Greek Gastronomy on Santorini

With its warm breezes, white-washed stone homes, flower gardens, vineyards, and a lagoon surrounded by a stony cliff, the Greek island of Santorini in the south Aegean Sea is a piece of heaven on earth. While it’s a part of the Cyclades group of islands, Santorini is a mythical island that has a magic all its own. Once known as Kalliste, or ‘the most beautiful one,’ Santorini today is named after Saint Irene. Despite its name change, it continues to be regaled for its beauty; Travel+Leisure magazine named it the number one island in all of Europe in 2011, in large part due to its natural beauty.

The island, also known as a caldera (volcano), dates back to the Minoan civilization. Once part of a larger island, a volcanic eruption during the Bronze Age — 3,500 years ago — split the island away from others in the Cyclades island chain. With the island’s volcanic soil, Santorini is particularly suited to a wonderful array of vegetables that are grown with very little water, including the island’s famous fava, white eggplants, large cucumbers, capers, and, especially, cherry tomatoes. Their ancient winemaking traditions are also important on Santorini; most vintages are made with Assyrtiko grapes, and locals are particularly proud of their sweet Vinsanto wine.


Latest Review

No rating given with this review
The cooking lesson at Aromis Aliv was the best. The food was normal and easy to replicate. The one at Selene Restaurant was not as good and lasted too long. I can never imagine a situation where I would want to make my own Phyllo dough. It was interesting, but we spent at least an hour watching how to make Phyllo dough from scratch. The island tour was good, but we didn't have accurate information about it beforehand. We had no idea that it would last all day and include a two hour stop over at the beach. Winery tour was very interesting. it was a definite highlight of the tour. Definitely recommend future travelers to check out the location beforehand. It was a great trip. Hope to take another International Kitchen vacation in the future. [Regarding The International Kitchen staff:] They were great! Lynda P., IN _Response from The International Kitchen:_ We're glad to hear what an overall wonderful time you had! We appreciate your feedback and have passed it on to our partners in Santorini as well.

Trip Details

Most weeks your 2 cooking classes are led by Chef Vassilis who grew up on the island with a large family, and who today runs a popular local restaurant which is known for its delectable appetizers and use of local products. When he’s not in his kitchen or spending evening soirees with friends singing, drinking, and eating, he’s representing the island in international cooking competitions.
When Chef Vassilis is not available, one of his collaborators, or another local chef, will teach you about the traditions and techniques of Greek Island cooking. While many recipes are seafood based, ingredients — such as the island’s famous tomatoes — are sourced from the local market.


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Itinerary

Day One

  • Arrive at Santorini airport or port, and take a private transfer to your boutique hotel for the week.
  • Dinner on your own.
  • Overnight.

Santorini, Greece


Day Two

  • Breakfast.
  • Get to know the history of the island with a private tour starting with the Akrotiri excavations, a prehistoric settlement. After the Bronze Age eruption, many of the Minoan civilization’s buildings were protected by volcanic materials, similar to Pompeii. Explore sacred areas, admire ancient wall paintings and frescos, and walk through ancient buildings.
  • Continue the tour with a visit to the mountain of Prophet Elias — located at an altitude of nearly 2,000 feet — and stopping at a Christian monastery that dates back to the 1700s. With the stunning views, it’s the perfect time to take some beautiful panoramic photos.
  • Next, participate in a wine tasting, where you’ll also hear about the island’s ancient viticulture traditions.
  • Stop for a light lunch.
  • Return to the hotel for some time on your own to relax. Perhaps visit, on your own, the villages of Oia, Firostefáni, and Imerovigli.
  • Dinner on your own.
  • Overnight.

Greek cooking classes on Santorini


Day Three

  • Following breakfast, take part in your first hands-on cooking class. Today’s course will take place in a traditional restaurant with Chef Vassilis, who has competed in international culinary competitions and is considered a legend of local cooking, or one of his collaborators. After trying a few Greek appetizers, the chef will teach you to make three typical dishes.
  • Lunch to follow based on your efforts, local wine included.
  • Time on your own in the afternoon.
  • Dinner on your own.
  • Overnight.

Greek cooking vacation on Santorini


Day Four

  • After breakfast, depart for the beautiful countryside, which is home to a number of charming villages and old vineyards. Not only will you discover how the volcanic soil has influenced the island’s winemaking for the past 4,000 years, but you’ll also tour some artisanal wineries and cellars. During the wine tastings, you’ll get a chance to try a variety of local and Greek wines, including Nykteri, Assyrtiko and the popular sweet Vinsanto, along with Greek olives and cheese.
  • Lunch on your own.
  • Enjoy the afternoon on your own to relax or continue exploring the beautiful island.
  • Dinner on your own.
  • Overnight.

