The 2017 ICAEF Culinary Learning Journey
GREECE AND ITS ISLANDS
An ICAEF Culinary Learning Journey
8 nights - September 23 – October 1, 2017
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DAYS 1, 2 & 3 – Welcome to Athens
Arrive at the Athens Airport (ATH) and meet the group. We’ve arranged a private transfer to one of the most impressive hotels in Athens, the Athens Hilton with incredible views of the Parthenon. After checking in, we head out immediately for a casual luncheon of Greek street food. After lunch we’ll take a quick bus tour of Athens – then stop to watch the changing of the guards in Syntagma Square. Dinner this night will be on the balcony of Kuzina in Monastiraki. Just a reminder, Greeks eat dinner rather late, by American standards... and if we arrive at 9 pm, we’ll be the first patrons in the restaurant. The restaurants pick up at 10 pm – and are wildly busy by 11 pm. (Plan on sleeping when you get home.)
The next two days we’ll have guided walking and boat tours of Athens – including the famous food markets, a visit to the Acropolis – with a visit to the Parthenon and several other historic areas of the city. We’ll be eating traditional pies, grilled octopus and market fare for lunch – and having lavish dinners including one at
Varoulko in Pareaus. After dinner one night, we’ll stop at an Ouzeria in the hot, hot, hot Gazi district of Athens. Bar hopping is a national pastime in Athens.
DAYS 4 and 5 – Thessaloniki
Many people say that while Athens is historical and beautiful, Thessaloniki is the real Greece. Here in the northern part of the country, (a short plane-ride from Athens) we’re going to visit a 14th century monastery, where the monks run an organic farm. This monastery is tucked high into this very mountainous region of Greece. Here we will visit the nearby caves – and even forage for the food for one of our meals. (Yes, there will be some mountain hiking as part of this day… so bring your rugged gear.)
This past winter, Vicky Crease, while on her site visit to the monastery, did some produce shopping to show us some samples of what products the monastery grows. While we will be visiting the monastery in the day, our nights will be spent on the seaport of Thessaloniki, which is a bustling, modern city – and the second largest city in Greece. In fact, many Greeks refer to it as the “second capital”. It is the capital of Greek Macedonia. This is a part of Greece, that will be completely foreign to us – even if you have spent time in Greece before, most likely, you will not have visited Thessaloniki.
DAYS 6, 7, 8 & 9 - The Islands of Greece Today is the day we start to visit the Greece of dreams. Greece is made up of between 1,200 and 6,000 islands – depending on how large a “rock in the water” it needs to be before you consider it an island. Of that, only about 200 are inhabited on a regular basis. Many of the islands are private sanctuaries that have remained in the hands of individual families for centuries.
While we suggested you bring your rock-climbing shoes for day 4, today you’ll need your boating shoes – because for the next few days we’ll be island hopping through the Cyclades island chain.
For the next three nights we will be on the island of SANTORINI, pictured to the right. Santorini is a unique and special island, not only because of its natural black sand beaches and the famous sunsets over the caldera, but also for the fabulous resorts dotting this volcanic island.
Dinner one evening will be in Oia, watching the legendary sunset. (Reserve the table pictured above, ahead of time. LOL)
We’ll be visiting a wine “farm” and have a cooking lesson at the famous Selene Restaurant. We’ll even take a cable car to the summit of the island. Day 7 is being spent “yachting” around Santorini. Several other island excursions (including a fishing component) are still in the planning stages as we go to print so please note that this itinerary is accurate at this time, but the producer reserves the right to make any changes she feels will enhance the trip or make it more enjoyable for all involved. This itinerary is merely a guide – and should not be used as an hour by hour schedule of our actual travels. Those of you have attended former CLJ’s know that flexibility is the key here!
On Day 9, we will return you to Athens for your flight home.
Questions? Contact Corinne Dudine