Immerse Yourself in Greek Culture: Learn to Speak, Cook, and Dance, while Exploring the Hidden Natural Beauty of Peloponnese, Greece

Hosted by

Maria

Guided trip
This is a 5-day road trip (4 nights) around the mountains, lakes and beaches of the Peloponnese. You will have the opportunity to visit 5 different villages, 2 lakes (natural and artificial) and swim in the crystal clear water of the Corinthian Gulf. As a local, I will show you the top hidden places around -depending on how adventurous you are- and I will teach you how to read and communicate in Greek, as well as how to dance and cook like a real authentic, but at the same time, modern Greek! :) What is included in the price? - Accommodation in a stone Villa (a private & a shared room) - Transfer from the ATH airport and back (offered for free for 4 persons). In case there are 2-3 guests, there is an extra cost of 50 euros/person (both ways) - Traditional Greek breakfast with local delicacies - Car rental & Gas (SUV if available or another car in the same category) - Greek language lessons (3 hours in total) - Cooking lessons & dinner with 2 glasses of wine/beer - Dance lessons & barbeque with 2 glasses of wine/beer What is NOT included in the price? - Dinner at a traditional tavern (day 1) - Lunch in Archaia Feneos (day 2) - Lunch in Evrostina (day 3) - Lunch at a fish tavern in Akrata (day 4) - Extra Snacks/drinks for the Cocktail party (day 4) *All the above are optional. Let me share you few details about the trip: 1. The Arrival airport is Athens International Airport "Eleftherios Venizelos" 2. Accommodation: Will be a stone Villa with a big living room and kitchen and two rooms. One double room with a private bathroom and one bedroom with two single beds and a shared bathroom. The villa has also a big barbeque, a stone oven, and a big garden with trees and vegetables. It is possible to cut and eat your own vegetables from my garden! I will be staying on the ground floor, in a separate room, but I will share the bathroom with you. 3. Recommendations: Bring with you comfortable clothes and shoes, long trousers or a pareo for entering the monastery, a swimming suit and cash (euros), as in lots of places debit/credit cards are not accepted. Also, if you have a special dietary request or if you are vegetarian, please let me know in advance, to prepare some other options, as in the area local dishes include mainly meat! Day 1: • Arriving at the ATH airport and driving to Seliana village (2h driving) • Welcome drinks & snacks and show accommodation • Strolling around the Seliana village (walking tour) • Dinner in Synevro village (15’ driving) at a Greek traditional taverna (extra cost) Day 2: • Breakfast & Greek language lesson • Visit Lake Doxa -possibility for horse riding with an extra cost (pls, let me know in advance) • Visit two monasteries: "Agios Georgios" & the "Virgin of the Rock" • Lunch at Ancient Feneos village (extra cost) • Cooking lessons (dinner included), chill out with table games or/and outdoor cinema at the Villa Day 3: • Breakfast & Greek language lesson • Visit Evrostina & the church “Panagia Katafigiotissa” • Lunch in Evrostina village (extra cost) • Dance lessons, Barbeque & party at the Villa Day 4 • Breakfast & Greek language lesson • Visit Lake Tsivlou • Visit Akrata town, swim and have lunch at a tavern by the sea (extra cost) • Stop for shopping and supermarket to prepare our party • Visit the ancient theatre of Aigeira • Cocktail Goodbye party at the Villa (extra cost) Day 5: • Breakfast • Visit Re-green or Livelloula, two eco-cultural centres in Seliana (TBC) • Driving back from Seliana village to the ATH airport (2h driving) * Depending on the arrival & departure time, on days 1 & 5 there could be differences in the program. ** During summer, lots of festivals are taking place around the area, so sometimes after discussion, we can join one of them. *** I am an open, flexible and democratic person regarding the program. If you want to skip some places or want to stay longer in a destination, we can arrange that. Also, there is flexibility in dates! Do not hesitate to ask me first, to find the best solution for you! **** Here in Seliana, locals sleep by having the key on their outside door! Thus, do not be afraid if they will join our barbeque party, sometimes without even asking, as they are super friendly and nice! ***** You can find photos of the Villa, in the "Seliana section". Do you have a question? Let me know in the Q&A section!
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My name is Maria, I have been in more than 50 countries around the world and after returning in Greece, I am ready to be your private guide!

