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Join the olive harvest in Crete
March 25, 2015
coastal hiking
Artisan food in the North, hiking in the South – Western Crete
March 25, 2015
Beets with a garlic sauce
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Discover Ancient Greece through Cooking

This is our classic artisan cooking week with a vegetarian/vegan twist!

If you are vegan or vegetarian you can still enjoy our artisan food odyssey on Crete. There is no need to miss out on those exciting ancient recipes and cooking methods. We have selected the vegan and vegetarian ones and we have adopted our artisan cooking holiday to the needs of all those vegans or vegetarians out there!

Refresh your vegetarian and vegan culinary skills with this week-long cooking holiday in sunny Crete. There will be a complete immersion in Crete’s way of life and food culture going back to its origins in ancient Greece with visits to local producers for wine and honey tasting, excursions to beautiful coastal national parks and archaeological sites, as well as fascinating market tours. This vegetarian/ vegan cooking holiday is the perfect way to relax, learn some new kitchen skills, and experience the  culture and stunning landscapes that Crete offers. All you will need to bring is a healthy appetite and your sun cream!

During the week you will create delicious and healthy vegan menus, full of traditional Greek dishes, you will enrich your skills and imagination and improve your veggie choices back home. It gets better as you will combine your foodie experience with wonderful surroundings while being part of the local culture.

What’s so special about food in Crete?

Crete’s traditional cuisine only includes meat on the daily menu a few times each month, so naturally the local gastronomy has an exceptional variety of vegetarian and vegan dishes. The local diet has been like this for thousands of years. Grains and pulses, fruits and vegetables are all on the daily menu with moderate amounts of cheese and eggs, so it can easily be adapted to suit vegetarians and even vegans.

Highlights include

  • cooking workshops, which lead on to enjoying what you just cooked and introduce you to the local gastronomy while going back in time thousands of years, rediscovering ancient greek cooking
  • visits to local artisan producers
  • a real insider experience of rural life in Crete

Greek veggie or vegan cooking workshops

The week will include four hands-on cookery sessions based on Cretan cuisine. With the focus on local vegetables, it is all about simple regional and seasonal home-cooking.  Most of the cooking takes place over a wood fire while you will get a chance to sample a selection of Greek wines, with some produced by local varieties. We want to make sure that you will experience all the right flavours so we  will provide most of your meals which have been specially selected and organized by us. On those days that you will be venturing around on your own we will provide you with recommendations to choose from.

Visits to artisan producers

Honey, wine, olive oil and local cheese. Four products that will be on our daily menu – so visiting the people behind these products is a must. Scattered in different villages in the area a beekeeper, a wine producer, an olive oil producer and a cheese-maker will welcome us to their production units and offer a bit of their knowledge. Honey will no longer be just honey! And you will never look at a goat the same way again.

Nature

As well as getting to know the culinary heritage of Crete you will have the chance to enjoy Crete’s outstanding nature sites, during our visits to wonderful beaches and Natura sites, nature reserves well known for their unique biodiversity.

Accommodation

Your accommodation can range from small traditional cottages that sleep 2-4 people to larger luxury villas.

All accommodation is located in and around the village of Litsarda, close to The Olive Farm.

When you get in touch to plan your holiday we will discuss your specific accommodation requirements. We will provide a range of options for your particular tour, with photography, before you book the holiday.

Sample Intinerary

Day 1| Arrival

Meet up at the airport or the city center of Chania. Welcome you to your accommodation in the area of Apokoronas, a leafy region in the Northern coast of Crete with numerous villages between the olive groves and vineyards. Small reception with drinks and meze and info on the schedule of the week.

Free evening to explore the village – bikes are available

Meals: Snack |

Day 2| Introduction to Cretan Gastronomy – Central Market Visit

Visit the central food market in Chania along with our chef – buy provisions for our workshop and identify the products that have their roots in ancient Greece.

Visit the Venetian harbor of Chania and walk round the old part of town

Cooking workshop – Dinner at the Olive Farm – The menu also includes ancient Greek dishes.

