Eat your way across Greece on this 16-day tour of Athens, the Peloponnese peninsula, and the Cyclades islands. Start your trip with a welcome dinner in the capital before heading to Nafplio to explore the region's agriculture and visit three local vineyards. Then, it's time for a trip to the islands, where you can try some of the favorite foods and drinks of Tinos, Mykonos, and Naxos and learn to prepare your own versions of beloved dishes.


  • Become a shepherd for the day at a farm outside of Nafplio
  • Pick your own olives if you visit during harvesting season
  • Sit down for dinner with a local family in a traditional Mykonos house
  • Taste five different cheeses made on the island of Naxos
  • End your trip with a cooking class in Greece's capital, Athens

Brief Itinerary

Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive in Athens, Welcome Dinner Athens
Day 2 Visit the Archaeological Site of Mycenae & the Coastal City of Nafplio Nafplio
Day 3 Become a Shepherd for a Day, Sample Local Delights Nafplio
Day 4 Sip Local Wines from Three Vineyards Around Nemea Nafplio
Day 5 Visit a Local Farm to Learn About & Harvest Olives Nafplio
Day 6 Ferry to Tinos, Explore the Cycladic Island at Your Own Pace Tinos
Day 7 Learn How to Cook Traditional Tinian Dishes Tinos
Day 8 Explore the Sanctuary of Poseidon, Visit Three Art & History Museums Tinos
Day 9 Ferry to Mykonos, Relax on the Beach or Wander the Island on Your Own Mykonos
Day 10 Enjoy a Free Morning, Sit Down for Dinner on a Local Farm Mykonos
Day 11 Half-Day Tour of the Mykonos Countryside Mykonos
Day 12 Ferry to Naxos, Climb Mount Zas or Visit the Portara on Your Own Naxos
Day 13 Food Tour Around the Island, Visit the Venetian Castle of Naxos Naxos
Day 14 Visit the Mountainous Village of Apiranthos Naxos
Day 15 Fly to Athens, Afternoon Cooking Class Athens
Day 16 Depart Athens  

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive in Athens, Welcome Dinner

Spend your first evening in Greece enjoying a glass of wine overlooking the iconic Acropolis of Athens

Welcome to the vibrant capital of Greece, Athens! Meet your driver outside the airport and transfer to your hotel. After settling in, the day is yours to spend as you wish. A good place to start is Syntagma Square to watch the Changing of the Guard ceremony in front of the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. Then, visit the National Archaeological Museum for a crash course in ancient iconography. Be sure to seek out the room housing the Antikythera mechanism, essentially an ancient astronomical computer. If you want to shop, visit the Monastiraki Flea Market and navigate the narrow alleys lined with stalls.

Finding the perfect souvenir here shouldn't be hard, as there's a wide range of handmade goods, quirky collectibles, and traditional Greek artifacts. Spend the rest of the afternoon exploring the Acropolis, perched atop a hill overlooking the city. Climb to the top and enter through Propylaea, the monumental gateway, to discover the ruins of towering columns, ancient temples, and intricate sculptures. In the evening, you'll sit down to enjoy either a welcome dinner with views of the Acropolis or wine tasting in a bar in the downtown core.

Day 2: Visit the Archaeological Site of Mycenae & the Coastal City of Nafplio

The Lion Gate
Step through the iconic Lion Gate to enter the Archaeological Site of Mycenae

Step back in time today with a 1.5-hour transfer to the Archaeological Site of Mycenae, which you may recognize from its role in Homer's "Iliad." This was the home of Helen, whose Mycenaean husband Menelaus and his brother King Agamemnon led their people to war when she left him for Paris of Troy. Enter at the iconic Lion Gate and wander past the tombs of Aegisthus and Clytemnestra and the Treasury of Atreus. See the Cyclopean walls, whose construction method is still a mystery. They got their name due in part to the belief that only the mythical Cyclops would have been strong enough to lift their boulders.

