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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 José Andrés’ restaurant Zaytinya 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 cities of Nafplion and Sparti — 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. Call us at (617) 896-4875​, or email us at Travel@OldwaysPT.org

 

Day-by-Day in Greece

 

Sunday, May 12, 2024

After arrival in Athens Airport, we’ll arrange for you to arrive in Nafplion, in order to check in at our Nafplion hotels – the  Amphitryon Hotel and the Nafplia Palace Villas.  

We’ll get together for an early evening welcome meeting at the hotel in the Amimoni Restaurant, where you’ll have a chance to meet the chefs and your fellow travelers.  We’ll also enjoy a Peloponnese wine tasting and dinner, overlooking the port and Medieval Bourzi island-fortress.

 

 

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Monday, May 13, 2024

After a guided tour of the charming village of Nafplion, the first capital of Greece—we’ll visit the Folk Museum which has the best Greek costume exhibit, giving a glimpse into the history of Greece.

Then we’ll head to Nemea (with a box lunch snack) for a wine tasting at the well-respected Gaia winery and a late lunch/early dinner at the wonderful local restaurant, Sofos, in Nemea.  

Although you will most likely be full from the late lunch/early dinner, the evening is free one — to explore the lovely city, shop and dine.

 

Tuesday, May 14, 2024

We’ll start the day with a visit to the spectacular ancient Epidaurus Theater and Sanctuary, just 30 minutes from Nafplion.  After the visit, we’ll return to Nafplion where you’ll have free time for lunch, shopping, relaxing, spa treatments or swimming before the evening’s event — our Chefs’ led cooking class and dinner.   

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Wednesday, May 15, 2024

After checking out of the Nafplion hotel, we’ll drive to the ancient city of Sparti, first visiting the stunning Olive Oil Museum and then settling in at En Chatipi, for a traditional lunch under the trees. 

 After lunch we’ll check into the Mystras Palace hotel, a resort/retreat set in an olive grove and under the castle of Mystras and Mount Parnoma, where you’ll have time to relax before we meet for an evening tasting.

Thursday, May 16, 2024

This is a pinch-me day!  Our day will start with a visit to the Byzantine site, Mystras.  After a guided visit we’ll drive one hour to Emelia agrotourism farm for an extended visit to the farm, with an innovative olive oil tasting, a cooking class with our chefs and the chef of Euemelia, and a spectacular late lunch, which you will most likely find serves as dinner.

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Friday, May 17, 2024

We’ll start with an early check out of the Mystras Palace, and drive directly to Athens so you have time to explore and learn in this spectacular city.  Our luggage will be taken to the Electra Palace Hotel and we’ll enjoy a light lunch and then walk a short distance to the spectacular Acropolis Museum for a guided tour.  We’ll walk a short distance back to the hotel after our tour, and you’ll have time to relax, swim, and nap before we head out for a guided Night Food & Wine Stroll – a great introduction to the exciting city of Athens. 

Saturday, May 18, 2024

For our last day, you’ll have a choice of morning activities – either  (1) Guided visit to the Acropolis  (2) Food Walking Tour or (3) Free time on your own. Your afternoon can be free. 

Our time will conclude with a Gala Dinner on the Electra Palace Rooftop, with a view of the lit-up 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 and Nafplia Palace Villas

The Nafplia Luxury Hotels group has offered us rooms at two of their hotels:  Amphitryon Hotel by the sea and the Nafplia Palace Villas, high above the port, looking out at the sea.  Rooms in both locations have sea views; the villas – both Deluxe and Premier – are upgraded rooms. See upgrade information below:

7 Deluxe Bungalows Sea View: 240 Euro for 3 nights total (single or double)

4 Premier Villas Sea View: 600 Euro for 3 nights total (single or double)

*Note—upgrades apply to the full stay, 3 nights. This is an additional fee that will be added to your final invoice.

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.

The Nafplia Palace Villas are lovely with terraces, high above the town (there is an elevator from the town), with spectacular views of the city and the port.  


Mystras Grand Place Hotel

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Nested on a hillside under the Byzantine historical site Mystras, the Mystras Grand Palace Hotel is a lovely respite.  The hotel rooms are beautifully designed and located throughout the grounds in a number of separate houses, surrounded by gardens and olive groves.  The resort offers two swimming pools, a spa, tennis courts, and a gym. See upgrade information below:

2 Executive Suites: 270 Euro for 2 nights total for double, 340 Euro for 2 nights total for single

2 Junior Suites: 210 Euro for 2 nights total for double, 280 Euro for 2 nights total for single

*Note—upgrades apply to the full stay, 2 nights. This is an additional fee that will be added to your final invoice.

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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, Zaytinya

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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 José Andrés Group, 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).  

Pricing & Tour Registration

Please download and complete the registration form below, which includes instructions for how to submit the form and deposit to Oldways.

Price per person from $5,305 per person

DOWNLOAD REGISTRATION FORM

If this trip must be cancelled due to Covid-19, refunds will be issued.

Prices are based on rates of exchange, taxes, and other costs as of the tour publication date. We reserve the right to correct errors and changes, and to increase program prices to cover increased costs, tariffs, and taxes received after prices are published and to reflect currency fluctuations.

Insurance

Medical Insurance

Oldways has procured medical and evacuation insurance for all Culinaria participants while traveling on one of our Culinarias with an Accident & Health policy from The Hartford.  Additionally, Hartford partners with International Medical Group (IMG), a leading global assistance provider, to give us 24/7 access to medical and travel assistance services anywhere in the world.  The policy also gives you as a Culinaria participant insurance for medical expenses, evacuation, and repatriation. 

Since 1990, IMG has offered travel assistance services and a global network of medical providers to millions of people in nearly every country around the world. Working across time zones and in different languages, IMG’s commitment to “Being There” provides end-to-end coordinated care – so you can feel secure while traveling. 

Please let us know if you need more information about the medical insurance.  

Travel Insurance

While we cannot offer travel insurance for the cost of the trip or your air travel, here are three widely used travel insurance companies:

Allianz

Travelex

Travel Guard by AIG