of your journey. There are plenty of seaside tavernas if you would like to enjoy dinner, with magnificent views over Laganas Bay.

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

After breakfast, you will be cooking with your host, Effie. She will invite you to join her in her kitchen and cook a traditional light dish full of vitamins, summer colours, and great aromas! You will be cooking traditional Greek stuffed vegetables and a colorful organic Greek salad with feta cheese. Effie welcomes questions, as she is proud to share her knowledge and experience of Zakynthian cuisine.

While tonight’s dinner is cooking, you may like to explore the surrounding area and the 7 kilometers long Laganas Beach lying only 500 meters from the villa. Laganas resort offers a great combination of everything a traveler could desire. In the famous sweeping bay, with its shallow, crystal clear water, you can enjoy swimming, snorkeling, and if you are lucky, find yourself swimming alongside the large, graceful loggerhead turtles. Sunbeds are plentiful if you just want to relax, and if you are adventurous enough why not go skinny dipping at the nudist beach a little further away.

In the evening, join your hosts for dinner with the meal you helped prepare, alongside Antonio’s chilled house wine, in the little, pretty garden of Villa Spiros.

Day 3: Ceramics workshop, swimming at Tsilivi Beach and cooking lesson

After breakfast, your host Antonio will drive you to a peaceful village where Dionysia’s ceramic studio opens its doors to welcome you to a creative four-hour hands-on ceramics experience. Add a little water, play with clay and let your hands and imagination collaborate as you create your unique pieces. You will never be short of inspiration, surrounded by the natural beauty of this stunning island.

Dionysia will provide you with all necessary equipment, materials, inspiration, guidance and will encourage you to acquire or enhance your ceramic skills in a relaxed, friendly atmosphere. The course features hand building, assembling pieces, glazing, and decorating techniques.

Enjoy half an hour break sitting in the shade of the old olive trees, sipping Dionysia’s lemonade made from fresh lemons from her garden and enjoying a rustic country picnic lunch before continuing with your artwork.

After the class, you may like to go swimming at nearby Tsilivi beach, where you can relax, swim and explore the many little traditional shops. You will have plenty of time there for a coffee or a relaxed lunch by the sea before you return to Villa Spiros.

Day 4: Painting in the countryside, explore Zakynthos town in the evening and enjoy a serenaded dinner

After a relaxed morning breakfast, Antonio will drive you to the traditional little village of Koiliomenos, located 7 kilometers away from Laganas resort for your painting class in the countryside. There you will meet Mika, a local artist, highly qualified and experienced with numerous exhibitions to her name. She will provide you with all the necessary equipment, materials, inspiration, guidance and you may choose to paint with watercolors, oils, acrylics or use mixed media.

Mika will first introduce you to the village’s longstanding architectural tradition, the impressive bell tower and church, the stunning countryside and the local history, to source all the inspiration you need to be creative on the canvas later.

After the tour, you will arrive at Abelostrates estate, hosting Mika’s residence, art studio and her husband’s Antonio rustic tavern. There, you will endeavor to a three-hour plain air workshop, under the shade and fresh air of the walnut trees. Enjoy a rustic homemade lunch prepared by Mika, before you return to the villa.

Back at Villa Spiros, you can freshen up and maybe enjoy a relaxing afternoon in lovely Laganas resort. You can swim at the sweeping Laganas Bay, 500 meters from the bay with the unending sandy beach and shallow, crystal clear water.

If you are lucky, you may even find yourself swimming alongside the loggerhead turtles Caretta caretta. They swim freely in the bay from the beginning of May until the end of October. Sun lounges are plentiful if you just want to lounge by the beach, kick back with a book from the library, or sketch by the sea. Whatever you do, make sure you make yourself at home.

In the evening, explore Zakynthos main town. The first stop is at the Church of the island’s patron saint, St. Dionysius. The huge inside is richly decorated with gold and icons. The Saint’s remains are here in a silver casket, which on some occasions is open for viewing.

Continue with a gentle walk in town and get familiarized with the Ionian architecture and the market street to taste and buy local products and delicacies.

Later, you will have dinner in a harbourside taverna. Traditional Greek dishes are served by the owner and his sons, who later in the evening sing Greek folksongs, accompanying themselves on the guitar and mandolin. You will feel you have discovered real Greek life.

