Greek Culinary Odyssey 2024: The Mediterranean Diet and Beyond with World RD
Book early, this trip will sell out quickly!
This trip is targeted to registered dietitian-nutritionists, health professionals, and culinarians who want an authentic, hands-on Mediterranean diet, lifestyle, and cultural experience in Greece.
Hosted by award-winning culinary nutritionist and author Layne Lieberman, MS, RDN, LDN
Pending Pre-Approval by CDR: 32 Continuing Education Units for Registered Dietitians
$4550.00 USD per person based on double room occupancy
(We can match you with a roommate with similar sleep habits)
Supplement for single room occupancy $660 USD per person.
Spend 4 nights on a Greek isle and 2 nights in Athens on this one-of-a-kind trip! Journey around the Saronic Bay to the island of Poros for 4 nights and explore the Greek Mediterranean diet with your hosts, Katerina and her daughter Dora. Katerina comes from a family of restaurateurs and has been teaching Greek cooking classes and serving up classic Greek cuisine at the family’s bistro for decades. She is also an active member of the small community of Poros, including being part of the Poros Trails project, which established a well-organize network of hiking routes on the island to showcase the natural and cultural riches of Poros.
Dora has been helping in the restaurant all her life, and completed a 4-year degree in Hospitality/Culinary Arts/Entrepreneurship with work practicums in Holland, the UK, and Germany. She has taken on the running of the restaurant on Poros in recent years and leads many of the Greek cooking classes.
While on Poros you will explore the local ingredients during a foraging expedition and with visits to the fish and produce markets, to a local dairy, to a winery, a lemon forest, and of course during your hands-on cooking classes. You will also visit your hosts’ farm on the Peloponnese mainland, where you will learn about that quintessential Mediterranean ingredient – olives! – and where you may even see part of the harvest. Your accommodations during your Poros culinary odyssey will be your hosts’ aparthotel, the Odyssey Suites, in one of the 15 bright, charming rooms (each with private en suite bath).
From Poros you will head to Athens where you will experience another side of Greek life. Here you will stay at a 5* hotel in the Plaka neighborhood while exploring the sights, sounds, and flavors of Athens during food tours and a historical tour of the Acropolis.
Hurry, as space is limited for this one-time-only Greece tour with World RD!
Learn more about the itinerary and the CEU credits by visiting the WorldRD website or by contacting Layne Lieberman at: email@example.com
This trip is targeted to registered dietitian-nutritionists, health professionals, and culinarians who want an authentic, hands-on Mediterranean diet, lifestyle, and cultural experience in Greece. All meals and activities have been painstakingly curated with this emphasis in mind.
Day One: Orientation and Greek Cooking– Sunday, October 20
- Morning arrivals from the US. Around 12 noon, transfer by private bus from the Athens airport to your home on Poros. The drive around the Saronic Gulf takes around 3 hours, and concludes with the short ferry ride (10 minutes) from Galatas to Poros. If you plan on arriving to Athens a day early, we will make arrangements for you to meet the private bus to Poros. Poros is one of the Saronic islands and is actually an island pair: two islands separated by a very narrow channel.
- Check in to your room at the Odyssey Center. The Odyssey boasts 15 rooms and apartments around an interior courtyard, as well as a Greek bistro. It is just steps from the waterfront, which you can see from some of the rooms. Each room and apartment has a small patio or balcony. The courtyard is the heart of the property, where guests get together for a glass of wine or a Greek coffee, and where owner Katerina and her daughter Dora gather lemons and fresh herbs for the hands-on cooking classes.
- After settling in, meet around 4 pm for an orientation meeting to discuss the itinerary, and the goals and objectives for the week. There will be an introduction to the traditional Greek Mediterranean Diet (the diet before 1960). It is one of the healthiest diets, consisting of a high intake of fruits, vegetables (particularly wild plants), legumes, nuts, and cereals mostly in the form of sourdough bread rather than pasta; more olive oil and olives; less milk but more cheese; more fish; less meat; and moderate amounts of wine. (1 hour)
- From 5:00-8:0pm, enjoy your first hands-on cooking class featuring traditional Greek Mediterranean dishes. (3 hours). Dinner to follow at 8pm.
Day Two: On-Island Food Shopping, Traditional Yogurt-Making, and Cooking Class-Monday, October 21
- Enjoy breakfast at Odyssey at 8:30 am, featuring an abundance of choices including fresh yogurt and fruit, cereals, breads with homemade jam or local honey, as well as a variety of hot dishes.
- After breakfast, at 10:00 am, meet Dora and head to Poros town. Along the way you will learn about the history of Poros, its inhabitants, and their diet, as well as about the local agriculture. Wear your walking shoes, as your morning may finish at the highest summit of town. (If you are unable to handle the walk, a taxi can take you to town to meet the group at one of the local markets.)
