Greece with Travis Swikard

October 13 - 20, 2023 | One Exclusive Departure

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Heart & Soul of Greece

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

October 13 - 20, 2023

One exclusive departure with Travis Swikard — reserve your spot!

8 Days, 7 Nights

The best of Athens, Crete & Santorini

Price from

$9,500

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

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

You emerge from the Aegean’s sapphire blue waters onto a secluded beach framed by rugged mountains, the breeze perfumed with citrus and herbs. Lunch — the sizzle of fresh-caught fish on a charcoal grill — is another stunningly delicious meal in one of the world’s most beautiful places. This is the Greece you’ve been dreaming of, a place where ancient ruins, bustling food markets, breathtaking landscapes and millennia of art and culture combine in the best fever dream you’ve ever had. You’ve met winemakers in Crete and watched the sunset over Santorini. Now, toes in sand, it’s time for another perfectly refreshing dip in the sea, letting the sun and sea serve as your guide. You’ve never felt more alive.

With us on this unforgettable adventure is Travis Swikard, the mastermind behind San Diego’s Callie. The name Callie is derived from the Greek “kallos” meaning the “most beautiful” and Travis has been obsessed with the beauty of Mediterranean cuisine culture since his tenure at Boulud Sud in New York City. His love for the entire coastline — from Spain to the Middle East — shines through in every beautiful dish he creates. With Travis at our side, we’ll immerse ourselves in Greek culture and cuisine, from the freshest seafood to the unique vegetables and grape varietals that only grow here — and some of the finest cuisine the Mediterranean has to offer.

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.

Discover

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

Celebrate

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

Savor

Incredible Greek wines and the freshest ingredients, alongside expert connoisseurs

Connect

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

3 Reasons to Travel with Travis Swikard

For someone with deep, intensive training in fine dining — he shadowed Gavin Kaysen and served as a right-hand to Daniel Boulud early in his career — Travis is delightfully laid back. As the executive chef of his own restaurant, he'll still run dishes to guests, forage his own ingredients, and collaborate with local farmers and fishers for a completely regional menu.

The Most Beautiful Food

His restaurant Callie — which translates to “the most beautiful” in Greek — is an homage to the time Travis fell for the flavors of Greece. His cuisine du soleil is going to be the perfect match for this Modern Adventure.

The Dude Abides

Travis is a SoCal dude through and through, and his first solo restaurant is a testament to that. Yet don't let his whimsical touches — or that velvet painting of Jeff Bridges! — fool you. He graduated from the New England Culinary Institute, and cooked at England’s Auberge du Lac and at Michelin-starred spots across NYC.

Homecoming King

Travis is the shining example of a local boy who made it big, but never forgot his roots. He could have easily set up shop in some of the biggest culinary capitals of the world, but he returned to San Diego to show everyone what his hometown offers: an embarrassing amount of riches from the soil to the sea right outside his restaurant’s doors.

Your Experience

“Greece is the center of the Mediterranean, a bountiful sea of the most incredible seafood in the world.”
Travis Swikard

Athens, Crete, Santorini

“It takes a lifetime to discover Greece, but it only takes an instant to fall in love with her.”
Henry Miller

Day by Day

Day 1: Athens

​​Kαλως ηρθες στην Ελλάδα — Welcome to Greece! After meeting at our hotel, we’ll get right down to business 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 1: Athens Highlights

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

Day 2: Athens

Up first is a pilgrimage 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 Travis 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 have time this afternoon to wander on our own before 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. Tonight’s dinner will be at our hotel’s rooftop restaurant as modern Athens thrums and glimmers below. 

Day 2: Athens Highlights

  • Tour of Plaka
  • Hands-on cooking with Travis
  • Acropolis visit
  • Stay at MGallery in Athens

Day 3: 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. Travis is passionate about olive oil — he uses some 30 different bottlings in his restaurant — 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. 

After dinner, for those who want to stay up a little, we’ll enjoy a nightcap with Travis under the stars.

Day 3: Crete Highlights

  • Flight to Crete
  • Olive estate visit
  • Family visit & lunch
  • Stay at Minos Beach Art Hotel

Day 4: 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 jump into 4x4s and explore the hidden secrets of Crete’s higher elevations, stopping first at the village of Krista, home to a 13th-century church with immaculately preserved Byzantine frescoes. Next, we’ll wend our way upward past olive groves and herds of grazing goats toward the summit of Giouhtas Mountain. 

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 4: Crete Highlights

  • 4X4 mountain excursion
  • Winery tour & tasting
  • Taverna lunch
  • Stay at Minos Beach Art Hotel

Day 5: 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. Travis 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 5: Santorini Highlights

  • Ferry to Santorini
  • Winery visits
  • Sunset dinner
  • Stay at Katikies Garden

Day 6: 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 at Selene, famed for its wine cellars helmed by one of Greece’s only Masters of Wine, and for a menu that features traditional Cretan ingredients like red prawns, sea urchin, skinny katsouni cucumbers, and milk-fed lamb.

Day 6: Santorini Highlights

  • Private island cruise
  • Akrotiri swim & snorkel
  • Dinner at Selene
  • Stay at Katikies Garden on Santorini

Day 7: 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 tableside. 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 7: Athens Highlights

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

Day 8: 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 8: Athens Highlights

  • Breakfast
  • Transfer to Athens airport

Where We Sleep

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

MGallery

Athens

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.

Minos Beach Art Hotel

Crete

With its necklace of low-slung bungalows and villas stretching along over a mile of coastline, this serene hotel is half fishing village, half modern art museum. Its open-air sculpture garden is a veritable who’s who of contemporary Greek art, and its two waterfront restaurants make abundant use of the local herbs, fruits and vegetables that only grow on Crete.

Katikies Garden

Santorini

This dreamy, five-star island oasis is a contemporary refuge in the heart of Santorini. The suite-only property has graceful stone walls and winding paths surround the village-like grounds. Design-forward rooms feature local antique furnishings. Sweeping views, clifftop pools and easy access to Santorini's largest town ensures that the Katikies will capture our island hearts.

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 Travis Swikard

Number of Travelers

Payment

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

$9,500

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

Questions?

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?

    Seven 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. Just bring a valid US passport. For citizens of other countries, 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 June 15, 2023 there is a $500 cancelation fee.  If you cancel on or after June 16, 2023, there is  50% cancellation fee; after August 14, 2023, 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).

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