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Doube room your home for your Zakynthos Greek cooking vacation.
Sitting area from your home for your Zakynthos Greek cooking vacation.
Detail from your home for your Zakynthos Greek cooking vacation.
Overview

Zakynthos Island Adventure

This trip is eligible for our Worry-Free Booking promotion.

Travel to the ‘Flower of the East,’ as the Venetians once called Zakynthos Island during their rule from the 15th to 18th Century. Home to the famous Caretta-Caretta (Loggerhead) sea turtle and 7,000 species of flowers, Zakynthos is also famous for growing some of the best olives, wines, grains, and fruits due to its extremely fertile soil and temperate climate. The green island also boasts producing more than 10,000 tons of extra virgin olive oil, and it offers a breathtaking landscape that varies from sandy beaches to rocky cliffs surrounded by the clearest blue sea you will ever see.

Also due to its ideal fertile soil and water sources, Zakynthos has been conquered by numerous civilizations over the centuries, such as the Arcadians, Macedonians, Romans, Venetians, French, Turks, and British — all of whom impacted the gastronomy of the island. The island finally gained its independence in 1830 and officially became apart of Greece 1864. Today, the local people are delighted to share their beautiful island and its complex history with visitors.


Latest Review

We gave this trip 5 stars
Mary & Kenneth
California
Trip taken June 2019
(This traveler left a starred review with no comments.)

Trip Details

The 4 cooking lessons feature recipes that have been passed down for generations. The cooking classes take place in beautiful, unique locales, making the already-enjoyable experience even more spectacular.
The classes include:

  • stuffed vegetables with potatoes, zucchini balls, and an eggplant salad
  • moussaka and tzatziki
  • traditional fish soup with garlic sauce, accompanied with a vegetable salad and a green pie with homemade phyllo
  • free-range stuffed chicken in tomato sauce

Itinerary

Sample itinerary. Some activities might change seasonally, and order of activities subject to change based on specific week. 

Day One

Spanakopita on a cooking vacation in Greece

  • Arrival at the Zakynthos airport or port and private transfer to your accommodations.
  • After settling in, meet your host for a welcome drink and recommendations on things to do on this lovely island, as well as an overview of the week.
  • In the evening, a welcome dinner awaits you in the town of Zakynthos. Enjoy your first taste of local Zakynthos cuisine accompanied with local wine while local singers known as “kantades.” This is Zakynthos’ characteristic music, accompanied by the mandolin and guitar. Local islanders have used this beautiful tradition to express joy, grief and love for centuries.
  • Overnight.

Visiting the sea on your cooking vacation in Greece


Day Two

  • After breakfast, you will be cooking with a local chef, Athina, to prepare this evening’s dinner. She will invite you to join her in the kitchen and cook starters and a traditional light dish, all bursting with summer colors and great aromas! Learn to cook delicious stuffed vegetables with potatoes, zucchini balls, and an aubergine salad. Athina welcomes questions, as she is proud to share her knowledge and expertise in Zakynthian cuisine.
  • While tonight’s dinner is cooking, explore the famous bay of Laganas with its shallow waters and sandy beach. It is one of the most important nesting grounds of the Caretta-Caretta sea turtle, a place where you can discover turtle nests scattered across the golden sands. The passionate volunteers from the National Marine Park of Zakynthos are always happy to share their expertise and answer questions!
  • The secluded uninhabited Islands of Pelouzo, Cameo, and Turtle Island, just a little way out to sea, provide a stunning backdrop to the spectacular setting. It’s the perfect time to truly unwind and enjoy a relaxing afternoon by the sea. Why not try a spot of snorkeling to see if you can spot some turtles? Then, enjoy a wonderful lunch surrounded by the beautiful sounds, sights and smells of the glittering Ionian Sea.
  • In the evening, join your hosts, Effie & Antonio, for dinner – the meal you helped to prepare! Indulge in your own incredible creation, accompanied by Antonio’s chilled house wine.
  • Overnight.

Doube room your home for your Zakynthos Greek cooking vacation.


Day Three

  • Breakfast.
  •  Today, Athina will lead you in preparing the famous Greek dishes moussaka and tzatziki for tonight’s dinner.  With the sharpness of the tzatziki and the creaminess of the moussaka, it’s a recipe you’ll want to remember!
  • While dinner is in the oven, begin an exclusive aquatic experience towards the west coast of the island. In the famous sweeping bay, spot and even swim alongside some of the large and extremely graceful loggerhead turtles. Continue your trip with swimming at the breathtaking Keri caves and next to the heavenly “Marathonisi Island”, which, remarkably, is shaped like a turtle! With its fine powder-like sand, this tiny island captivates water- and nature-lovers alike. Natural and intriguing, with wonderful little caves to explore, it’s the perfect place snorkeling, swimming or just a paddle. Enjoy this tiny island beach experience!
  • In the evening, return to the villa to enjoy the meal you prepared alongside your hosts and fellow guests.
  • Overnight.

