YOU’ve been longingly following your friends’ social media posts about the stunning beaches of Greece, and you’ve probably eaten the shots of those delicious-looking dishes too.
Served fresh and locally everywhere, from waterfront taverns to traditional mountain villages, there’s something to be said for the sunny Greek flavors captured in sun-ripened fruits, olives, vegetables and herbs.
Not to mention the freshest seafood and succulent free-range meats, poultry and cheeses that are at the heart of fine Greek cuisine. And the wine? It gets better every year.
One more reason to immerse yourself in the comprehensive sensory experience of Greece.
With Jet2holidays, the UK’s leading tour operator for the country, you can explore 19 different Greek destinations, departing from 11 regional UK airports.
It offers an excellent range of packages to suit every style, budget and appetite!
Here’s a small sampling of what you can enjoy during your Greece vacation, including local specialties on five of Jet2holidays’ most popular islands that you won’t want to miss.
Eating out in Greece
In Greece it is a tradition to order several starters to share.
Favorites include golden-fried calamari or shrimp, tzatziki (thick creamy yogurt and grated cucumber); olives (the big purple ones from Kalamata are divine!); a Greek salad with tomatoes, cucumbers, green peppers, olives and feta, dressed in olive oil; Spinach and cheese pie in filo pastry; dolmades (stuffed vine leaves); or saganaki (crispy fried cheese with a squeeze of lemon).
Alongside the grilled main courses – pork or lamb chops, steak or fish – try souvlaki (chicken, pork or lamb skewers served with warm flatbread).
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Other classic dishes include moussaka, keftedes (meatballs), stifado (spicy beef stew with onions and tomatoes), yiouvetsi (lamb baked with noodles), kleftiko (lamb slow cooked in wine with potatoes and onions), papoutsakia (eggplant stuffed with minced meat). béchamel) and kokkora me makaronia (rooster in tomato sauce with pasta).
Vegetarians and vegans also eat well in Greece – alongside all the salads there are dishes like briami (Mediterranean vegetable casserole), gigantes plaki (butter beans baked with onions and tomatoes), imam bayildi (aubergines sautéed in olive oil) and yemista (baked tomatoes or peppers). filled with rice and herbs).
Dessert? Nutty, honey-drenched baklava, loukoumades (warm honey fritters), portokalopita (orange pie) and galaktoboureko (custard pie) are just a few of the national favorites.
There’s also the sweetest watermelon you’ve ever tasted.
Crete: champion of the Mediterranean diet
Crete is the cradle of the Mediterranean diet, which includes lots of vegetables and olive oil.
Cretan specialties include Kalitsounia (sweet or savory cheese pastries), Dakos (crunchy rusks with fresh tomato, cheese and herbs), Sofegada (Cretan ratatouille) and Apaki, known for its wild mountain vegetables and herbs, as well as dozens of sheep and goat cheeses (smoked pork) and sfakianopita (warm cheesecakes with nuts and honey).
Be sure to try the excellent wines of Crete and Tsikoudia (a strong grape brandy, also known as raki).
Corfu: Venetian influences
Corfu was occupied by Venice for about 400 years, until the end of the 18th century. His influence can still be felt in the kitchen, in dishes like bourdeto (spicy fish stew), sofrito (veal in white wine and garlic sauce) and noumboulo (smoked pork fillets).
Corfu is also famous for tsigareli (spicy vegetables) and kumquats, which are made into sweets and liqueurs, while the brief British occupation left an odd fondness for tzitzibira – ginger beer.
Rhodes: A touch of spice
The classic Rhodes dish is pitaroudia (chickpea fritters with tomato, mint and onion).
The island is also known for using cumin in dishes like revythokeftedes (Greek falafel) and kapamas (stuffed slow-cooked kid or lamb).
Other specialties include sfougato (eggs baked with feta and zucchini), rouzetia, a delicious red fish cooked in skordalia (garlic sauce), and melekouni (honey and sesame sweets).
Santorini: earthly delights
There’s more to Santorini than breathtaking caldera views: the black volcanic soil produces grapes used to make Greece’s best white wines, and the waters are teeming with fish.
The long, thin cucumbers and tiny cherry tomatoes that grow here are the tastiest in the world: locals process the latter into tasty fritters called tomatokeftedes.
The island is also known for fava – yellow split peas served as a mashed dip with capers.
Try the island’s signature Sunday lunch: Pasá Makaroúna, which consists of layers of homemade egg noodles, ground beef, cinnamon, and cheese with butter.
Or sample the popular Greek meze served at the many friendly, locally-run tavernas across the island.
An unusual and delicious specialty is Krasostyri, or “drunk cheese” aged in red wine.
For something sweet, try katimeria (thin fried pancakes), tomato spoonfuls (a sweet preserve made with the island’s signature tomatoes and almonds), or a tasty treat with kanelada, a cinnamon- and clove-flavoured drink.
Chalkidiki: rich and fertile
Chalkidiki is known for its fine seafood and the popular must-try starter is fresh mussels, prepared either as saganaki (in a spicy tomato sauce) or as pilaf with dill and lemon.
Other dishes visitors should try include lamb fricassee in egg and lemon sauce and bouyiourdi (oven-baked tomatoes, feta and pepperoni served piping hot).
The Great Peninsula is a true holiday classic, known for its honey, olive oil and wine. One wine to look out for is Limnio, a red wine so old that its name is mentioned in ancient literature.
Let Jet2holidays take you to the unforgettable smells and tastes of Greece and discover why people rave about the excellent customer service and great value for money.
Whether you are looking for a B&B, a luxury seaside stay or something in between, Jet2holidays offers an excellent range of accommodation at Greece’s best resorts.
And when you fly with Jet2holidays – voted the UK’s Best Airline by Tripadvisor – you’ll enjoy a range of exceptional perks: 10kg hand luggage, 22kg luggage, free transfers, free travel for infants and thousands of free seats for older children.
You can secure your Abta and Atol protected holiday with a deposit of just £60 per person*.
Book your dream summer getaway to Greece at jet2holidays.com Now