Zakynthos, Greece - 7 nights
Available March to November
The magical Greek island of Zakynthos awaits your arrival. Zakynthos, located in the Ionian Sea, is known for its pristine crystal beaches. Picture clear turquoise waters and beautiful landscapes, meet warm people and taste simple and delectable cuisine - and you have found Zakynthos! This will be an unforgettable experience as your hosts, a local family, will introduce you to all that is authentic on this small island. You will mingle with the wonderful local islanders and after your stay you will become family. The itinerary provides plenty of time to swim and to be on the water - afterall, this IS the home to the famous loggerheard turtles and perhaps you will be lucky enough to swim in turquoise waters with one beside you!
During your stay you will take cooking classes from locals who will teach you authentic Greek recipes. You will visit a winery and visit the must-see sites of the island including Shipwreck Beach. Above all, you will experience the kitchens and traditions of this captivating island of Zakynthos. Your accommodation is located in the perfect spot - a short walk away from Laganas beach as well as a five minute stroll down to the lively downtown area with quaint shops, restaurants and tavernas.
Welcome to fabulous Greece!
ARRIVAL TO ZAKYNTHOS - TRADITIONAL 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 fabulous culinary 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 away from home.
In the evening, we will visit Zakynthos town. Here, we 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!
COOKING WITH EFFIE & 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 colors 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 km long Laganas beach laying only 500m, 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. Sun beds 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 the villa.
FARM TO FORK CULINARY EXTRAVAGANZA - FRIGANIA DESSERT - EXPLORING ZANTE
Enjoy a freshly home cooked breakfast prepared with local delicacies. Later, we will drive north through picturesque villages to arrive at our lunch destination; a family owned and run mountain taverna. Here, in Orthonies village we will enjoy an authentic farm to fork culinary experience. After a warm welcome and a cool welcome drink, Grandmother Athina will show you step by step how to make the local “Frigania” dessert, with layers of syrupy rusks, vanilla-infused cream, cinnamon, fresh cream and cherry topping. Put it in the fridge to chill and continue with helping her to prepare a family recipe handed down the generations: stuffed free range chicken in tomato sauce. While the food is cooking in a traditional wood-fired oven, our hosts will take us around the farm to see where the ingredients were grown and to meet the livestock. Then back to the taverna where in the shade of a spreading oak tree we will enjoy the stuffed village chicken, plus a variety of starters, local wine and Frigania dessert to add that final sweet flourish. - Simply irresistible!!!
Then back to the villa to relax.
In the evening, visit Zakynthos main town. 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. Later, enjoy a gentle walk and get familiarized with the Ionian architecture, recharge your batteries at a café by Solomos square before you lose yourself in the market street to taste and buy local products and delicacies. Before returning back to Laganas, why not treat yourself to a delicious ice cream at locals' favorite gelateria?
THE SECRET OF MOUSSAKA - BOAT TRIP TO TURTLE ISLAND
After a hearty breakfast, get ready for today’s cooking activity with Effie. Today, she is happy to offer you a choice between cooking “Giouvetsi”, orzo pasta with lamb in the oven or the Greek famous moussaka. Both dishes are a tasteful sensation!
While dinner is in the oven cooking from Laganas bay, set off for an exclusive aquatic experience to the heavenly “Marathonisi Island", remarkably shaped similar to our native sea turtle Caretta – Caretta. In the famous sweeping bay, see and even swim alongside some of the large and extremely graceful loggerhead turtles. Next, we head out to 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. Natural and intriguing, with wonderful little caves to explore, just perfect for snorkeling, swimming or just a paddle. Enjoy this tiny island beach experience!
In the evening, back at the villa to enjoy the meal you helped prepare together with your hosts and fellow guests.
SWIMMING & BEACH PICNIC AT KALAMAKI SAND DUNES - WINE & OLIVE OIL TASTING - SEASIDE DINNER
Enjoy a relaxed morning. Then, walk a short distance to one of the most important nesting grounds of the sea turtle Caretta-Caretta. Turtle nests are scattered all along the golden sands, protected by little cages, and watched over by passionate volunteers from the National Marine Park of Zakynthos, who are always happy to share all their expertise on the subject of the turtles.
