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What You’ll Love About Your Week in the Peloponnese and Athens

Join us as we travel to Greece and explore the Peloponnese from north to south and conclude with two days in not-to-be-missed Athens.  The Peloponnese is a peninsula south of Athens, sometimes described as an Island within the mainland, surrounded by water and connected to the rest of Greece by two bridges.  “Fine wines, delicious food, and beautiful beaches abound. Add in history, mythology, and ancient castle towns, and a visit to the Peloponnese will help you understand why the origins of so many things in the Western world are attributed to Greece,” according to writer Rebecca Hall.  

Yes, the history, culture and cuisine are extraordinary, but the addition of the quartet of chef experts extraordinaire traveling with us to help you experience the food and culture of the Peloponnese make this an even more special experience.  Join Chef Michael Costa of Jose Andres’ restaurant Zaytina in Washington, DC and New York; Chef Cassie Piuma, Chef/Owner of Sarma in Somerville, MA, and Aglaia Kremezi and Costas Moraitis from the Island of Kea and the cooking school, Kea Artisanal for 7 nights and days of food, culture, history and learning. 

We’ll be staying in 2 hotels in the Peloponnese – in the charming towns of Nafplion and Gytheion — and we’ll conclude our week in Athens at the very elegant Electra Palace under the eye of the Acropolis.  While we’re in the Peloponnese, we’ll visit wineries, olive oil producers, historic sites, enjoy seaside restaurant and country tavernas as well as enjoy cooking classes and dinners with our chefs.  Once in Athens, we’ll experience the city’s nightlife, with an evening stroll and then a choice of activities for our last day.   

If you’ve always wanted to visit Greece, this is your trip.  

Registered Dietitians can earn continuing education credits.

Questions?  Please read our Travel FAQ here. To add your name to the waitlist, please call us at (617) 896-4861, or email us at Travel@OldwaysPT.org

 

Day-by-Day in Greece

 

Sunday, May 12, 2024

After arrival in Athens Airport, drive to Nafplion, to check in at Amphitryon Hotel. 

Early evening welcome meeting, with wine tasting at the hotel library/restaurant overlooking the port and Medieval Bourzi island-fortress.

 

 

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Monday, May 13, 2024

Visit the charming Folk Museum which has the best Greek costume exhibit.

Drive to Mycenae archaeological site.  After visiting the site and the museum, we’ll head to Nemea for wine tasting, at Gaia winery and a late lunch at Sofos restaurant in Nemea.  

The evening is free one — to explore the lovely city, shop and dine.

 

Tuesday, May 14, 2024

We’ll leave for Ligourio village to visit and explore the Melas olive groves where we will taste some of the famous local olive oils.  We’ll have a light lunch by the sea, and then we’ll visit the spectacular ancient Epidaurus Theater and Sanctuary.   We’ll return to Nafplion for the evening’s event — our Chefs’ led cooking class and dinner.   

 

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Wednesday, May 15, 2024

Check out of the Nafplion hotel and drive to Gytheion, stopping for lunch at Kastorio village, to see the beautiful area at the feet of Mount Taygetus, and taste the excellent trout and sturgeon products.  We’ll check in at Las Hotel, and you’ll be own your own to discover your favorite restaurant in Gytheion.  

Thursday, May 16, 2024

Our day will start by driving south to Gerolimenas through various Mani villages, stopping at Servobeakos pottery workshop.  We’ll enjoy lunch with seafood specialties in Limeni at TAKIS’ tavern.  We’ll return to Gytheion following a different road, stopping to walk through Vathia & Porto Kayo. The evening will conclude with a Chef-led Cooking Demo, and Sweets & Drinks on Las Hotel’s terrace. 

 

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Friday, May 17, 2024

We’ll start with an early check out of the Las Hotel and drive to Monemvasia.
After strolling through the Medieval castle town we go to Monemvasia Deli to taste various local products, and especially their Hydromeli or Melitokraso, the wine/drink they produce from honey.  Next we’ll go to EUMELIA agrotourism farm for a noontime lunch and a Mani olive oil tasting.  After lunch we’ll leave for Athens and check in at the Electra Palace Hotel.  We’ll begin our Athenian exploration with a Night Stroll with Food and Wine Tastings.  

Saturday, May 18, 2024

You’ll have a choice of morning activities – either to (1) Visit to the Acropolis and Acropolis Museum or (2) Food Walking Tour or (3) Free time on your own. 

Afternoon free time for shopping, exploring.  Our time will conclude with a Gala Dinner, looking up at the Acropolis.  