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Trip Itinerary
1

Seliana

Day 1-2
Seliana is a small, traditional, and scenic village in the municipal unit of Egira (or Aigeira), in the eastern part of Achaea, north Peloponnese, Greece. At an altitude of 750m, Seliana is also overlooking the blue sea of the Corinthian Gulf (25' by car). The valley hosts a soft agricultural activity with old plane trees, cherry trees, apples, and pears all creating a beautiful fairy tale with a thousand different shades of green. But also wandering around the area you can discover an abundance of walnuts, hazelnuts, plums, persimmons, peaches apricots, herbs, berries, wild greens and so much more. The village keeps its traditional character to date with around 60-70 stone houses that still stand tall defying the forces of time. Around 40 people spend the winter season at Seliana, but during Summer more appear to enjoy the freshness of the village and children appear again at the central square to play. Some of the landmarks of the village are the 13 churches and within 2km! The closest one, the Monastery of "Agioi Apostoloi", is a Byzantine style, built in the early 17th century. Its wood-carved iconostasis was installed in 1743. It has a guesthouse and has been designated by the Ministry of Culture as a preserved monument. Nearby where the river Krios flows, there is an old single-arched stone bridge (1895-1905), a small waterfall, and not too far away from the village there is also the great unexplored stalactite cave “Huhlia” that goes under the surface of the earth for 20 meters or more!
2

Lake Doxa

Day 2
Lake Doxa is undoubtedly the pride and joy of Korinthia’s mountainous area. It’s a picture-perfect lake and –although an artificial one- it is in perfect harmony with its natural surroundings. It is nestled amid sky-high fir-covered mountain peaks called Zireia and Chelmos. Lake Doxa is a top destination and very popular, even for a day trip only. There is a thin strip of land entering the lake waters, and on it you will see Agios Fanourios church. At a short distance on the wooded mountainside, you will see the historic monastery of Agios Georgios, well-known for its fortress-like architectural style and for the traditional spoon sweet made of roses, offered by the monks during your visit. Feneos plateau lies at an 850m. elevation and there are nine stone-built villages surrounding the lake and adding impressive touches to the area’s great beauty. The quiet street that circles the lake is recommended for romantic walks and bicycle rides while enjoying the mountain view.
3

Virgin of the Rock

Day 2
The monastery is located in a beautiful area near the village of Kato Tarsos on the plateau of Feneos, Corinthia. The area is also known as “the Meteora of Corinth“ due to a cluster of vertical rocks, almost smooth, with vertical irregular slits. In one of those slits is built the impressive church of the Virgin of the Rocks. According to tradition, it was founded as a fulfilment of a sacred oblation by a woman from the nearby village of Kato Tarsos, who was miraculously saved by the Virgin during the fall of Byzantine Tarsus by Muhammad II in 1458. During the fall of Tarsus, many women were captured, others killed and some chose to jump off the cliffs to avoid being enslaved by the Turks. The church is always open to the public and you can get in through a large stone staircase. Inside the building, there are three vaulted rooms with several remarkable frescoes and icons, some of which date back to the 19th century. Among the icons is a one-piece wooden-carved icon of the Virgin Mary, holding the Divine Infant with her right hand. At the top of the church, there is a small balcony with a breathtaking view of the Feneos plateau. The spot can be easily reached from the village of Kato Tarsos through a dirt road, 1.5 km long. The church of the Virgin celebrates every year on the 23rd of August.
4

Feneos

Day 2
The beautiful mountainous village Archaia Feneos is one of the less crowded places, probably due to confusion: it shares a name with the mountain range between Mount Helmos and Zireia and so, many people think that it’s just the name of the wider area and/or of an archaeological site (Archaia means ancient). In fact, among the 10 villages of the Feneos mountain range, there is a Feneos village (formerly known as Syvista) and an Archaia Feneos, built at 340m altitude on the northern slopes of Mount Stroggilovouni, with Mount Durduvana standing above it.
5

