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Πέμπτη, 3 Σεπτεμβρίου 2015



14 days / 13 nights
(For One Person, Double Occupancy based on 2 people)
Single use: + $884
A R T I S T   B I O G R A P H Y
The Cretan icon painter Dimitrios E. Manousakis born and grew up in Heraklion, Crete. Since his young age he showed a talent for Art, mixed media and especially painting. At the age of 15 Icon painting gain him. He began his studies at the Cretan Byzantine school of icon painting and at the same time was experimenting with various ways of painting, as well as studying them. (Icons, frescoes, paintings, portraits etc.) Always experimenting, he traveled for some time as a seaman in ships throughout the world. He extended his experiences and art techniques studying icon painting at the Mount Athos and other parts of Greece. Sometime later his dwellings stop.  He return back to Crete got married and sets up his own icon painting workshop. During his pursuits he got a great knowledge of wood and woodcarving,
He often created complicated and intricate woodwork to accompany his icons, giving them uniqueness. He almost always uses mahogany for his icons or old wood which he seeks, finds and restores. In his restoration he follows the shape and the water marks of the wood and creates the icon giving shape to the saint or the overall picture of the icon. He has created icons / frescoes for a large number of churches throughout Crete. Base of paints: avgotempera (egg yolk, vinegar and dry paint). Cloth: Campoto / cotton.
Today he lives and works in the village of Tylissos, Heraklion, Crete, Greece.

Excellent Adventure!!! A combination of Educational travel Visiting archaeological sites  Cultural Contacting the locals, traditions and lifestyle Nutritional for all nutritional styles, tasting healthy Mediterranean traditional specialties Religious following St Paul’s 2nd Trip to Greece ART  Experiencing the Art of Iconography and sculpturing as well as Cretan Dancing! 

This tour is particularly suitable for couples,
Families And groups of friends
(Small & bigger)

Included in the price
Connected flight tickets ATHENS / THESSALONIKI day of arrival
Accommodation Thessaloniki double occupancy at DLX 5***** hotel for 4 nights (days 1,2,3,4)
Thessaloniki: transfer airport / hotel by arrival
Chartered vehicle with English speaking driver for all drives in Greece and Crete
Fuel and road taxes
Kavala / Philippi full day tour and private tour guide on site – entrance fees included
Accommodation at Kalambaka at A Class **** / double occupancy
Accommodation at Delphi at A Class**** / double occupancy
Ferry tickets and accommodation on board for the night ferry trip to Crete at double DLX or A2 cabin
CRETE: Transportation port / hotel by arrival and hotel / port by departure
Accommodation at DLX 5***** at the city of Heraklion double occupancy for 4 nights
Cretan icon painting and woodcarving lessons on days 10, 11 and 12
Cretan traditional folklore dance classes on day 9
A visit to archaeological sites of Gortys, Phaestos and Knossos (guiding/entrance fees are extra)
A visit to the women’s co-operative work shop of Marathos
A gastronomic walking tour of Heraklion
A gastronomic walking tour of Rethymnon
A visit to local bee-keeping honey producers and tasting of produce
A visit to local wineries and tasting of wine
All transport to and from the excursions
All painting materials
Breakfast each morning
Dinner on days 1-13
Lunch on days 2-13
Dinner on board on day 8 and 12
Dinner accompanied by bottled table water, and bottle of local wine every 2 persons
Ferry tickets HERAKLION – CRETE / PIRAEUS and accommodation on board at DLX or A2 Cabin (double outside cabin with shower and WC)
Chartered vehicle with English speaking driver for all the transportations to the painting studio and cultural drives in Crete for 5 days
Drivers accommodation and meals
Prices are based on two sharing a double room / house, a single supplement applies for those traveling solo

Day 1: Arrival Thessalonica
We will be waiting for you at the Airport of Thessaloniki upon your arrival. Reception at the airport and transportation to the hotel in Thessaloniki Centre. Later in the afternoon we can make our first walk in the city and have dinner at a local “tsipouradiko” with variety of traditional specialties. Accommodation Thessaloniki. Depending the time of arrival: (Lunch / dinner)

Day 2: Philippi/Kavala
After breakfast we drive to Kavala, following the Egnatia highway, built on the path of the Roman ‘Via Egnatia’. Arriving Philippi we visit the archaeological site of Philippi, i.e. the ‘Forum Romanum’, ruins of the two early Christian Basilicas (the prison where St. Paul was held and preached in 50 AD), as well as the ancient Greek theatre.  Ending the tour at Philippi drive to Kavala is Greece's prettiest mainland port with a most elegant harbour for lunch.. Paul landed here with his disciples, Timothy and Silas. Luke, the Evangelist, also came here from Troas. This ancient city of Neapolis was later renamed Chiristoupoli because it was the first European city to accept Christianity. Imagine walking on the same sod as these men of the Bible! We will see the Roman Aqueduct and the ruins of the Acropolis in this beautifully located city, known since the 5th century as Kavala. Continue on to Philippi where Paul preached his first evangelical sermon and baptized the first Christians on European soil. We will view the baptismal site where Lydia surrendered her life to Christ and visit a crypt dating from the Roman period that is thought to have served as a prison for Paul. See the famous Acropolis, the Market Place, Basilica, and the Theatre. We drive to  Drama for the night. Accommodation Drama (Breakfast / lunch / dinner)