Enjoying the beach in Greece


Day Four

  • Breakfast.
  • Today’s inspiration will come from the authentic and peaceful lifestyle of Machairado village. Get an insider’s view of daily life on the island and meet local people and producers, who are excited to share their trade expertise with visitors.
  • Father Nicholas will show you the ornate St. Mavra church and museum, while Nikos, a talented woodcarver, will show you his studio and art work. And let’s not forget Dennis, the friendly taverna owner, who will welcome you inside his kitchen to cook a festive meal based on the land, the sea, and the season. You will prepare a traditional fish soup, with a gorgeous garlic sauce, accompanied with a vegetable salad and a green pie with homemade phyllo.
  • While lunch is cooking, you will visit the nearby Aristeon Olive Press and museum, as well as the Grampsas winery to taste premium local products. At the olive oil museum, learn how the humble olive is transformed into liquid gold: the precious oil that gives Zakynthians their lust for life. See the display of machinery from the factory’s former days, and then tour the modern equipment with your guide. At the end of your visit, don’t miss the opportunity to buy their olive oil products and sample a variety of extra virgin oils on homemade bread.
  • Next, you’ll visit the winery of the Grampsas family, which is run by the third generation and widely respected by Zakynthians and international clients alike. The winery is beautifully presented, from the neat rows of vines to the display of winemaking equipment demonstrating the complexity and skill required in the winemaking process. Giannis, the son, 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.
  • After these taste-tingling samples, you must be hungry! Back at the taverna, enjoy your meal under the shade of the vine trees, with the crickets humming gently across the landscape.
  • Time to relax in the afternoon, then in the evening visit the historic region of Bochali, located at the very top of Zakynthos town. The panoramic views of the town below, across the harbor and out to sea, guarantee another amazing evening. Free time to toast the experience with a drink, or enjoy a light dinner on your own in the magical atmosphere – an experience you’ll never want to end!
  • Overnight.

Dining al fresco in Greece


Day Five

  • Breakfast.
  • Enjoy time in Zakynthos town, where you will discover hidden gems and the amazing history, culture, and architecture of the Old Town. Check out the café culture of the modern center, and take a blessing from the island’s patron saint at St. Dionysius church with its celebrated interiors. Then, why not relax with a coffee at a café on the edge of the historical Solomos square?
  • Batteries recharged, visit the local market to savor the island’s fresh local produce.  Here, you can shop for top quality local products, delicacies and souvenirs – and don’t forget to taste the special Venetian sweets of “mandolato” and “pasteli”! After the Venetian occupation of Zakynthos, the island embraced authentic recipes from different cultures, and provides you with a gastronomic experience filled with diverse flavors and sensations.
  • Before returning back to Laganas, treat yourself to a delicious authentic souvlaki lunch at the port grill house. Picture succulent meat, pitta and freshly-grown vegetables, drizzled in olive oil – it’s simply irresistible!
  • Arriving back at the villa, you will have enough time to relax or swim before a magical sunset dinner. With captivating views over rugged crags and the ocean, shimmering below, it is a mesmerizing experience that you’ll never forget.

The beautiful sea of Zakynthos


Day Six

  • Breakfast, followed by an exciting day exploring! Set out for the picturesque north of the island, traveling through stunning mountains and coastline, until you arrive at Agios Nicholaos port. From there you will set sail towards the captivating northwest coast of Zakynthos. Travel past the secluded coves, crystal clear water, dramatic sea caves and white sand, to the mesmerizing Shipwreck Bay and the Blue caves – some of the most famous sights of the island. If the weather is too windy for the boat, you will travel north by car and still be able to admire the shipwreck from the viewing platform set into the cliff top. Don’t forget to bring your camera!
  • After the boat trip, continue north to Orthonies village, your lunch destination. It’s time to enjoy a “farm to fork” culinary experience at a family-run mountain taverna. Following a warm welcome and a cool drink, head to the kitchen with Grandma Athina, who will share with you one of her secret family recipes, handed down from generation to generation: a free-range stuffed chicken in tomato sauce.
  • While the dinner is cooking in the old wood-fired oven, Athina’s son will take you on a walk around their vegetable and herb gardens, where you will also meet the livestock. There is a strong belief here that happy animals produce healthy meat, and Athina’s taverna is definitely a testament to this. Then, it’s back to the taverna, where, beneath the shadows of an ancient oak tree, you will enjoy the meal you helped to cook, alongside local wine, and homemade dessert.
  • Back to the villa with time to relax and overnight.

Greek vegetables


Day Seven

  • Breakfast followed by a morning at leisure. You can spend your day as you wish – perhaps swimming and relaxing at Agios Sostis bay. Discover this little oasis of calm, with sun beds on the grass, and a rustic beach bar, providing stunning views of the islands across the sea. You can enjoy a delicious beach lunch so that there’s no need to even leave this slice of paradise.
  • In the evening, dress up for your night out at “Dennis,” a favorite taverna in the village of Lithakia. This is your chance to enjoy a traditional Greek celebration, with a great BBQ, local wine and – of course – live Greek music and dancing. Enjoy the sounds of bouzouki while learning how to dance syrtaki, embracing and celebrating the traditions of a rich and beautiful culture. A grand finale to a great week!
  • Overnight.

