Greek food is synonymous with delicious flavours and healthy living. Greeks are some of the oldest people in the world due to their diet and their penchant for lots of homegrown vegetables and not much meat. Learning about Greek food is not just fun but also a great way to introduce these delectable, and often easy, dishes at home especially if you learn how to cook some local dishes too. There are a number of excellent food tours and cooking classes in Greece and here we list our recommendations.
ATHENS CENTRAL MARKET
Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Athens
Athens Food on Foot
Anna is passionate about food and Athens and it shows on her walking food tours of the capital. Her Ultimate Food Tasting tour is much loved by everyone and she caters to all demographics including families with young children and people with special dietary requirements.
The Ultimate Food Tour has no more than 12 people and features more than 18 authentic culinary delights including pastries, olive oil, mezze, and lots more. The tour includes a visit to Varvekeios (Central) markets and the surrounding specialist providors.
The tour leaves daily from Monastiraki Square at 9:30 am and 13:45 pm.
Anna also conducts cooking classes in her own home twice a week, on Tuesdays and Saturdays at 8:30 am or 2:30 pm.
This is a very special experience as you will not just learn how to make some Greek classics like Mousaka or Gemista but you will also visit an authentic Athenian neighborhood and apartment and get an intimate feel for how locals live.
The course includes a visit to a small local market and a stroll through the suburb of Ampelokipoi, not far from the Ancient Centre.
Cooking Classes with Athens Foot on Foot
These are another of our preferred partners in Athens and they also conduct some great cooking classes as well.
They offer a ‘Cook like a Greek’ cooking lesson with a Chef which covers a traditional 4-course dinner. This experience lasts around 4 hours and is an intimate affair with no more than 6 people at a time. We think it’s very good value too!
Other Food Tours in Athens
There are a few other excellent food and wine tours in Athens. You can do wine tasking under the Acropolis with a local Sommelier, learn about the Strangest Food in Athens and even explore the area on an E-Bike if you’d prefer not to do so much walking.
If you have a little more time a day trip out to the excellent wineries in Nemea, which includes a visit to one of our favorite towns, Nafplio, the first capital of modern Greece.
Other Cooking classes in Athens
CookinAthens – offer a great 5-course class that lasts 3 hours and is paired with local wine for you to enjoy as you consume your efforts.
Kids Cooking Club – completely dedicated to children this space, located in Glyfada on the Athenian Riviera, was the first of its kind in Europe. Designed entirely for mini-chefs they offer classes for babies right through to teenagers as well as corporate and school programs.
Phyllo Making – learn the ancient art of making this delicate pastry that is used in so many Greek dishes. It includes how to make some of the most popular pies too.
Santorini Food Tours
There aren’t as many food tours on the islands as there are in Athens but several are very good, especially on Santorini, which has the widest range.
A half-day small group eat and walk tour is a great way to not only sample a bunch of local dishes and delicacies but also a fantastic way to explore a village on Santorini and gets to know about the locals and their culture.
Santorini has some of the best wineries in Greece and in fact in recent years, all of Europe. Their award-winning Assyrtiko has become incredibly popular and their wine-making techniques and terroir are very unique. Doing a small-group wine tasting and vineyard tour is a great way to spend half a day and it takes in 3 wineries and up to 15 different wines.
Santorini Cooking Classes
Santorini is one of the best places to do a food experience in Greece.
One of the highest-rating cooking classes in Santorini is this cooking class and wine-tasing tour run by Santorini Day Tours.
This 6-hour experience starts includes pick up and drop off from your hotel and a visit to two traditional wineries, where you will taste 8 wines including the award-winning Assyrtiko. Then you will learn how to cook some popular Greek dishes at a traditional taverna, which of course you get to eat at the end!
There are also a few restaurants that offer cooking classes which you can book direct. Check out Selene Restaurant, Petra Kouzina and Kokkalo.
Naxos Food tours ( and wine)
Naxos is famous for its food, particularly the cheese, potatoes, and honey.
There have been very few food offerings until quite recently which are becoming extremely popular.
