Sitting under the shadow of a tree, in a local beekeeping farm, you can discover it is as old and pleasurable as Greek hospitality itself. Klio’s farm – which has been passed down from father to son for generations of beekeepers – is less than a 5-minute drive from the archeological site and is open to visitors, upon arrangement.
The garden is filled with fruit trees and vegetables, and is the perfect retreat, away from the heat and, definitely, off-the-beaten-track. You sit back, sip your Greek coffee or a cool juice, and relax. The tourist crowds are at a safe distance and the sweet taste of homegrown fruit is a perfect prelude for the rest of the day.
A good sampling session of various spoon sweets and jams made from all the fruits that are grown on the farm – and preserved by the housekeepers – are not only delicious, but also the much-needed energy boost for walking around ruins and museum halls. At least that makes for a good excuse for having a little more than a tasting from each! And they are made without any artificial preservatives, as you will discover by talking to the owners of the farm. They are always more than willing to share their secrets on producing all of their fruits and vegetables, along with the old ways of their traditional crops – mainly because they are proud of them.
Fortunately that goes for most of their recipes. And that is not always a given in Greece, as many of the recipes are passed from mother to daughter and are kept a secret.
Take the “diples”, for example, a kind of sweet dumpling you can learn how to make on the spot from the house lady. Ms Roula usually prepares them in front of the guests, while at the same time her narration keeps going. She unfolds the dough of this mouth-watering dessert with the skill of a virtuoso and, at the same time, all her cooking secrets.
Take a walk at the Honey Farm
At the end the pure, “homegrown” honey is drizzled on them and all talk ceases.This family has been in the beekeeping business for generations. That’s why they have all these strange and old beekeeping tools and implements, which the kids love asking about. This place is ideal for teaching them about the bees through a presentation of “apicultural history” from ancient times until today. A major topic is the relationship between man and the honeybee and how it has changed through time. Furthermore, the way the impressive bee colonies work together in order to create this wonderful product, honey, along with the other valuable products they offer, is explained in a tangible, experiential manner. The purpose and properties of propolis, beeswax, royal-jelly, and pollen – which have accompanied man through the ages, used in nutrition, medicine and cosmetics – are clarified, helping appreciate the multi-faceted contribution that this little animal has to the well-being of the human race but, also, the planet’s ecosystem.
Oh, if you want to take a taste of the place back home, in their small showroom you will find and taste products sourced from their beehives and their land: honey, jams, fruit preserves (called ‘spoon-sweets’ in Greece), cosmetic creams; all produced and packaged by them in the age-old, traditional homemade way. You know… for the road.