 

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Sunday, May 19, 2024

Optional added day or departure for home

 

See Your Beautiful Accommodations

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Amphitryon Hotel
Amphitryon Hotel is located on the coast at Nafplion, only 140km from Athens, in the Peloponnese region.  Nafplion is in the cradle of great culture and was the first capital of modern Greece following independence in the 1820’s.  Arriving at Nafplion one will experience the majestic view of the three castles – the symbols of the city – Palamidi, Bourtzi and Akronafplia.

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Las Hotel, Gytheion
A luxury hotel centrally located in historic city of Gytheion. The hotel includes a Roof Garden, pool and spa.  

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Electra Palace, Athens
An elegant hotel located in the Plaka district with a view of the Acropolis.  We’ve been staying here for more than 20 years, and are always happy to return.  The Acropolis is on view whether you are swimming in the rooftop pool or enjoying dinner in the dining room.  

Meet the Chefs & Experts You’ll Be Traveling With

Michael Costa, Concept Chef, Zaytina

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As the Concept Chef of Zaytinya, together with Chef José Andrés, Chef Costa offers an innovative mezze menu inspired by Turkish, Greek and Lebanese cuisines served up in a sleek and modern setting. Chef Costa oversees the Washington, D.C. location and the Dallas, Texas location. Previously, he held the Head Chef position at Zaytinya in Washington, D.C. Throughout his time at  Zaytinya, Chef Costa has cultivated and deepened relationships with local farmers and producers like Anson Mills and Jamison Lamb. Since Chef Costa’s start, the restaurant has earned two three-star reviews from the Washington Post, was named #9 restaurant in DC by The Washingtonian, and was awarded a Bib Gourmand in the first Michelin Guide. Building on Chef Costa and José’s deep knowledge of Mediterranean cooking and years of research and travel, the menu features shared small plates of authentic and innovative fare, creative cocktails, and unique Mediterranean wines, making Zaytinya one of the most exciting restaurants in Washington, D.C.

Prior to his career with ThinkFoodGroup, Chef Costa attended culinary school in Dallas and studied under the school’s founder, Costas Katsigris, a Greek native and a mentor who inspired Chef Costa’s love for Greek and Mediterranean flavors. Next, he worked for Chef Kent Rathbun at Abacus in Dallas. From Dallas, Costa moved to Washington, D.C., where he worked as a Private Dining Chef at Citronelle under award-winning chef Michel Richard before moving to the Michelin-starred restaurant, Michel Rostang, in Paris to work as Chef de Partie. Once back in the U.S., Michael took an executive chef position at Pazo in Baltimore, Maryland, where he was nominated for “Chef of the Year” by the Maryland Restaurant Association in 2010.

Cassie Piuma, Chef/Owner, Sarma

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Cassie is a native of Duxbury, Massachusetts. She graduated from Johnson & Wales University where she met her husband and now business partner, Matthew Piuma. She honed her culinary skills at the acclaimed Al Forno in Providence, Rhode Island, and then moved back to Boston in 2002, where she worked at the French bistro, Sel de la Terre, and as a sausage maker for Barbara Lynch at the Butcher Shop. She spent the next 11 years with James Beard Award winning chef Ana Sortun at Oleana, learning the nuances of Middle Eastern cooking and working her way up the ranks. In 2013, Cassie opened her dream restaurant, Sarma, in Somerville where she cooks her version of modern Middle Eastern meze in a casual, upbeat, neighborhood setting. She was a James Beard Nominee for Best Chef: Northeast in 2015, 2016, 2017, 2019 and 2020. 

Aglaia Kremezi & Costas Moraitis

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Aglaia has changed her life and her profession many times over. She currently writes about food in Greek, European and American magazines, publishes books about Greek and Mediterranean cooking in the US and in Greece, and teaches cooking to small groups of travelers who visit Kea. She is a consultant at the José Andrés group Zaytinya restaurants in Washington DC and New York City.

Costas studied English in Athens and Vermont, and continued with Biblical Studies at Yale. He returned to Greece to pursue an academic career, and taught for several years. The summer of 2001, Costas, Aglaia and their two dogs, Popie and Melech, loaded their small SUV and left their Athens flat with an armchair tied to the car’s roof. They embarked on vacation to their newly constructed summer house on the island of Kea. They never returned to the city…

Read about Aglaia’s thoughts on “the key to Greek Cuisine” here.

 

Flights

Travelers book flights independently. Fly into and out of Athens International Airport (ATH).  

Registration

Email us at travel@oldwayspt.org that you are interested, so that we can send you the registration form and pricing. We should have this information by March/April 2023.