Evrostina

Day 2-3
Evrostina (the other name is Zaholi) is a mountain village, situated at about 650 m elevation. Nature lovers and hikers are excited about the “Creek of Mills”, a natural creek with running waters, small waterfalls, wooden bridges and ducks swimming in its waters. In addition, the church of Saint George, in the village of Zaholi, is one of the most significant churches of the prefecture of Corinth not only for its architecture but also for its history. It has a very rare and impressive construction. It has 17 cupolas. According to the legend, the church dates back to 1811 and it was built in 39 days thanks to the efforts of the villagers. The Turkish commander had given a forty days deadline for its construction. If the church had not been constructed within forty days it would be destroyed or it would turn into a mosque. The church was a dependency of the holy monastery of Prophet Elias and it was built over the ruins of an older church. Among its liturgical vessels, there are inscriptions that date back to 1893. It is a byzantine basilica with 17 cupolas, six on each side of the church representing the 12 Apostles, four larger cupolas in every corner representing the four Evangelists and a central, the largest one that symbolizes the almighty God.
6

Ekklisia Panagia Katafigion

Day 3
The church “Panagia Katafigiotissa” is one of the most beautiful Byzantine monuments of the region, built in the cavity of a 40 meters high rock and it dates to 1722. The name of the church comes from “Katafigia” (which means Refuge), which is the name of the area the church is built. In that region people from Zacholi take refuge during the Greek War of Independence to hide themselves and avoid being persecuted by the conquerors. The church has a celebration on the 23rd of August, and it is a destination for all seasons due to its history, its beauty and its amazing view.
7

Limni Tsivlou

Day 3-4
Lake Tsivlou is an alpine lake lying at an altitude of 800 meters (2,625 feet) above sea level on the mountain range of Chelmos, in Achaea. The lake was formed in 1913 after a massive landslide, resulting the blockage of the Krathes river bed. Before 1913, the region was just an open valley, in the middle of which Krathes river flowed. The winter of 1912-13 was heavy with snow and rain, conditions favoring a large landslide incident. By March, 1913, tremors and roars grew, and on March 24th, 1913, a huge landslide curtailed the entire mountainside, crashing the small village of Tsivlos and completely eradicated the village of Sylivena. Fortunately, the residents of Salivena had evacuate the village in time. The voluminous soil blocked both Krathes river and its tributary, forming iniatially two lakes, Lake Krathes with the waters of the Krathes river and Lake Tsivlou with the water of its former tributary. The posited landslide soil was too loose to withstand the enormous water pressure and on January 5th, 1914, the soil gave up and Lake Krathes emptied within minutes, swepting the arched historic bridge of Krathes with the seven archs, near Akrata. Lake Tsivlou however remained intact. Although the lake was formed relatively recently, it is not the newest in Greece. The lake covers an area of 8.3 acres and has a maximus depth is 80 meters with the water level to go up and down depending on yearly rainfall. It is surrounded by dense forests of pines, black pines, wild cedars, mountain oaks and more. The lake today is fed by mountain streams of Krathes river upstream and at least by two springs located below its surface. The lake is considered a very important wetland for the local ecosystem as it hosts many species of flora and fauna. In its waters were trapped freshwater mullet from Krathes and they are now the only native fish of Tsivlou.
8

Akrata

Day 4
The beautiful town of Akrata, built on the coastline and offering azure blue seawater views, wonderful beaches, and modern tourist services, will deeply affect those who desire to combine relaxation and adventure during their holidays.
9

Aigeira

Day 4-5
The ancient theatre of Aigeira is situated near the town of Aigeira at an altitude of 350m above sea level offering a view of the Corinthian Gulf. Its construction dates back to 280-250 Β.C. Similar to the orchestra, the koilo is hewn on natural rock and when not available the soil was cut to accommodate stone seats. During the Hellenistic period, the Ancient Theater of Aigeira consisted of a two-storey building. A corridor divides the koilo into two parts with a total capacity of 3000 spectators, its total length reaching 30,70 m.
Trip Summary
Accommodation
Other
5 days trip
Seliana, Lake Doxa & 7 more
Transportation
Car
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