Greece with Sean MacDonald

Sept 23 - Oct 1, 2024 | One Exclusive Departure

Book Now

Heart & Soul of Greece

Hidden beaches, local cuisine, the best sunsets — the ultimate celebration of Greece

Sept 23 - Oct 1, 2024

One Exclusive Departure with Chef Sean MacDonald

9 Days, 8 Nights

The best of Athens, Crete & Santorini

Price from


per person, based on double occupancy. Includes two internal flights and all inter-island transport

Questions? Text or call us
+1 (855) 219-8018

Your meal this evening is Cretan barbecue, the kind that local shepherds have been preparing for millennia. You step onto a stone terrace and breathe in the salt-tinged air—along with a heady mix of savory oregano, spring wildflowers—as the last rays of sun ignite the Aegean. This is island living as you’ll only find here in Greece, packed with ancient ruins, stunning mountain ranges, and most of all, the food—a sumptuous collision of organic tradition and experimental dishes you won’t find anywhere. You raise a glass of crisp white wine made from grapes grown just a few steps away, and toast your journey: This is the Greece you’ve been dreaming of—from the bustling hive of Athens to the hidden beaches of Santorini—all peppered, of course, with the best cuisine the Mediterranean has to offer.

Joining us on this unforgettable journey is none other than chef Sean MacDonald. Heralded as one of the brightest young stars in the culinary world, Sean rose through the ranks quickly: an executive chef by age 22, a San Pellegrino ‘Best Young Chef of Canada’ at age 25; and now, at 32, ranked as the 65th best pizza chef in the world at Bar Monette, his tapas and pizza hotspot in Santa Monica. His culinary expertise transcends mere cooking; he is an all-around artist and innovator, constantly pushing the boundaries of taste and technique. His personal favorite cuisine is Greek and he can not wait to be back in Greece with you.

This is a trip for the curious and joyful, a celebration of good company and delicious food. From bustling markets to traditional coffee shops, family-run wineries to rooftop restaurants, we’ll experience philoxenia, the Greek concept of hospitality that literally means “love of the stranger,” everywhere we go. Join us for an unforgettable week of culture and cuisine, and the warm hospitality that is at the heart of Greece.


Iconic ancient ruins, rich culinary traditions, and world-class wines


The inspiring beauty of Greece, from Athens to the islands of Crete and Santorini


Incredible Greek wines and the freshest ingredients, alongside expert connoisseurs


With Greece, with Sean, and with a joyful group of passionate travelers

3 Reasons to Travel with Sean MacDonald

From receiving the prestigious San Pellegrino 'Young Chef Award for Canada' to earning a well-deserved spot on The Best Chef Awards List 2018, Sean's ascension to the LA culinary circle has been both fast and furious, including being named one of 16 rising talents in North America by The Art of Plating.

The Art of Plating

Not only does Sean magically blend flavors, his plating is a masterpiece in its own right. As an artist, he considers food his medium and loves playing with precise patterns, contrasting colors, and negative space on the plate.

His Pup Hazelnut

The only family member who may be more popular than Sean himself? His puppy, a TikTok famous chocolate lab named Hazelnut who, thanks to Sean, enjoys beautifully plated meals of bone marrow, cantaloupe, or lobster bisque.

North of the Border

Born and raised in Calgary Canada, Sean has represented his country on the global culinary stage incredibly well: he was the only Canadian on The Best Chef awards list, represented Canada in the San Pellegrino Young Chef World championships, and his restaurant, Bar Monette, was named one of the best new restaurants in LA.

Your Experience

“Nothing beats driving windy roads in Santorini trying to catch the sunset.”
Sean MacDonald

Athens, Crete, Santorini

“Travel means freedom and joy... Also eating. My kind of travel is based around food.”
Sean MacDonald

Day by Day

Day 1: Athens

Kαλως ηρθες στην Ελλάδα — Welcome to Greece! 

Our adventure begins, after transfers from the airport, at the MGallery hotel. We’ll take a moment to recalibrate and meet for a cocktail hour and a generous array local specialties. Over a drink or two, we’ll get to know Sean and toast to the adventure ahead.

Day 1: Athens Highlights

  • Transfer from Athens Airport
  • Welcome Reception 
  • Stay at MGallery in Athens

Day 2: Athens

Our day starts with a food tour. As we wander in and out of markets, bakeries and cafes, we’ll sample succulent loukoumades, Greece’s honey-drenched answer to the doughnut; spinach and cheese pies; tangy, creamy cheeses and cold cuts; and grassy, fragrant olive oils and honeys.