Day 3:  Mount Athos
We travel to Chalkidiki to the village Ouranoupolis for a boat trip along the coast line of Mount Athos the unique autonomous monastic community internationally recognised as a sanctuary of the Orthodox Christian faith where they can view the unique landscape and the magnificent architecture of the monasteriesDeparture time is 10:30 and the cruise lasts ca. 3 hours. The ship heads to the south western part of the peninsula and in ca. 10 minutes; it reaches the sea-borders of the monastic state and its territory. From there, it arrives in ca. 15 minutes in the area of the first Russian cloister and after sailing by unique beaches, it arrives in the area of the first monastery, Iera Moni Dochiariou, in ca. 40 minutes. Another 7 monasteries follow then, as well as the Holy Mount’s central port, Daphni, and finally the cloisters, small villages, where groups of monks live in every house. Ending the boat trip break for lunch and. Drive to Thessalonica. Accommodation Thessalonica

Day 4: Thessalonica
Thessaloniki is Greece’s second largest city and the capital of Macedonia (also voted “Best Mid-Sized European city for human capital and lifestyle” by Financial Times in 2014). It offers a rich cultural and historical heritage as well as a cosmopolitan café life. We will visit some of the splendid churches as well including the Byzantine church of St. Dimitrios. Naturally, there’s also time to enjoy the shopping and cafés downtown. What do you get when you combine Greek coffee, pastries and breads, sweets, Meze, and ouzo? The best introductions into Greek cuisine and culture, all on this tasty Thessaloniki tour.
We taste koulouri and bougatsa While koulouri is a fairly plain (but nonetheless delicious!), bougatsa can be filled with almost anything – cream, spinach, cheese, mince and much more. With both breads having a history that dates back to the Byzantine A tour of the Modiano Market with charming paved alleys, hundreds of people and fresh vegetables, fruits, fish, meat, spices, dairy, homemade products, and many local specialties filling the stalls and “Meze” lunch at Modiano. The tour could not end without a visit to one of the city’s oldest confectioneries for a sample of siropiasta. These syrupy sweets are still made from the original recipes that Greek refugees brought with them during the1920s from Istanbul and Asia Minor, the perfect Thessaloniki food to finish off this tour (and aid your digestion!).  Evening dinner will be  on to Athonos Square, and be amazed by beautiful scenery that compliments the numerous old-world ouzeris and small taverns. Visit one of the best ouzeris in the city and taste meze accompanied with ouzo or tsipourosome flavours you won't be forgetting in a hurry, that's for sure! Accommodation Thessaloniki

Day 5: Thessalonica/ Pela / Veria / Vergina / Meteora
The New Testament books of I & II Thessalonians will come alive to us today. Visit the old city ramparts; the newly excavated Forum, St. George Church, an ancient Roman monument which was transformed into a church; and the Galerios Arch which rises over the famous Via Egnatia. We will see two of the beautiful basilicas in the city of St. Demetrius, dedicated to a distinguished member of the Roman army and a martyred Christian convert, and St. Sophia.  Our next stop the ancient site of Pela [Alexander’s capital] and its famous mosaics. Go on direction Veria to view the Bema surrounded by newly placed mosaics of Paul and the plaque of scripture regarding the "more noble" church. We also visit King Phillips tomb in Vergina. Keep driving south west direction Meteora. Arrival late afternoon. Accommodation at the little city Kalambaka at the slopes of Meteora. Dinner at local restaurant. Accommodation Kalambaka. (Breakfast / lunch / dinner)

Day 6: Meteora Monastery/Delphi
Meteora where the fantastic and breathtaking Byzantine monasteries are perched on top of huge grey and reddish pillars. Monks seeking isolation and spiritual salvation first built those monasteries in the 14th century. They are veritable Byzantine museums exhibiting superb icons, old manuscripts and unique mosaics and frescoes. Break for lunch and direction south to Delphi where we overnight.  Accommodation Delphi. (Breakfast / lunch / dinner)

Day 7: Delphi/Athens
Delphi-the ancient sanctuary of Apollo. We will gain a greater understanding of the Greek religious heritage and their influence on the early Christian church. We visit the museum where we will marvel at the site of the Charioteer, a bronze statue so delicate we will see his eyelashes. We will see the Temple of Apollo and the Castalia Springs.
We leave Delphi and Continue our journey direction Piraeus the port of Athens where we take the ferry to Crete. Break for lunch on our way. Arrival at the port of Piraeus late afternoon. Embarkation. Night ferry trip to Heraklion – Crete.  Dinner on board. Accommodation on board.

