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Course Guide: Yiorgos Hadjidakis

The workshops cover a wide range of experiences:

Cookery lessons in an inspiring location with Mrs Koula

The cookery lessons take place in a unnique, building called ‘Fabrica' in the old neighbourhood of Vamos. An old olive press, with Venetian arches and big millstones, dated  1846, will heighten your "journey" into the aromas and tastes of the Traditional Cretan Cuisine!

All dishes are made of, pure Cretan products such as olive oil, vegetables, cheese, meat, wine, etc. All the ingredients are fresh and local. Useful information about the herbs, olive oil and other ingredients used, is given together with explanations about their nutritional value and ways of usage.

After cooking you will eat together on a long monastery-style table, enjoying the dishes you have created, with local wine and bread, Greek music and good conversation.

About Mrs Koula:

Author of the book “Foods of Crete” Mrs Koula, born and raised in a Cretan village, will share with you the knowledge that has been passed down through generations of her family.

A walking tour:

The village of Vamos and the Apokoronas area in general, is situated in a beautiful landscape with a combination of cultivated fields, green hills, and hidden gorges. You will be guided through 3 Metochia (country estates), identifying wild flowers, herbs and local flora as you go. A picnic lunch will be taken under a large oak tree. You will also visit the Chapel of Agios Andonia with its beautiful 15th century frescos. An information leaflet of the flowers and herbs that you have seen will be available to take away with you.

"The whole Mediterranean … the wine, the ideas … seems to ride in the sour pungent taste of those blackolives … A taste older than meat, older than wine. A taste as old as cold water."

Lawrence Durrell (1912-1990)

Visits to:

• An Olive Oil pressing factory where you will be given a demonstration of the process followed by an opportunity to taste the wonderful Cretan olive oil.

• A winery. Here Andreas, the owner, will give you a tour followed by a wine tasting, sampling quality Cretan wines (served with some traditional Mezes). Trained advisors will be on hand to answer your questions.

• A cheese shop to see the processes involved in making Cretan cheese. The factory also produces yoghurt and you will be able to sample the local speciality of yoghurt and honey.

• One of the areas most traditional tavernas. Set in a beautiful landscape, the taverna is very popular with local families and visitors alike. Before lunch, (included) Manolis, the owner, will demonstrate how to make one or two local dishes using seasonal ingredients. Manolis grows his own produce (organically) and keeps sheep and goats that provide the milk he needs to make cheeses etc.

What you will need:

Good walking shoes/sandals (you may well find yourself walking on roughtracks)

A camera

A torch (maybe required when walking back to your accommodation in the evening).

What is included:

A gastronomic experience in the Apokronas area of Western Crete

Meals as described

Transport during the workshop

Gift of olive oil, tsikoudia and a CD of Greek music & dancing


About Yiorgos:

Yiorgos was born in Athens (1961) and studied Mathematics at the University of Athens. He has taught Mathematics for the past 18 years. In 1988 he returned, with his family, to their roots in Vamos a place he feels he never wishes to leave.

Yiorgos feels a great  passion for Crete and in particular his local area. He is the Managing Director of the Tourist Agency of Vamos and was one of the founder members of the agro-tourism project for the preservation of Vamos village. He is also President of the fan club of Stelios Kazantzidis (legendary greek singer/songwriter) from Apokoronas and of the Vamos' Cultural Club.

As well as his native tongue, Yiorgos speaks fluent English and some German.

Yiorgos is married and has 3 children.

Crete Weather

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