Vouryia: Culinary Tours, Cultural Tours and Wine Tours near Athens
Even if you’ve heard of East Attica, you probably don’t know much about the region (yet). Spoiler alert: it’s more than just outrageously wholesome wine tasting tours.
A hefty area bordering Athens to the east, it’s mainly a rural place… made up of coastal towns, family homes, and big fat servings of old-school Greek charm.
And although it’s super close to the Greek capital, it’s hugely different to its hyper-modern attraction-packed neighbor.
Instead, East Attica feels like a giant retro village. It’s not endless chains, or tourist hordes, or attractions you’ve already heard of. Instead, it’s family-owned farms. It’s fig plantations. It’s local wineries and still-standing tradition. It’s smiling faces who’ll welcome you into their homes.
Today, we’re gonna walk you through Mesogaia (the inland part of East Attica), and all the fun you can have there. Our friend Marina Kavallieraki lives and works in the region… and she—with her travel company Vouryia—helps travelers to see a more authentic side to Greek life.
(In case you’re curious about the name ‘Vouryia,’ it’s a subtle reference to the rural past. The ‘vouryia’ is the hand-woven backpack Cretan farmers & shepherds would take on their mountainous treks. It’s a symbol of exploration, and a nod to local heritage and tradition).
Anyway, if you’re looking for wine tours near Athens, Marina offers all that and more!
Meet Marina Kavallieraki: East Attica’s Local Expert
Marina was born in Athens, but she now lives in East Attica.
Her origins are Cretan (that means she’s from Crete, just in case we’ve lost you with all the local lingo)... and there are loads of similarities between Cretan life and East Attican life.
Marina’s grandparents (and other older relatives) were rural folk; ordinary people who made their money and their meals from the fertile Cretian land. Back when she was a kid, Marina watched her grandparents harvesting grapes. She picked oranges, and cooked with her cousins. She chewed and chomped on family picnics while sitting in the shade of olive trees…
… and she’s now good friends with East Attican people who do exactly the same things. For you, here’s the important part: those people also help the area’s travelers to get hands-on adventures in remote and rural pockets of the region.
With Marina, you’ll only ever experience hyper-local stuff—meeting real families and real local businesses. She introduces travelers to farms and faces that some native Athens-dwellers don’t even know about.
What East Attica Experiences and Adventures Can Marina Give Me?
A load of different stuff!
Scavenger hunts. Tasting experiences. Orchard visits. Wine tasting. Wine tours close to Athens. Picnics. Grape harvesting. Fig harvesting. Pick-your-own and cook-your-own adventures.
(in short, if you’re looking for any cultural tours or culinary tours in the area, Marina is your gal)
But here’s the most important thing: when you take any East Attica tour with Marina and her team, it’s a bit different to similar experiences you might have had before.
Yeah, you’ll enjoy whatever experience or adventure you’ve chosen. But you’ll also see much more:
If you take a wine tour, for example, you’ll get involved with much more than just wine. You’ll learn about many more of the region's flavors and fayre—before you even reach your winery, you might see dairy shops, fig orchards, pistachio fields, or family homes.
Best of all, you’ll be introduced to seasonal flavors, and whatever is right-now-ripe (so every tour is slightly different, depending on when you take it).
All the people you’ll meet on your trip, Marina knows them personally… so you’ll get real experiences, real stories, and real personalities. Whichever tour you take, you’ll always experience Greek-sized servings of “philoxenia” (that’s old-school regional hospitality, to non-Greek speakers like me and you).
Even lifelong Athens locals come to East Attica for these experiences… because they can’t get adventures like this in the bustle of the busy city. It’s all from-field-to-plate fun, and it’s hugely removed from modern life.
But of all Marina’s possible experiences, here’s the one we recommend getting involved with…
‘On the Road, Culture and Culinary Tour: Explore the Best of East Attica Hospitality in One Day’
During this tour, you’ll drive around various parts of East Attica for 7 or 8 hours… sampling a load of regional eats, treats and traditions.
Here’s how it works:
Marina (or one of her team) will meet and greet you by car, usually near Athens Airport.
You’ll hop in your car, they’ll hop in theirs. And for the entire day, you’ll be led to various taste-packed pockets of adventure and excitement in East Attica.
It’s the best possible way to get your lips around some authentic local food and drink.
The tour features recommended stops that Marina’s team offer to all their guests… but you also get to choose between various other potential locations. So you’ll always nab a tour bespoke to you, what you want to do, and what you like exploring.
You can expect dairy farms. Home-cooked Greek-style rice pudding. Nature walks. Regional made-from-wine-must cookies. Must pudding. Ouzo. Archeological sites. Local businesses. Family homes. A load of warm welcomes.
And most of all, you can expect traditional Greek hospitality.
Without some local help, it’s difficult to fully experience the not-so-touristy lands of East Attica. But with Marina, it’s impossible not to. Book a tour, get yourself to the region, and see a genuine slice of Greek local life.
In Which Languages Can I Enjoy East Attica Experiences?
English, French, and (of course!) Greek—Marina and her team can speak all three languages. And even better, they’re passionate about their work, they’re passionate about the region, and they always make travelers feel at home.
Efcharistó, and thanks for reading!