Day 8: Crete-The palace of Knossos/Museum of Heraklion
After arrival, today’s excursion takes you to Knossos, an ancient palace and must-see archaeological site of Crete. After visiting the 3500 year old site of Knossos, you’ll head to Heraklion and visit the archaeological museum of Heraklion. Ending the visit we take a walk through the city taking a gastronomic tour of all the best local food places and vendors. A light lunch will be served accompanied by chilled white wine before ending our gastronomic walking tour to taste the famous loukoumades – Cretan style doughnuts sprinkled with honey and sesame. After the walking tour and lunch you’ll head to visit the artist at his studio, have a first touch of the place, and do all preparation for the coming day. Dinner at a local restaurant with local traditional specialties. Accommodation Crete. (Breakfast / lunch / dinner)

Day 9: Crete. Kali Limenes (St. Paul foot step) Gortys/Phaestos
Travelling to Italy, Saint Paul as prisoner got wrecked and landed at Kali Limenes / South central Crete. After Rome where justice let him free, he first gone to Spain and then came back to Crete at the Roman capital city Gortys where the first Christian church started. First episcope St Titus.
Today we’ll visit Kali Limenes where Saint Paul wrecked, Gortys, the ruined capital city of the Roman province. You’ll see the impressive amphitheatre and the Basilica of St Titus before driving west to the archaeological site of Phaestos – the second most significant site of the Minoan civilisation. Phaestos is an ancient palace and you’ll also see the site of the ancient city is was located in offering a detailed insight into ancient life. Stop off in the fishing village of Kokkinos Pyrgos for lunch and enjoy local specialities and freshly caught seafood. Back to Heraklion. Today we will live the joy of the Cretan dance by teachers with many years' experience. Depending the time of the holiday we join individual or group classes. Accommodation Heraklion. (Breakfast / Lunch / Dinner)

Day 10: Crete- Art. Painting Class and cultural drive
As Crete is an island with deeply rooted religion, it has developed a rich art culture in iconography. The stories of the Books of the Bible are presented on the Byzantine icons of the churches and the monasteries all over the island. On the courses you will learn the whole procedure of creating a Byzantine icon, from the preparation of the wood to the final writing of the saint's name.
After breakfast drive straight to the studio.  Painting course start. No matter if it’s the first time you do painting or you are already a painter your self we find a way to have an enjoyable and creative day. First part of the course takes 2 hours. Break for lunch at a near small village in a nice traditional tavern with local specialties. Second part of the lesson takes 2 more hours and ending for today we do a slow drive and a visit to Marathos to visit the women’s co-operative work shop at the village of Marathos where the residents make unique and incredibly artistic pastry breads called Xompliasto and taste as well just cooked Cretan cookies. Ending the visit, you’ll visit a bee keeper and learn about traditional methods of bee-keeping employed here to make organic, additive free local honey. The owners are two brothers who have been bee-keepers their whole lives, inheriting the business from their father. At the cafe, you will have the opportunity to take honeycombs straight from the beehive, learn about the bees and beekeeping as well as enjoying the local pancakes known as tiganites served with honey and cheese pies along with raki and early afternoon back to the hotel. Dinner at Heraklion sea front restaurant. Accommodation Crete. (Breakfast / Lunch / Dinner)

Day 11: Crete- Art. Painting Class and cultural drive part 2
After breakfast we go to the studio. Classes will be ± 3 1/2 hours every morning. The today’s second class of icon painting will keep 3 hours. When lesson ends, we do a mountain driving and go for lunch in the picturesque, authentic village of Drossia (where they serve only what they grow on their own land, including the wine). On a relaxed way we enjoy the specialities they offer and early afternoon we drive back to Heraklion visiting (Breakfast / Lunch / Dinner)

Day 12: Crete. Painting class /Arkadi monastery / Rethymnon
After breakfast we go to the studio. The class is private so that individual attention can be given to you only! The today’s third class of icon painting will keep 3 hours and ending the paintings takes a drive through the vineyards and small villages of the Rethymnon region.
Visit the 16th century monastery of Arkadi, and Margarites – a small village famous for producing ceramics. Next  you’ll visit the city a Rethymnon a city seeped in history and an attractive place to wander through its narrow streets and marvel at Venetian and Turkish architecture that house its restaurants, cafes and shops. After browsing the shops we do a break for lunch.  After lunch you’ll return to Heraklion Dinner at traditional restaurant at the heart of the city. You’ll enjoy local specialties along with some raki and local wine. (Breakfast / lunch / dinner)

Day 13: Crete Wood carving, mountain drive / night ferry trip to Piraeus
After breakfast we go to the studio. The today’s class focuses on woodcarving and you will learn how to handle your carving tools in the wood; from roughing out the beginnings of your project to the final delicate detailing. Wood carving is a skill that incorporates the body to better assist your hand control of the gouges. Class takes 3 hours. Ending the class we say good by to the artist and clime up direction Anogia and the plateau of Ida. Break at the mountain small church of Saint Iakinthos (the Orthodox Saint of love / St Valentine) and the stoned small shepherd buildings called mitata. Lunch at the village of Anogia. Back to Heraklion and the port of Heraklion. Embarkation and night ferry trip to Piraeus. Accommodation on board. (Breakfast / lunch / dinner)

Day 14: Flight back home
Arrival the port of Piraeus. Reception at the port and transportation to the airport for the flight back home. KALO TAXIDI
More details / info: 

 Contact Mr. George Portokalakis