Meet Mani: the southernmost tip of continental Europe
Proposal : Athens - Southern Peloponnese (Mani)
Athens – Mycenae – Gerolimenas – Sparta – Areopolis – Nafplion - Athens
8 days - 7 nights (3 Athens - 4 Gerolimenas)
From Saturday to Saturday / May to late October (except August)
This itinerary with South Peloponnese as the destination combines browsing in classical Athens to the beauty of legendary Mani. It includes cooking classes and wine drinking, meals in traditional restaurants and meeting with local traditions, visiting archaeological sites (Athens, Mycenae, Sparta) and historic towns from ancient Greece to medieval Mani (Areopolis - Vathia) with the tower-houses and Byzantine churches.
Also it includes meeting and tasting the most precious commodity in the Mediterranean, olive oil, and many dives in the clear waters of Laconia with its picturesque bays and inaccessible caves where pirates of the Mediterranean found shelter, including Diros considered by many the finest floating cave in the world.
Accommodation: Tower in Gerolimenas (5 stars)
A few words about the hotel
In the heart of Mani, near the sea in a picturesque bay between the two legs of Mani, stands a historic hotel with Mani-style towers and arches, in a family house since 1875. The building is loaded with historical memories when from here the ships left filled with local produce to the ports of the Mediterranean. Indeed the files found in the building are a valuable material for a student of Mani history. In a yellowed by time page we read: "... 7,000 live quails shipped to the port of Marseille." All this valuable material took place at a site, especially designed for this purpose.
Now it enjoys the chance it deserves : it was renovated without losing its identity and transformed into a unique, charming hotel with all modern amenities. It provides beautiful rooms and suites overlooking the sea or the village, decorated with simple but high style.
Here you will enjoy quality service and excellent cuisine with traditional raw materials under the supervision of the famous Greek chef, Yiannis Baxevanis, while in the area cooking classes and tastings are organized.
Itinerary in detail
Saturday: Arrival at Athens airport "Eleftherios Venizelos". We receive and transfer you to the hotel in downtown Athens. Arrange your things in the room and get ready for an afternoon stroll in the historic center of Athens. At 17.30 wear comfortable shoes and come to walk away from the hustle and bustle, where Socrates taught and the ancient Athenians met to hear the great orators.
Later at 20.30 we will know Greek cuisine in a traditional tavern in the historic center. After lunch return to the hotel.
Sunday: After breakfast, departure at 9.00 to Peloponnese. At 11.00 arrival at Mycenae, browse the site.
At 14.00 stop for lunch and getting to know the local cuisine. Arrival at the hotel at 19.00 and welcome with traditional Greek treats. Then we settle in our rooms and dine at 8.30 at the hotel restaurant.
Monday: We have a traditional breakfast at the hotel at 9.00 and then we make a trip to Areopolis for shopping in the popular market and touring the medieval city (the city of God Mars). Then we will see one of the few remaining traditional wood-fired ovens in Greece. Here, apart from bread we will taste "lalangia" (local biscuits) and handmade cheese pie (many thin sheets of dough stuffed with feta cheese or cream cheese). Next come the unique caves of Diros, and then lunch in a traditional tavern.
We return to the hotel where we have free time till 18.00 concentrated on the first cooking class on "Basic Greek cuisine." Those not wishing to participate can dive into the sea or the swimming pool.
Dining at 20.30 we will taste the dishes you cooked and learn about the local wine.
Tuesday: After we have our breakfast at the hotel we will depart at 9.00 for Sparta, the capital of Laconia, where we will visit the Archaeological Museum and the Museum of Olive.
After completing the tour we will stop for lunch in a local tavern where we will taste the flavors of the Spartan cuisine.
Back to the hotel and until 18.00 we have free time for relaxing by the pool or swimming. At 18.30 we will do our second cooking class, entitled: "Greek sauces and appetizers." At 20.30 dinner and wine drinking in the restaurant.
Wednesday: After breakfast we will depart at 9.00 for a tour in Vathia, a traditional village full of tower-houses. Here the scenery refers to another era, the medieval one.
Next comes a visit to the monastery of Dekoulou. Founded by descendants of the Medici family of Florence emigrated to Greece. The location of the monastery is impressive in terms of view and in terms of physical cache. It is located between a castle with spectacular caves and endless sea that wets western Mani. To the north of the monastery the Caves of Jules Verne (which were used as observatories for pirates) are spread.
At 14.00 we will stop for lunch in a local restaurant and then return to the hotel. Those who wish can take a dip into the sea or the swimming pool. At 18.30 we will do the final cooking lesson with the subject: “Seasonal products and their application in the local cuisine”.
At 20.30 dinner with wine drinking at the hotel restaurant. Those who attended the cooking classes will be assigned patent certifications for courses on Greek cuisine.
Thursday: After breakfast we will depart at 9.00 to Nafplion. Arrival at 11.30, tour of the old town and at 13.30 lunch in a tavern in Nafplion. Arrival in Athens at 17.30. Arrange the hotel and rest.
At 19.00 we will go for a walk through the narrow streets of Plaka; dinner at 20.30 in a traditional grill house.
Friday: After breakfast at the hotel (to 9.00), we will tour the sacred rock of Acropolis. Then we will visit the new Acropolis Museum.
At 13.30 lunch near the Agora. Back at the hotel at 15.30 and rest.
At 17.30 we will browse the historic center to do some shopping in the old quarter of Psirri to know "rebetiko", a special musical flow with main instrument the bouzouki. You will make a farewell dinner with plenty of wine and live music.
Saturday: After breakfast at the hotel we will accompany you to the airport to take your flight.
- The schedule due to new data (weather conditions, national holidays, etc.) is likely to change and be adapted to the requirements of the program needed to be fully met.
- Hotel dinners are always based on Greek cuisine and enriched with dishes of local cuisine depending on the area we visit while, of course, we can try the dishes you cook.
- If you wish not to have your lunch in a tavern, a good proposal is to taste a fruit or traditional snacks eaten by the Greeks with the hands, such as cheese pies, plum cakes, “bougatsas” (cream pies), bread with cheese (feta or graviera), halva with olives and bread, etc. Buy them from the shops where sold and when you are hungry eat them on the beach (picnic at seaside).
- Drinking wine during the dinner at the hotel will include different kinds of wine, in order to learn as much as possible about the local varieties.
- If someone does not want to attend a cooking class, can relax by the pool and enjoy Greek treats such as coffee with biscuits/cakes or ouzo with meze.
- In all cooking classes a specific mention will be on herbs of Greek cuisine.
- If you wish to stay for more days than the program’s or you want to visit Mani earlier than the specific days of the program, please contact us to make a hotel reservation and advice you about the surcharge.
Prices 2013 - MANI
Classic room, double: Euro 1,730 per person
Supplement Single room: Euro 250 per person
The package includes:
- Seven nights in luxury Hotel.
- Four gourmet dinners at the hotel accompanied by special wines.
- Three cooking lessons.
- All the Mini Bus Tours.
- Visit of winery, which includes wine tasting and gourmet snacks.
- English speaking tour guide (or another guide speaking your native language, if you wish so)
- Transfer from and to the hotel and the airport
If you wish a Supplement Suite, you can e-mail us and we will inform you immediately about the possible extra cost.