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Τρίτη, 18 Μαρτίου 2014

CRETE: crete-join-the-cretans-daily-life

Porto Club travel services provides this unique vacation adventure of food, wine and cooking class in Crete at exclusive and beautiful properties, private villas, farmhouses and residences selected for their location and charm. Program includes excursions to both well-known and undiscovered areas including outside markets and vineyards that are rich in culture and connected to the local people. This food and culture program take you into the life of Cretan people and their passion for food and wine. Every cooking and food experience is an adventure for the eyes, ears, nose, palate and soul.

Get to know Crete a unique way,
Her mountains, her villages, her cuisine and best of all her inhabitants.
We offer you the means and the experience, our knowledge and connections and our love for the country we are living in.
Hotel Veneto: Located in the heart of the Venetian Old Town of Rethymnon. Old Venetian mansion that dates back to the 15thcentury. Renovated with respect to the style and architecture of the initial building, offering to guests the chance to appreciate its every corner, to relax in its romantic atmosphere, to travel in time and to enjoy the present.The 14th century building of Veneto is only a three-minute walking distance from the commercial area, as well as from the seafront and the numerous nightclubs. It is an elegant building, which has been carefully and attractively restored to become an exclusive hotel providing six studios and four suites, ready to take you to the charm of yesterday and offer you the comforts of today. In hotels cellar you can find a great variety of over 150 selected labels of carefully preserved Greek wine. Combine a wine experience with the proper side dish for each label, offered in a unique atmosphere of a 700 year old Venetian garden.  The result will certainly satisfy to the fullest all gastronomic, aesthetic, acoustic or other expectations guests might have. In the restaurant, all types of special events can be organized, such as weddings, dinners, galas etc.
Restaurant-wine cellar:
On the ground floor and garden yard of the hotel you can enjoy Cretan, Greek and creative cuisine in one of the most famous restaurants in Crete.The organisation of the restaurant is supervised by the owner himself, who is a member of the Academy of Wine and Taste. The ingredients used are strictly selected, as much as possible, from Cretan land. Most of them are products of biological agriculture and free grazing. Also on the ground floor there is a stone cellar with a standard temperature of 18-20 degrees,guests can find some of the most carefully and remarkable wine collections, selected wines from the Cretan, Greek and national vineries.

Clientele: Many famous people from the sports, arts, business, as well as politics have occasionally stayed in our hotel, which is generally no publicized out of discretion and respect to their wishes. 
Suggested dishes:
Stuffed lamb roll in vine leaves  
Stuffed squids with cheese and mushrooms
Apple with honey cooked in the oven
Baby goat with stamnagathi (Cichorium Soinisum)
Koukouvagia (Rusk with fresh tomato, feta cheese & oregano)
Fresh fish and sea foods
8 days / 7 nights
Price per person / double occupancy
8 days | 7 nights
$4.680 (For One Person, Single Occupancy based on 1person)
$3.788 (For One Person, Double Occupancy based on 2people)
$3.364 (For One Person, Triple Occupancy based on  3people)
$2.775 (For One Person, Double Occupancy based on 4people)
Availability: Year Round Based on Your Availability
Price include:
Accommodation: 7 nights hotel accommodation at the Veneto exclusive suites - historic 4**** boutique hotel /double occupancy at exclusive suite / half board bases (breakfast + dinner)
Transportation: Airport / hotel day of arrival and hotel / airport day of departure
Tours: 7 days chartered vehicle with English speaking driver known the culture of Crete for all the drives / tours / visits of the island
Meals: 7 breakfasts, 7 lunches on selected spots during the cultural drives, 7 dinners at the hotel with Cretan, Greek & creative tastes  satisfying guests gastronomic desires, in a place whose 700 years of history will take you, to another dimension full of scents, images of the past, to an uplift of senses.
Drinks:Table bottle water, soft drinks, every 2 persons one bottle of local wine during the meal
Cooking class and wine tasting: 1 day hands on cooking class and wine tasting
Do not include:
Entrance fees at archaeological / historical sites – guiding – tips, anything not mentioned above or bellow

