OPA! Last fall, TV personality Tara Hitchcock and husband Kenn Francis headed to Greece to join three other Arizona couples on a six-day biking and hiking trip with the company Backroads through the islands of Crete and Santorini (backroads.com). Hitchcock shares her favorite Greek experiences.
“Exploring the southwestern coast of Crete… we stumbled across this family-run gem in Livadia. Owner Yannis Lionakis took charge, serving us a traditional Greek salad and one of his specialties: Cretan grilled octopus. My husband, Kenn (not normally an octopus fan)… finished the entire thing. The best meal we had in Greece! ” facebook.com/gialites
Kapsaliana Village Hotel
“Set in the middle of Crete’s largest olive grove near Rethymno, this 300-year-old village-turned-countryside retreat is hard to beat. Enjoy a tour of the 18th-century Arkadi Monastery olive press as you sip homemade lemonade and work your way through stone arches and bougainvillea to your own room for the night.” kapsalianavillage.gr
“A canceled kayak trip on Santorini forced our Backroads leaders to scramble. They came through with an experience of a lifetime, renting e-bikes on the nearby island of Thirasia, [seeing] churches, cave houses, gorges, and a sheepherder out of central casting.” explorethirasia-santorini.gr