In the afternoon, head 25 minutes to Nafplio, a coastal city on the Peloponnese peninsula once believed to have been founded by the son of Poseidon. Stroll through the Old Town, where you'll pass statues honoring significant figures from Nafplio's history, Ottoman fountains, and Venetian architecture along the winding streets, topped off by the Bourtzi Castle in the middle of the harbor. Don't miss the climb up 1,000 steps to see the view from Palamidi Castle. Then, spend a relaxing evening exploring the quiet streets or walking along the waterfront before settling into your new hotel in the city.

Day 3: Become a Shepherd for a Day, Sample Local Delights

Since Nafplio is so close to the sea, it's the perfect place to try grilled octopus

Get a taste of a simpler life by becoming a shepherd for the day on this guided experience. Venture into the countryside to visit a local farm, stopping at some area highlights on the way, such as the Ancient Theater of Epidaurus or the Sanctuary of Asklepios. Once you arrive at the farm, meet both its owners and its more diminutive residents. Immerse yourself in the experience by milking the cows and goats and playing the shepherd's flute to call their flock.

Chat with the owners over coffee and dessert to learn more about their day-to-day life and the history of their farm. Finish with a tour of the nearby area, where you'll learn about Greek herbs and other plants and animals before returning to the city. In the evening, visit a local taverna to try gkogkes, a traditional regional pasta that's shaped like a seashell and most frequently topped with local cheese and hot oil, or sample fresh octopus from the nearby sea, which you can enjoy grilled or marinated.

Day 4: Sip Local Wines from Three Vineyards Around Nemea

Fruit of the vines
Visit three wineries around Nemea and learn about the meticulous winemaking process

Spend your day among the vineyards of Nemea, one of the country's most important wine-producing areas. The village is known for its agiorgitiko wine, believed to have been first grown from a vine brought by the god Dionysus. These grapes, which are similar to merlot, are considered to be one of the finest Greek red varietals and have grown in the region for thousands of years—possibly since the fourth century BCE. The ancient red wine called fliasion was also believed to be produced in this area.

Visit three wineries in the area to observe the winemaking process, stroll through the vineyards and, of course, sample the varietals along the way. You can also enjoy a lunch of local cuisine with wine pairings at one of the vineyards. If you find yourself fondly remembering any particular bottles later that you wish you'd purchased, the local cooperative also operates an outlet where many of the wines are available for you to take home.

Day 5: Visit a Local Farm to Learn About & Harvest Olives

A favorite in all seasons
Spend the day wandering an olive grove and harvesting this delicious fruit

Greece has been enjoying the benefits of olives and olive oil for centuries, and today, you can take part in this revered culinary tradition. Begin after breakfast with a transfer to a rural village roughly 5 miles (8 km) outside of Nafplio. Visit the local owners to see how the olive oil-making process works and learn about each of the meticulous steps. Then, meet some of the farm's animal inhabitants with a sheep-milking session.

Visit the olive groves themselves next, enjoying a picnic underneath the shade of the trees and lunch in a family-owned taverna. If you arrive in the harvest season, you can really immerse yourself in the experience by picking olives alongside the workers. Head back to town in the late afternoon, where you'll have a new appreciation for your dinner's fresh ingredients. Top off the day by buying a bottle of wine in a local shop to take back to your hotel—you're in one of the most notable wine areas of Greece, after all. 

Day 6: Ferry to Tinos, Explore the Cycladic Island at Your Own Pace

Ascend the grand staircase to the Holy Church of the Virgin Mary Evangelistria

Leave mainland Greece behind today as you jump on a 1.5-hour ferry to Tinos, one of the most overlooked islands of the Cyclades. Tinos has remained under the radar for many years, overshadowed by its celebrity neighbor, Mykonos, and seen mainly as a religious destination. Those who continue to believe that, however, are missing out on an island with a fascinating history and culture, winding streets, great outdoor activities, and glittering beaches. When you arrive, spend a free day exploring the island on your own.