Naxos cooking classes
Basiliko Tavern has long been considered the best place to do a cooking course in Naxos, if not the whole Cyclades. The half-day class takes place in a traditional tavern in a traditional interior village and covers some of the most popular Naxian cooking.
Other tavernas that have offered cooking classes in the past have been Vioma and Platia.
Paros Food Tours and Cooking Classes
Food-focused activities are thin on the ground on Paros and have only started operating in the past few years.
There is a very good cooking class held at a local cooking school that runs a 4-hour class that includes lunch ( that you make). They will pick you up and drop you back at your hotel and you’ll leave equipped with some great Parian recipes to try at home.
There is also a popular Airbnb Experience cooking in a local home ( although we are less enamored with these due to the lack of compliance and insurance implications). It is held in the southern town of Drios and involves preparing a 6-course meal,
Mykonos Wine and Food Tours
Being a very summer-focused and seasonal island Mykonos has a much smaller number of food-focused activities than Athens or Santorini. There are however a few new offerings that have started in the last year or two.
The Mykonian Spiti and Farm experience includes either lunch or dinner at a local home with matching local wines and a masterclass in local traditions and culture. You can also learn how to make Souvlaki (Gyros) – the famous ‘fast food’ of Greece!
You can also do a Cellar Door Tour at Mykonos Brewing Company which is especially popular with male visitors and something not offered on many islands.
Mykonos Cooking Classes
This is a fairly new activity to Mykonos but luckily visitors can now do a 6-hour class that includes a visit to a local farm, and the preparation of a variety of local dishes with local wine. Classes are held at either 10:00 am or 4:00 pm and include hotel pick up.
Crete Food Tours and Cooking Classes
In Chania we highly recommend the Hellenic Odyssey. Kelly is a Greek-Australian who runs cooking classes on Zoom and at her house in Melbourne and her mother runs on-the-ground food tours in Chania. These tours run daily from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and include numerous stops and tastings, including loukoumades ( Greek donuts) and a lunch at an authentic Cretan taverna. Be sure to use the code “GTS” to receive 10% off.
Also in the west you can do a semi-private full-day safari tour to Milia Mountain Retreat which includes wine tastings and lunch. This includes a visit to the Olive Tree Museum and an Olive mill, which is super interesting.
In Rethymnon, there is an excellent walking and gastronomy tour that visits a lot of the best places in the town for food and drinks, including a traditional Kafeneio. It also includes a visit to a Venetian mansion that is home to the oldest Phylo-making workshop of its kind, and lastly, a seaside taverna where you will sample the best of their menu.
Most people visit Heraklion to see Knossos Palace But there is quite a lot to see and do in the area, in fact, most of Crete’s best wineries are not far from here. Join a private wine-tasting and pottery tour that heads up into the mountains and learn all about the local wines and a traditional Cretan lunch. You can also follow in Anthony Bourdain’s footsteps and head to the mountains for truffle hunting, followed by a lesson on how to cook them.
Further reading: Things to do in Crete
Rhodes Food Tours
Rhodes has such a rich history and so much diversity that its food and wine offerings and both fascinating and delicious!
Popular tours include a full day of the island including wine tasting and lunch and an intimate session with a sommelier in a restaurant learning about 5 styles of Greek wine with mezze accompaniment.
You can also do a Rhodes Town night tour which includes dinner and a cruise which is heaps of fun.
Rhodes Cooking Classes
There are a couple of restaurants in Rhodes that sometimes offer cooking classes. They are The Little Greek Kitchen, Cook’s Club City Beach, and Casa Cook Rhodes.
There is also a great tour up to the village of Apollonia that includes a visit to an all-women agricultural co-op, a demonstration of how they make some of their local delicacies, and a visit to a local winery. This is followed by a hands-on cooking class with a local expert where you learn to make a number of local dishes including Dolmadakia.
Thessaloniki Food Tours and Cooking Classes
It’s no surprise that the ‘food capital’ of Greece has some fantastic food and drink-related tours and experiences.