Day Eight

  • Breakfast and morning free to pack or do a little last-minute shopping before your transfer back to Zakynthos airport or port.
  • Kallo Taxidi! Have a safe journey!

Trip Details

Included in the 7-Night Trip

Accommodations

7 night accommodations at a villa apartment

Food & Beverages

  • Daily breakfast
  • 6 lunches
  • 6 dinners
  • Beverages (wine/beer/soft drinks) with included meals

Classes & Instructors

The 4 cooking lessons feature recipes that have been passed down for generations. The cooking classes take place in beautiful, unique locales, making the already-enjoyable experience even more spectacular.
The classes include:

  • stuffed vegetables with potatoes, zucchini balls, and an eggplant salad
  • moussaka and tzatziki
  • traditional fish soup with garlic sauce, accompanied with a vegetable salad and a green pie with homemade phyllo
  • free-range stuffed chicken in tomato sauce

Excursions

  • Visit Zakynthos town and enjoy “kantadas” music
  • Explore Laganas Bay, the nesting grounds of the Caretta-Caretta sea turtle
  • Travel to the Keri caves and the heavenly Marathonisi Island for swimming and/or snorkeling
  • Spend a day in Machairado village meeting local food and wine producers and local artisans
  • Enjoy the views from Bochali, located at the very top of Zakynthos town
  • Take a tour of the historical center of Zakynthos town and its local market
  • Take a boat ride to Shipwreck bay (weather permitting) and explore the northern villages
  • Visit Agios Sostis Bay on your final day (optional)

Transfer Details

  • Roundtrip group transfers from/to Zakynthos airport or port

Accommodation Information

Located a short walk from the beautiful Laganas beach and town center with its lively shops and restaurants, your home away from home is a charming and relaxing getaway. The villa features just seven apartments — three on the ground floor, and four maisonettes on the first floor (up one flight of stairs) — all designed in a clean, modern style. Both room types include a fully-equipped kitchen, and room amenities include TV, air conditioning for the Summer months, and central heating during the low season.

For small groups there are two other recently refurbished villas, each with 3 apartments. Please inquire for details!

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Pricing & Tour Dates

Looking for tour date information?


Low Season Pricing:
March-May, October-November

(excluding Greek Easter Week)

7-night Program
US$2450 per person based on double occupancy
  • Add US$250 for single occupancy (use of a double room by 1 person)

30% deposit due to confirm booking.

This trip is eligible for our “Worry-Free Booking” promotion*, which means your deposit is fully refundable up to 31 days prior to the trip start date. Questions? Please contact us!

*See our terms & conditions for details and exclusions.

Please inquire for pricing for 1 person.

Please inquire for 2021 pricing.

Mid Season Pricing:
June and September

7-night Program
US$2600 per person based on double occupancy
  • Add US$375 for single occupancy (use of a double room by 1 person)

30% deposit due to confirm booking.

This trip is eligible for our “Worry-Free Booking” promotion*, which means your deposit is fully refundable up to 31 days prior to the trip start date. Questions? Please contact us!

*See our terms & conditions for details and exclusions.

Please inquire for pricing for 1 person.

Please inquire for 2021 pricing.

High Season Pricing:
July & August

7-night Program
US$2875 per person based on double occupancy
  • Add US$250 for single occupancy (use of a double room by 1 person)

30% deposit due to confirm booking.

This trip is eligible for our “Worry-Free Booking” promotion*, which means your deposit is fully refundable up to 31 days prior to the trip start date. Questions? Please contact us!

*See our terms & conditions for details and exclusions.


Tour Dates

Available weekly March through November for a minimum of 2 people.

2021
Available weekly March through November for a minimum of 1 person.
July 10-17
July 17-24
July 24-31
July 31-August 7
August 7-14
August 14-21
August 21-28
August 28-September 4
September 4-11
September 11-18
September 18-25
September 25-October 2
October 2-9
October 9-16
October 16-23
October 23-30
October 31-November 6
November 6-13
November 13-20
November 20-27

2022
Available weekly March through November for a minimum of 1 person.
March 5-12
March 12-19
March 19-26
March 26-April 2
April 2-9
April 9-16
April 16-30: Inquire
April 30-May 7
May 7-14
May 14-21
May 21-28
May 28-June 4
June 4-11
June 11-18
June 18-25
June 25-July 2
July 2-9
July 9-16
July 16-23
July 23-30
July 30-August 6
August 6-13
August 13-20
August 20-27
August 27-September 3
September 3-10
September 10-17
September 17-25
September 24-October 1
October 1-8
October 8-15
October 15-22
October 22-29
October 29-November 5
November 5-12
November 12-19
November 19-26

Reviews

We gave this trip 5 stars
Mary & Kenneth
California
Trip taken June 2019
(This traveler left a starred review with no comments.)

We Can Help Plan It All

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.

Contact us for more information, or you can indicate your interest during check out and we will follow up directly!

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