A Taste of Rustic Life and Gastronomy in the Mediterranean Coast
Greece is the land of a million flavors, and in the Peloponnese beats the heart of the “Mediterranean Diet” all your round. An island accessible throughout the year thanks to the bridge over the Corinth Canal, the Peloponnese is the ideal destination for vegetarian and vegan families in Greece. In reality, the Peloponnese is the “paradise” of all families willing to be close to nature, to experience history, slow travel and slow food that gives people the time to connect with each other, to appreciate “Gaia”, mother earth, to enjoy the views, the smells, the tastes, and to return home richer in wisdom and experiences.
Mediterranean Diet & Slow Food: The Healthy Way-Of-Life
The Mediterranean Diet is largely a plant-based diet, that is, a diet consisting mostly of whole foods derived from plants—fruits and vegetables, grains, legumes, nuts, seeds, herbs and spices. The Mediterranean diet may not be necessarily vegan or vegetarian, but it offers many alternatives to meat, fish and dairy products. More importantly, it is connected to a healthy life style and the “slow food” culture.
In Greece, there is no notion of the “eat and run” culture. For Greeks, food is not only necessary to satisfy physical needs, but it is also a social event. It is indicative that in Ancient Greece, the Spartan lawgiver Lycurgus, memorialized by Plutarch (a famous Greek historian), was reputed to say: “We do not sit down at the table to eat, but to eat together”.
A meal is almost always a social, convivial occasion, which revives the original meaning of companionship. Generations of families sit down at the table for an established family meal whenever they can. For many, this is something that can occur every day because many homes are multigenerational, especially in the villages. To the Greeks, eating is all about celebrating life and enjoying yourself in the moment, which often turns a simple family meal into an all-day or all-night event.
Be prepared to start with a series of hors d’oeuvres, known as the “mezedes”. Presented on little plates and designed to whet your appetite, they may be accompanied by ouzo, tsipouro, beer or wine. Mezedes are meant to be shared, not claimed by just one person!
Peloponnese: The Ideal Destination for Vegan Families in Greece All Year Round
In Northern Peloponnese, the land of grapes and the Corinthian raisin, you will have the chance to learn more about the world-renowned Corinthian raisin, the currant, and the Nemean wines of the local red variety of Agiorgitiko; to follow the journey of the grape along with Dionysus, the God of grape harvest and winemaking, and through the paths and achievements of the children-adored mythical hero Hercules.
In western Peloponnese, the land of olive trees, where the extra virgin Kalamata olive oil is produced and sent all over the world, the endless olive grove that dresses the Ionian coast in silver will take you back to the roots of the Olive Tree, to Homer’s epic poems and King Nestor, who is considered to be the first “conscious” olive oil and wine-maker, and forth, to today’s olive oil and wine production.
Healthy Diet, Agritourism, Gastronomy Tours & Vegan Family Experiences in Greece
The region’s agricultural background offers families a unique chance to get involved in cultivation, production, cooking, and tasting of local products. Family experiences “from farm to table” include workshops in olive oil tasting, jam, spread and balsamic vinegar production, as well as family-friendly wine-tastings. The latter are indeed MAMAKITA’s breakthrough! Children participate in a theatrical and gastronomic educational program regarding the grape, the raisin, their mythology, and their role in the Greek culture led by experienced educators and storytellers, while adults have the “freedom” to meet the Greek varieties and taste the Nemean wines.
Apart from wineries and vineyards, you will have the chance to visit farms with biological or biodynamic production, to meet with the local farmers, cook with them and their “eclectic” products, and learn how to use them in your everyday healthy diet together with your kids. See how Greeks use the olive oil in their salads and cooking, learn to distinguish among the Greek olive oil varieties, collect ideas on how to use jams, spreads, and the Greek superfoods “tahini” and “petimezi” at your breakfast table and your children’s school snacks. There is nothing more triggering and creative for children of all ages than the earth and soil, and there is no other means to teach them how to eat healthy than involving them in the whole productive process.
It is this fertile land that gave birth to civilizations and hosted important cities since antiquity, such as (Ancient) Corinth, Nemea, Messene, Pylos, that you will have the opportunity to visit together with family-friendly tour guides. You will also have the possibility to cross the Corinth Canal, which connects two seas, the Ionian -through the Corinthian Gulf- and the Aegean -through the Saronic; it is indeed a revolutionary project in terms of engineering, transportation and trade, and one out of the five canals of this type existing worldwide.
You will be given the chance to visit Nafplio, Greece’s first capital, in a food tour and/or a cooking class, as well as Kalamata, the olive oil “capital”. In this concept and throughout your trip, MAMAKITA will help you trace family-friendly seaside taverns to spend your day literally on the beach, as well as find hidden gastronomic gems in the inland to taste traditional vegetable recipes.
At the end of your journey, you will relish a “kerasma” to take back home. A “treat” of Greek products, and basically of emotions, that evokes the idea of hospitality and food-sharing that is prevalent in the Greek culture.
Willing to Taste a Real “Mediterranean Delight” in the Most Family-Friendly Way?
Check all our ready-made themed family trips in Greece here or plan your custom “Gastro-Magical Greece” family itinerary with the guidance of MAMAKITA travel advisors filling the form indicating that you are a either a vegetarian or a vegan family.