All you want is Greece!

For general information about traveling to Greece please see

https://travel.gov.gr/#/ and also https://greecehealthfirst.gr/

About the Epidemiological situation in Greece please see the map

https://covid19.gov.gr/covid-map-en/

Greece: Gastronomy & Wine routes

Food has long been an intrinsic part of Greek culture life and family traditions.
Nowadays Greeks are still making their own wine, traditional cheeses, cured meats, handcrafted marmalades, fresh yoghurt, “raki”, “Ouzo”, wood-fired bread and even artisan pasta in myriad shapes and flavours.

Athens Gastronomy. Photo: GNTO, K. Kouzouni
Athens Gastronomy. Photo: GNTO, K. Kouzouni
Ouzo and sardines Photo: GNTO, F.Baltatzis
Ouzo and sardines Photo: GNTO, F.Baltatzis

By travelling through the back-roads of the Greek countryside, visitors can face a dazzling assortment of delicacies. Small, independent, honest producers compose an informal network of small-scale farmers, monastic communities, women’s cooperatives and small industries where tradition and technology coexist in harmony.

Olives and Olive oil

Olive oil is undoubtedly one of the essential ingredients used in the Greek cookery, next to wine and wheat, and it feels naturally that Greece is the world leader in extra virgin olive oil production.

Messinia, the land of the olive

Some of the earliest traces of the olive and its oil have been uncovered in Messinia, Peloponnese Region. Ancient amphorae that have been unearthed at Ancient Pylos are painted with images depicting the harvesting of the olive fruit, olive oil storages and plaques with Linear B ideograms of the olive tree and its oil. This proves that Messinia is one of the oldest homes of the olive tree.

Messinia Olives. Photo: GNTO, archive
Messinia Olives. Photo: GNTO, archive

Visit the Olive Museums across the country and get acquainted with the history of the olive tree and its widespread cultivation in the Mediterranean basin, learn about the paramountimportance of olive oil in a healthy diet and its connection to Greek culture.

Lesvos

Island’s olive trees are cultivated principally by families who own small plots usually forming cooperatives with rules regarding picking and production to ensure fine quality. In the old municipal olive press of Agia Paraskevi you can find the Museum of Industrial Olive-Oil Production, where you can get acquainted with the industrial production of olive oil in Greece.

Olive tree. Photo: GNTO, archive
Olive tree. Photo: GNTO, archive

The quality of the Cretan olive oil is known all over the world!

Medical studies in Europe and America reveal that olive oil not only protects the heart but also helps the function of the intestine and many other organs or acts beneficially in a large number of diseases. It reduces cholesterol, it has antioxidant action and protects from cancers, helps the function of the liver, it is ideal for the nutrition of people suffering from diabetes and much more! There are also many sorts of edible olives with salt or vinegar that accompany a shot of “tsikoudia” or a glass of wine.

See more: Crete

Milos, sweet surprises everywhere

Cakes sweetened with honey are still found all over the Greek islands, especially at Easter. Some honey-topped sweets are very common all around the country and are supposed to be some kind of national tradition. Among them – fried doughnut, called loukoumades, baklava and honey pies (Diples) For instance, you can taste the delicious watermelon pie [karpouzopita], made with watermelon, honey and sesame seeds, on Milos Island.

Diples (Honey Pies) Photo: GNTO/H. Karahouras
Diples (Honey Pies) Photo: GNTO/H. Karahouras

Cheese

Besides the famous feta, Greece has a slew of wonderful cheeses. Many regions and islands, and often a single village, have their own indigenous varieties.

Feta Cheese Photo: GNTO/F. Baltazis
Feta Cheese Photo: GNTO/F. Baltazis

Crete, the home of cooking traditions

The local cheese list is quite impressive, but on the top you will find the popular Cretan graviera, a type of hard cheese. It ranges from sweet, when young, to nutty and resonant, when aged. Legends say that graviera is part of the wellness and long-life ratio causes of the islanders.

Variety of cheeses. Photo: GNTO, V. Merakos
Variety of cheeses. Photo: GNTO, V. Merakos
Crete, Rethymno, simmered snails Photo: GNTO/E.Fili
Crete, Rethymno, simmered snails Photo: GNTO/E.Fili

Wine routes

There are selected routes for visitors to follow and you are welcome to taste local wines paired with traditional appetizers and titbits.

Attica

According to legend, Dionysos first entrusted the residents of Attica with the secrets for the cultivation of the grapes and the art of winemaking. Megara, Spata, Paiania, Coropi, Markopoulo, Pallini, Pikermi, Anavyssos, Kalyvia, Kouvaras, Stamata, Oinoi and Oinofita remain to this day the most representative wine-producing sites in Attica.

Athens. Photo: GNTO, K. Kouzouni
Athens. Photo: GNTO, K. Kouzouni

Peloponnese

In the wine country of the Peloponnese, it’s always best to get off the beaten track to discover the “gold” of the land. Spreading across splendid scenery amidst famous archaeological sites and hillside villages, large and small wineries with superb wines, provide the ideal ambience for “oenotourists” to enjoy the various nuances of wine.

Nemea

Nemea is one of the most popular destinations in the Peloponnese, a significant winemaking region that is of great archaeological interest, too. It is located 41km SW of Corinth and it is surrounded by fertile plains that have contributed to the area’s well-being with their yields for many a century. This is where you will find the largest single vineyard in Greece producing wines that are renowned the world over.

Red wine grapes Photo GNTO Archive
Red wine grapes Photo GNTO Archive

Samos

If you wish to please your palate, the best opportunity to taste all varieties of Samos Muscat is the wine festival organized during the first ten days of August at Vathy, where you only buy one glass and refill it as many times as you like – or can handle. Samos wine has its own history.

See more: Samos wines & Museum

Crete

Modern wineries in Crete have made use of the traditional varieties of grapes and the centuries-long experience. They do not forget, for example, that the oldest, wine-press, more than 3.500 years old, was found in Crete, in Archanes. This tradition is combined with knowledge and technology. The Cretan wine-makers have broadened their knowledge on the new developments and the preferences of the consumers.
Wine production areas: Archanes, Peza, Monofatsi, Sitia, Kydonia and Kissamos.

Greece
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