Day 1.
Arrival the airport of Heraklion. Reception at the airport.
Upon arrival at the airport of Heraklion you will be met by your personal English speaking driver. If you’re arriving in the morning you’ll head somewhere for lunch to Cretan traditional Mediterranean meal with a variety of dishes, and then later driven west to the Veneto exclusive suites.
For guests arriving after lunch, your driver will meet you at the airport and offer you a snack and water for the 70 minute transfer to the hotel. Check into your room, relax and explore your surroundings before joining your dinner made up of a variety of local Cretan foods – your first taster of the flavors ofCrete (Dinner)

Day 2.
Western Crete: Region of Chania Departure at 9.00 AM westwards west direction Chania. A scenic city that combines the strong traditional colour of living history with the virtues of a modern city. The traces of all the cultures and nations dominated and ruled the city in the pass are more than evident as the city is a living museum where architectural styles and cultural attitudes have been harmonically blended together. Arrival Chania. Join a visit the town market of Chania dating back to the 1900’s is a cross-shaped gallery that houses over 65 food stores, presenting fresh fruits, vegetables, meat, dairy products, breads, legumes and anything else you may want such as cafés, restaurants and shopping and walk the old city of Chania for an hour. We lunch at the old harbour of Chania with variety of local specialties. After lunch we drive back to our village. Break at the village of Georgioupolis where we buy and taste the famous bread of Georgioupolis made same method since last 150 years. Unique smoked taste. Back our village late afternoon. Dinner at the hotels  restaurant with variety of specialties (Breakfast – Lunch – Dinner)

Day 3.
Western Crete: The city of Rethymnon and the waters of Argyroupolis Start at 10 AM. We do a slow drive through the vineyards and small villages of the region and first break the city of Rethymnon. The capital city of the region. It bares traces of the many different periods of its long history. Beautiful fine, sandy beach surrounds the city. During the Venetian occupation the city was considered to be the commercial and cultural center of Crete. The traditional character of the city is by the fact that Byzantine churches stand alongside of the Turkish minaret and characteristic stone Venetians buildings. Visitor can visit the castle of Forteza built on the hill top that overlooks the city, Lotzia the today’s archaeological museum, the Rimondi fountain, the remains of the Venetian fortifications and a number of residences characteristic the Venetian architectural style. Walk the narrow streets with the hundreds small tourist shops. Visit an old 16th century monastery and end at the waters of Argyroupolis where we lunch with variety of Cretan specialties and a variety of grills. Bback to the hotel and rest of the day spend the afternoon exploring the city of Rrethymnon.  Dinner at the hotels restaurant. (breakfast – lunch – dinner)

Day 4.
South central Crete: Monastery of Arkadi, the palace of Phaestos / Matala and Kokkinos Pyrgos Combination of culture / food and history. First break at the historic monastery of Arkadi.
During the Turkish occupation because of its strategic location the monastery become a major revolutionary center that played an important in all the revolutionary movements that took place on the island of Crete. During the 1886 revolution the monastery came under siege by a Turkish force consisting of 15.000 men. After days of continuous fighting the Turkish forces entered the compound. The defenders of the compound withdrew in the building of the powder magazine and in order not to be captured, the fuses of the magazine and committed the ultimate sacrifices killing at the same time numerous enemies who were entering the monastery’s main yard. After these tragic events Arkadi become the symbol of the struggle against oppression. The visit to the monastery is a mystifying and extremely elevating experience.Ending the visit drive west and the palace of Phaestos the second most significant archaeological site of the Minoan civilization. Phaestos is located at the southern region of the prefecture of Heraklion in the valley of Messaras. The site of the ancient city is very impressive and the palace compound, although not as extensively restored as the compound of Knossos, offers a detailed insight of the everyday life of such a historically remote period. According to mythology the king of Phaestos was Rodamanthis brother of king Minos of Knossos, and superior judge of the underworld. Continue driving to visit Gortys, ruined capital city of Roman province that included not only Crete but also much of North Africa. Including an impressive theatre, the Basilica of St. Titus the eponymous saint converted the island to Christianity and was the first bishop, the Odeon and the Law code. Next stop the beach and caves of Matala has by far the best-known beach in Heraklion province. These are believed to be ancient tombs first used by Romans or early Christians to more recently inhabit by a sizeable hippie community. Modern artists as Bob Dylan, Cat Stevens, and Joni Mitchell, who mentions Matala in her song “Carey”. Lunch will be in the fishing village of Kokkinos Pyrgos at the sea front restaurant of Kokkinos Pyrgos consisting of fresh sea food and fresh local greens specialties. Back to the village later in the afternoon. Dinner at the hotel.(Breakfast – Lunch – Dinner)

