Greek Cooking Odyssey

Spend a week on the island of Poros during the cooking vacation in Greece! Learn the local cuisine from a professional chef and live a slice of Greek Island life.

The ancient Greeks were among the first to discover the benefits of adding herbs and spices to their food. This process was used not only to enhance the tastes, but also provided medicinal benefits. Greek food is still a unique mix of fresh, seasonal ingredients and a generous blend of herbs and spices such as thyme, rosemary and oregano, which grow all over Greece. Greece is surrounded by the Mediterranean Sea and has one of the largest coastal areas of any country in Europe, and for this reason fish is an integral part of Greek cuisine. Fresh seasonal vegetables are also a significant element in traditional Greek cooking. And Greek food would not be Greek without the olive oil, as olives are grown and olive oil produced in many parts of Greece.

Your culinary vacation in Greece will be very friendly and personal. Participants will have fun while experiencing real Greek culture, cooking and delicious food—all during this unique cooking school vacation on a beautiful, unspoilt Greek Island!

Latest Review

We gave this trip 5 stars
Katherine & Michael
Trip taken June 2018
Great class with lots of great experiences.

Trip Details

Your 4 cooking classes will introduce you to the wonderful flavors of Greek cuisine. Katerina is a professional chef and is the owner of the Odyssey Centre. She was born in Poros, is passionate about cooking, and is interested and knowledgeable in the historical roots of traditional Greek cooking. She specializes in both traditional and modern Greek cooking, and her skills have become very sought after; when she is not giving lessons in Poros, she also provides lessons in Greek cooking and Greek language throughout other parts of Europe.

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Flights, additional nights and tours, Transportation, and Much More

We might not be able to pack for you, but there are tons of things we can help with to make your vacation that much better.

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Day One

Due to local events such as seasonal festivals, holidays, etc., the specific excursions and the order of events are subject to change.
Greek artichokes

  • Transfer from Athens airport to your accommodations.
  • Katerina Sakelliou will welcome and meet you anytime after midday; you have the afternoon free to explore Askeli, relax by the pool or enjoy the pleasures of a swim in the clear blue sea.
  • In the evening you will be a guest at the welcome dinner at Odyssey center; you will be introduced to some of the foods that you will learn to cook during your stay.
  • Overnight.

A happy culinary traveler

Day Two

  • After breakfast you will explore the menus and recipes you will learn during you lessons.
  • Lunch will be served around 12:30 PM.
  • Following, time at leisure to take a stroll into Poros or a local walk followed by a swim at Love Bay.
  • Around 2:30 PM your first cooking lesson begins, followed by a late afternoon drink or a small siesta.
  • Return around 5:00 PM to cook the final stages of dinner which will be served in the balmy and relaxed evening atmosphere of the Odyssey Center.
  • Overnight.

Cooking classes in Greece

Day Three

  • Early breakfast.
  • Walk into Poros Harbour to visit the fish market where you will pick out and select a range of ingredients for today’s lesson.
  • This will be followed by a visit to a local cafe for coffee and Greek pastries.
  • After lunch at the Odyssey, the early part of the afternoon is free for individual activities.
  • Mid-afternoon, begin preparing the evening meal from the fish selected at the market along with some freshly prepared Greek salads, fish sauces, roasted vegetables and herb dressings.
  • Enjoy dinner at the Odyssey.
  • Overnight.

Cooking vacations in Greece

Day Four

  • Breakfast.
  • Today will include a visit to the island of Hydra, with lunch provided.
  • Return to Poros, where you will have a choice of dining at the Odyssey center or at a local tavern.
  • Overnight.

Toasting after a Greek cooking class

Day Five

  • Breakfast followed by a free day to explore Poros Island, mainland Greece or to just relax by the beach or pool.
  • Lunch will be provided at Odyssey around 1:00 PM.
  • Dinner tonight will be either at the Odyssey center or at a nearby local restaurant around 8:00 PM.
  • Overnight.

Swimming on a Greek cooking holiday

Day Six

  • After breakfast, an opportunity to visit either your hosts’ lemon or olive grove to learn about the use of both ingredients in Greek cooking; a picnic lunch will be provided.
  • On returning to Odyssey in the mid-afternoon, begin your next cooking lesson, a Greek classic meal that might feature such items as Mousakka, Pistachio or Souvlaki.
  • Dinner will be served at the Odyssey.
  • Overnight.

