Fall 2018 Trip Part B

Amazing Greece, Southen Greece Explored

from $2,167.00

An exclusive Real Greece hosted journey
9 days/8 nights 

Monday September 24  to Tuesday October 2

This private journey features local experts, chefs & vitners (and the occasional know it all local villager) and will be escorted by Real Greece founders Carole & Basil Kezios.

Join us as we eat, cook, and sip our way through southern Greece. Time to see Greece in her glory, untouched by crowds. Our journey takes us to the Peloponnese, Greece’s largest “island,” where the harvest will be in full swing, just in time for the “crush.” If we’re lucky, we’ll get there in time to participate in the mysterious art of making Tsipouro—Greece’s own special kind of grappa.

We’ll begin our trip in Athens, the cradle of civilization and the birthplace of democracy, before heading south, We’ll stay in an urban penthouse, a Venetian estate complete with it’s own winery & a charming village guesthouse in the mountains. We’ll see and experience a Greece that most tourists miss, in a region that’s home to some of Greece’s most picturesque villages and vistas.

Won’t you join RealGreece’s founders, Carole & Basil on what promises to be an amazing escorted journey?

An exclusive Real Greece hosted journey
9 days/8 nights   $2167.00
Monday September 24  to Tuesday October 2

Post tour option Monday October 1 – Thursday October 4 (Delphi, Meteora)
3 days, 2 nights
( Contact us for pricing )

Limited to 8 people

 

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  • Vacation Style Holiday Type
  • Activity Level Challenging
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  • Group Size Small Group
    8
All about the Amazing Greece, Southen Greece Explored.

Join us as we eat, cook, & sip our way across the Aegean, sampling the flavors of the Greeks islands, soaking up the Greek sun, hanging with the islanders (and learning their culinary secrets), before heading to Greece’s largest “island”, where the harvest will be in full swing, just in time for the “crush” and if we’re lucky we’ll get there in time to participate in the mysterious art of making Greece’s version of grappa.

We’ll sail ’round an island and hike into a volcano, ride horses on the beach and bikes in the village and of course, we’ll relax poolside in our modern adaption of a Cycladic tower or on the warm sandy beach below it. We’ll stay in a Venetian estate, a village guesthouse, an exclusive island villa and a hipster hotel on a hill.

Won’t you join RealGreece’s founders, Carole & Basil on what promises to be an amazing escorted journey.

The tour package inclusions and exclusions at a glance
What is included in this tour?Items that are included in the cost of tour price.
  • 8 nights accommodations
  • All breakfasts, most lunches and dinners as specified
  • All activities (cooking classes, wine tastings, bike rides)
  • Admission to all archeological sites
  • Wines as mentioned in the itinerary
  • Services of English-speaking, professional licensed guides (or experts where noted)
  • Private, air-conditioned vehicle with wi-fi hotspot and professional driver
  • All land transportation as specified
  • Gratuities at restaurants where included in the itinerary
What is not included in this tour?Items that are not included in the cost of tour price.
  • International air
  • Gratuities for your private guides
  • Meals and alcoholic beverages not specified in the itinerary
  • Optional horsebackriding tour
  • Any items for personal use
  • Passport and visa fees
  • Travel insurance (recommended and can be arranged)
  • Any pre- or post-journey plans
  1. Monday September 24 Athens

    We will start our visit in Athens with a walk through our favorite neighborhood. You’ll taste some of the local food we love, walk by the Old Olympic Stadium, the Temple of Zeus, the Gate of Athens and head to the Acropolis Museum where we will meet up with our expert licensed guide who will explain, revive, and make history come alive.

    Some people come to Greece just to see the Parthenon and other sites atop the Acropolis.  You’ll see why when you have ascended the ancient stairs.  You are now walking in the steps of Pericles, Socrates, Plato, and all the others that have walked, worshiped, conquered, lived on and around this sacred rock for the last 3000 years.

    Finally, we will reconvene to head back home to relax, freshen up, and have a drink on our rooftop garden.

    It’s been a while. Did I mention the sunset?

    The sun sets right over the Parthenon. Be patient and you will be rewarded with some incredible photo opportunities. When the sun is low on the horizon and the sky is just barely pink, the lights go on on the Parthenon. Slowly they warm up. There is a sweet moment where magic is made in the union between the colorful, darkening sky and the gentle amber lights of that ancient temple.

    Armed with the knowledge you’ve gained today you can now have your own philosophical conversations over food and wine at our favorite, hidden little culinary gem, where we may learn the art of stuffing sardines, among other treats.

  2. Tuesday September 25 Athens, Arcadia, Peloponnese

    Heading out of Athens to the south, we will visit the Corinth Canal, a marvel of modern engineering. A little further on, and we head to the top of Ancient Corinth, the Acrocorinth, the once-great citadel that controlled the entrance to the Peloponnese for millenia.

