Come and experience the great Greek tradition of olive picking in the Autumn.
Come and experience the great Greek tradition of olive picking in the Autumn, working with the locals in an olive grove, on Zakynthos island that produces some of the finest olive oil in the country, if not the World. Harvest the olives straight from the trees by hand in the traditional way, using just an olive wood stick, then follow them to the olive press. Taste warm fresh olive oil on village bread which just hours before was a humble olive on a tree. A priceless experience!!!
Hands-on participation is optional. You may choose simply to be our guest and observe the process, enjoying the glowing green-and-gold Autumn landscape.
When you are not harvesting, enjoy hands-on Greek cooking lessons, go truffle hunting, experience an olive woodcarving workshop and acquire great knowledge of the island’s culture & history during guided tours.
Your hosts, the Vythoulkas family, will be on hand to ensure every element of your holiday delights you and ensure you return home feeling relaxed and inspired by mouth-watering Greek cooking, a great collection of new recipes and techniques to show your friends and family.Book this holiday package »
Please note, the following itinerary is for guidance only and subject to change depending on the season and group’s needs and wishes, but all the following activities will take place some time during the week.
On arrival you will be transferred to your accommodation, Villa Spiros in Laganas. Famed as the home of the sea turtle Caretta Caretta, Laganas will be your base for this exciting Olive harvest holiday. You will have time to unpack, and settle in your new surroundings.
Early afternoon, you are invited to take part in a shopping trip to the nearby large supermarket to buy your holiday necessities.
This evening, your hosts will invite you to join them and fellow guests for an informal welcome meeting and home cooked meal over which you can discuss the week’s proposed itinerary and familiarize yourself with the many things there are to do and see in this diverse, lively resort.
Eat a hearty breakfast to fuel those engines! You will need lots of energy for today’s 3 hour olive harvest adventure.
We make our way to one of the family’s prized organic olive groves, in Romiri village, where Andonis and a local helper will greet you. Marvel at the shape of each unique ancient tree. Olive wood is highly prized amongst artists and craftsmen throughout the World.
Andonis will explain the time- honoured process of olive picking, using sticks cut from the olive tree. He will demonstrate how the olives are beaten from the branches into nets waiting below. Now it’s your turn to become an olive farmer for the day and harvest this simple but versatile fruit.
Mid-day we will take our places on picnic blankets spread in the shade of the trees, sip local wine and enjoy a freshly prepared rustic picnic lunch.
After lunch we head back to Villa Spiros where you can shower and relax.
Early evening, we set off to historic Zakynthos Town. Here, we will discover the history and culture of the old town. First stop is at the Church of the island’s patron saint, St. Dionysius. The huge inside is richly decorated with gold and icons. The saint’s remains are here in a silver casket, which on some occasions is open for viewing. Later, enjoy a gentle walk and get familiarized with the Ionian architecture, recharge your batteries at a café by San Marcus square before you enjoy a gentle walk in the market street to taste and shop for top quality local products and delicacies.
You will have time on your own to relax in one of the many specialty coffee shops, before we meet later for dining over the famous Greek souvlaki (meat on a stick), before heading back to Villa Spiros.
After breakfast, we will go back to the olive grove to spend a short time cleaning and gathering the olives into hessian sacks for the short journey to the press. At the olive oil press and museum, see the display of machinery from the old days before touring the modern factory with your guide and watch in amazement how the humble olive becomes liquid gold the precious oil that gives Zakynthians their lust for life.You may taste the warm freshly pressed extra virgin oil on village bread.
Back at the villa, enjoy a light lunch and have some free time to relax or swim, weather permitting.
In late afternoon, get ready for a cooking activity with your host Effie. She will invite you to join her in her kitchen and cook a traditional dinner full of vitamins, seasonal colours and great aromas! You will be cooking stuffed vegetables, “Giouvetsi”, which is orzo pasta with lamp in the oven, you will prepare a colourful organic Greek salad and learn step by step how to make Frigania dessert.
Effie welcomes questions, as she is proud to share her knowledge and experience of Zakynthian cuisine.
Later, enjoy the meal you helped prepare together with your hosts and fellow guests with plenty of Antonio’s homemade wine.
Enjoy breakfast at your leisure. Later today, we will meet Dennis, a local mushroom expert and tavern owner, who will take us on a stroll through the forest, pointing out the many varieties of edible fungi. We will pick mushrooms to enjoy later at his tavern in Macherado village.
We continue our tour visiting Grampsas winery run by the third generation of the family, widely respected by Zakynthians and international clients alike. During the summer months the yachting fraternity visit regularly to restock their boats with wines for their Greek Island Odyssey. The winery is beautifully presented, from the neat rows of vines to the display of winemaking equipment from bygone days. Son Tassos will talk you through the whole wine making process before inviting you to sit on the shady terrace to sample white and red wines with local cheese.
Later, we will drive a short distance to Macherado village to enjoy a delicious lunch prepared by Dennis, focused on the scavenged and the farm products used to make a unique lunch.
