Raw organic red saffron
Raw organic red saffron

Food Holidays

THESSALONIKI - Saffron secrets and sublime seafood in Greece’s second city

Second city in terms of population perhaps, but Thessaloniki stands alone in terms of its Greek gastronomic credentials. ‘Salonica’ is at the heart of an exceptional food-producing region, with farms producing the best saffron in the world and some of the best olive oil, vineyards in the shadow of Mount Olympus using indigenous grape varieties and a blend of the ancient and ultramodern to put Greece on the wine map, and the bountiful Aegean Sea yielding seafood of sublime quality. Explore millennia of history and colourful culture along with the cuisine on this lovely short break, and perhaps you will come to agree that ‘no-one will be without a homeland as long as Salonica exists’.

What's included?

  •  Flights
  •  Accommodation
  •  Meals - as per the itinerary
  •  Expert guide
  •  All tastings in the itinerary

Today's Price

Deposit: £250 Single supplement: £110

Tour highlights:

  • Tasting at Yanni’s, one of Europe’s foremost olive oil producers
  • Absorb the sights and scents of Modiano, the city’s open food market
  • A Greek culinary masterclass at LaChef Levi
  • Learn the secrets of the world’s most expensive ingredient at a saffron farm
  • Appreciate the versatility of the red pepper at a beautiful farm
  • Wine tasting at the highly renowned Gerovassiliou estate

Tour details

Dates 2 November 2020 - 6 November 2020
Duration 5 days
Today's Price
Deposit: £250 Single supplement: £110 Balance due by 10 August 2020
Tour code G02A20

Book Now or call 01453 823328 if you have any questions

2 November 2020: Itinerary

We fly from London to Thessaloniki this morning, arriving early afternoon. Our first foodie visit is to Yanni’s, a husband and wife team specialising in early-harvest extra virgin olive oil, renowned as one of Europe’s finest. We appreciate the timeless beauty of the groves, watch the production process and taste the gold-green oil. We check in at our centrally located hotel and enjoy a dinner of Greek specialities at a local restaurant (included).

Meals include: Dinner

Hotel: Centrally located hotel

Just a few minutes’ walk from our hotel is the historic open food market Modiano, where tiny tavernas and bars are dotted among glorious displays of fresh fish, richly fragrant spices and coffee, glistening olives, and sun-blushed fruit and vegetables. Armed with this primer on Greek ingredients, we continue to a cookery class at LaChef Levi, Greece’s first private chef school, for expert guidance on creating the perfect starter, main and dessert – all local favourites. We settle down with a glass of wine to enjoy our own culinary inventions for lunch.

Thessaloniki has a wonderful history dating back to the days of Philip of Macedon and his son Alexander the Great, and a host of sites in the heart of the city attest to this great heritage. On a brief walking tour, we view some of Thessaloniki’s grand monuments and learn a little of its place in the ancient world. With bearings found, the evening is at leisure to choose your own restaurant for dinner.

Meals include: Breakfast, Lunch

Hotel: Centrally located hotel

Greek saffron is acclaimed as the best in the world for its flavour, aroma and colour, and Kozani (a couple of hours from Thessaloniki) is the perfect place to pay homage to this most expensive of ingredients. In Greek mythology, Crocus was a companion of Hermes, tragically killed in a game of discus. Distraught, the god transformed his body into a flower. Saffron is derived from the stigma of the crocus, but each flower produces only three stigmas, so more than 150,000 flowers are required to produce one kilogramme of this gentle spice. We visit one of the region’s great saffron farms to see the crocus fields, the means of production and some of its myriad uses. This is also a great opportunity to stock up on some exceptional saffron yourselves. Lunch at the highly regarded Restaurant Naoumidis in Kozani follows.

The Naoumidis family also make an appearance this afternoon, as we visit a fascinating Florina pepper farm. Here we see these succulent, versatile fruits transformed into spices, pepper sauces, pepper spreads and pickles. Dinner this evening is under your own arrangement back in Thessaloniki.

Meals include: Breakfast, Lunch

Hotel: Centrally located hotel

Saviour of the near-extinct Malagousia grape, now at the heart of some great Greek wines, Vangelis Gerovassiliou has brought all of his experience and expertise to a wine estate set gloriously between the sea and Mount Olympus. Here, the ancient and the state-of-the-art come together in the production of wines of exceptional quality, and we enjoy an on-site wine tasting. A fine museum on the estate traces the history of wine back to Roman times and includes a collection of more than 2,000 corkscrews.

On our return to Thessaloniki, why not sample of the city’s sublime street food for lunch? The afternoon is also at your leisure to discover for yourself the secrets of Greece’s second city. This evening, though, we conclude the gourmet aspect of our stay with a seafood dinner at a local restaurant. Thessaloniki is perfectly located to make the most of the bounty of the Aegean Sea, and its chefs are particularly skilled in presenting locally caught fish and seafood in the freshest and more delicious ways.

Meals include: Breakfast, Dinner

Hotel: Centrally located hotel

After a further morning at leisure to shop for souvenirs and make more of your own discoveries of this engaging, historic city, we transfer to the airport for our flight home.

Meals include: Breakfast

  • LaChef Levi cookery class, with lunch to follow
  • Olive oil tasting
  • Walking tour of food market
  • Walking city tour
  • Visit to a saffron farm
  • Visit to a red pepper farm
  • Wine tasting

2 November 2020: Additional Info

2 November 2020: Accommodation

All of our destinations are known for their rich, cultural heritage, as well as their cuisine, and these holidays invite you to appreciate some magical towns and cities. We will be staying in high quality (generally 3*-4*) hotels.

2 November 2020: Enquiries

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