Kerkini Lake Expedition
Please join Katerina and Mary on a most memorable holiday in Kerkini, located in Western Macedonia, for the most exciting gastro and wine tour we have offered yet! We will hike and lunch in the woods, boat on Lake Kerkini, visit Fort Roupel, visit local farms and taste regional food and wines. We will even visit a local water buffalo breeder and meet a Pontian artist.
On day 1, we will depart Athens on a luxury coach to Dugos Estate in Tempi where wine producer, Mr. Thanos Dugos, will himself be waiting for us for a detailed tour as well as a wine tasting of three aromatic wines from his estate. We will then continue on our journey to Litochoro, the last stop before the climb to Mount Olympus. After enjoying the nature, we will then dine on a unique lunch, overlooking the home of the Olympian Gods at the awarded Restaurant Gastrodromio. Chef Andreas Gavis will be serving his delicacies and his famous mushrooms, all accompanied by Tyrnavos wines of Northern Greece. Later this evening we will arrive in Ano Poria, a picturesque village perched on the lush mountain of Belles, and settle into our hotel overlooking Lake Kerkini.
On our next day of this fabulous tour, after a hearty breakfast, we will start our day trip with a visit to the Monestary of the Honorable Saint Prodromos to get a taste of Mount Athos Monastic Architechture. After this, we visit Fort Roupel with its underground galleries and memories of resistance to German troops during World War II. From Fort Roupel, we will venture on to a traditional cottage industry of buffalo milk and learn all about its production. Walks you asked? Yes! We will talk on Mount Beles in a most unique forest of Beech, Oak, Alder and Cedar trees where we relax and picnic on hearty roasted sausages, kebabs and the famous kavourmas, all produced from water buffalo. The wine is chosen by the locality, the altitude and by what the food demands, so Red it is! They are all from Western Macedonia, famous for its scrumptious wines.
Our afternoon hike will take us to the streets of Ano Poria Village for a short tour. Our guide is our hotelier, Mr. Stelios Kalessis, who will explain to us the specificity of the area and its population. The day will end in a forest of plane trees at the local trout farm with a short presentation. We will have the opportunity to taste a delicious variety of ways they cook trout as well as other local cuisine at a nearby taverna. Taverna owner, Mr. George Theodorakelis, the lyricist of Kerkini’s Anastenarides, will explain the custom.
On the following day, after a breakfast of local produce, we will depart for our boating adventure on Lake Kerkini for a 1 1/2 hour tour. May is one of the months in this area for the most birds! We will enjoy flocks of pelicans, geese and herons. With experienced boatman, Mr. Vassilis Tselepis, we will boat through the reeds while he shares his knowledge of the lake, its birds and fish, as well the general management of the wetland. From there, we will visit the Kerkini Environmental Education Center for an update on the area’s ecosystem with the unique stories of Mr. Antonis Illiades. Continuing on our lake tour by coach, we will visit the local buffalo farm and enjoy the herds of buffalo by the river bed. From the farm, we will continue on and experience an amazing 100% natural Spirolina eco-friendly factory. We will visit the Byronia Border Station to sample its special appetizers accompanied by aniseed Tsiporou, an unnamed brandy famous in Greece, especially in this area.
After a rest in our hotel, we will depart for another lake tour to see the largest herds of rare buffalos in Greece reared by the locals for many years. From there, we make a short stop at the impressive Stimonas Dam in Lithotopos for a coffee or an ouzo.
Finally, after all of this excitement, our last visit of the day will be in the village of Kerkini for a very unique experience. Here we will witness the ancient custom of Anasthenaria unfolding before our eyes. Amidst devotions and mystery, at the light of day and with the icons of St. Constantine and St. Helen, the descendants of refugees from Bulgaria transcend the laws of nature by walking on hot coals. It is a sight to behold.
Leaving Kerkini behind on our last day of this amazing tour, we will cross by the “Butcher” of Rhodopolis for another taste of the buffalo meat and head to the village of Vathi, near Kilkis. There, at the Pontian Estate, Rayan, the producer will educate us on the treasure of this delicious and healthy nutrition and why it is passed on the future generations. After the tour of the estate, we will dine on their rich Pontian buffet, accompanied by more of the delicious Macedonian wine. Right after this epic meal, we will take the road back to beautiful Athens where we will arrive early evening.
After this amazing trip through Greece you will spend the night in Athens and the next morning travel by sea to the Island of Poros. You will be greeted with open arms and relax at the beautiful Odyssey Suites. There, you will be welcomed with a gorgeous Welcome Dinner in the lovely Bistro with scrumptious food and local wines. The next day you will be free to explore, maybe go for a swim, or just relax. There will be an amazing cooking workshop during your stay with the infamous Katerina.
People come from all over the world for this hands-on experience in Odyssey’s kitchen. On this evening, you will be served the food you have prepared by the staff and also provide the dinner menu for the other guests! Island hopping? Spetses is calling, a neighboring island of Poros, and you will be free to explore this island and its many attractions. Upon your return, Greek Night will be held where you will dine on a scrumptious menu of home cooked local food and wines and possibly kick up your heels with some Greek dancing! The following day it will be time to pack your bags, head to Athens, and enjoy your guided tour to the breathtaking Acropolis and her renowned museum. You will be free this last evening to explore your Athens.
What is included?
- 3 nights accommodation Athens
- 2 nights accommodation Kerkini
- 1 night accommodation Olympus Mountain
- 4 nights accommodation Odyssey Suites
- Lunches on Kerkini tour
- Lectures throughout this coach trip
- Wine tastings
- 9 dinners in total, that is including the dinner after the cooking class
- Daily Breakfast
- Transfers to Kerkini
- Environmental Education of Kerkini area
- Samplings of local trout
- Mount Olympus
- Pontian Estate Rayon
- Boating on Lake Kerkini with guide
- Dugos Estate
- Mount Athos
- Bird watching
- Transfer to Poros
- Welcome Dinner on Poros
- Cooking Workshop on Poros
- Trip to Spetses
- Greek Night at Odyssey with dinner
- Transfer to Athens hotel
- Visit to Acropolis and Museum
*May 20 - May 30 / 2020
*Dates provided are days of arrival and departure from Greece.
|$2749.00 per person - Single Supplement $625.00 per person|
Minimum of participants: 6 People.
Please refer to paragraph 10 in our terms and conditions about the minimum amount of persons that are required.
|A non-refundable deposit of $850 per person required to book due on or before January 31, 2020. ALL final payments are due on or before April 10, 2020.|
Book before January 1st and get $200 discount!
Bring 12 people and join us for free!
People returning get another $100 discount!