In November 2018, The Pappas Post team will lead a trip to Greece’s Mani region where we’ll partner with Peter Liokareas, a fifth generation olive farmer and olive oil producer from the region.
Peter’s family has been making some of the world’s best quality extra virgin olive oil in the world for many generations. We’re excited to offer this opportunity to our readers. The full itinerary and details are below.
The trip will take place during Thanksgiving week — November 18-24, 2018 — and will take participants on a once-in-a-lifetime journey into the heart of Greece’s lush olive oil country during harvest week, when olives are picked and transformed into some of the purest, highest quality extra virgin olive oil in the world.
Saturday, November 17, 2018
Depart for Athens (Your transportation to and from Athens is NOT included in the trip cost). You may elect to travel to Greece earlier and spend a few more days in Athens on your own before joining the group.
Sunday November 18, 2018
Arrive in Athens — home to the world’s first democracy and the cradle city of Western Civilization where today’s modernities meet centuries-old antiquities, creating a one-of-a-kind cultural experience in one of the oldest inhabited cities on earth.
Upon arrival at Athens Eleftherios Venizelos International Airport (ATH) a private car will be waiting for you to take you to the hotel.
Welcome dinner in Athens.
Overnight stay at Grand Bretagne Hotel, a 5 star luxury hotel located right in the heart of Athens. Features breathtaking views of the world-famous Acropolis, regal Syntagma Square, Greek Parliament, Lycabettus Hill and the original Olympic Stadium, offering an unrivaled perspective of Athens’ mythical history. *Your room will be a deluxe city view room, with views of the Parliament, Syntagma Square and the Acropolis.
Monday, November 19, 2018
Following breakfast in the Grand Bretagne’s world-famous rooftop restaurant, you’ll check out of the hotel and depart Athens for Mani via luxury motor coach. Along the way you’ll stop at the Isthmus of Corinth, the narrow land bridge that unites mainland Greece to the Peloponnesian peninsula and the Gulf of Corinth with the Saronic Gulf in the Aegean Sea, boasting an amazing view of the giant canal below as well as of the boats passing by.
For lunch we’ll stop and sample some of Greece’s premier wines and get a tour of the historic Skouras Winery in the heart of Greece’s Nemea wine region. Following the tour of the estate, lunch will be served comprised of local products cooked the traditional way and accompanied by a selection of Skouras’ award-winning wines.
Arrival and check in at the Kolokotronis Hotel in Stoupa, a beautiful stone-built hotel and your home for the next five days. Upon arrival, you’ll have a few hours to relax.
Family-style welcome dinner at Tis Marias O Kafenes in Stoupa, hosted by Liokareas Family, featuring a wide variety of traditional Greek appetizers, food and fish, all the while enjoying a fresh Mediterranean breeze and colorful sunset right by the water.
After dinner, a welcome orientation hosted by Peter Liokareas with a brief introduction to olive farming and what will take place in the coming days. Includes multi-sample tastings of award-winning Liokareas Greek olive oil as well as homemade wine and snacks.
Tuesday, November 20, 2018
Full buffet breakfast at the hotel
Transfer to Lagada. Introduction to Liokareas family farm and tour of the Lagada village in Mani’s beautiful mountainous countryside.
Day in the fields: working and participating in the olive harvest, learning techniques used for thousands of years which have yielded arguably the most quintessential food in Mediterranean culture. Picnic-style lunch.
Afternoon tour around Mani’s historic villages and opportunity to get to know one of Greece’s most rugged, untouched regions. The beautiful Taygetos mountains are the backdrop for your journey as we explore the village of Kivelia and the burial place of one of Greece’s most famous Revolutionary War heroes, Konstantinos Kolokotronis.
Then we make a visit to Kato Hora, the village renowned for its hospitality and the church of St. Nikolaos with its stunning frescos — a secret that many people do not get to see. While here we will stop for a cup of locally harvested mountain tea or a cup of Greek coffee.
Local dinner in the unique olive mill taverna in Karvouni.
Wednesday, November 21, 2018
Full buffet breakfast at the hotel
Morning guided tour of the historic village of Kardamili where mythology, history, unique architecture and beauty all come together. The city was promised to Achilles, as mentioned in Homer’s Iliad. Walk in the footsteps of Pausanias, the Spartans, Castor and Pollux and many more as local guides offer fascinating historical information that enriches understanding of the region with its distinct architecture, unique topography and warm-hearted people.
