Available dates : 6 – 20 September 2019

Join us on an authentic trip of Greece exploring the ancient sites of Athens and visit the island of Crete where we will connect with God’s heart for family and community through food.

We will start in Athens where we will spend some time in this ancient city visiting the acropolis and Parthenon Temple. Other sites will include Mars Hill where the Apostle Paul famously spoke during his time in Athens and a visit to the ancient city of Corinth.

We will spend 6 days based on the beautiful island of Crete where we will have time for reflection and a foodie adventure. Sophie Stokes, of ‘In Sofia’s Kitchen’ will join and lead us through our foodie adventure connecting with locals and experiencing the authenticity of Greek culture and family way of life.

An additional extension to this trip is a 4-day cruise around the Greek Island visiting Ephesus, Patmos, Rhodes and Santorini.

This trip has been created to bring a mixture of discovery, reflection and food adventure.

About the ‘Foodie Adventure’ – Island of Crete

Our time on the island of Crete is filled with cooking workshops, food walking tours, relaxing by crystal waters of the island and learning from the locals. You will get a chance to explore, taste and have a go yourself. If you love provincial country living, deliciously good food and immersing yourself in another culture this will be for you. We will also get an opportunity to connect with local Christians over dinner.

Itinerary

Friday 6th September 2019 DEPART AUSTRALIA – FLY TO ATHENS

We depart Australia with Emirates Airlines on an evening flight (full flight details on FAQ’s).

Saturday 7th September 2019 ARRIVE IN ATHENS

Upon arrival into Athens you will be met by our local representative and transferred to your ​​accommodation. After checking in to the hotel, the rest of the afternoon is free to relax or ​​explore Athens.

​​HOTEL: Hotel Parthenon, Athens or similar

Sunday 8th September 2019 ATHENS

After Breakfast we will meet with our local guide for a tour of the City. We will enjoy a panoramic tour to see the highlights by the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, Parliament House, Constitution Square, the Academy, the National Library, Panathenaic Stadium, Hadrianis Arch and the National Garden. We will then climb up to Acropolis Hill and visit Parthenon Temple and other buildings on top of the rock. We enjoy the beautiful views of the Roman Agora, the Odeon and the Theatre of Dionysus.  We then walk to the nearby Mars Hill to see the spot where Paul delivered his well-known sermon about the ‘Unknown God’ followed by some free time in the Plaka area.

We will then come together for Dinner at the Hotel.

HOTEL: Hotel Parthenon, Athens or similar
MEALS: Breakfast & Dinner

Monday 9th September 2019 ATHENS – KISSAMOS (CRETE)

Depart Athens for our Foodie Tour in Crete. We will transfer to Athens Airport  for a morning flight to Chania, Crete. Here we will be met and transferred to our hotel in the Kissamos area. You will have some free time for the afternoon to go for a swim or walk & then come together in the evening for a welcome dinner and greek dancing at the Erofili traditional restaurant in Neo Chorio.

​​HOTEL: Molos Bay, Crete or Similar
MEALS: Breakfast & Dinner

Tuesday 10th September 2019 KISSAMOS, CRETE

Following Breakfast we will make our way to Pnevmatikakis Winery for a brief introduction to ​​local wines including a wine tasting. Afterwards we head to Falasarna Beach for a ​​relaxing swim at this popular beach preparing us for a fabulous afternoon of ​​cooking.

​​Mid- afternoon we will head to Litsarda where we will participate in Valia and Yianni’s Cretan ​​workshop located on their hobby farm.  You’ll learn how to cook popular Cretan ​​​​dishes such as stuffed tomatoes, kalitsounia and dakos. And eat together. We will also take a ​​walk  around the garden and discover how to use herbs in our food.

​​​HOTEL: Molos Bay, Crete or similar
MEALS: Breakfast & Dinner

Wednesday 11th September 2019 KISSAMOS, CRETE

After Breakfast we will board a ferry and head towards the famous Gramvoussa & Balos beaches where you will enjoy crystal swimming or take a hike to the castle on Gramvoussa Island. Lunch and snacks can be purchased on board or locally.