Back at the villa, have some time to yourself, relaxing, walking or swimming down the beach if water not too cold for you.
Later, in the afternoon, join your host Effie, at the villa, to cook together today’s meal, focusing on “Land, Sea, and the Seasons”, including a delightful fish soup and pie based on fresh local seasonal ingredients for tonight’s dinner.
*Available only in late November until mid December. In October, truffle hunting can be replaced with a turtle island trip or guided hiking*
After breakfast, we will make herb and garlic infused olive oils and prepare jar olives from our own trees in vinegars and oils. These are our gifts to you to take home and enjoy with your salads a lasting reminder of your wonderful “Olive harvest and cooking” holiday.
Later, we set off for a scenic drive towards Agios Leon village, to meet the talented olive wood carver Dionysis, at his workshop and gift shop. Marvel at his unique exhibition of olivewood handmade items, ranging from salad bowls to wine holders and chopping boards, before you experience a creative hands on olive wood carving workshop, with Dionysis providing you with all necessary equipment, materials, inspiration and guidance to create your very own piece of art to take home.
In the evening, back at the villa, you will have enough time to relax, before tonight’s homemade dinner.
Wake up to another fun and exciting day.
Today, from Agios Sostis fishing port set off for a once in a lifetime boat trip experience towards the breathtaking west coast of Zakynthos with the secluded coves, crystal clear water, dramatic caves, swimming stops, to arrive at mesmerizing Shipwreck bay. This is what we call a natural eye delight. We will prepare for you a packed lunch with drinks to take with you onboard.
Back at the villa, you will have enough time to relax before we set off for the north of the island to our dinner destination; a family owned and run mountain taverna. Here, you will enjoy a farm to fork culinary experience. After a warm welcome, and a cool welcome drink, Grandmother Athina will show us, step by step, how to cook a family recipe handed down the generations: stuffed free range chicken in tomato sauce with pasta, plus a variety of starters. While the food cooks in a traditional wood-fired oven, our hosts take us around the farm to see where the ingredients were grown and to meet the livestock. Then back to the taverna where in the shade of a spreading oak tree we’ll enjoy the food we cooked, plus local wine, and homemade dessert to add that final sweet flourish.
You can’t go back home without experiencing an amazing multi-faceted treatment, the results of which include a special experience for the senses as it helps support the body’s own energy balance. After breakfast, Antonio will drive you to Zakynthos town to Angeliki Vardakastani’s boutique wellness & beauty center. With over 35 years of experience in the beauty industry, Angeliki is proud to offer organic wellness and beauty treatments to an ever growing client base of both Zakynthos and international clients.
Let yourself go in her clean, welcoming and fitted with the latest, most innovative skin care technology center and experience “Melissa” a honey concept treatment, combing the application of gentle heat with various massage techniques that relax muscles, which in turn helps loosen stubborn knots during massage.
Later, enjoy some free time on your own in Zakynthos town, do some last shopping and have some lunch or coffee at a café or restaurant of your choice.
Back at the villa, you will have plenty of time to relax, before a fun night out later in the evening. Around 7 pm, we will set off to a nearby tavern, where we will enjoy a traditional Greek dinner. Tonight, BBQ is on the menu, with a wide variety of local appetizers and plenty of wine.
This morning enjoy your breakfast, maybe a walk to Laganas Main Street for last minute shopping, or a stroll to Laganas beach to take a last dip.
Your driver will take you to the airport or port in good time for your departure.
By now you will truly be feeling at home here, Zakynthian through and through, and definitely like a member of our family.
“Kallo Taxidi! (safe journey)
Self-catering studios and apartments
Join your welcoming hosts for your holiday on this gorgeous Greek isle, away from the workload and rush of the rest of the world. Stay at Villa Spiros, located on the Ionian Island of Zakynthos, with access to lovely cafes, seaside tavernas, a great spa and beauty salon and just 300 metres from Laganas sandy beach.
Private villa with pool
Perfect for those who seek privacy, Villa Antonio, is tucked away in the peaceful and picturesque village of Romiri, set over 2000 sq meters of private fenced olive grove land, with its own outdoor swimming pool & breathtaking views to the countryside.
Please note that prices for the holidays do not include flights. We recommend using skyscanner.net to check flights.
Holiday start days:
7 nights/ 8 days
- It is possible to add extra nights accommodation to this holiday. Please contact us for more information »
- It is possible to stay min 3 nights.
Just pay a deposit now to secure your place
Our booking system allows you to keep your money with you for longer. This is how it works: there's no need to pay for the entire holiday course up front – all you do is pay a 20% deposit and then pay the remainder upon arrival.
We accept: Credit / Debit Card (Mastercard / Visa) or bank transfer to a GR bank account
Full details of how and when to pay the balance will be given during the booking process and will be printed on your confirmation voucher.
The following activities are priced seasonally, but your hosts will get you the best prices while you’re there:
Non activity participating guests are welcome to join. Prices will be discounted accordingly. Please contact us for more information »