Greek spanakopita

Day Seven

  • Depending on the season, today you will make some local visits to learn about the important seasonal nature of ingredients in Greek cooking. This may include collecting local herbs and flowers or visiting local farms.
  • Lunch will be provided either at Odyssey or in a picnic fashion.
  • Tonight your final cooking lesson and a wonderful farewell dinner — a true Greek experience with many surprises!
  • Overnight.

Greek dessert

Day Eight

  • Breakfast followed by transfer to Piraeus Port and then a private taxi to airport or hotel. (To arrive at the airport by 10 a.m., depart from the island at 6:30 a.m.)
  • You could also book additional nights at very special rates.

Trip Details

Included in the 7-Night Trip


7 nights accommodation

Food & Beverages

  • Daily breakfast
  • 6 lunches, beverages included
  • 7 dinners, beverages included

Classes & Instructors

Your 4 cooking classes will introduce you to the wonderful flavors of Greek cuisine. Katerina is a professional chef and is the owner of the Odyssey Centre. She was born in Poros, is passionate about cooking, and is interested and knowledgeable in the historical roots of traditional Greek cooking. She specializes in both traditional and modern Greek cooking, and her skills have become very sought after; when she is not giving lessons in Poros, she also provides lessons in Greek cooking and Greek language throughout other parts of Europe.


3 seasonally based guided visits such as:

  • Visit to the local fish market
  • Visit to your hosts’ lemon or olive grove
  • Herb foraging or farm visit
  • Guided island trip to Hydra

Transfer Details

  • The arrival transfer is by private taxi – you are met at the Athens airport or Athens hotel and brought to Galatas for the short ferry ride to Poros, then to the hotel
  • The return transfer is the reverse of the arrival transfer.

Note that because Poros is an island, transfer times are dictated by the ferry schedule. Please do not schedule arrival flights after 8:00 pm. Regarding departure, guests are not able to arrive at the airport any earlier than 10:00 a.m. (so please check your flight check-in times to see if this is feasible). If you cannot keep flight times within these parameters, plan to spend extra time in Athens before and/or after your cooking vacation. In most cases, it will also be possible for pickup and drop-off directly from/to a centrally located Athens hotel at no additional fee. Due to the restrictions of the transportation companies, all transfers must be arranged at least 8 weeks prior to arrival.

Accommodation Information

Your accommodations at the Odyssey Center will be in on of the 11 small apartments. They are bright and comfortable, with ensuite bathrooms. Each is equipped with air-conditioning, safe, TV, and their own kitchen. The apartments are located just steps from where your cooking classes will take place. The Odyssey Centre offers numerous other activities for your free time, such as sailing, sea kayaking or cycling. (Upgrade to 4* hotel also available.)


You can also upgrade to a 4* hotel, the Sirene Blue, where rooms come with a balcony so that you can enjoy the stunning views of the Saronic Gulf as well as the oasis of pine trees that surround the hotel property. The hotel also features two swimming pools, a tennis court, and a private beach with a beach bar, among other amenities. The hotel’s 43 rooms are designed in a modern style. (If unavailable a comparable 4* hotel can be proposed.)


Pricing & Tour Dates

Looking for tour date information?

2019 High Season Pricing:
July 13-August 24

7-night Program
US$2695 per person based on double occupancy
  • Add US$200 for single occupancy (use of a double room by 1 person)
  • Subtract US$400 per non-cooking companion
  • Add US$600 per person to upgrade to 4* Sirene Blue

30% deposit due to confirm booking.
Balance payment due 60 days prior to tour start date. Questions? Please contact us!

Single occupancy pricing at Sirene Blue: please inquire.

2019 Low Season Pricing:
April 13-July 13; August 24-November 2

7-night Program
US$2495 per person based on double occupancy
  • Add US$200 for single occupancy (use of a double room by 1 person)
  • Subtract US$400 per non-cooking companion
  • Add US$600 per person to upgrade to 4* Sirene Blue

30% deposit due to confirm booking.
Balance payment due 60 days prior to tour start date. Questions? Please contact us!

