It could easily be argued that one of the best and most important aspects of a holiday is the food – to really connect with a country, its customs and culture, the best way is to eat your way around it. Perhaps that’s why one of the key travel trends for 2024 is culinary tourism, with travellers plotting their trips around local delicacies, food festivals and immersive experiences that feed both body and soul.
To help you find your perfect foodventure next summer, travel experts Jet2holidays offer great value breaks in more than 50 amazing destinations, including 19 in Greece. Here you can explore the local culinary heartlands, where you can street-snack in markets, indulge in wine and olive oil tasting, and sip traditional coffee brewed in a copper pot.
With deposits* at just £60 per person, 22kg baggage included, flexible monthly payments** to help spread the cost of your hard-earned, well-deserved holiday, it’s never been easier to get your next Greek summer getaway booked.
Greek food is known for its healthy, fresh ingredients, with every region boasting its own signature specialities. Here we take a tour of three of Greece’s most famed culinary hotspots – Crete, Rhodes and Corfu – and explore the best eateries and experiences to enjoy.
Go market-mingling in Crete
In Crete, there’s a wide range of ingredients that can only be found here, so you’ll be eating mouth-watering dishes you won’t find anywhere else. Try the gamopilafo (made with pilaf, tender meat and extra butter), a special dish often served at weddings, the spicy cold cured pork, apaki, or the savoury-sweet Sfakiani pita – a crepe-like pie filled with smooth, creamy Anthotyro cheese and topped with honey.
Pick up some tasty snacks for a picnic at one of Crete’s many markets; mingle with the locals who come regularly and buy some fresh Mizithra– a ewe’s milk cheese – thick Cretan yoghurt, or Kalitsounia, small savoury pies. You’ll also find some great souvenirs to take home, from delicious home-made honey, to fresh or dried herbs like thyme and marjoram, and grassy, green, extra-virgin olive oil.
You can also try cooking Cretan cuisine yourself: Jet2holidays offers a range of cooking class experiences, and if you stay at Cretan Malia Park you’ll be gathering produce and herbs from its garden with the chef, then cooking with them in the sunshine in their outdoor kitchen.
Try a traditional taverna in Rhodes
In Rhodes, don’t miss the local delicacy of pitaroudia – traditionally made with ground chickpeas, onions, tomatoes, mint and cumin, the best place on the island to taste one for yourself is at Artemida Taverna, which sits just back from the main square of Psinthos. This taverna specialises in local dishes – save room for the moussaka and fried halloumi.
Wash all this good food down with some incredible wine; Greeks have been making it on this island for the past 2,400 years, so you can rest assured they’re pretty good at it. Head to CAIR (Compagnia Agricola Industriale Rodi), which was established in 1928, for a tasting of the area’s most famous wines, including the CAIR Brut, which is produced using the local grape variety Athiri.
Book your break at Gennadi Grand Resort, which hosts weekly cooking classes, and you’ll learn how to make Rhodes’ most famous dessert. Called melekouni, it’s a traditional sweet bar made with honey and sesame seeds.
Discover Italian influences in Corfu
In Corfu, you’ll find that a lot of the cooking has an Italian influence, thanks to the Venetians who ruled the island for four hundred years. The best dishes include sofrito, a traditional veal or beef stew cooked in a white wine sauce with garlic and vinegar, Pastitsada Korfiatiki, a tomato-based casserole made with beef or chicken and served with pasta, and tsigareli, boiled leafy greens with onion, garlic and pepper.
Check in to the Domes of Corfu, where you can take part in a wine and olive oil tasting, sampling delicious products from the island’s wineries and ancient olive groves.
Finally, wherever you end up holidaying, if you like your java strong, you’ll absolutely love Greek coffee. Traditionally, it is made in a small, hammered copper pot, known as a briki, with finely-ground coffee beans boiled along with sugar. It’s not drunk immediately, however – you have to wait a couple of minutes for the grounds to settle at the bottom of the cup, giving the coffee a rich, velvety texture, and a true taste of Greece.
For more travel inspiration and hotel options head to Jet2holidays
*Applicable on holidays departing 10 weeks or more from booking date. Full payment required by balance due date. **Jet2holidays Pay Monthly Terms and Conditions apply, please see jet2holidays.com/part-payment for details.