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!
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.
Diane is a kind, humble and an amazing teacher! The history interjected throughout the week was priceless! If we all did for our country what Diane has done for Ikaria, the world would be a better place!Victoria E – September 2021
It was fantastic! I did not know what to expect but it was a terrific experience, so it exceeded my expectations.
Watching Diane cook, the side trips, the nature walks, being in Diane’s kitchen, her openness and patience and the friendly staff – these were all highlights! Specific takeaways for me were the cooking techniques and kitchen skills I learned, but also the history of the food and recipes, which was fascinating!Linda W – September 2021
This week met my expectations tenfold! Diane was down-to-earth and flexible and the help was attentive and kind. The nature walk was amazing!
I have always believed meals were a labor of love, and Diane proved this. I loved the fact that she emphasized utilizing ingredients that are available. I would ABSOLUTELY recommend this to a friend!Clare J – September 2021
This class truly exceeded my expectations. Diane…you have done a beautiful job of creating a comfortable, homey atmosphere and you’ve made cooking a joy to watch.
I learned so much about cooking, but also about the beautiful island. I loved the extra things like the bees and the hiking. I loved learning to grate tomatoes!Lia B – September 2021
This has been a dream come true! There were so many highlights! The beekeepers, the terrain going to a goat farm, making cheese, the dinners, the winery, Diane’s warmth, the friendliness and camaraderie of our group, the people of Ikaria and Jazzy!
The takeaways for me: I loved all the plant-based recipes and the creative use of greens and herbs, and the concept of natural healthy foods from the earth.Tim K – September 2021
Not a thing could have been done better! I would absolutely recommend this to a friend!Becky C – September 2021
As a travel agent, I came across your cooking classes and knew you from your books.
There were so many highlights, but making phyllo was the best! I learned so much about the casual usage of vegetables on hand and I will definitely be buying extra virgin olive oil by the gallon!Alison B – September 2021
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.