Single occupancy pricing at Sirene Blue: please inquire.

Tour Dates

Available any week Saturday to Saturday from mid-April through October.

†Join weeks others have confirmed OR any other week:

April 13-20
April 20-27
April 27-May 4
May 4-11
May 11-18
May 18-25†
May 25-June 1
June 1-8
June 8-15
June 15-22
June 22-29
June 29-July 6
July 6-13
July 13-20
July 20-27
July 27-August 3
August 3-10
August 10-17
August 17-24
August 26-31
August 31-September 7
September 7-14
September 14-21†
September 21-28
September 28-October 5
October 5-12
October 12-19
October 19-26 (inquire)
October 26-November 2 (inquire)

Pricing & Dates

Class Pricing


We gave this trip 5 stars
Katherine & Michael
Trip taken June 2018
Great class with lots of great experiences.
I gave this trip 5 stars
Trip taken August 2018
I had a wonderful holiday. Katerina was an outstanding hostess. She made sure we enjoyed ourselves and there was lots to keep us entertained. The cooking was fun as well as inspirational. The accomodation was of a good standard.
We gave this trip 5 stars
julie & fred
Trip taken May 2018
My grandson, Kevin, and I love to cook when we are together. For his graduation present from medical school I offered to enroll us in a cooking school. His choice. After much Googling on the Internet and reading reviews, Kevin selected The International Kitchen's program on Poros Island in Greece. The best decision we could have made!! Joining us for the cooking experience was Kevin's sister, Kristin, who was eager to learn how to cook and my husband, who was more interested in watching and dining. It is hard to describe adequately the beautiful and idyllic Greek island of Poros -- about 2 hours by car from Athens through miles and miles of orange, lemon and olive trees and a short ferry ride to the island. However, the real treasure was our cooking instructor Katerina is the owner/proprietor of the Odyssey Center where all the cooking instructions occurred. Katerina is so very kind, warm, and generous with her time and wealth of cooking and baking experience. The Odyssey Center is a hub of fine Greek dining and inn accommodations, in a stunningly beautiful and peaceful setting looking out to the sea and hills of Poros.
No rating given with this review
The trip was amazing -- even better than I expected. Katerina was a wonderful hostess. Her generosity of spirit was overwhelming. When we were out and about on the island and would run into friends and relatives of Katerina, she would always introduce us as her friends and through her actions, she always made us feel that way. In fact, I went and played doubles tennis with Katerina's regular group one night during my trip. Cooking in her kitchen was like cooking in the kitchen of a friend. Part of that friendliness related to the small group size. At maximum the week I was there, only two other people were cooking, and for much of the time, there were only two of us total. We enjoyed cooking together so much that we chose to cook every night rather than going out to eat. All the food we cooked was delicious. The accommodations were pleasant. Just a block off the beach, there was always time for a swim, and Poros, while small and off the beaten path, gave a good sense of Greek island life. Since I got home, I've been in regular email contact with Katerina and Brian and would relish the opportunity to go back and visit again any time. Susan, MS
No rating given with this review
The cooking week in Poros, Greece at the end of April was the most fabulous vacation ever. The island is beautiful with green hills, crystal clear water and blooming flowers everywhere, but what made it such an amazing weeks was the Greek people. Our hostess, Katrina, was only a stranger for the first five minutes. From then on she was a dear friend who made us a part of her island life with trips to the local market, breakfast on the terrace, and climbing the clock tower at sunset. She invited friends and relatives to join us in many of our activities. It was a great chance to share ideas and opinions. Walking around the island, boat trips to other islands, bicycling and picnicking all lead to some wonderful memories. And the food! We never found a Greek dish we didn’t like and we were given all the tricks to prepare them correctly. The entire week was everything you could wish for in a vacation learning experience. Thanks so much for your help in all of this. Linda, TX