- You will visit the fish, fruit, and vegetable markets in Poros. You will learn more about the staples of the traditional Greek Mediterranean cuisine while selecting items for your next cooking lesson. (3 hours)
- Your Poros walk will end around 1:00 pm with a family-style lunch in a local Greek tavern in Poros town.
- After lunch, around 2:00 pm, a water taxi will transport you across the strait to Galatas where you will meet Dimitris Vlachos, a second-generation producer of lemon products, Greek sheep’s milk yogurt, cheese, and Greek pastries and desserts. His family has had a shop in Galatas since 1976 and are behind the Lemonodasos brand of lemon products. You will stop to see their shop and dairy, learning about their production of Greek yogurt and cheese, before heading on foot (about 15 minutes’ walk) to your hosts’ farm for a hands-on class led by Dimitris and his mother, (or aunt) featuring yogurt and cheese making. (2 hours)
- Return to the Odyssey Center by water taxi. At 5:30 pm, enjoy a cooking session featuring traditional Greek dishes such as melitzanosalata, dolmades, roasted chicken, and Greek salad. (3 hours)
- Dinner to follow at 8:30 pm, along with a wine and ouzo tasting.
Day Three: Greek Winemaking, Lemons, Foraging, and Cooking Class-Tuesday, October 22
- Breakfast at 8:30 am.
- Depart by bus around 10 am and head to the port to take the ferry to the mainland, then proceed to the Andreou winery, where you will learn about Greek winemaking. The winery was started in 1995 by a local businessman, Andreas Andreou, with a passion for wine, and has been headed up by his son Nektarios Andreou since 2010. They have vineyards on the Peloponnese mainland as well as on the nearby volcanic island of Methana. They cultivate native indigenous varieties that thrive in Argolida, Corinthia, and Methana, including Roditis, Alepou, and Moschofilero (white varieties); Agiorgitiko and Syrah for reds; and Agiorgitiko – Moschofilero – Syrah for rosés. (2 hours)
- Around 12:30 or 1:00 pm, enjoy lunch at a taverna in Galatas after the winery visit.
- After lunch, around 2:00 pm, learn about one of the region’s most important products: lemons. Enjoy a visit of the famed lemon grove west of Galatas and learn about when lemon trees were brought to Greece and their importance in Greek cooking over the centuries. You will be accompanied by one of the region’s premier producers of lemon products, our friend Dimitris Vlachos from day two, who owns many of the organic lemon trees you will see. (2 hours).
- Later this afternoon, from 4:00 pm to 8:00 pm, Dora and Katerina will lead you on a foraging expedition and cooking class. You will use what you have gathered to create dinner, along with other local ingredients such as Greek lemons and herbs. (4 hours)
- Dinner to follow.
Day Four: Cured Olives, Olive Oil, Biodiversity in Farming-Wednesday, October 23
- Breakfast at 8:30 am.
- The water taxi will collect you at 10:00 am and take you back to the Peloponnese mainland, where it will drop you at your hosts’ farm for a lesson on olives and olive oil led by George Kostelenos, agronomist, celebrated olive expert and producer. You may be there during the harvest, and your lesson will be led by a local olive grower and olive producer and will feature a lesson on olive curing and pressing. You will also have a chance to learn about the biodiversity of fruits and vegetables that are grown on the farm.
- Lunch at the farm around 1:30 pm and return to Poros by water taxi around 3:30 pm.
- This afternoon, enjoy some free time to explore on your own. Perhaps head up to the Sanctuary of Poseidon on the summit of Poros to see the ancient ruins and stunning views. Or, depending on the weather, head to nearby Monastiri Beach for a dip in the Mediterranean – the water is still warm in October!
- This evening at 8:00 pm, you will bid farewell to Poros and your new friends with a night of Greek food, music, and dancing.
Day Five – Athens-The Acropolis and Ancient Food/Agricultural History-Thursday, October 24
- Breakfast, and depart for Athens around 10 am.
- Upon arrival in Athens, check in to the 5* Hotel Electra Palace, located in the popular Plaka neighborhood.
- This afternoon, at 4:00 pm, meet your guide, Vangelis Apostolou, at the lobby of your hotel for a 3-hour guided tour of the famed UNESCO Acropolis and its historic monuments: the Parthenon, the Erechteion, and the Dionysus Theater. Food and culture go hand in hand and so we must learn about the myths and stories surrounding these iconic sites, and about the Mediterranean diet and agriculture in ancient times. The tour will end on top of the Acropolis, leaving you time to explore more on your own. Or, if you are tired, your guide can help you find a taxi to return to the hotel.
- Make your own way back to the hotel. Rest of day at leisure and dinner on your own.
Day Six – Central Markets of Athens, Greek Coffee and Food Tours-Friday, October 25
- Breakfast at the hotel.