    We go further south through the mountains toward the middle of Arcadia, birthplace of Pan, god of nature and of Zeus (or at least, so claim the Naxians, but then again, who wouldn’t want to claim Zeus as one of their own).

    We skirt past Tripolis and start climbing the pine-covered mountains through the ski resort of Vytina and decent to Piana, hopefully by sunset.

    What was that about a sunset? You’re in luck: tonight, we have a double header.

    The sunset is around 7:10 PM, and at 7:30, the full moon begins its ascent into the night sky. And we planned it this way just for you!

    You will have a chance to freshen up before a dinner of local dishes, much different than the Aegean Cuisine, but equally tasty. The simplicity of the ingredients and the freshness make this meal another experience not to forget.

  3. Wednesday September 26 Arcadia, Peloponnese

    The morning is magical.

    Even if you are not an early riser, set your alarm early and get up to see the sunrise. The balcony overlooks the valley below, and you might mistake it for a lake made of the early morning fog. The air above is crisp and clear. The only sounds are those of the birds and the clanging bells of grazing sheep, with the occasional bark of a distant dog.

    There is an inherent danger at Papanikola.

    Many people don’t leave the balcony for their entire stay. We have had clients miss the next night’s hotel reservations just because they did not want to leave the balcony.

    Nonetheless, if you can pull yourself away, we have a great tour scheduled for today. It’s a long one, but rewarding: we are going to visit Ancient Olympia along with the Temple of Apollo Epikourios at Afaia. Along the way, take in the vistas from the majestic Lousios Gorge, see gravity-defying monasteries hanging off the cliffs, followed by the water mill museum in Andritsaina, and finally, back to Papanikola for a well deserved drink.

    Back home our chef’s been cooking all day long, awaiting our return.

    The lighted church of St. George chiming every half hour is the only thing that brings us back to reality.

    If you leave your doors ajar at night, you might just hear the nightingales singing.

    It my favorite way to fall asleep.

  4. Thursday September 27 Arcadia, Peloponnese

    Day at leisure, or not.

    Take your breakfast out to the veranda, and lean back and absorb the view.  You can make your way up to the cafe at the square. You can ask for the keys to the church of St.George or the Cultural Museum and you can visit either one or both.
    You can trek to Pan’s cave. It is a short moderate walk on well marked trails. On your way back we’ll learn the art of identifying and picking some of the local herbs and teas that fill the hillside and grow wild around the village.
    Today we’ll also learn the art of “opening filo” for tomorrow’s breakfast.
    Lunch of local flavors only helps open up the appetite. You will learn how to play kolitsina, xeri, cards and backgammon.
    Relax the evening away under the almost full moon

     

  5. Friday September 28 Acadia, Monemvassia

    Sadly, today we’ll have to leave our peaceful mountain retreat, but our journey south takes us back to the coast, and to the sea.

    Along the way, if time allows, we’ll stop to visit the Byzantine city of Mystras, just outside of Sparta.

    Arriving at Monemvassia, we’ll go back in time as we check into our home for the next three nights, a Byzantine estate called Kinsterna.

    This is a magical place, set on a hill overlooking the Aegean and Monemvasia, Greece’s “Gibraltar of the East.” It’s history is sordid; if the walls could tell stories, they’d have much to say of its life under Ottoman and Venetian rule. Luckily for us, the estate has been lovingly restored by its current Greek owners,  blending the old with the new. Each room is a unique reflection of the time from which the estate was in its prime, with the bonus of all of the modern comforts of a 5 star luxury mansion.

    The rooms whisper of history, with stone fireplaces and atmospheric balconies where residents of the age-old village once crushed grapes into wine.

    Kinsterna is also  spa. You’ll have the option of booking a massage, relaxing by the pool or taking a break in the hammam.

  6. Saturday September 29 Monemvassia

    Today, we’ll get to one of the reasons to visit Kinsterna in the autumn:  We’ll tour the vineyards, learn about the local varietal, the Malvasia grape, a product of designated orgin only to this area and only by a handful of producers in the area.

    By now you’ve noticed the vineyards. Kinsterna is known for its wine making, and perhaps we will be able to get our hands—or better yet, feet—a little dirty in the winemaking process. If we’re late for the grape harvest we won’t be late for the afterparty – that’s when the tsipouro making starts!

    Tsipouro is the Greek equivalent of Grappa. Kinsterna is well known for its Tsipouro, and you get to be a part of making it! At least, you get to be the Quality Control department by making sure that all the Tsipouro made during your shift tastes great. Not a bad outcome either way.

    Tonight,  dinner al fresco overlooking the cistern is what every meal in our lives should be. Relaxing, innovative, imaginative, made with the products that are all around us. Yes, all those herb and vegetable gardens surrounding Kinsterna are used in their everyday cooking.

    One more time—did I mention the sunset?

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tower villa

Beautiful villa and naxos

This tour starts at the Athens airport

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