No rating given with this review
We, of course, enjoyed the cooking classes. The food was very Greek and very good and the lessons gave us a great insight into the Greek culture. Our hostess, Katerina, was the best ever. She was always looking for ways to make our stay more enjoyable and she knew the best places to visit (Hydra Island, the clock tower, Poseidon's ruins, etc) and she made sure we were always doing something we would enjoy. She's terrific! Linda L., TX
No rating given with this review
Our host, Katerina was most welcoming and friendly. She shared her vast knowledge about Greek cooking and the history of the area. The people we met were very friendly. (We met Karen, the owner and Mona a new employee.) The scenery of the island was spectacular. I felt very immersed in the Greek culture. Fantastic. Carol H, CA
No rating given with this review
The Greek Cooking Odyssey was a fantastic experience. The cooking classes were a true experience in traditional Greek cooking, using recipes that were handed down from generation to generation. Katerina also provided a historical perspective of each dish we prepared, which made it even more interesting. The Odyssey Center is a very relaxed unpretentious resort, and Katerina welcomes everybody as she would a family member. Shopping in the quaint, charming markets of Poros for fresh ingredients was something that I will miss in the US. The seafood is all fresh from the boats that you are passing on the way to the market, and, consequently is perfect and varied giving new meaning to "catch of the day". Everything! Katerina made this even more fun by discussing various ways of preparing this huge selection of seafood making sure to verify everybody's likes and dislikes. The island grows a wide variety of fruits and vegetables, so fresh squeezed orange juice, honeydew melons, tomatoes, eggplant, almost everything was plentiful, and fresh, fresh, fresh. Katerina conducted the actual cooking classes very professionally, but always with a infectious sense of humor that kept everybody laughing and smiling as we chopped onions, garlic, parsley (finer please!) and other ingredients. This was not demonstration cooking. We chopped stirred and assembled each dish hands on with direction from the chef, Katerina. I particularly enjoyed the timing as we were able to finish cooking and then have enough time for a swim in the crystal clear, deep blue sea or pool, and a leisure cocktail before our fabulously created feasts. Interestingly the Mediterranean and Greek diet emphasizing fresh vegetables, fish and seafood with small quantities of meats, did not cause me to gain any weight...a real plus. I thoroughly enjoyed Katerina's historical island tour by 4-wheeler which I kept for the week to visit the other various beaches or to simply have to run to Poros town for a quick coffee and a homemade Greek cookie. The semi-mountainous island has some of the most breath-taking vistas, and on one particularly clear day, we could see Athens in the distance. Conclusion: This is a must trip for anybody that likes Greek cooking, and would like the experience of being completely immersed into Greek island life. I feel like a left a part of my heart and soul there...I guess I will just have to go back! Ronald F., TN
No rating given with this review
Enjoyed the company - the host was fabulous. Experience of a lifetime! Thank you! Faith G, NJ
No rating given with this review
We, of course, enjoyed the cooking classes. The food was very Greek and very good and the lessons gave us a great insight into the Greek culture. Our hostess, Katerina, was the best ever. She was always looking for ways to make our stay more enjoyable and she knew the best places to visit (Hydra Island, the clock tower, Poseidon's ruins, etc) and she made sure we were always doing something we would enjoy. She's terrific! The Chicago staff was always courteous and reliable. It was much appreciated. Linda L., TX
No rating given with this review