These treats are just an appetizer for the main course: a traditional lunch — think no-frills fare like lemon-crusted mackerel and charred souvlaki — at a local taverna. As the afternoon rolls around, we’ll return to the hotel for some rest and relaxation.

Don’t slumber too deeply because our welcome dinner at Varoulko Seaside, one of the country’s few Michelin-starred restaurants, will be one for the ages. As yachts glide silently past our perch on the marina and the Acropolis shimmers in the distance, we’ll enjoy achingly fresh seafood just out of the water. With each bite, tonight’s dinner will give new meaning to the great poet Odysseus’s claim that to deconstruct Greece is to be left with an olive tree, a vineyard and a fishing boat — and that is all you will ever need.

Day 2: Athens Highlights

  • Athens food & walking tour
  • Dinner at Michelin-star Varoulko Seaside
  • Stay at MGallery in Athens

Day 3: Athens

Up first is a very special tour of the Acropolis. We’ll take our time to drink it all in—wandering among the columns of the Parthenon and marveling at the ancient stonework of the Temple of Athena and Nike. We’ll then make our way to the nearby Plaka neighborhood — a cobblestoned hillside lined with tavernas, shops and cafes — for a deep dive into kafeneon (coffeehouse) culture, followed by a hands-on lunch in the best sense, as we roll up our sleeves together with Sean to learn more about the techniques and primal ingredients of Greek cuisine. It’s a masterclass in slowing down, and celebrating seasonal ingredients. We’ll sit down for an incredible meal and toast our local chefs.

We’ll enjoy a guided tour of the world’s largest collection of Cycladic Art before tonight’s dinner at our hotel’s rooftop restaurant as modern Athens thrums and glimmers below.

Day 3: Athens Highlights

  • Acropolis visit
  • Coffee tasting in Plaka
  • Hands-on cooking with Sean 
  • Stay at MGallery in Athens

Day 4: Crete

This morning we’ll puddle-jump over to Crete, Greece’s largest island and virtually a country unto itself, with a rich history dating back to Neolithic times. It’s also the birthplace of olive oil, with olive trees having been cultivated here for more than a dozen millennia, and there’s no better place in the world to learn about liquid gold, as the poet Homer referred to it.

We’ll start our island adventure with a visit to a traditional olive mill and family estate, learning all about ancient and contemporary cultivation methods, then enjoy a cooking class and lunch courtesy of the family matriarch. Sean is passionate about olive oil — it’s one of his favorite ingredients— and as we cook, he’ll tell us all about how to play around with different nuances and flavor profiles.

After our feast, we’ll check into our beachside hotel and have a little time to unwind and explore the fishing village of Agios Nikolaos, whose picturesque coastline captured the imagination of filmmakers like Walt Disney and Jules Dassin back in the 1960s. Dinner tonight will be at our hotel, where the playful menu features mashups of Greek classics, like grilled grouper with bouillabaisse cream, stuffed artichokes with miso, and pastitsio with a moussaka twist.

Day 4: Crete Highlights

  • Flight to Crete
  • Olive estate visit
  • Family visit & lunch
  • Stay at Daios Cove Hotel

Day 5: Crete

Legend has it that you can’t truly understand Cretan culture without heading to the mountains, and today’s our day to do just that. We’ll make our way up Mount Karfi and explore the supposed birth place of Zeus, stopping along the way to discuss the diverse flora and fona growing along the trail. 

At the top, we’ll rest among the ruins of an ancient Minoan settlement and enjoy sweeping views of the island’s rugged north coast, fringed by the purple Selena and Dikti mountains. No visit to the mountains is complete without wine, and one of Crete’s iconic wineries just happens to be a stone’s throw away. Here we’ll learn more about native varietals like kotsifali, a dry red known as the “soul of Crete.” 

Up next is a truly special lunch. We’ll stop at a picturesque hillside village at a taverna steeped in legend, where will fill up on saganaki (charred feta with eggplant and tomatoes) and tsigariasto (roasted lamb) and eat to our heart’s content. We’ll then return to the tranquil luxury of our 5-star resort to reset and relax. Dinner is on our own tonight.

Day 5: Crete Highlights

  • Naturalist hike to Mount Karfi
  • Winery tour & tasting
  • Stay at Daios Cove Hotel

Day 6: Santorini

We’re off to Santorini by ferry this morning, cradle of Minoan civilization and site of one of the largest volcanic eruptions in history, which has bequeathed the island its unique microclimate and ashy terroir. Our morning will be devoted to learning about the Santorini’s small, flourishing wine industry centered on the indigenous Assyrtiko grape, known for its distinctive citrus and mineral notes and saline aroma.

