Greece is not an industrial country. The locals live off tourism and agriculture. This is, among other things, a direct result of its climate. The many hours of sunshine and the fantastic beaches attract lots of visitors every year. The mild Mediterranean climate and the partly, quite humid winters ensure ideal conditions for agriculture. In addition to agriculture and livestock, olive and fruit cultivation, new possibilities have been discovered, such as the sale of truffles. Come on a journey through the fertile north of the country and discover water buffaloes, visit a truffle farm, a kiwifruit orchard and some family run wine cellars, heaven for the palate on this trip.
Day 1 Arrival in Thessaloniki
On arrival at the airport in Thessaloniki, “meet and greet” by your guide followed by a short city tour. Onward transfer to your hotel. Check in, dinner and overnight with breakfast.
Day 2 Thessaloniki and Surroundings
Today you will start with the American Farm School just outside the city. Here you will explore the fruit orchards, the olive plantations and the dairy. Continue to the winery “Gerosvasiliou” in Epanomi. On three sides, the sea flanks the slopes, where besides the vineyards a variety of olive trees thrive. After an introduction to the mysteries of Greek wine production and a tour in the private museum, you will enjoy your first wine tasting before returning to Thessaloniki. It is the second largest city in Greece, the “gate” to the east, and the capital of the province of Macedonia. Remains from Byzantine and Roman times reflect the more than 2000-year history of the city. The extensive centre is partially surrounded by metre-high walls of the Byzantine period. From the Acropolis it goes down through the old town to the lively centre. On the way you will visit the church of Demetrios. In the city centre you will be amazed by the lively shopping streets and countless cafes that will entice you in. Dinner and overnight stay with breakfast.
Day 3 Nature paradise Kerkini
Today you will make your way to Kerkini. In 2006 the lake, its many adjoining mountain and for- est regions were declared an official National Park. Here you will really experience the region up close. You will meet the legendary water buffalos of Kerkini, still half “wild” today and watch them dive into the world of the waterfowl whilst discovering how they were domesticated by the inhabitants. The lake “Kerkini” is known for its large colonies of different species of pelicans, and above all a natural Greek paradise. Visit a small, regional aquarium that houses the 32 species of fish native to the lake. Then ride along the coastline beside the lake to the dam. On a small, asphalted road, you pass the water buffaloes in their pastures, which are kept semi- domesticated, and you will pass countless resting places of the different kinds of water-birds. Next is a visit to a cheese factory where buffalo milk is processed into a regional specialty. This cheese is similar in shape to the typical Feta cheese – you should definitely taste it! Today you will learn all about the everyday life of buffalos and the fishermen of the region and try the typical regional buffalo cheese. Return to your hotel for dinner and an overnight stay.
Day 4 Homemade treats
On this day you will visit a small family business “Marianna’s Vine Leaves”, where vine leaves are predominantly produced, packaged and exported around the world. After a guided tour, you will take a break to taste the delicacies prepared here. Afterwards drive to Katerini to check in at your hotel. Dinner and overnight stay with breakfast.
Day 5 Truffles, herbs and kiwis on the Mount Olympus
Today your day begins with a highlight! You visit a truffle farm and go on a truffle hunt with a trained forester and his dog. The truffle is – like every native fruit of the earth – naturally organic and was known in ancient Greece. It was said that this precious delicacy arose from the lightning that Zeus threw on the earth. Truffles, as food of the gods, were dedicated to the goddess Aphrodite, because of her ability to stimulate the libido. In addition to its aphrodisiac properties, the truffle also has therapeutic benefits in muscle and joint pain relief (due to its rich potassium) and has a cholesterol lowering effect due to pantothenic acid. After the truffle search, lunch together on the farm. Then visit the “Fructus Olympo Farm”. Did you know that Kiwis are cultivated in Greece? Near the farm you will visit kiwi fields and learn a lot about the world of herbs and fruits of Olympus. Of course you will also get to try them. Re- turn to the hotel with dinner and overnight stay.
Day 6 Vergina and winery „Dalamaras
Today your path takes you to Vergina first. Here the archaeologist Manos Andronikos discovered an intact tomb, in the autumn of 1977 in which the Macedonian king Philip II, father of Alexander the Great, was buried. The ashes of the dead lay in a cloth wrapped in an almost 8-pound gold shrine, the lid of which adorns a six-pointed star. However, the real attraction of Vergina is the tumulus with the royal tomb of Philipp II. After the sightseeing you drive to the Dalamaras winery near Naoussa, a picturesque setting between the vineyards. The family business has been around since 1840. During your tour and lunch with wine tasting, you will learn a lot about the cultivation and production of the popular grape. Return to your hotel with dinner and overnight stay.
Day 7 Monastery Timios Prodromos
Today you start your journey south to Larissa, to the Timios Prodromos monastery. It is situated at 1,100 meters above sea level and is home to several nuns from different countries. They pro- duce fruit and vegetables in a sustainable manner and market them all over the country. Do not miss the opportunity to talk with the nuns during the tour and get a lot of interesting information about today’s life in the monastery. Afterwards enjoy a lunch at a typical Greek taverna near the monastery before returning to the hotel. Why not spend your last afternoon in Greece at the beach in Katerini or let yourself be pampered in the ho- tel Spa? Dinner and overnight stay with breakfast.
Day 8 Departure
Today you will leave beautiful Greece. Transfer to Thessaloniki airport and return flight.
- 7 nights half board as per the programme
- Modern, air-conditioned coach
- All entrance fees as per the programme
- 6 lunches as per the programme
- All wine and product samples as per the programme
- Boat ticket Kerkini
- Licensed guide throughout