Day 5.
Mountain tour of Central Crete. St. Iakinthos, the forgotten monastery of Halepa and the village of Drossia.
Start at 9 AM direction the mount Nida (Psiloritis). First break the mountain unique small stoned church of St Iakinthos (Orthodox Saint Valentine) build by the well known famous song writer and singer Loudovikos of Anogia. Down the hill direction Anogia. Here you find best quality of cheese Kefalotyri & Kefalogryere. Break for a cup of coffee. Next, the village of Axos and go on direction the small village of Drossia known at the local people with the Turkish name GENI-GAVE. Brake for lunch at the finest little restaurant on the island ofYiannis Petoussis known as Tsangaris (shoe maker). Tastes authentic, natural, and indescribable. After lunch visits the two monasteries of HALEPA and VOSSAKOS. We will have the pleasure to visit a forgotten treasure – a small almost collapsed forgotten small 15th century church with beautiful wall paintings / frescoes. Drive to the hotel afternoon. Dinner at the hotel.(Breakfast - Lunch – Dinner)

Day 6.
The palace of Knossos / city of Heraklion / Doxa and Marathos
Today we visit the palace of Knossos. When visiting the island of Cretesomeone must see the ancient palace of Knossos, built 3.500 years ago. Walk the centre of Heraklion city, break for lunch at a small mezedopolion at the heart of Heraklion with a variety of dishes. After lunch drive north west to a place 20 km far from the city of Heraklion; Beautiful virgin nature is perfect pasture for bees. Old traditional bee-keeping methods ensure ecological, clean and free from any additives honey and other bee products.First honey of the season is collected from spring thyme blossoms This golden yellow honey is perfect source of nature’s ingredients. We do a short hike and reach the place the bees located. Later walk down a small local café / restaurant run by the owners since 1949. The owners (two brothers) have been beekeepers since all their lifetime taking the business from their father, Therefore, we taste honeycombs straight from the beehive and learn everything about bees and beekeeping as well as having a kind of pancakes we call them –tiganites – deep in honey and small cheese pies with honey in company with local wine and the Cretan snap – Raki -. You will definitely feel the positive effect to your body and soul. A visit to a women cooperative at the near village of Marathos where they make the very special – unique art pastry small and bigger round breads – we call them XOMPLIASTO KOULOURI
– and drive back to the manor.  Back our hotel  late afternoon. Dinner at the hotel. (Breakfast – Lunch – Dinner
Day 7
City of Rethymno and cooking class: Last day and will join the courses Veneto restaurant organizes, of three to five sessions to present modern and creative Greek gastronomy.
The courses include:
Short lectures on Greek cuisine, raw materials, wine, olive oil, etc.
Practice on cooking, and preparation of Greek food specialties
Practice on food and wine tasting
Lectures and practice on how to combine food with the proper wine

Day 8.
Transportation to the airport for the flight back home

         PORTO CLUB Travel services: 28, Efodou street, 71303 HERAKLION – CRETE – GREECE.
Contact: Tel: 0030 2815 002754 – 0030 2810 317358 Fax: 0030 2815 002754

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