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Food & Drink

Best foodie excursions for Greek cuisine in Greece

Greece cruise shore excursions are an incredible opportunity to take in the history and culture of this fascinating land – but what if your stomach dictates your travels? We’ve got the best foodie trips.

Greek food is never better than when eaten in its homeland – and a Greece cruise is the perfect way to eat your way across the country’s coastline.

Norwegian Cruise Line – or NCL – offers a plethora of Greek island cruises that call at all the well-known names, from Santorini to Mykonos (as well as a few lesser-known hotspots).

Every single port of call gives cruisers the chance to step ashore and steep themselves in the wonders that destination has to offer – and there’s no denying cuisine is a huge part of that. The same applies to onboard, too; NCL ships boast up to 21 dining choices! As part of your Free at Sea upgrade, you can savour the delights of speciality restaurants offering a range of authentic global cuisines, from Japanese and Brazilian to Mediterranean seafood and more.

We’ve rounded up some of the yummiest Greek dishes you can enjoy on a Greece cruise holiday – and the best NCL Greece shore excursions you can sample them on. Maybe just don’t read this while hungry…

Greece shore excursions: Best trips for Greek food in Greece

What to eat and drink

Sourdough bread

Greek sourdough bread is a household staple with a distinctive, slightly sour flavour and chewy texture. Comprising high-quality flour, water and salt, the dough undergoes a slow fermentation, resulting in a unique aroma and crust when baked in wood-fired ovens. You can munch on it alone or pair it with olives, feta and olive oil if you’re feeling fancy.

Eat it:

NCL Rhodes shore excursion: Go Local – Rhodes Traditional Inland Villages

Classic Greek nosh such as sourdough bread, stuffed grape leaves and ouzo are all up for play on this Greece shore excursion to a selection of rural villages. Talk about lapping up culture.


Greek ouzo is a clear, potent spirit distilled from fermented grape or grain mash and flavoured with anise, which imparts a liquorice-like taste. Ouzo is typically enjoyed as an aperitif, served over ice or diluted with water. Do as locals do and team your snifter with small plates of mezes – you’ll need them to soak up the booze!

Drink it:

NCL Rhodes shore excursion: Gourmet Tour – Sea Vibes & Greek Cuisine

Head to Argo, a restaurant that overlooks sheltered Haraki Bay on the island’s eastern shore, where you’ll relish seafood dishes and other Greek specialities.

Set Sail

Greek Isles: Santorini, Rhodes & Istanbul Round-Trip Athens (Piraeus)

Duration: 9 nights
Where: Athens (Piraeus), Greece | Kusadasi, Turkey | Istanbul (overnight) | Volos, Greece | Mykonos | Rhodes | Heraklion | Santorini | Athens (Piraeus)
Ship: Norwegian Getaway
Price: From £1,275 pp

Based on September 1, 2024 sailing

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Rhodes Greece greek island cruises

Stuffed grape leaves

Greek stuffed vine leaves, known as dolmades are a popular dish in Greek cuisine. This traditional appetiser consists of vine leaves filled with a spice-seasoned mixture of rice, pine nuts, fresh herbs like dill and mint, and occasionally ground meat, typically lamb or beef. Dolmades are often served cold or at room temperature and are accompanied by a side of tzatziki (a refreshing yoghurt and cucumber dip) or a squeeze of lemon.

Eat it:

NCL Mykonos shore excursion: Gourmet Tour – Mykonian Seafood Treasures

Cruisers can feast on local dishes at Paraga Beach’s waterfront restaurant on this Greece shore excursion – think seafood, classic mezes and local wines as you overlook the Aegean Sea.

Greek meze

These picky bits, as we might call them, generally feature an assortment of olives, feta cheese, dolmades and tzatziki. If you go meatier, you’ll likely be served grilled octopus, marinated anchovies and fried calamari while warm selections can also include spanakopita (spinach pie) and keftedes (meatballs). Tradition dictates you should pair these with a tipple of ouzo. Ohh, go on.

Other Greek snacky items might include dakos, a rustic meze with barley rusk, tomatoes and feta; kalitsounia, small pastries filled with savoury herbs or sweet delights; olive tapenade; and cheese with honey and nuts.

Eat it:

NCL Mykonos shore excursion: Gourmet Tour – Mykonian Unique Flavours

Guests head to the scenic Rizes Folklore Farmstead to partake in a traditional meal with farm-fresh ingredients, classic mezes and local drinks on this day trip.

Set Sail

Mediterranean: Italy, France & Greece from Athens (Piraeus) to Rome (Civitavecchia)

Duration: 10 nights
Where: Athens (Piraeus), Greece | Kusadasi, Turkey | Istanbul | Mykonos, Greece | Santorini | Messina (Sicily), Italy | Naples | Florence/Pisa (Livorno), Italy | Nice/Monaco (Villefranche), France | Rome (Civitavecchia), Italy
Ship: Norwegian Viva
Price: From £1,525 pp

Based on May 25, 2024 sailing.

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mykonos windmills greece

Koum Kouat

Koum Kouats, also known as kumquat, are a distinctive citrus fruit with sweet and tangy taste cultivated on Corfu. The small, oval fruits have a thin, edible peel that is often used to make a sweet liqueur called Kumquat Liqueur or Kumquat Brandy made by macerating the whole fruits in alcohol and adding sugar. You’ll also find Corfu Koum Kouats used in jams, marmalades and desserts, with the fruit having become a symbol of Corfu.

Eat it:

NCL shore excursion: Scenic Corfu & Island Views

Explore the pretty island of Corfu (Prince Philip was born here, you know) on this Greece shore excursion, swinging by small villages such Lakones and other local highlights as well as a Koum Kouat distillery. Yes, there are plenty of tasty, well, tastings along the way.

Greek wine

With a history dating back thousands of years, Greece produces wines that showcase indigenous grape varieties. Crisp Assyrtiko whites from Santorini, robust reds like Agiorgitiko from Nemea, and Xinomavro-based wines from Naoussa exemplify the diversity of plonk on offer. With a resurgence in quality and international recognition, Greek winemakers are combining modern techniques with ancient traditions. Bottoms up!

Drink it:

NCL Santorini shore excursion: Charming Oia & Winery

Visit a well-known, quality winery and the lovely clifftop village of Oia as you sip on some of the best wines in Santorini.

Set Sail

Greek Isles: Santorini, Athens & Florence Round-Trip Rome (Civitavecchia)

Duration: 10 nights
Where: Rome (Civitavecchia), Italy | Santorini, Greece | Athens (Piraeus) | Mykonos | Corfu | Valletta, Malta | Messina (Sicily), Italy | Naples | Florence/Pisa (Livorno) | Rome (Civitavecchia)
Ship: Norwegian Epic
Price: From £1,125 pp

Based on April  29, 2024 sailing.

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couple santorini ncl cruise
Published 07.03.24