Leaving Athos behind (the 3rd leg of Halkidiki – as it is known), the visit moves to Sithonia the middle or second leg of the region!
The visit starts in Kalives and maybe the best afternoon of the whole trip so far. The group enjoyed a great experience with the Manti family and staff, who let visitors get involved in their family farm business of food production (MANTH). Activities included getting up, close and personal with all the animals, including one very cute baby rabbit. A unique experience of helping them tend to the ‘bee hives’, finding the ‘queen bee’, removing infected bees and collecting the honey. Even managed to see a bee hatching from its egg! A tour of the Olive Plantation and seeing how the process gets the oil to the table was enjoyable too.
Then the best part, a lunch made-up of all the produce that the group had seen throughout the morning, which included the honey, olive oil, bread, cheese, salad, vegetable, fish, meat, wine, ouzo and some delightful home made desserts too (plus a marmite moment – try – Maztixa, a healthy tree-sap product, spooned into a glass of cold water – I liked it).
This really is was an authentic experience and one that will live in the memory for many years, so it has to be at the top of everyone’s list who visits the region. ‘From Earth To Table’ would be good way to describe it, but adding the warmth, friendship and hospitality of the hosts makes it a real Greek Family/Farm Experience.