Meals: Breakfast | Dinner|

Day 3| Honey bees – Olive oil Soap

Cycle to the local apiary. Learn about the local flora combinations and the types of honey produced in the area. We will sample honey and buy supplies for our cooking workshop (protective equipment will be provided). Option for car transfer is available.

Al fresco lunch at the local “kafeneio” (café) or at the beekeepers garden with wine and raki, herbal tea and honey sweets.

Olive oil soap workshop, learn to make your own handmade soap using olive oil. We have revived the original ancient Greek recipes.

Evening free to spend as you like

Meals: Breakfast | Lunch | Cycling or walking: 40 min| Difficulty: easy

Day 4| Day excursion 

As per request day excursion to nature sites, hiking trails or archaeological sites.

Early dinner in one of the best restaurants in the area serving traditional Cretan food.

Meals: Breakfast | Early Dinner

 Day 5| Local Winery

Visit the local winery – spent some time at the vineyard and have cheese and wine tastings during lunch at the winery. Crete is famous for its wine from local grape varieties and its goat’s cheese so you should never leave the island without having tasted both!

Cooking workshop and Dinner at the Olive Farm – we will revive ancient Greek recipes and cook in clay pots as it was done during the Minoan civilization.

Meals: Breakfast | Light Lunch| Dinner | Cycling or Walking: 40 min Difficulty: easy

Day 6| A coastal palm forest – Slow food

As per request excursion to nature sites, hiking trails or archaeological sites!

Slow food restaurant dinner in a small establishment in the foothills of the White Mountains.

Meals: Breakfast |

Day 7| Farewell Dinner

Free day – You may spend the day as you like, we can arrange archaeological visits in Chania – Let us know during your booking

Our final cooking workshop at the Olive Farm with a farewell BBQ party. By now you are an expert and have grasped the true spirit of Greek gastronomy.

Meals: Breakfast | Dinner |

Day 8 | Departure

Breakfast and Departure for the airport or the city center of Chania depending on further travelling arrangements

Meals: Breakfast |

Vegetarian/vegan artisan cooking holidays in Crete

  • Region: Crete
  • Destination: Chania
  • Duration: 8 days / 7 nights, or as per request
  • Activities: cooking, walking and cycling, making natural olive oil soap, visiting local food producers
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Price per person: Get in touch and we will give you a quote depending on your preferences and exact requirements. Children receive up to a 30% discount.
  • Optional single supplement: from £250

Suggested dates

  • 2017 |11 Apr – 18 Apr (V1)
  • 2017 |25 Apr – 02 May (V2)
  • 2017 |02 May – 09 May (V3)
  • 2017 |23 May – 30 May (V4) Solo Travellers
  • 2017 |06 Jun – 13 Jun (V5)
  • 2017 |20 Jun – 27 Jun (V6)
  • 2017 |18 Jul – 25 Jul (V7)
  • 2017 |01 Aug – 08 Aug (V8) Solo Travellers
  • 2017 |22 Aug – 29 Aug (V9)
  • 2017 |12 Sep – 19 Sep (V10)
  • 2017 |26 Sep – 03 Oct (V11) Solo Travellers
  • 2017 |10 Oct – 17 Oct (V12)

Book Now

Accommodation Photos

Included
  • Accommodation in traditional guest houses
  • Breakfast (7), Dinner (3), Lunch (2)
  • Carefully selected top quality traditional meals
  • All workshops and and activities fees
  • Cheese, wine and honey tasting sessions
  • Visits to artisan producers and any entrance fees
On Request
  • Single rooms
  • Meals adopted to specific allergies
  • Car rental although we encourage biking
  • Private driver
  • Specific dietary needs at your accommodation
  • Extension of visit in Crete
  • Guided visits and transportation to archaeological sites
Itinerary Disclaimer

From time to time our itineraries may be amended, either for operational reasons or in response to feedback from customers. Please ensure you have read the latest Trip Notes before booking or travelling on your tour. Please note that while we operate successful trips in this region throughout the year, some changes may occur in our itineraries due to inclement weather and common seasonal changes to timetables and transport routes. This can happen with little notice so please be prepared for modifications to the route.

Financial Protection

All bookings made with Handpicked Greece are bonded by PTS, which provides the customer with complete financial protection. Please see our Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy for more information.
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