A good place to start is the imposing Holy Church of the Virgin Mary Evangelistria, as Tinos is also known as the island of the Virgin Mary. Its icon is believed to have healing powers, and the annual August pilgrimage is a key part of the island's identity as churchgoers crawl on their knees toward the temple as a sign of piety. If a pilgrimage isn't quite your scene, there are also nearly 80 windmills to be explored, hiking up Exomvourgo mountain, and beaches for any mood. In the evening, try craft beer from Nissos Brewery or sample local cheeses from a family-owned shop.

Day 7: Learn How to Cook Traditional Tinian Dishes

Sample rich local cheeses and cured meats to end your culinary tour of Tinos

Skip breakfast this morning, as today's culinary adventure is a cooking class. Start with a visit to an aromatic garden, where you can harvest the fresh ingredients you need. Then, head to the kitchen to learn the stories of some Greek recipes and cook them yourself with expert instruction. Enjoy the fruits of your labor al fresco as you consume your creations under the surrounding trees and arched alleyways, accompanied by local wines and the scent of the herb garden. Spend your evening in the Old Town and take advantage of the many cafés and tavernas along the seaside.

Complete your culinary education on the island by trying iouza, a cured pork that's been refined by Tinians over years of practice. Pair that with rich volaki cheese balls or kariki cheese aged within pumpkin skins, similar to a Stilton or Roquefort. See if the menus offer fourtalia, a fresh Cycladic dish similar to an omelet made with fresh local eggs, sausage, and potatoes, or dishes made out of the signature Tinian artichokes. Complement your meal with a glass of crisp, light Tinian wine or Nissos beer brewed right on the island.

Day 8: Explore the Sanctuary of Poseidon, Visit Three Art & History Museums

Browse the collection of paintings, sculptures, and other creations in the Museum of Tinian Artists

Get to know the history, art, and archaeology of Tinos with today's guided tour, starting at the Sanctuary of Poseidon. One of the ancient world's most important sanctuaries to the sea god, this was also a shared space to worship Amphitrite, the eldest of the Nereids and queen of the sea. Next up is the Archaeological Museum of Tinos, where you can find a collection of sculptures, pottery, and artifacts that provide insights into the island's religious and artistic history. Continue to the Museum of Tinian Artists to explore the styles and influences that have shaped the island's art through different periods.

Plan your trip to Greece
Chat with a local specialist who can help organize your trip.

Tinos is the homeland of renowned marble carving artists, such as Gyzis, Lytras, Chalepas, Filippotis, and Sochos, who have been the last famous names to have held the baton of the ancient marble-carving tradition. According to legends, the famous sculptor of the ancient times, Fidias, had taught the secrets of his art to the locals. So, your tour continues at the home-turned-museum of one of the most famous of those sculptors, Yannoulis Chalepas. In the afternoon, wander the streets of the Old Town, passing small bridges, fountains, churches, old homes, and the famous painted Tinian dovecotes.

Day 9: Ferry to Mykonos, Relax on the Beach or Wander the Island on Your Own

Enjoy a free day in Mykonos on one of the pristine beaches around the island

Say goodbye to Tinos this morning as you head to the port to catch a 35-minute ferry to Mykonos, one of the most famous islands in the Cyclades group, known for its glitzy restaurants, vibrant nightlife, and eclectic art scene. Meet your driver at the port and transfer to your hotel, where you can refresh before venturing out to explore the area on your own. If you want to relax, wander to one of the many pristine beaches around the island, like the remote Agios Sostis or the more upscale Psarou.

No matter which beach you choose, you can spend the day soaking up the sun and swimming in the crystal-clear waters. Those who want to explore can enjoy a stroll through Little Venice instead, an 18th-century neighborhood where colorful former captains' mansions and seaside restaurants seem to sprout straight from the sea. It's also right next to the famous hillside windmills for great photo ops. In the evening, visit the Old Town for dinner and a drink at one of the many restaurants or bars. Start with kopanisti, a spicy cheese spread, then enjoy any entree made with Mykonian saffron, like a risotto.