- Around 9 am meet your licensed tour guide, Vangelis Apostolou, at the hotel and head out for a special visit to the central market of Athens. This is a different side of Athens from the grand Acropolis and ancient agorae. The Varvakeios market is an adventure, full of energy, bargaining, and a dazzling array of fruits, spices, meats, and fish. During Ottoman times, the old upper bazaar was the center of the city, comprised of wooden sheds, where people would gather to shop and socialize. A fire destroyed the old market, so the merchants had to move and new construction started in 1878, but it was not until 1886 that the market started officially operating. You will also enjoy a short demonstration on Greek coffee by the coffee-maker at the market. Wear comfy shoes for the floor gets slippery from the water sprayed on fish to look fresh and shiny. (3 hours)
- Next, continue with a culinary walking tour through non-touristy areas with your expert food guide. Explore the traditional Greek flavors and learn more about the herbs, olives, cheese, olive oil, and sweets that are part of the Greek diet. Your tastings might include: koulouri, bougatsa, olives, cheeses, charcuterie, nuts, loukoumi, wine, tsipouro, and more. Return to the hotel on foot. (If you are tired the guide can help you find a taxi.) (3 hours)
- Free time to shop, explore, or rest up.
- This evening, at 7:45 pm, head to your farewell dinner at Kuzina restaurant, about 15 minutes away on foot. Kuzina features creative and traditional Greek cuisine and fabulous views of the Acropolis. Your 3-course farewell tasting dinner will be vegetable-forward and will be presented by the restaurant manager.
Day Seven – Farewell (Γεια σας!)-Saturday, October 26
- Breakfast at the hotel and end of our services.
- If you are departing today, you can take a taxi (around €40-€45 per car) or train (around €9) to the airport. Or, we can arrange a private transfer for an additional cost.
Included in the 6-Night Trip
- 4 nights on Poros at the Odyssey Suites
- 2 nights in Athens at a 5* hotel
Food & Beverages
- Daily breakfast
- 4 lunches
- 5 dinners
- Food tastings
Classes & Instructors
Your hands-on cooking classes with Dora and Katerina will introduce you to the wonderful flavors and health benefits of Greek cuisine. Dora ten Arve has trained and worked in cooking, catering, and hospitality management in Holland, Germany, London, and Athens, and is fluent in four languages. She has for many years worked alongside her mother Katerina Sakelliou during the cooking lessons and is the manager and developmental chef of the Odyssey restaurant. Dora and Katerina are both passionate about cooking, and are interested and knowledgeable in the historical roots of traditional Greek cooking. Your Greek cooking lessons with Dora and Katerina will specialize in both traditional and modern Greek cooking.
- Guided walking visit of Poros town as well as its fish and produce markets
- Guided dairy visit with cheese/yogurt making
- Winery visit and tasting
- Lemon grove visit
- Foraging expedition
- Farm visit with olive/olive oil class with renowned agronomist
- Guided foodie walking tour of Athens
- Guided visit of the central market of Athens
- Guided historical tour of the Acropolis
Please note one group transfer is included on arrival from the Athens airport to Poros. We anticipate the transfer will be around 12 noon. If your flight is scheduled to arrive later, we recommend you plan to arrive the night before. The transfer consists of a drive around the Saronic Bay (around 3 hours, depending on traffic), followed by a short ferry rider to the island (around 10 minutes).
The departure transfer is on your own. You can take a taxi (around €40-€45 per car) or train (around €9) to the airport based on your specific flight details, or we can arrange a private transfer for an additional cost.
- Meals in Athens except as indicated
- Departure transfer to Athens airport on the 26th
The accommodations for 4 nights on Poros will be in one of 15 rooms and apartments at your hosts’ Greek boutique hotel and cooking school. The rooms are bright and comfortable, with ensuite bathrooms. Each is equipped with air-conditioning, safe, TV, and some have their own kitchenette. There is a Greek bistro and a comfortable courtyard surrounded by lush vegetation where participants gather for a coffee, a glass of wine, or some good conversation. (Please note there are steps separating the levels at the property. If you have mobility issues please let us know.)
Your home in Athens for 2 nights will be the 5* Electra Palace Hotel. Centrally located in the heart of the city, the classic rooms feature en suite bathrooms and all the expected 5* amenities. The hotel also features a fitness center, a spa with a pool and hot tub, as well as a restaurant and bar.
Pricing & Tour Dates
US$4550 per person based on double occupancy
- Add US$660 for single occupancy (use of a double room by 1 person)
30% deposit due to confirm booking (US$1365 in double occupancy, $1563 in single occupancy).
Balance due 90 days prior.
We can also set up a payment plan upon request.
Guidelines for Making Flight Arrangements:
Please note that the logistics of getting from Athens to Poros are complicated, so there is one arrival transfer scheduled from Athens to Poros at noon on the 20th. We recommend you leave plenty of time for arrival that day in case of flight delays, or that you plan to arrive a day early. Please contact us if you would like assistance with your flights!
Available October 20-26, 2024 for a minimum of 12, maximun of 18 people.
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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!