When you rent a yacht for your holidays in Greece, you have the unique opportunity to experience food in the Greek way. For sure, you will enjoy incredible food aboard the yacht, that the crew will prepare for you; one of the many perks of yacht holidays. Nevertheless, you should not miss the opportunity to eat out. A local tavern with tables and chairs practically on the beach; an exquisite restaurant with a terrace offering spectacular views; a “hidden” tavern in the alleys of the village; all will present you with the best Greek food.
Eating is a ritual…
It is not only the dishes you will taste, it is the process that will charm you first. Greeks do not buy into the idea of “eat and run”. They see food as a ritual and a good excuse to share – food, time, stories, ideas. It is no surprise that “mezedes” are the backbone of Greek eating out; a series of starters, small dishes that intend to increase your appetite, often accompanied by ouzo, tsipouro or raki (schnapps-like local drinks) and always shared.
There is no better treat than tasting grilled octopus by the sea. Add some tzatziki, fried zucchini and ouzo and you are set for the perfect “ouzaki” as Greeks affectionately call this type of food, usually served before the main meal. Repeat now with some fresh fish or fried calamari or grilled squid. Oh, the options for an “ouzaki” are innumerable!
Another staple of the Greek gastronomy is the Greek pie or “pita”. The Greek pita is a savoury dish that consists of layers of baked filo dough, crispy and delicious or more solid, a filling of various ingredients, then topped again with a layer of baked filo dough. From spanakopita (spinach pie) to tiropita (cheese pie) to kolokithopita (zucchini pie), there are dozens of variations to try.
And then there are the local gems, that you can only find on this particular island or village. For example, cheeses that often are PDO (protected designation of origin) products and are definitely worth your attention. Forget about feta and look for “graviera” from Naxos or “kopanisti” from Mykonos or “mizithra” from Crete. They are simply exquisite!
Local specialties are also worth exploring. You will never forgive yourself if you are on Sifnos and do not try its famous “revithada”, a chickpea soup boiled overnight in a special clay pot. Or the so tasty “fava”, a famous puréed split peas dish from Santorini. Originated from Crete, you will find it in many places – try a “dakos”; dry barley rusk, soaked in olive oil and topped with diced tomatoes, herbs, capers and soft mizithra cheese. A fresh delight as you come out of the sea for a quick bite!
As you wander with your luxury yacht around the Greek islands and along the mainland’s coast, let yourself be tempted by Greek cuisine. When you are ashore, look for places that locals prefer and go beyond the typical tourist “greek salad-souvlaki-mousaka” menu. They may be traditional taverns or Michelin star awarded restaurants. They may insist on traditional Greek dishes or may be willing to be more playful and adventurous with the excellent produce that their land has to offer. Either way, get prepared for a culinary experience that you will never forget! All you need to do is rent a yacht and get on with your gastronomic exploration!