Day 10: Enjoy a Free Morning, Sit Down for Dinner on a Local Farm

Stop at a bakery to try delicious deep-fried doughnuts called loukoumades

The morning is yours to explore, so you can relax on the beach or visit a local bakery to try baked goods like bougatsa (a cheese or custard-filled pastry) or loukoumades (deep-fried doughnuts). Those who want to learn more about the region's history can take a 45-minute ferry to the Archaeological Site of Delos. Wander through the foundations of former traders' mansions, temples, and landmarks, such as the Terrace of the Lions. Before you return to Mykonos, visit the island's museum, where many of the smaller artifacts and frescoes have been moved to protect them from the elements.

In the afternoon, pay a visit to a local farm, where you can talk to the caretakers and learn about their day-to-day lives. Discover how vegetables are grown on the island and how livestock is raised. You can even say hi to the animals or feed them. As the sun begins to set, sit down for a traditional dinner in a local Mykonian household, where you can experience the traditional Greek way of life, culture, and cooking. Listen to all the stories of the island's culture and history, as well as the family's own history, over authentic dishes and free-flowing local wine.

Day 11: Half-Day Tour of the Mykonos Countryside

Start your tour of Mykonos by enjoying panoramic views of the island and surrounding sea

Sneak away from the cosmopolitan side of the island this morning to discover Mykonos' authentic heart, touring charming villages, little harbors, and remote beaches with your expert guide. Start with a panoramic viewpoint of the old town to capture the perfect 360-degree shot. Then, head to the Port of Agios Ioannis, a protected harbor where fishing boats now launch. Hear the stories of its namesake saint, then visit a church dedicated to him and the cell he was held in that are now home to an annual festival. 

Next, go through the island's agricultural and livestock country, past cultivated fields and grazing animals. Explore a farm in Ano Mera with its superintendent, where you have the opportunity to help out with some farm work or meet the animals. After working up an appetite, sit down for a light lunch with products grown right there in the fields. When you're done eating, the colorful village square awaits, including a monastery tour and a stroll through the open-air market.

From there, the beaches of Kalo Livadi, Kalafati, and Aghia Anna all await your camera lens as you pass them on your way to learn about the island's history at the site of former mines, which were used to extract lignite from the island's soil. Wrap your tour up on the picturesque narrow streets of Mau, home to the Mykonos Dam. The evening is yours to spend as you wish, whether you want to relax by the sea, while away the hours with a sundowner in Little Venice, or enjoy a fresh seafood dinner at one of the beachfront restaurants along Ornos Beach.

Day 12: Ferry to Naxos, Climb Mount Zas or Visit the Portara on Your Own

Visit the iconic Portara, the only part of the Temple of Apollo that's still standing

Today, you head to your last island on the tour, Naxos, the largest of the Cyclades group. Meet your driver at the port after the one-hour ferry ride, then transfer to your hotel, where you can refresh before venturing out to explore the area on your own. If you want an active adventure, you can hike up to the summit of Mount Zas, the mythological birthplace of the ruler of the gods, Zeus, and the highest point in the Cyclades. If you start in the picturesque village of Danakos, it's a moderate 4-mile (6.5 km) trek to the top, where you can enjoy panoramic views of the island and the glittering Aegean Sea.

Those who want to delve into the island's history can stroll to the Portara instead, the still-standing entrance to the Temple of Apollo. Construction on the temple began in the sixth century BCE but was never finished. You can find it on the islet of Palatia, just over a causeway from the heart of the Old Town. For dinner, wander uphill through the streets of the Kastro neighborhood to pick out your favorite of the area's tavernas, where you can sample a variety of dishes made from local potatoes (the island's unique soil and climate help produce delicious varieties of this beloved vegetable).