We will have a relaxing day exploring before returning for Dinner at a Greek tavern in the Kissamosarea called Maria's, well loved and respected by the locals.

HOTEL: Molos Bay, Crete or similar
MEALS: Breakfast & Dinner

 

Thursday 12th September 2019 KISSAMOS, CRETE ​

After Breakfast we head to a unique mountain retreat location for a cooking ​​workshop learning how to make homemade dough to wrap around our pita ​​pie, seasonal vegetable dishes and more. We will then sit back and enjoy our ​​creations. But before we do this, we will stop in at a quaint little village for a ​​taste of authentic baked goods in the local bakery.

​​During the afternoon we will make our way back to the hotel with a free ​​​​evening for Dinner (at your own expense).

​​HOTEL: Molos Bay, Crete or similar
MEALS: Breakfast and Lunch

 
Friday 13th September 2019 KISSAMOS, CRETE

This morning we will make our way to Chania where we will enjoy a 2-hour Cultural & food ​​tour through the old city hearing about the extensive Greek history by our ​​local professional guide who has a vast archaeological, artistic and historical ​​knowledge of Crete.

​​You will have free time to do some shopping, grab some lunch and wonder the ​​​​streets of this cultural town.

​​On our way home from Chania we will visit a local honey business, run by Eleni and her husband. They will share their family history of bee keeping and eating tips with honey available for purchase

Tonight we will be meeting for dinner together with local Christians on the Island and a time of sharing and connecting.

HOTEL: Molos Bay, Crete or similar
MEALS: Breakfast & Dinner

Saturday 14th September 2019 KISSAMOS, CRETE

This morning we will head towards Loutraki beach which is located in the south eastern part of the peninsula towards Chania. A quiet beach with crystal clear waters. We will dine together at a local seaside resort, Mare Nastrum Villa Resort with a beautiful wide bay view followed by some free time.

​​Late afternoon we will go to Metochi Farm for a cooking workshop with Eleni and her family ​​who will prepare some much loved Cretan dishes such as stuffed zucchini leaves, ​​​boureki, lamb stew & cheese filled pastries.

We will take a walk around their fruitful property and then join together for our last dinner on the Island enjoying our creations and Cretan hospitality.

We will dine together at a local seaside resort, Mare Nastrum Villa Resort with a beautiful wide bay view followed by some free time. (lunch is at own expense).

HOTEL: Molos Bay, Crete or similar
MEALS: Breakfast & Dinner

Sunday 15th September 2019 CRETE – ATHENS- CORINTH

After breakfast we will be transferred to Chania International Airport departing for Athens.

​​We will then make our way for coastal highway of the Saronic Gulf and reach the historic ​​Corinth Canal for a brief stop for photos and refreshments. We will then visit the ancient site ​​of Corinth and the nearby small archaeological museum where we will share 15 ​​​minutes for devotions. We will enjoy lunch at a local Restaurant (own expense) and on our ​​way back to Athens we will visit a pottery and marble shop. We will arrive back late ​​​afternoon before having dinner together in the Hotel.

HOTEL: Parthenon Hotel, Athens or similar
MEALS: Breakfast & Dinner

Optional 4 Day Cruise

Monday 16th September 2019 Athens – Embarkation on 4-day Greek Islands Cruise

This morning, after breakfast we transfer to Piraeus port of Athens for embarkation on the ​​cruise ship. After customs formalities we will check-in to our cabins.

​​At 11.30am we set sail for the Greek Island of Mykonos enjoying lunch on board. At 6p.m. ​​we arrive at Mykonos. (Disembarkation either by tender-boats or the cruise-ship will dock at ​​the port of Tourlos).

​​Mykonos, the “Pearl of the Aegean Sea” combines international jet-set atmosphere. You can ​​stroll at leisure through the whitewashed, flower-decked alleyways, climbing to the ​​​sculpture church of Paraportiani and then along the waterfront of “Little ​​​​​Venice” to the well-known windmills.

