Cooking & Quality of Life On Blue-Zone Ikaria
For several weeks in the spring and early fall each year, I open my family’s country home, kitchen and garden in the ancient village of Aghios Dimitris to a limited number of guests for a very personalized experience cooking and learning about life and longevity on Blue-Zone Ikaria.
You’ll leave any stress behind as soon as you step foot on the island, beguiled by the scents of honey, herbs and pine. You’ll enjoy mornings full of camaraderie and cooking, as we prepare the healthiest seasonal foods together and savor them around my garden table with the most amazing view of the Aegean. You’ll learn about plants and herbs and how to use them in a multitude of ways. We’ll clink glasses together and with local friends of all ages. But most of all, you’ll surely embrace and hopefully absorb the many life lessons Ikaria has to teach us. Join me for a taste of this amazing island!
MAY 28 - JUNE 3, 2023
JUNE 11 - 17, 2023
JUNE 18 - 24, 2023
JUNE 25 - JULY 1, 2023
SEPTEMBER 3-9, 2023
SEPTEMBER 10 - 16, 2023
SEPTEMBER 17 - 23, 2023
SEPTEMBER 24 - 30, 2023
JUNE 2 - 8, 2024
JUNE 16 - 22, 2024
Daily 3-4 hour hands-on cooking session and meal with award-winning Greek chef, cookbook author and My Greek Table host Diane Kochilas in her country home kitchen, where guests can really enjoy the laid-back spirit of Ikaria.
Herb and nature walks and easy hikes with one of the most knowledgeable herbalists on the island, where we learn the natural secrets of Ikarians’ legendary longevity.
Visits to some of the island's most picturesque villages and venues
Cheese, honey, wine and olive oil tastings
Beekeeping secrets and honey tasting in the forests of Ikaria
A night (date and circumstances permitting) to one of the unforgettable local village feasts, to dance, wine and dine.
- I would definitely recommend this experience to a friend. The history, culture and families of Greece are so interesting. What a privilege it is to get immersed into this lifestyle in such a short time. Thank you, Diane!Jan G, May - June 2022
- Great introduction to Greek food and culture, and to the Iakrian way of life. I learned so much! My favorite day was the “Accidental Ikarian Vegan” meal.
I was surprised how vegetables could be prepared in a way that was delicious and fulfilling. Hopefully I can duplicate it at home!Kathie G, May - June 2022
- The class went beyond expectations! The recipes were only the starting point! I’d absolutely recommend this to a friend and have done so already. What a team!Arlene K, May - June 2022
- The highlights were Diane’s knowledge of local foods and the stories of food and regional and historical references. The side trips were terrific!Susan B, May - June 2022
- The kindness of everyone involved was very special. I was a non cooking participant but always felt completely at ease, welcomed and taken care of.
I LOVED my beautiful spot at the edge of the garden where I could read and work while everyone cooked!Susi L, May - June 2022
- This surpassed my expectations! The cooking component was the star – especially the way Diane interspersed stories about the area, history, etc., throughout the cooking process. also loved the relaxed pace and thought the efficiency and capability of the team was outstanding!Georgia V, May - June 2022
- I learned of the program from Diane’s website. It was way beyond my expectations! The highlight was working in Diane’s personal kitchen in her home and learning about the history and culture of Greece.
The FOOD! I also learned about the use of entire plants in cooking, herbs, leaves, soft stems. The Greeks waste nothing! I learned that you can have a fulfilling meal without animal protein.
Diane and her team are amazing – everyone worked together to make this an amazing experience. Highly recommended! FIVE STARS!!Janet C, May - June 2022
- This was a special trip. Diane and her team are so welcoming and warm and created a great atmosphere to create amazing memories.
There were so many highlights! The nice mix of cooking and cultural activities and the education on Ikarian history. I am not not afraid of phyllo and I know what to do with zucchini!Phillip M, May - June 2022
- I I learned about this from friends who watch Diane’s show and it far exceeded my expectations. It felt very friendly and relaxed. I loved visiting the local businesses, the history and the storytelling.
I learned that cooking doesn’t have to be exact – it should be fun! I thought the whole experience was awesome!Steven S, May - June 2022
- I truly felt like an honored guest in Diane’s home. She and her team are so open and welcoming. The highlights were Diane’s recollections of her childhood in Ikaria and her telling us of the is;and’s history, its people and food.
Food takeaways: The use of fresh herbs in everything! Slow-cooked vegetables are AMAZING! And, most importantly, you can never use too much olive oil. Thank you for giving so much of yourself to us. Your team is incredible…what an amazing group of women!Sophia M, May - June 2022
- I plan to infuse the ideas of this class into everyday life, from the recipes to the lifestyle of the Ikarians. I plan to try the fava, the walnut dip and the savory pie ASAP! I absolutely want to come back next year with family and friends!Elena L, September 2022
- I’ve learned more about all the possibilities and combinations of vegetables and herbs to make great flavor! I had a fantastic week. I love the combination of learning about food, history, culture and making new friends!Bunny C, September 2022
- The takeaways: Using everything from the garden and not stressing about cooking or having exact ingredients. Fava was delicious and surprising and I will make my own phyllo – I never thought I’d do that! The community, the great vibe, Jazzy the dog, Diane’s laid back nature were all great, but the festival on our last night was AMAZING!Kelly M, September 2022
- The meals were fantastic. I liked the casual setting and the time to get to know the staff and guests. I loved meeting people from different parts of the U.S. and feeling like we;ve known each other for years!Gary M, September 2022
- Don’t skimp! Don’t waste! Have respect for ingredients! These are some of my takeaways. The level of care was amazing. This far exceeded my expectations. A 360° experience! It was exceptional!Gigi V, September 2022
- The casual format and the kindness and warmth of Diane and her team are beyond words. The delicious food! I learned that delicious food doesn’t have to be complicated and that cooking should be fun.Abby G, September 2022
01. What is the easiest way to get to Ikaria?
02. How long is the Athens - Ikaria flight?
03. Which airline fly to the island?
04. How do I get from the airport to the hotel?
Taxi or Jitney, approximately 30 - 40 euro per person
05. How long is the ride from the airport to the hotel?
1 hour and 15 minutes
06. What is the name of the hotel and where is it?
We usually house people at the Erofili Beach Hotel in Armenistis. We also work with the Cavos Bay, also in Armenistis.
07. What is the dress code for the classes and excursions?
Dress code is casual and comfortable. Bring layers, as the weather can get chilly at night. Make sure to have one pair of closed walking and/or hiking shoes, long socks, and one pair of long pants, preferably light colored.
08. What is the tipping policy?
Most people tip the kitchen assistants and hotel personnel, i.e. cleaning person. Taxi drivers are generally not tipped. It is customary to leave a 10% – 15% tip in restaurants.
09. How many people are in each class?
Our maximum capacity is 15. Most classes are 12 people or less.
10. It is common to travel solo?
Absolutely. We have many single guests and everyone feels at home and very comfortable.
11. Are children welcome?
We’ve had lots of young adults and a few children who like to cook accompany their parents. So, yes, kids over 12 are welcome to participate.