Culinary Journey to Syros, Greece
$5,800 pp** | May 19-25, 2019 | Just Added!
Located in the heart of the Cyclades islands in the Aegean Sea and under four hours by ferry, this beautiful island is truly unique. Its rich history, azure water, gorgeous beaches, delicious food, and amazing architecture are just the beginning of this incredible adventure!
The island of Syros has a tremendously rich history dating back thousands of years before Christ and was once considered one of the most important ports in the Eastern Mediterranean. In fact, it became such a major trading center that the island’s capitol, Hermoupolis was named after Hermes, the God of Trade. This rich past is evidenced by the luxurious mansions, neoclassical buildings, museums, marble paved streets and beautiful tree-lined squares.
Influences from around the Mediterranean have also enhanced Syros’ cuisine. With spicy flavors from across the sea, velvety notes from the Venetians and traditional dishes from mainland Greece, Syros has created its own unique cuisine. We’ll cook and taste our way across the island using it’s fabulous vegetables, fragrant herbs, bountiful seafood, honey, renowned cheeses and expertly-crafted sausages. We’ll visit local markets, eat at tavernas and enjoy some of the best Greek wines!
And the best part? Syros is still a well-kept secret and never seems to get as crowded as its neighboring islands, yet it buzzes with life year-round and showcases the best of everyday Greek life. This is going to be an unbelievable trip and I can't wait to take you there!
** Price based on double occupancy, single supplement applies for solo travelers. Airfare not included. Deposit of $2,000.00 per person required to secure a spot.
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Syros, Greece Cooking Classes
Together with my friend Elias, who was born on the island, we’ll venture just up the road from Klini Beach to his family’s private villa, where a well-equipped and spacious kitchen provides the setting for our hands-on cooking classes. Wait until you see the views from the balcony there! Whether we’re making classic dishes like moussaka, pastitso, skordalia and spanakopita or interesting local specialties like grilled cuttlefish and pasta with local sausages, we’ll enjoy the results dining together with delicious Greek wines.
Oh, and in addition to cooking together, we’ll be sure to visit local tavernas to enjoy juicy souvlaki and the best mezé appetizers such as louza, the cured pork tenderloin that's marinated in red wine together with allspice, cinnamon, peppercorns, and cloves before air-dried to perfection.
Syros, Greece Accommodations
Our home for this journey is the Syros Inn, a sparkling blue and white gem located in the enchanting village of Galissa nestled on the hillside of a cove at the western end of Syros. Just a few miles from Hermoupolis and the Port of Syros, this is the perfect place to take in all that this special island has to offer.
This newly renovated complex features classic Cycladic architecture and well-appointed rooms, complete with hair dryers, internet, balconies and more. Its perch overlooking the Aegean offers a great spot to take in the magnificent sea air and just a few minutes walk brings us to Galissas Beach and its crystal blue waters for a refreshing dip!
Since we will be well situated so close to great taverns, shops, as well as a beautiful beach, you can enjoy free time exploring all that this village has to offer. Surrounded by sugary-white houses with flowered gardens, white walls, blue-domed churches and paved paths, this place is quintessentially a Greek dream come true.
Syros, Greece Day Trips
We'll be sure to head to local food markets in Hermoupolis, where we’ll sample loukoumi sweets and other island delicacies like the aromatic sausages spiked with fennel called "marathies". Then, we might just need to walk over to Parou Street and have a snack or lunch at a small women’s cooperative where local island women serve home cooked Greek dishes each day.
For cheese, we’ll go beyond feta, venturing out to find the Cyclades famous spicy, soft cheese called kopanisti, as well as Saint Michali, an aged cheese that's produced exclusively in the island of Syros. Made from locally raised cow’s milk collected on the island, San Michali has a rich flavor of hazelnuts and crumbles like parmesan. It's heavenly!
These cheeses work so well with ouzo, or tsipouro, so of course we have to see how it’s made here on the island. Similar to the Italian grappa, tsipouro is made every autumn following the grape harvest. After the grapes are pressed to produce wine, there are “leftovers” in the wine press. The crushed grape skins, seeds, pulp and stems are then distilled to produce a strong spirit that will warm your heart.
The island is well known for its sweets such as halvadopita, a lovely nougat with almonds sandwiched inside heavenly melt-in-your-mouth wafers, and loukoumia, a jellied sweet flavored with pistachio and rosewater, so we'll have to see how they're made!
Since there are over 600 acres of olive trees growing on this small island, we may visit an olive mill for an olive oil tasting. And just when we think we can’t fit in one more bite, we’ll take a hike to find capers and learn the art of preserving them from the island women!
Syros, Greece Culinary Trip Details
We recommend flying into Athens and arriving to Greece at least one day in advance of this tour. Not only does this give you some time to adjust to the time difference, it provides you with more time to explore. On the first day of your journey, head to the port in Piraeus (about a 20 minute taxi ride outside of Athens) to meet the group and catch the early evening ferry to the island of Syros. On the final day of your tour, plan on taking the ferry back to Piraeus after lunch. Group transfers to and from the Inn to the ferry port in Syros are included in the cost of the tour and details are coming soon. Private transfers can be arranged at an additional cost.
A non-refundable deposit of $2,000.00 US per person is required to register for this journey. See the Terms and Conditions link above for details. We highly recommend purchasing trip insurance. Single supplement charge applies for solo travelers. Accommodations, cooking classes, excursions and day trips, wine and tastings and meals (with the exclusion of one) are included. Airfare is not included in the package price. Final payments are made by personal check or money order only.