We’ll visit several family-run wineries, learning more about Assyrtiko’s versatility and aging potential and admiring the ambelia, the ancient technique by which the vines are trained picturesquely into low-spiraling baskets to protect them from the winds. Sean adores salty, volcanic soil wines, and as we taste he’ll offer us a wealth of tips on how to best pair them with different foods.

Santorini is a place to indulge whims and wander, so the afternoon is ours to stroll the winding cobblestone alleyways and admire the traditional cerulean-domed, whitewashed buildings that clamber up and down the island’s rocky hillsides. Dinner tonight will be a true sundowner, as we watch the Aegean ignite in a kaleidoscope of reds and yellows from our perch at our rustic restaurant. 

Day 6: Santorini Highlights

  • Ferry to Santorini
  • Winery visits
  • Sunset dinner
  • Stay at Andronis Arcadia Santorini

Day 7: Santorini

Today is about island living in all its glory, as we board our private catamaran for a day of exploring the deep blue Aegean sea. Our first port of call will be the spectacular caldera hot springs, where we’ll lather ourselves up for a rejuvenating mud bath.

After rinsing off, we’ll sail past the ancient settlement of Akrotiri, home to one of the first lighthouses in Greece, stopping for a swim at the secluded cove of White Beach, named for the gleaming cliffs that encircle it. While we enjoy an onboard seafood barbecue lunch, Travis will talk more about his passion for seafood and share some of his favorite preparation methods with us. After lunch, we’ll head to nearby Red Beach for more swimming and snorkeling.

Our dinner tonight is a special beach-side barbecue procured and prepared by Sean himself. 

Day 7: Santorini Highlights

  • Private island cruise
  • Akrotiri swim & snorkel
  • Beach barbeque with Sean 
  • Stay at Andronis Arcadia Santorini

Day 8: Athens

It’s back to Athens this morning, and straight back into the mix for another food tour. We’ll start with a short walk through the vibrant Monastiraki and Psyrri districts, famed for their colorful flea markets, artisan workshops and vibrant street art.

Our lunch today will be in the old market building of Athens’s lively central market, where fresh fish, crayfish, and shrimp will be brought straight to our table from the fish market next door, and prepared table-side. As we sample a traditional Greek fish soup and a deluxe sushi platter of nigiri and sushi rolls, Travis will talk about his training in Japan, demoing some of the dishes we’re sampling.

We’ll have time this afternoon to bid farewell to Athens on our own before reconvening for a very special farewell dinner, filled — Greek-style — with toasts to our hosts, the gods, the saints, and long life. Yamas!

Day 8: Athens Highlights

  • Flight to Athens
  • Market hall lunch
  • Farewell dinner
  • Stay at MGallery in Athens

Day 9: Athens

It’s time to say farewell to our new friends. As we go our separate ways, we know that, as Greeks say, Φάγαμε ψωμί και αλάτι — we ate bread and salt (and much, much more) together, and now we’re bonded for life. Until we meet again! 

Day 9: Athens Highlights

  • Airport transfers
  • Departures from Athens airport

Where We Sleep

Contemporary design meets traditional Greek architecture. Enjoy the understated luxury and sophistication of our boutique hotels.



Located in chic, elegant Kolonaki just a stone’s throw from the Old Royal Palace and National Garden, this airy, art-filled hotel is a quiet sanctuary from which to explore bustling Athens. No evening would be complete without a poolside cocktail at the rooftop bar, where sweeping views of the glimmering Acropolis allow guests to enjoy their own private sound and light show.

Daias Cove


Tucked within a secluded cove, this hotel seamlessly integrates with its environment, allowing guests to rejuvenate amidst the sights and sounds of the coastal landscape. With ocean views from every nook, the Mediterranean Sea serves as the perfect backdrop to delectable meals and award-winning cocktails.

Andronis Arcadia


Nestled on the edges of picturesque Oia, this hotel is a modern-day marvel named after the mythical home of the God Pan. The homage to classic Santorini architecture is surrounded by a symphony of blues throughout the day, and painted by fiery hues come sunset. A collection of private suites, each a testament to luxury, immersed in an aura of divine tranquility, it is the perfect home in Santorini.

Loved the authenticity of everywhere we ate. The food was fresh and delightful.
Rachel W.
Every day we had a new surprise that blew my mind!
Sharzad K.
Each hotel became more beautiful, each quaint and modern and staffed by the greatest humans ever.
Sarah L.