Just a little way out to sea the secluded uninhabited Islands of Pelouzo, Cameo and the Turtle Island, provide a stunning backdrop to a spectacular setting. Time now to truly unwind and enjoy a relaxing morning by the sea. Swim, try a spot of snorkeling to see if you can spy a Caretta-Caretta, enjoy a beach picnic, among the relaxing sounds and aromas of the Ionian Sea.
In the afternoon, together with Antonio, visit Aristeon Olive Press & 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. At the end is a chance to taste a variety of extra virgin oils on village bread and buy their products.
We continue our 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 wine making process before inviting you to sit on the shady terrace to sample white and red wines with local cheese.
You must be hungry by now. At a seaside restaurant enjoy a nice meal by the calm Ionian Sea. A spectacular day all around!
SHIPWRECK BAY - BLUE CAVES & SOUVLAKI MAKING
Wake up to another fun and exciting day.
From Agios Sostis fishing port start a once in a lifetime boat trip experience towards the breathtaking west coast of Zakynthos with the secluded coves, crystal clear water, 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, we will drive north and still be able to admire the shipwreck from the viewing platform set into the cliff top.
In the evening, join your hosts in a fun activity and learn how to make the original pita souvlaki with either pork or chicken skewer and homemade tzatziki. Simple, yet wonderful!
FAREWELL - GREEK STYLE!
Enjoy a relaxing morning.You may like to explore the little shops alongside Laganas main road, or swim and sunbathe at the golden sands of Laganas bay.
In the evening dress up for the farewell party at a nearby taverna.We will enjoy a traditional Greek celebration, with great food and company, plenty of local wine and of course Greek music and dancing.
A perfect ending to what we hope was an incredible and memorable week!
Enjoy a leisurely breakfast and perhaps take a stroll for some last minute shopping or take a dip in the ocean one last time until next time! Check out by noon.
You will be driven to the airport or the port in plenty of time to catch your flight.
We hope you had an amazing stay and hope special memories were made here on Zakynthos Island! “Kallo Taxidi! (safe journey)
*The content or order of the itinerary may change depending on dates, availability of services or activities, local festivals/holidays, weather constraints, etc. Menus are samples and may vary according to the season
A minimum of 1 participant is required to run this tour and the tour is limited to a maximum of 8 participants. (Please inquire about larger groups up to 15)
(The number of participants refers to how many persons are required to run the tour, not to how many persons you must have in your party. Please inquire.)
HOW TO ARRIVE
Closest Airport: Zakynthos Island Airport (3 miles from accommodation)
Closest Port: Zakynthos Port (4 miles from accommodation)
MARCH, APRIL, MAY, JUNE, SEPTEMBER, OCTOBER, NOVEMBER
(Pricing below excludes the Special Greek Easter Week of April 19-26, 2020 - please inquire about alternate pricing)
HIGH SEASON (JULY AND AUGUST)
*Pricing may vary depending on market fluctuation
*Please inquire about pricing for accommodation upgrade (villa with an outdoor pool)
After availability is confirmed, a 30% non-refundable per person deposit and the completed and submitted registration form will secure your reservation. Final payment is due 75 days before arrival.
Available March to November - usually Saturday to Saturday but other arrival days are also possible
*Seven (7) nights' accommodation (in a studio or an apartment with en-suite bathroom and kitchen)
*Four (4) hands on cooking classes - a total of 12 hours of cooking, including making the local Frigania dessert
*Two (2) lunches
*Six (6) dinners
*Boat trip to Shipwreck Beach and the Blue caves
*Boat trip to Turtle Island
*Visit of Caretta-Caretta nesting beach
*One (1) confectioner visit
*Wine and olive oil tasting
*Tour of the town of Zakynthos
*A memorable Greek celebration night
Airfare, personal expenses, optional tour suggestions and city tax (.50 cents per day) are not included.
For further inquiries or to register, click here.
Please contact us for cancellation policy information. Travel insurance is highly recommended.
Furnished upon request.