I have never met a person like Katerina in my life- she is very special! Our week was the last one of the season and there were only three of us. She took such care of us all both in the kitchen and out. We looked forward to every cooking session, they were excellent. We laughed and had fun throughout and produced amazing dishes! Because she had time, our excursions with her were interesting, informative and really fun. Couldn't have asked for a better week in Greece. The cooking school was my "highlight" in Greece! Loved Poros and really loved Katerina. The Chicago staff was very courteous. My girlfriend and I e-mailed a lot of questions and they were always answered promptly and to our satisfaction. Pamela C., PE
No rating given with this review
In general, a wonderful experience. Katerina and her staff were welcoming and did everything to make us feel at home. Loved the cooking and the tour of nearby Hydra. Katerina was a great tour guide, she's very knowledgeable about Poros and Hydra. However, the accommodations were quite rustic and not what I expected when described as a "two bedroom" apartment. Jean A., NS
No rating given with this review
Really liked the relaxed atmosphere and the kindness of Katerina and her friend Vangelis who helped with my transport to and from the Island. I loved the touring we did, learning how to cook lots of great Greek food in the traditional manner-I loved my walks in the morning on the island and getting to know Katerina. Loved learning how to make filo dough from her mother's time tested recipe and learning the technique of rolling from Katerina.The motorcycles zooming by were pretty noisy but I tried to not let it bother me.My room was great and Katerina's helpers most accomodating. It was a fun venture for me even though I went by myself -It was fantastic!! Charlotte G., OR
No rating given with this review
Katarina did an amazing job of facilitating the cooking school lessons in a meaningful, yet enjoyable way. Her warm and personal approach to cooking was felt throughout the week. I also enjoyed the fact that individuals could "float in and out" of the cooking school lessons/classes - made for some fun dynamics and diversity. I would highly recommend and attend the school in Poros, Greece again. The Chicago staff at The International Kitchen was amazing! Provided great organization of information and was very timely with such information as well, too. Linda P., OH
No rating given with this review
A friend and I participated in the one week Greek Cooking Odyssey and returned with new skills, wonderful memories and a deep appreciation for the kindness and generosity of our host and all the people we met on Poros. Katerina is a delightful teacher and wonderful person. She and her family and staff did everything in their power to make sure our experience was the very best it could be. The cooking lessons were so much fun and also very informative. We learned the basics of Greek cooking and also how to modify many of the recipes for vegetarian and vegan diets. The Odyssey Centre seems to attract very interesting and friendly people and we enjoyed making new friends and learning about different cultures. There were many return visitors staying there and it was easy to see why people just keep coming back. Even if you're not interested in cooking classes, this is a wonderful place to stay and to dine. [Regarding the cooking vacation packet:] The information provided was sufficient and helpful. [Regarding The International Kitchen staff:] The staff were very helpful and responsive, but there was an issue we did not find until we arrived on Poros. I had worked closely with the Chicago staff to make sure that we would have an apartment with two separate bedrooms (each room would have a door). Our confirmation stated "two bedroom suite." I was told that communication had taken place with the local contact and that this is what we would have. As it turns out, the Odyssey does not have such rooms, they just don't exist. They have two story apartments with a bedroom on one level which is open to the other level via open circular stairs. On the other level is the kitchenette and two day beds. So although it is true that there are two rooms where people can sleep, they are not separate and in order for one person to use the kitchen, or even exit the apartment, they may have to go through the sleeping area of the other. Katerina handled this graciously by giving each of us our own apartment but it was not our preferred arrangement. Other than this the whole experience was very near perfect. Thank you! Janice H. and Nature J., CO