Book Greece with Sean MacDonald

Number of Travelers


Reserve your spot today with a $1,500 per-person deposit plus room supplements (if relevant). Full payment is due 180 days prior to your trip departure date. We’ll email you a reminder. If your trip departs in less than 180 days, we’ll collect full payment either 30 days from when we receive your deposit, or 60 days prior to your trip departure date, whichever is sooner. For details read our Deposit FAQs


per person, based on double occupancy. Includes two internal flights and all inter-island transport

Can't travel on these dates?
Call us at

+1 (855) 219-8018


We have answers! Read our FAQs below. Or text or call us at +1 (855) 219-8018 to speak with a Modern Adventure trip specialist.

  1. What does the price include?

    Eight nights of four- and five-star boutique accommodations; most meals; internal flights from Athens to Crete, and from Santorini to Athens; ferry from Crete to Santorini; private travel for all day trips and excursions; departure airport transfer; private tours with local guides and cultural experts; exclusive VIP access and tastings; entrance fees; daily breakfasts, most lunches and dinners; local beverages with meals.

  2. What is not included?

    International roundtrip airfare to Greece; travel insurance; transportation to the trip’s starting point; activities not included in the trip itinerary; hotel incidentals including room service, laundry service and hotel bar tabs; food and beverages not included in itinerary; gratuity for Modern Adventure trip leader.

  3. Where does the trip start and end?

    Our adventure begins at the MGallery Hotel in Athens, Greece. The closest international airport is Athens’ Elefthérios Venizélos Airport (ATH). We recommend arriving one day early in Athens to ensure you’re at our starting point on time. Our adventure ends in Athens as well. We’ll provide a complimentary transfer to the Athens (ATH) airport.

  4. What travel documents are required?

    US citizens are not required to have a visa for stays in Greece of under 90 days. Your passport must be valid for three months beyond your planned departure date, though we recommend that your passport be valid for 6 calendar months beyond your planned departure date from Greece.

    Not a US citizen? Please check with the Greek Embassy or Consulate for information and requirements.

  5. Do I need to pay a supplement for a single room?

    Yes, for solo travelers there is a $1,700 single-supplement fee—paid at the time of booking—to secure a private room. These spots are highly limited and available on a first-come, first-served basis.

  6. Who is going on this trip?

    Our adventures typically have between 10 and 18 guests, plus our Modern Adventure team. Our experiences are fun and inclusive and you can expect to be joined by a diverse group in terms of age, background and interests—including solo travelers, couples and friends traveling together. This adventure is for travelers age 18 and above.

  7. Who is leading this trip?

    This trip is led by an expert Modern Adventure trip leader. They’re an experienced travel guide, a representative of Modern Adventure and your go-to person for questions or concerns on the trip. We’ll be joined throughout our adventure by local, expert guides who are deeply knowledgeable with respect to local cultures, customs and history and are passionate about sharing that with us.

  8. Do I need travel insurance?

    We highly recommend purchasing travel insurance. Travel insurance allows you to seek reimbursement for your trip costs; if your trip plans change for unforeseeable reasons, or if you need to get medical help, emergency transport, and for theft, loss or damage of items while traveling. For best coverage, always insure the full trip cost within two weeks of your initial trip deposit and note that most ‘Cancel For Any Reason’ policies must be purchased on the date of your initial deposit.

  9. What is the cancellation policy?

    If you cancel on or May 26, 2024 there is a $500 cancelation fee.  If you cancel on or after May 27, 2024, there is  50% cancellation fee; after July 25, 2024, there is a 100% cancellation fee. We highly recommend purchasing travel insurance as we are not able to make exceptions to this policy in cases of family/medical emergency or cases of the trip being canceled (see our Terms and Conditions for full details).

MO/AD News

Modern Adventure makes the Fast Company list of Brands that Matter in 2022. Next-level creativity and sustainable business practices build a brand with impact.

For the second year running, Modern Adventure is recognized as one of the top travel operators in the world by ​Condé Nast Traveller’s​ annual Readers’ Choice Awards, the most prestigious in the travel industry.

“I’d had Oaxacan food before, but few restaurants served meals like this—'celebration food' worth the effort only for births and weddings. And, apparently, for Modern Adventure.”

“Modern Adventure is curating a slew of foodie getaways, each spearheaded by the world’s most prolific culinary influencers. Who wouldn’t want to venture to faraway lands... eating really, really good food?”