​​Dinner and overnight on Cruise Ship

​​HOTEL: Celestyal Cruises, Greek Islands
MEALS: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Tuesday 17th September 2019 Kusadasi (Ephesus) - Patmos

At 7:00 a.m. our cruise-ship will dock at the port of Kusadasi in Turkey. It is our starting point ​​for our excursion to the ancient city of Ephesus. Apostle Paul preached to the Ephesians ​​and lived here for three years. This church also received an epistle from him. We tour the ​​spectacular ruins of the city that was founded in the 10th century BC. We walk through ​​​history along marble streets lined with wonderful public buildings, among them the Baths of ​​Scholastica, the Library of Celsus, the Temple of Hadrian and the Theatre. We will see the ​​Temple of Diana, one of the seven wonders of the ancient world, before our return to ​​​Kusadasi. Enjoy some free time for souvenir shopping before embarkation.

​​Sail for Patmos, Greece

​​At 4p.m. we arrive at the mysterious rocky island of Patmos. We disembark by tenders. Here ​​we join a shore tour to visit the St. John Monastery and Cave of Apocalypse. After some free ​​time in the town we will return to the ship.

​​Dinner and overnight on Cruise ship

HOTEL: Celeystal Cruises, Greek Islands
MEALS: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Wednesday 18th September 2019 RHODES

Breakfast on board. At 7:00 a.m. we dock at Rhodes port.

​​This stronghold was built by a Crusading Order, which originated from Palestine, and in ​​older days, it boasted of another achievements of the then known world - The Colossus of ​​Rhodes! Our morning half-day excursion takes us to visit the Temple of Athena on the ​​​majestic rocky Acropolis of Lindos, with the blue Aegean Sea beneath it and the ​​​sophisticated, whitewashed artists' colony at its foot. Local tradition has it that on his ​​​way to Rome; Paul’s vessels spent some time here in the small harbor (Acts 21:1) followed ​​by Lunch on board. Then we have the afternoon free in Rhodes for a most delightful ​​​experience. You can stroll around the medieval walled city; enjoy the cosmopolitan ​​​atmosphere from one of the elegant cafes in the marina.  Sail for Heraklion, Crete at 6:00 ​​p.m.

​​Dinner & overnight on board. 

 

HOTEL: Celeystal Cruises, Greek Islands
MEALS: Breakfast. Lunch & Dinner

Thursday 19th September 2019 HERAKLION - SANTORINI

Breakfast and set sail fo a short stop to Heraklion on Crete before arriving the famous ​​​​volcanic island of Santorini with lunch on board.

​​​Upon arrival this afternoon we will anchor in the blue Aegean waters and disembark by ​​​tenders. Here we have an optional tour to Oia Village or we can stroll around the narrow ​​streets of Fira, the capital town, with white washed houses, coffee shops and boutiques, ​​overlooking the Aegean Sea. Free time to take pictures and become acquainted with the ​​characteristic buildings, carved into the rocks.

​​This evening, we sail for Piraeus port of Athens, with Dinner and overnight on board.

HOTEL: Celeystal Cruises, Greek Islands

Friday 20th September 2019 DISEMBARK ATHENS - AUSTRALIA

At 6am the ship will dock at Piraeus port after breakfast we will disembark at around 8am.

We are transferred to Athens Airport for our departure home or stay on for onward travel

About Sophie Stokes – Foodie Leader

Sophie’s heritage is Greek and growing up in Australia enabled her to appreciate the diversity and expressions of both cultures as well as immersing herself in other European cuisine. In Sofia’s Kitchen begins with the love of family and friends sitting around the dinner table. It is a place where everyone is welcome and included in discovering how to do life together. Sophie is creating opportunities for families and communities to make healthy food choices and authentic connection through cooking workshops, Mediterranean feasts, foodie retreats and Mediterranean Food Adventures.