Let’s Meet in Thessaloniki run a great 3-hour tour that includes a visit to the Kapani and Modiano markets and fascinating commentary that covers the local culture, architecture, and history as well as food. There is also a fun Ride & Bite Tour that covers an interesting itinerary on wheels.
Cooking classes tend to be word of mouth and places that usually conduct them include Mom’s Cooking, La Chef Levi, and Anmilos restaurant.
Cooking Classes in Greece – other destinations
A Vespa tour here is a fantastic way to explore the island as well as savor the flavors of Corfu and the Ionian Islands. You’ll stop in at two wineries, a distillery, and a folklore museum as well as enjoy a typical Corfiot lunch.
The island where ‘people never die’ is renowned worldwide for its food, which is believed to be a large part of the reason its residents are some of the oldest in the world. Ikaria is home to Diane Kochilas, a Greek-American Chef, TV Host, and Author who runs immersive cooking schools on the island each year from May to September.
Also on Ikaria, you can do a wine tasting tour at the best (and only) winery on the island and learn all about the winemaking techniques, with tastings.
There is very little on offer in the way of food-based activities on Milos, which is interesting as some of the best Greek food we have ever had was there. O’Hamos Taverna is one of the pioneers in farm-to-plate gastronomy in Greece, and they grow everything they use, including the pork, honey, oil, and eggs. You need to book in advance or expect to queue for some time.
The island has extraordinary geology and over seventy beaches, so it is very sea focused. Doing a sailing cruise around the island and particularly to Kleftiko Cove, is one of the most amazing days out you can have in Greece, and the full day cruises will provide a great meal, so you will get to experience some local food doing that.
The three-day event involves representatives from every island in the Cyclades who have a booth set up on the town square and cooks and chefs prepare dishes from their island. Visitors can taste the food and often get involved in the cooking process.
Entrance to the festival is free, but accommodations on Sifnos book out well in advance because of this event, so get in early!
This Saronic Island is famous for its pistachios, and there is a pistachio festival each year in September! You can also do a walking tour of Aegina Town with a local, which includes Meze tasting at several shops and a drink at a traditional taverna too.
Karaiskos Farm is an award-winning agritourism business located outside the city of Volos on the Mainland. The Farm is a popular spot for weddings and events, and every September it hosts the Peliongastronomy Festival, showcasing the incredible products of the region.
There are a range of activities you can do at the farm including a ‘Cook like a Local‘ experience where you learn traditional recipes and techniques from locals.
Nafplio & Nemea
If you are short on time, then perhaps consider a private one-day tour from Athens to the famous Nemea wine region or the overnight tour that includes lunch at a winery as well as several of the other highlights of the Argolis, including Nafplio, Mycenae, and Epidavros.
If you have a few days in Nafplio, then a private cycling tour around this beautiful city is a great way to explore, and it includes a number of food-tasting stops and a beach visit if weather permits.
For a hands-on cooking experience, Savor offers a great 3-hour experience that includes preparing local dishes with local products and matching Nemea wines.
Here you can eat your way around Kalamata with a local guide, taking in the local farmers’ market, various artisan and provider shops, and lunch at a traditional taverna. The tour takes half a day and makes nine stops around the town.
Kalamata is a fantastic place to base yourself to explore the Peloponnese, particularly Messinia and Mani. It has a small international airport, and there are a lot of amazing day trips that can be done.
When you dock at this port, most people head to Olympia on an expensive ship excursion, but a great alternative is a combination Olympia/Honey Farm/Beach/Winery Tour That is for up to 15 people in a luxury van. At Klio’s Honey Farm, you will be welcomed with platters of fruits, juice, and coffee, and at Magna Grecia Agriturismo, you will get to taste a range of local flavors, including olive oil and wine from the region.
Visit the ‘deli’ in the castle for a great tasting experience, including the local honey Mead, the excellent local olive oil recognized all over the world, and the unique local wines, including ‘Malvasia’ which they have been making since medieval times.
Monemvasia is an incredible and very unique destination and is one of the highlights of mainland Greece.