Join Suzy Karadsheh and TASTE’s Matt Rodbard in Greece in June 2024. Limited spots available for June 15–22, 2024.

Join Suzy Karadsheh, New York Times best-selling author of The Mediterranean Dish, and Matt Rodbard, editor in chief of TASTE, for a Mediterranean culinary adventure in Greece—one of the most exciting and unexpected food destinations in the world. The trip begins in Athens, the beating heart of modern Greek gastronomy, where we’ll tour markets, restaurants, tavernas, cheese shops, and wine bars, learning about Greek cooking traditions from the source. There will be a cooking class as well as visits to some of the city’s most important historical sites, like the Acropolis, and less discovered cultural destinations.

We’ll then journey on to Crete, the largest and most populous of the Greek islands, to continue exploring the intersection of ancient and modern food practices. Here guests will sample artisanal cheeses, native herbs, traditional baked goods like kourkoubini (doughnuts in honey syrup), and the twice-distilled grape beverage raki. Visits to nearby villages will highlight unique culinary practices, including a visit with a shepherd in Livadia, traditional fishing methods in the Aegean Sea, and handmade filo dough production in Rethymno.

This custom, one-of-a-kind tour is designed to showcase the best of Greek culinary traditions, in both the city and country. It will also demonstrate how the Mediterranean diet is experienced in daily life and how it inspires hosts Suzy and Matt in their own culinary pursuits. We’ll stay at two lovely home bases, the modern Electra Palace Hotel in Athens and the Aquila Atlantis Hotel, located on the port side of Heraklion, the capital of Crete.

Price
Double Occupancy: $8,290 pp
Single Occupancy: $9,565 pp
Deposit: $500

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The Acropolis of Athens, Greece, with the Parthenon Temple on top of the hill during a summer sunset

HIGHLIGHTS

This trip is designed to not only cover important cultural and historical institutions but to allow you to fully experience the food and culture of Greece. You can look forward to bucket-list sightseeing with the best tour guides and spend time with locals and experts. Here are just a few highlights of what you can expect:

  • Taste the flavors of Greece, experiencing an exemplar of the Mediterranean diet
  • Spend time in the bustling capital of Athens and relax at a slower pace on the island of Crete
  • Enjoy an exquisite seafood dinner overlooking the Athens seaside
  • Roll up your sleeves for an exclusive cooking class with hands-on opportunities to create classic Greek dishes such as stuffed vine leaves and moussaka
  • Visit a woman-led co-op focusing on the production of traditional local sweets and pastries
  • Cruise to the island of Spinalonga, a former leper colony, on a private boat tour
  • Sit down with a local shepherd in Livadia to taste a traditional Cretan semisoft goat cheese
  • Learn about sustainable agricultural practices at a biodynamic farm

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ITINERARY

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Shopping in a street market in Athens, Greece

Day 1: Arrival in Athens: The Birthplace of Democracy

  • Transfer to the hotel in central Athens and check in
  • Take a walking tour of the historical center of Athens
  • Enjoy a welcome dinner featuring traditional Greek cuisine such as dolmadakia (vine leaves stuffed with rice and mint and served with luscious Greek yogurt) and moussaka in a private space

Included Meals: Dinner
Accommodations: Electra Palace Hotel

Day 2: Markets and Monuments

  • Take a food tour of the Central Market of Athens, a bustling hub of activity where you can find everything from fresh produce to seafood to traditional Greek spices, where you’ll sample some of the local delicacies and soak up the vibrant atmosphere
  • Visit the Acropolis, the most iconic landmark in Athens and a UNESCO World Heritage Site showcasing the architectural achievements of ancient Greece
  • Enjoy a group dinner with stunning views of the city at a seaside restaurant specializing in excellent fish and seafood dishes

Included Meals: Breakfast, Dinner
Accommodations: Electra Palace Hotel

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Fresh seafood, grilled to perfection.

Day 3: The Athenian Kitchen

  • Put your skills to the test in a private cooking class, where you’ll learn to prepare some of your favorite Greek dishes, such as zucchini fritters and moussaka, followed by dessert
  • After you savor your handiwork for lunch, you will have the opportunity to taste a variety of local Greek cheeses
  • Enjoy the remainder of the day at your leisure to explore Athens, with recommendations available from your hosts

Included Meals: Breakfast, Lunch
Accommodations: Electra Palace Hotel

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Landscape with Kalypso Cretan Village, Crete.

