Discover the miracle of the Mediterranean diet on a journey through the Greek countryside. This tour includes visits to aromatic plant and herb farms, wineries, as well as olive oil processing plants. During a 3-day tour of Mount Pelion, homeland of Chiron, the wisest of all the centaurs who discovered botany and excelled in medicine, you will attend seminars on collecting herbs, and their medicinal uses. Learn about the world of bees through a series of lectures, seminars, and visits to beekeepers and honey processing facilities. Discover the rich Greek flora and fauna whose products form the backbone of the Mediterranean diet and taste unique Mediterranean culinary delights.
On Bees and Honey
This module is dedicated to the bee (Apis mellifera) and apiculture in general. We will explore the origin of various species and breeds of bees and delve into the general elements of beekeeping, as well as the inhabitants of the hive and their castes (drones, workers, queen). Additionally, we will cover beekeeping practices with special focus on elements of operations that attempt to improve the volume of honey produced on an annual basis and the quality of supplementary products. These will be described to some extent, especially pollen, royal jelly, propolis and the use of honey for the manufacture of wax candles. Finally, we will discuss the importance of honey bees for human nutrition, agricultural production (through the role of bees as pollinators), biodiversity, and the conservation of the natural environment.
Aromatic and Medicinal Plants
A module dedicated to the medicinal and aromatic plants of the Mediterranean region. We will take advantage of visits to farms and processing plants, as well as an exciting hike on Mount Pelion, to study the cultivation and good agricultural practices required for the production of quality herbal medicines. Traditional and folk medicine have often laid the foundations for the discovery of effective drugs, so we will consider questions relating to ethnopharmacology, medicinal phytochemistry and phytochemicals (flavonoids in health and disease), and antioxidants in herbal products. Aromatic plants are a basic component of the essential oils industry, so we will investigate the cultivation and production of essential oils (distillation, solvent extraction, novel green methods), their variability, chemical composition, control and analysis, as well as their diverse applications in the cosmetic industry.
The Mediterranean Food Antioxidants
The Mediterranean diet has numerous health benefits so this module will explore its chemistry. We will begin with an introduction on food antioxidants and their importance, with particular focus on the dietary components of the Mediterranean region. Key elements of the module include the measurement of total antioxidant capacity in nutritional and clinical studies, the efficacy of vitamin E for human health, the molecular actions and optimum intake of Vitamin C, and the links between the chemistry, absorption, and metabolism of carotenoids and their potential role in physical wellness and disease. We will also study polyphenols, the phenolic wine antioxidants, and the health role of olive oil and olives, as well as the recovery of value compounds from olive tree products and olive processing by-products.
- Visit the famous White Tower of Thessaloniki and taste the local Macedonian cuisine
- Take an expertly guided tour of a lavender farm in northern Greece
- Cycle in the beautiful city of Volos and explore the countryside of Thessaly
- Take seminars on identifying and collecting herbs by experienced professionals
- Visit the Apivita factory, one of the most innovative producers of natural cosmetics in Greece, followed by a visit to the beautiful Temple of Poseidon at Sounio
- Explore the Acropolis Museum and the Parthenon, one of the most famous monuments of the ancient world
- Meet with beekeepers and learn about the process of harvesting honey and producing natural cosmetics
✓ Knowledge of the properties and effects of aromatic plants on health
✓ Utilization techniques and treatments
✓ Experiential learning of bee products and aromatic plants by visiting producers
✓ Familiarization with the Mediterranean diet and products
✓ Familiarization of food and cosmetic production, based on aromatic plants and bee products
PERKS & OPTIONS
What is included in our programs?
- 3 US credits provided by the Hellenic American University
- Accommodation in hand-picked and well-located superior class hotels
- Breakfast and lunch
- Professionals e.g. licensed guides, lecturers, and tour managers
- Entrance fees to museums and archaeological sites
- All land and sea transportation included in the itinerary of the specific program
- Information material
- Local taxes
- Travel insurance
- Transport to and from the airport in Greece
- Airfares to and from Greece
- Any custom request