About 40 small-business owners are part of Crete’s Culinary Sanctuaries, an organization that aims to preserve the island’s natural and cultural heritage while presenting educational programs to travelers. In May, join the “Magnificent West” seminar, based in the small village of Vamos, to practice Greek cooking and spend time with the area’s chefs, organic farmers, bakers, and vintners.
WHAT YOU’LL MAKE: Seafood and seasonal dishes such as grilled octopus; sardines cooked in grape-leaf packets; dolmades made with zucchini flowers; horta (braised wild greens); fava bean puree topped with onions and olive oil; yogurt served with wild-thyme honey.
HIGHLIGHTS: Sample varieties of organic olive oil at a farm and factory. Identify poppies, sage, iris, and chamomile during a guided botanical hike to the coast. Sip a glass of local wine in the garden next to your private, restored 19th-century stone cottage.
Crete’s Culinary Sanctuaries, 30/69-4822-6150, six-day trip from $2,252, including meals and lodging. Photo courtesy of iStock. This appeared in the March/April 2010 issue.