_Response from The International Kitchen:_ We're pleased to hear you had such a wonderful trip! We had confirmed a two bedroom suite with doors when your trip was booked, so there must have been a misunderstanding about the suite with your hosts, as we requested the above and it was confirmed!
No rating given with this review
Katerina is a generous and gracious host. She is an excellent chef and teacher. Although we did not stay at the Odyssey Center due to other bookings, we enjoyed the New Aegli Hotel; and its proximity to the Odyssey Center allowed us to easily take all of our meals there. Katerina's teachings covered all of the areas of Greek cooking that we hoped to experience. An added bonus was the international experience as we shared one class with 4 persons from Norway and also spent much time with people from Norway, Holland, Switzerland and England, along with many Greeks. The side trip to Hydra was OK, but the island is not a great destination spot historically or otherwise, maybe because we had already been to Mykonos, Santorini and Delos. What made the Hydra trip worthwhile was the great guide Katerina arranged. Our only regret was not being able to experience the "farm" due to poor weather, but the island of Poros is just the right size and we rented a quad for the first time and enjoyed driving all around the island. We spent 11 days in Greece prior to the cooking school and found the Greeks to be helpful and welcoming. They also speak decent English and, unlike France or Italy, are happy to use it to converse with foreigners. We recommend the trip. [Regarding the cooking vacation packet:] We thought the packet was thorough. [Regarding The International Kitchen staff:] Adrian was our contact and he was very helpful. He assiduously kept us advised of everything necessary for our experience. William and Carol K., WA
No rating given with this review
First, Katarina and the staff at the Odyssey were amazing. They went out of their way to make sure each participant enjoyed the experience and personalized the classes based on the participants wants or needs or level of cooking experience. Loved the format as we all cooked the entire dishes. We cooked lots of dishes and loved the fact that others got to enjoy the meals. Great recipes and attention to detail. We loved the history and stories behind the food. The guided tours were wonderful and we loved getting the history of not only the place but the food and the dishes we cooked. Hydra was a wonderful excursion as was the walking tour of Poros, especially picking out the fish we would cook later that day. The picnic at sunset at the "farm" was also so much fun. The Hotel- New Aegli- was great and a short walk to the Odyssey center. The beach was right there across the street from the hotel with beachside service from the hotel. I am glad we did NOT stay at the Sirene Blue (where I originally tried to have you book) because it is about two miles away from the Odyssey center and further away from town. New Aegli was closer to town and an easy walk to explore more of Poros. We cannot say enough about Katarina and her staff. It is well organized program that feels fresh and not like she does it every week- which I know she does! She made everyone feel so welcome and useful in the kitchen and we loved the story behind all of the dishes. I feel like we got a real taste of what life is like in Poros, Greece, not just a tourist perspective. We had a guided tour by a local to Hydra that was great. Vangelis was a wonderful guide who let us into the perspective of a local. We thought that the experience at Oasi in Sorrento Italy last year would be hard to match- but we fell in love with Katarina and the people of Poros as much as we did Carmen in Sant Agata. They are both wonderful organizers, planners and passionate about sharing the local culture and food. Both were fabulous trips! [Regarding the cooking vacation packet:] It was fine- we would have liked to have known that it would take over three hours to get from Athens to Poros. The driver and ride was fine- just was not expecting it to be that long. He did stop at an area midway (Kalamaki?) for us to get some lunch and see the canal Hitler had cut through the rock in the isthmus to connect the Ionic Sea to the gulf of Corinth for supply movement in WWII- interesting attraction visited by many tourists. Glad we got to see that. [Regarding The International Kitchen staff:] All communication with the International Kitchen was great, especially Adrian Hall who helped out with all out questions and needs as well as helping finalize and select which program and hotel, etc. He was also helpful with the travel insurance questions I had. Kathy and Jimmy C., VA
No rating given with this review
Katarina took great care to make sure our experience was a wonderful mix of immersion in Greek life/history and a diverse and fun cooking experience. The excursions she arranged were fabulous and gave a great balance to our trip. [Regarding the cooking vacation packet:] Everything was great. [Regarding The International Kitchen staff:] Very helpful. Angela & Jimmy K., VA
No rating given with this review
I had the best time with Katerina and her family and staff. Loved being part of her family because that's how it felt. It was the perfect mix of great food, wonderful people and time spent in paradise. We had great guides for the trip to Hydra, saw the city and learned about its history. Our personal tour of Poros and the town was great. I want to return. I am not a great cook, but I loved learning. [Regarding The International Kitchen staff:] Yes, Adrian was very helpful. Mary M., FL
No rating given with this review
Our cooking school on Poros with Katerina was one of the best weeks of any holiday we've ever had. It was extra special for us as we were there for their Greek Easter weekend and were able to take part in various cultural activities including the Sunday roast lamb with music and dance! We thoroughly enjoyed all our cooking classes and have been recreating many meals back home. Katerina was more than a cooking teacher; she was an excellent host, a fantastic tour guide and a warm, amusing friend who went out of her way to make you feel at home. Cheryl F. and Barry S., Australia
No rating given with this review
This was everything I hoped for and more. Katerina, Rik, Dora and the whole staff were welcoming, kind, gracious, and fun. Each went above and beyond to ensure my experience was exceptional. The culinary component was great. I am an Executive Chef and learned so much about local cuisine, proper preparation, and the greek way of life. As a solo traveler, I felt welcome, safe, looked after and yet had a lot of time to myself to explore and make new friends. I am happy to say that I am already looking for my next culinary adventure. Thank you. Your packet was complete, had all the information that I needed and provided a level of comfort to my family that I was leaving behind for my dream vacation. Thank you again. You took care of every detail and I appreciated the effort. Tracy
No rating given with this review
Katerina and Rick were exceptional hosts. They took time to find out what our interests were, and kept the program flexible, arranged for us to collect sea urchins when they heard it was my son's favourite dish, and we had so much fun in coming up with the day's daily cooking, with some recipes adapted from our suggestions too. A most memorable holiday for my son and me. Thank you. Anne, Malaysia