Sophie lives in NSW with her husband, children and grandchildren. She has a strong Christian faith and attends a local Church in Newcastle.

www.insofiaskitchen.com.au 

Price is based on a minimum of 20 passengers.
Optional cruise is based on a minimum of 15 passengers

Included:

  • International flights with Emirates to Athens, Greece **
  • Internal flight from Athens to Chania, Crete and return including airport transfers **
  • 9 nights/ 9 days 4-star hotel accommodation including breakfast in Athens and Kissamos, Crete
  • Dinner x 8 nights
  • Foodie tour on Crete over 6 days with Sophie Stokes including cooking workshops, honey and wine tours
  • Tips to guides and drivers
  • Entrance fees to local sites as listed on the itinerary

** included in the full tour price only

Optional extension 4-day Cruise around Greek Islands

  • 4-day cruise visiting Patmos, Ephesus, Rhodes and Santorini with Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner each day and all inclusive drinks package
  • Guide in Ephesus, Rhodes Acropolis of Lindos & Medieval Town and Patmos, St John Monastery and Cave of Apocalypse
  • Inside cabin category (upgrades to Outside cabin are available on request)

Exclusions

*Day to day itinerary subject to change 

Bookings

Please complete a Mission Travel Booking Form and send to us with a $500 deposit to:

Mission Travel - Groups Department
Suite 6, 670 Canterbury Rd
Surrey Hills VIC 3127

Tel: 61 (0)3 9890 6555 or 1300 554 654
Email:groups@missiontravel.com.au 

Direct deposit into our account:
BSB 033 039
Account 829132 Mission Travel Pty Ltd
Reference: FFGREECE+ surname

Payment by credit card is accepted. Visa/Mastercard 1.5% surcharge, American Express 3.5%
Please complete the credit card field on the booking form

You will receive a letter confirming your place on the tour.

FAQs

How do I book?

Please complete a Mission Travel Booking Form and send to us with a $500 deposit to:

Mission Travel - Groups Department
Suite 6, 670 Canterbury Rd
Surrey Hills VIC 3127

Tel: 61 (0)3 9890 6555 or 1300 554 654
Email:groups@missiontravel.com.au 

Direct deposit into our account:
BSB 033 039
Account 829132
Mission Travel Pty Ltd
Reference: FFGREECE+ surname

Payment by credit card is accepted. Visa/Mastercard 1.5% surcharge, American Express 3.5%
Please complete the credit card field on the booking form

You will receive a letter confirming your place on the tour.

Flights

Group flights will be reserved with Emirates from Melbourne, Sydney & Brisbane.

Emirates also fly from Adelaide and Perth and we can request these seats. 

Emirates depart in the evening around 9.30pm from these cities and arrive in Dubai at 5.15am. The connecting flight from Dubai to Athens leaves at 10.50am from Dubai and arrives into Athens at 3pm.

The flights home depart Athens at 6.05pm arriving into Dubai at 11.35pm, with connecting flights to Australia leaving at 2.40-3am and landing into Australia at approx 10pm the next day.

 

Travel Extensions

You are very welcome to extend your stay or continue on elsewhere after the tour. We do however strongly recommend that all additional arrangements only be made once the tour is GUARANTEED to depart (having met minimum numbers).

Mission Travel is a full service travel agency and can assist you with all additional arrangements. This makes your holiday experience much easier with all bookings held by the same agent.

Passports/Visas

Australian passport holders DO NOT require a visa for travel to Europe.
Most countries require your passport to be valid 6 months after your return date. 

Travel Insurance
It is mandatory to have travel insurance and it is strongly recommended to take out a policy at the time of paying your deposit. Travel insurance covers you for medical costs, cancellation cover and a range of other events. For a quote and automatic 20% discount click HERE
Booking and Payment Deadlines

A non-refundable deposit of $500 is payable to secure your place on the tour.

The balance of payment is due 90 days prior to departure which is on or before Friday 7 June 2019 . An invoice will be forwarded to you prior to this date. 
Payments made by Credit cards incur fees (1.5% for Visa/Mastercard & 3.5% for American Express). 
Direct deposits into our bank account & cheques are welcome.
Account details:
BSB 033 039 
Account number 829 132
Mission Travel 
Reference: FFGREECE + surname

Cancellation Penalties

The $500 deposit is non refundable.
If the tour is cancelled by Mission Travel (due to lack of number or security concerns) your deposit will be refunded.
Cancellation 90-45 days prior to departure – 50% cancellation fee of total tour cost
Cancellation less than 45 days prior to departure or once the tour has commenced – NO REFUND
It is vital that you are adequately insured for unforeseen cancellation.


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