Day 13: Food Tour Around the Island, Visit the Venetian Castle of Naxos

Wander through the 13th-century Venetian Castle of Naxos

As the largest island in the Cyclades, Naxos is home to a wide range of agriculture in addition to its tourist industry. Its western farms boast lush soil perfect for growing fresh produce, and its mountainous areas are full of olive groves that provide the staples of Greek cooking. Follow your guide through the Old Town's winding lanes to sample some of the products from those fields, including five different Naxian cheeses along with kitron, a traditional liqueur distilled on the island. You may also stop at a candy shop to learn about confectionary production or visit a wine shop to taste Greek varietals.

Then, continue on a historic tour of the Venetian Castle of Naxos. Enter at the imposing Gate of Saint George and discover the sturdy walls and towering battlements within. Don't miss the prominent Glezos Tower, where you can enjoy panoramic views of the city and the crystal-clear sea. After exploring the castle, spend the evening wandering around the surrounding old Venetian town and put your newfound culinary knowledge to use in one of the many tavernas on the hillside. For great views over the town and the neighboring district of Paros, check out 1739 Terrasse Cafe.

Day 14: Visit the Mountainous Village of Apiranthos

Wander the pedestrian-only streets of Apiranthos, nestled at the foot of the Fanari Mountain

Today, you have an opportunity to travel to the village of Apiranthos. This fantastical spot is situated at the foot of Fanari, the island's third-highest peak. Also known as the Marble Village, its winding streets and traditional architecture have been nearly untouched since the days of the Venetians, as has its language, as the local dialect is believed to contain both ancient Greek and Byzantine elements. Most of the village can only be accessed on foot, so you can wander the pedestrian-only streets and soak in a slower pace of life, stopping for a cup of Greek coffee on the way.

Follow the village's winding pathways that crawl up and down the mountainside to enjoy panoramic views of the lush landscape. Don't miss a visit to the nearby Agia Kyriaki Church, located within hiking distance on the outskirts of the village. This former Byzantine church is best known for the remnants of its historic murals. If you're looking for a break from Greek food in the evening, the seasonal Mexican restaurant Picasso, sitting on Plaka's beach, has been drawing loyal visitors with its fresh fajitas and margaritas for more than 20 summers.

Day 15: Fly to Athens, Afternoon Cooking Class

Sit down on the rooftop to enjoy the fruits of your labor overlooking the city

After breakfast, head to the airport to catch a 45-minute flight back to Athens. Meet your driver outside the airport to transfer to your hotel in the city. Once you've settled in, spend your afternoon acquiring some take-home skills with a cooking class. Visit a contemporary multi-use space, home to four shops in one—a coffee house, pie shop, creamery, and kitchenette—and the perfect setting for your lesson. Discover local ingredients and products from around Greece and experiment with traditional recipes to create your own twist on the classics.

When it's all done, savor the fruits of your labor on the rooftop while taking in views of the Acropolis and surrounding Plaka neighborhood. The evening is yours to spend as you wish, whether you want to sneak in some last-minute souvenir shopping at the Monastiraki Flea Market or visit the wine bars of Koukaki for an end-of-trip toast. End the night with a sweet treat of baklava (a dessert made with layers of phyllo pastry, nuts, and honey) or galaktoboureko (a pastry made with layers of phyllo dough and a sweet semolina custard).

Day 16: Depart Athens

Try a delicious Greek snack of koulouri before your flight home today

After spending 16 days eating your way across Athens, Nafplio, and the Cyclades islands, your culinary adventure comes to a close today. If you have some time before your flight, you can explore more of the city on your own. Revisit Syntagma Square to sample the best of what the city's street food stalls have to offer, like a classic souvlaki skewer or koulouri, a round bread covered in sesame seeds. Just keep an eye on the clock so you can return to the hotel to meet your driver and transfer to the airport in time for your flight home. Safe travels!

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Map of Cyclades & Peloponnese Culinary Heritage - 16 Days
Map of Cyclades & Peloponnese Culinary Heritage - 16 Days