Baklava in Greece


Day Five

  • Breafkast. Take the day to explore Santorini at your leisure. Perhaps visit Droso-Chrysos, a folklore museum in Pyrgos. Or, tour the island by taking the local buses or renting a bike, car, or scooter. You could even take a boat to the neighboring island of Ios.
  • Lunch and dinner on your own.
  • Overnight.

Greek cooking vacation


Day Six

  • Breakfast.
  • In the morning, learn more secrets of Santorinian gastronomy during your second hands-on cooking class with a local chef. He will not only teach you about the local volcanic products of Santorini but also the cuisine of the Cycladic Islands.
  • Lunch to follow based on your efforts, local wine included.
  • Afternoon and dinner on your own.

Dinner on board in Greece


Day Seven

  • Following breakfast, spend the morning on your own. Feel free to go shopping, swim, or simply relax on your last full day!
  • Lunch on your own.
  • In the late afternoon, depart for a sunset sailing tour. While out at sea, you’ll have the chance to swim near the island, or in the local hot springs. A dinner that features local specialities will be served aboard the boat.
  • Return transfer to your hotel and overnight.

Day Eight

  • Breakfast and check out.
  • Private transfer to the port or airport of Santorini.

Trip Details

Included in the 7-Night Trip

Accommodations

7 nights accommodations in a boutique hotel

Food & Beverages

  • Daily breakfast
  • 3 lunches
  • 1 dinner
  • Local wine included with all included meals

Classes & Instructors

Most weeks your 2 cooking classes are led by Chef Vassilis who grew up on the island with a large family, and who today runs a popular local restaurant which is known for its delectable appetizers and use of local products. When he’s not in his kitchen or spending evening soirees with friends singing, drinking, and eating, he’s representing the island in international cooking competitions.
When Chef Vassilis is not available, one of his collaborators, or another local chef, will teach you about the traditions and techniques of Greek Island cooking. While many recipes are seafood based, ingredients — such as the island’s famous tomatoes — are sourced from the local market.

Excursions

  • Private guided tour of Santorini
  • Visit to an 18th-century monasterey and the mountain of the Prophet Elias
  • Winery visits & tastings
  • Sunset sailing tour

Transfer Details

  • Round-trip transfers from/to Santorini airport or port. Same-day connections to Santorini are possible if you arrive in Athens in the morning. Otherwise, plan to arrive on Friday and stay the night in Athens. Alternatively, you can take a boat to the port in Santorini and be transferred from there instead. Please note that you may also have to overnight in Athens on the return unless you can connect through to an afternoon flight.

Accommodation Information

Your accommodations for the week will be in a charming 3- or 4-star boutique hotel, which will be determined at the time of booking based on availability. All hotels are well located, with many on the caldera, and all offer modern amenities. These photos are only a representation of the type and quality of the hotels.

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Pricing & Tour Dates

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Pricing:

7-night Program
US$2990 per person based on double occupancy
  • Add US$675 for single occupancy (use of a double room by 1 person)

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


Tour Dates

Available any dates April to November with a Saturday start date for a minimum of 2 people.

2020
April 4-11
April 11-18
April 18-25
April 25-May 2
May 2-9
May 9-16
May 16-23
May 23-30
May 30-June 6
June 6-13
June 13-20
June 20-27
June 27-July 4
July 4-11
July 11-18
July 18-25
July 25-August 1
August 1-8
August 8-15
August 15-22
August 22-29
August 29-September 5
September 5-12
September 12-19
September 19-26
September 26-October 3
October 3-10
October 10-17
October 17-24
October 24-31

Pricing & Dates

Class Pricing

Reviews

No rating given with this review
The cooking lesson at Aromis Aliv was the best. The food was normal and easy to replicate. The one at Selene Restaurant was not as good and lasted too long. I can never imagine a situation where I would want to make my own Phyllo dough. It was interesting, but we spent at least an hour watching how to make Phyllo dough from scratch. The island tour was good, but we didn't have accurate information about it beforehand. We had no idea that it would last all day and include a two hour stop over at the beach. Winery tour was very interesting. it was a definite highlight of the tour. Definitely recommend future travelers to check out the location beforehand. It was a great trip. Hope to take another International Kitchen vacation in the future. [Regarding The International Kitchen staff:] They were great! Lynda P., IN _Response from The International Kitchen:_ We're glad to hear what an overall wonderful time you had! We appreciate your feedback and have passed it on to our partners in Santorini as well.