Day 4: Arrival in Crete

  • Fly from Athens to Heraklion, Crete
  • Embark on a walking food tour of the historical city center, sampling cheese, pastries, Greek coffee, and raki
  • Enjoy lunch and afternoon time at your leisure
  • Experience a guided afternoon visit of the splendid Archaeological Museum in Heraklion to learn about the Minoan civilization in Crete and its ties to the culinary practices seen today
  • Eat dinner together in Heraklion, served family-style to showcase traditional dishes such as thria (the ancient recipe for dolmades) and smoked meats that you would find on many Cretan family tables

Included Meals: Breakfast, Dinner
Accommodations: Aquila Atlantis Hotel

Day 5: A Taste of the Villages: The Sea

  • Depart from the hotel by bus to explore local seaside villages and traditional Cretan food production practices
  • Stop at the village of Kritsa, with a visit to the village’s woman-led co-op to learn about the making of local desserts kourkoubini (doughnuts in honey syrup) and xerotigana (the traditional Cretan sweet given at weddings)
  • Enjoy a private boat trip to the island of Spinalonga, a former leper colony that is now a popular tourist destination, where you’ll explore the island’s ruins and learn about its history with a guided tour
  • Meet with local fisherman to learn about traditional fishing practices and vessels—you will have the opportunity to try your hand at gathering the lines that were set the night before to catch lunch!
  • Eat a late lunch on the seafront facing Spinalonga at Plaka, featuring a predominantly fish-based menu, including any fish caught on the boat
  • Stop at an olive oil mill on the way back to Heraklion to see firsthand how Greece’s liquid gold is produced, and partake in a sampling of their signature olive oils.
  • Enjoy dinner at your leisure in Heraklion

Included Meals: Breakfast, Lunch
Accommodations: Aquila Atlantis Hotel

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Knossos palace at Crete, Greece Knossos Palace, is the largest Bronze Age archaeological site on Crete and the ceremonial and political centre of the Minoan civilization and culture.

Day 6: A Taste of the Villages: The Mountains

  • Depart from hotel by bus to explore local mountain villages and traditional Cretan food production practices
  • Our first stop is Anogeia, a Cretan village known for its mountain scenery and traditional culture, where you’ll enjoy a walking tour of the village and a tasting of the locally famous galaktoboureko Anogeion (custard made from sheep and goat’s milk) and Greek coffee
  • Departing from Anogeia, visit the home of a local shepherd at Livadia and see how cheese has traditionally been produced on Crete, tasting anthotyros, a Cretan semisoft goat cheese, and Cretan graviera, akin to gruyère
  • Enjoy a traditional Cretan lunch with antikristo lamb, a dish cooked over an open fire
  • After lunch, head to Rethimno for a walking tour of the city, with its distinctly Venetian and Turkish influences
  • In Rethimno, you’ll tour the workshop of the last operating “kataifi filo” in Greece, where filo pastry and pasta are still made by hand
  • Enjoy some leisure time in Rethimno before returning to Heraklion
  • Eat dinner at your leisure

Included Meals: Breakfast, Lunch
Accommodations: Aquila Atlantis Hotel

Day 7: Farm to Table

  • Start the day with a morning lecture at the hotel on the Cretan diet, focusing on traditional regional herbs and their mental and physical health benefits, from a wellness specialist
  • Enjoy lunch at your leisure
  • In the afternoon, visit a local farm to learn about biodynamic and sustainable farming practices, and partake in a casual outdoor cooking class as the culminating event of the tour
  • End the day with dinner accompanied by a Cretan wine pairing and educational lecture led by a local sommelier

Included Meals: Breakfast, Dinner
Accommodations: Aquila Atlantis Hotel

Day 8: Departure from Greece

  • Take advantage of a group transfer to the airport
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Electra Palace Hotel

ACCOMMODATIONS

Electra Palace Hotel (3 Nights)
Electra Hotel is a four-star hotel located in the heart of Athens, just a short walk from many of the city’s top sites. Guest rooms have a classic yet comfortable design, with intentionally soft color palettes that invite you to relax while surrounded by the vibrance of Ermou Street. In addition to the conveniences you are accustomed to, the Electra Hotel boasts a rooftop restaurant and bar with stunning views of the Acropolis. The Electra Hotel Athens is located close to shopping, great restaurants, and cultural institutions that you can explore at your leisure.

Aquila Atlantis Heraklion (4 Nights)
Aquila Atlantis is a premium hotel on the port side of Heraklion, the capital of Crete. Rooms feature a private balcony with a view of the sea or the city and include a sleek en suite bathroom with high-quality linens designed for your comfort. In addition to the room amenities, there are spa facilities available at your discretion as well as a rooftop pool for relaxation during your leisure time. The hotel is located within easy walking distance of cafés, restaurants, and shopping within the city.

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TASTE Travels are operated by Academic Travel Abroad, Inc (ATA). Founded in 1950, ATA Is a U.S.-based study abroad and educational travel provider for universities, cultural institutions, media organizations, and commercial brands.