Day 5: Boat tour to the west coast. Revealing the Mousaka secrets in the evening

Wake up to another fun and exciting day. Today, from Agios Sostis fishing port set off for a once in a lifetime boat trip experience towards the breathtaking west coast of Zakynthos with the secluded coves, crystal clear water, dramatic caves, and swimming stops before you 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 still be able to admire the shipwreck from the viewing platform set into the clifftop.

Back at Villa Spiros, you will have enough time to relax before you start with your cooking activity with your host Effie. Effie is happy to offer you a choice between cooking “Giouvetsi”, orzo pasta with lamb in the oven or the Greek legendary moussaka. The choice is yours. Both dishes are a tasteful sensation!

In the evening, enjoy the meal you helped prepare together with your hosts and fellow guests accompanied by Antonio’s homemade wine.

Day 6: Village wood-fired bread, spoon dessert, and soap making

Today, spend another wonderful day at Koiliomenos village. This time you will visit the women’s cooperative of Koiliomenos village, you will meet some of the wonderful ladies who teamed up and founded “The Melisiotises” local women’s cooperative 20 years ago.

You will taste their products and spend five hours with them learning how to make village wood-fired bread, seasonal spoon desserts, and organic soap from olive oil and seasonal herbs. Prepare these in gifts to take home and enjoy as a lasting reminder of your wonderful “Kaleidoscope of Artistic pursuits” holiday.

Enjoy a homemade lunch with them and their families, learn about the local history and traditions before you head back to your villa, relax, swim at the beach after another creative and fun-filled day. In the evening, join your hosts and fellow guests at the little pretty garden of Villa Spiros for cheese, wine and fruit.

Day 7: Olive oil, wine tasting, wood carving activity and a farewell Greek celebration night to remember

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 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 visits 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, explore the picturesque village of Mahairado with Agia Mavra Church and museum being the focal point of the village. You will never be short of inspiration, surrounded by this fairy tale neighborhood, filled with love, traditional houses and blooming neighborhoods.

Here, you will meet Nikos, a very talented local woodcarver who has created the entire woodwork inside Agia Mavra Church. Under his guidance, enjoy a three-hour woodcarving workshop followed by a lunch break at local Dennis tavern. Meet and chat with happy locals finding happiness in simple things in life. Later, back at Villa Spiros, to relax, go swimming and spend some time at leisure.

In the evening, dress up for the 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)

Location

This art and culinary holiday takes place in the beautiful Greek island of Zakynthos.

Distances

  • Zakynthos Island airport ZTH, 4 kilometers away
  • Kefalonia Island airport EFL - 10 minutes' flight to Zakynthos
  • Athens airport ATH - 45 minutes' flight to Zakynthos

Food

Included in the package are daily breakfast, three lunches, and four dinners. You will also enjoy wine and olive oil tasting, and dine in style in a seaside taverna.

Sample menu is as follows:

  • "Gemista" stuffed vegetables
  • Organic chicken in tomato sauce
  • "Giouvetsi" orzo pasta with lamp or beef
  • Mousaka
  • BBQ (mixed grill)
  • "Grandma's" pasta with garlic, mushrooms and beaf
  • "Frigania" local dessert
  • Fava beans
  • Lentil soup
  • Bakaliaros with garlic sauce
  • Souvlaki
  • Tzatziki
  • Village bread
  • Greek salad

The following meals are included:

  • Breakfast

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)

Extra activities

  • Group yoga / Pilates session
  • Private yoga / Pilates session
  • Transports to extra sights and activities
  • Private tours
  • Massage therapy
  • Handmade creations workshop
  • Cooking lessons including meal

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 creative activities including ceramics, painting, cooking, woodcarving
  • 9 meals (5 lunches & 5 dinners)
  • Boat tour to the west coast of the island
  • Swimming at the Shipwreck Beach and the Turtle Island
  • Swim at Laganas & Tsilivi Beach
  • Visit Agia Mavra Church
  • Tour to Zakynthos town
  • Wine and olive oil tasting
  • Dinner alongside local serenades
  • Traditional homemade meals
  • Greek live music and dancing

What's not included

  • Airfare

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 20% 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 --
Availability
  • Low season: March, April, October, November
  • Mid season: May, June, September
  • High season: July, August
Pricing information

Non-activity participating guests are welcome to join. 

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