Full and flavorful homemade lunch in Kardamili.
Afternoon visit to fields of Mr. Stelios Liokareas in Neohori. Members of the Liokareas family provide a full tour of oil press followed by the incomparable chance to taste some of the world’s best olive oil fresh out of the spout.
Return to hotel for a break/relax
Evening/Dinner: Authentic Greek village experience hosted by the Liokareas family in the center of Lagada featuring a local band playing traditional Mani-style music. A variety of extremely tasty meats are served — including “gouronopoulo” (pig roast) and “kontosouvli” (pork rotisserie) — as well as delicious homemade wine and drinks.
Thursday, November 22, 2018
Full buffet breakfast at hotel
Day-long tour of historic inner Mani, its villages, towers, landscapes, traditions and people. On this day you’ll experience a region that didn’t have electricity or running water until the late 70s and where many of the customs remain unchanged for thousands of years.
We will visit Gerolimenas, an ancient city and once, one of the most important ports in Mani. Today, it is a picturesque fishing village.
A brief stop at Cape Tenaron, the most southerly tip of mainland Greece, where the coastline plunges into the Inoussis Abyss, which in mythical times was the entrance to the underworld.
We will then visit Vathia, perched on the top of a hill, it’s the most representative of all the traditional Mani villages and a treasure of cultural heritage with its cluster of stone towers, numerous paths and ravines.
Afterwards we visit Areopoli to take in the atmosphere of the old town and the starting place of Greece’s war of independence in 1821.
An evening meal in the lovely village of St. Nikolaos, a traditional unspoiled fishing village in Ellie’s taverna.
Friday, November 23, 2018
Buffet breakfast at hotel
Morning & afternoon at the Liokareas Family’s olive fields in Lagada where you’ll practice and implement traditional methods of harvesting, fulfilling the full process of picking and pressing the olives to achieve the award-winning Liokareas quality extra virgin olive oil. Picnic-style, savory homemade lunches will be provided. Participants take harvested olives to Mr. Stelios Liokareas’ press in Neohori.
Watch as extra virgin olive oil — that you’ve personally helped to make — is produced. Each participant will also get a chance to fill his/her own 5-liter tin that will be stamped and shipped to your home, right before the Christmas holiday.
Farewell dinner with the entire team in the evening at Kastro in the outskirts of Kardamili.
Saturday, November 24, 2018
Full buffet breakfast at hotel; Check out of hotel
Depart Stoupa via private motorcoach for your journey back to Athens
Stop along the way at the Palivos Estate Winery in the historic region of Nemea where, according to Greek mythology, Hercules slayed the mythical lion and transformed him into the constellation Leo.
After a sampling of Palivos Estates’ award-winning wines and a tour of the facility, the group will be treated to a homemade lunch made from local products.
Arrival in Athens; Check in at the Grand Bretagne Hotel. *Your room will be a deluxe city view room, with views of the Parliament, Syntagma Square and the Acropolis.
Farewell evening dinner in Athens.
Sunday, November 25, 2018
Breakfast at Grand Bretagne Hotel. Check out of your room. Private car service to Athens Eleftherios Venizelos International Airport for your flight home.
The cost per person for the tour is $3999.00 per person, based on double occupancy in all hotels. If you are traveling alone or would like single occupancy, there is a single supplement add on charge of $550.00
The tour is limited to 20 people and will be reserved on a first-come first-served basis. The quantity of participants is kept low to ensure each participant’s personalized experience.
The tour is open to any individual from anywhere in the world. Since air transportation to/from Athens is NOT included, anyone can participate in the tour as long as you’re in Athens on the date of commencement, Sunday, November 18, 2018.
Liokareas staff members and professional guides will guide participants for the duration of the trip — educating, touring, harvesting, etc. — to provide an authentic Greek experience.
English-speaking team members will work with the group to facilitate communication with locals
All equipment necessary to harvest/press olives will be provided by the Liokareas Family
This tour package includes all meals, all transportation within Greece and all hotel accommodations in Athens and Mani as well as all tours mentioned, with professional English-speaking guides.
This package includes hands-on experiences in ancient olive fields with professional olive farmers and olive oil producers.
Your package includes a 5-liter tin of Liokareas award-winning extra virgin olive oil which will be shipped to your home in the United States before the Christmas holidays (arrangements can be made to ship elsewhere, please inquire about additional cost).
The package does NOT include air travel to/from Athens, Greece where the trip begins and ends.