Eat Well, Live Well

A Mediterranean Food Journey

Oct 26 - 30, 2024|5 days|Crete, Greece

About This Event

Join us for the Eat Well, Live Well Retreat to immerse yourself in the essence of Mediterranean living. Deepen your understanding of the Mediterranean diet, enhance your wellbeing, and refine your culinary skills amidst the breathtaking landscapes of Crete.

Immerse yourself in the vibrant colours, alluring scents and appetising produce of Cretan cuisine, the cornerstone of the Mediterranean diet, through interactive cooking classes led by expert chef, Tom Aikens, the youngest British chef to receive two Michelin stars at the age of 26. Tom will guide you in crafting health-focused Mediterranean dishes using the freshest seasonal local ingredients. You will also experience a true farm-to-table dining experience as you savour a dinner prepared by Tom himself.

Embark on a journey into the heart of Cretan nature with visits to local herb gardens and organic farms. Gain insights into the authenticity and importance of a diverse array of locally sourced, seasonal ingredients. Enrich your knowledge with insights from esteemed luminaries Dr. Kallitsis and Christina Kostara, who will share the holistic benefits of the world-acclaimed Mediterranean diet. Delve into the science of food from earth to table and the philosophy of mindful eating, elevating your culinary skills and overall wellbeing.

Tom’s personal message about the retreat:

“Health, wellbeing, and fitness have always been an integral part of my own lifestyle. I am therefore delighted to partner with Travelgems for the Eat Well, Live Well Retreat, and really look forward to meeting and working with each of the attendees.

I champion using local produce, and Crete / Greece offer the most varied and very best produce, as do many Mediterranean countries. I’m excited to take on the adventure to combine health and purpose with taste, whilst we explore and learn about exquisite, health focused foods and recipes, fostering mindful eating practices, cultivating a renewed perspective on food, and learning the significance of the very best seasonal Mediterranean ingredients.

My mission is to destigmatise the opinions around healthy food being uninteresting and tasteless, when in fact, it can be exciting, indulgent and delicious, whilst being beneficial to your health & wellbeing”.

4500€/per person

About the retreat leader

Tom Aikens is one of the UK’s most acclaimed and inspirational British chefs. Growing up in Norfolk, Tom learnt how to make use of the freshest ingredients, putting food at the centre of his life from a very early age. Tom’s mother was passionate about home grown produce, which is where Tom learnt first-hand about the different types of seasonal vegetables that would end up in the home cooked meals they helped to prepare.

Spending most holidays in France, Tom began to develop a love for French food which inspired him to develop his cooking skills further. Tom enrolled at the City College Norwich, completing an Advanced Catering Diploma in 1989, before beginning his career at Michelin-starred Cavalier’s in Battersea, London. He then moved onto The Capital Hotel working under Philip Britten, followed by a chef-de-partie position with Pierre Koffmann at La Tante Claire at a time when the restaurant was awarded with its third Michelin star. Tom later worked for Joel Robuchon in Paris, Gérard Boyer in Reims and Pied-à-Terre to name a few. It was in Pied-à-Terre that Tom became the youngest British chef ever to be awarded two Michelin stars, aged just 26.

Having run restaurants all over the world, Tom has created many different concepts, from fast and casual to fine dining, and mastered many cuisines, from British comfort food and health & wellness to Asian-inspired and Mediterranean. In 2000, Tom decided to take some time out of the restaurant kitchen and immerse himself in the world of farming, working alongside Carole Bamford, eventually opening Daylesford Organics for the family. Tom’s aim was to learn more about locally grown organic produce, the importance of traceability and sustainability, whilst also gaining experience in the abattoir, deciding with farmers the best breeds and cuts for the farm’s shop.

Retreat Contributors

Christina Kostara is an active, competent, and responsive nutritionist-dietitian with more than 20 years of experience, providing extensive, in-depth knowledge and expertise from inpatient to outpatient Medical (Clinical) Nutrition Therapy to Nutrition Coaching and personalized nutritional care and support for physical and mental health and wellness. She has significant know-how of European Union law on food information to consumers, and vast experience in clinical research and food and nutrition advisory services and insights.

Christina holds a BSc from the Alexander Technological and Educational Institute and an MSc (Medical Science) in Human Nutrition awarded with specialization in Clinical Nutrition from the University of Glasgow. Since 2003, she has been the head dietitian at IASO General, Maternity-Gynecology, and Pediatric Clinic in Athens, Greece. In the past, she has served as a member of the Scientific Board of Approvals (Product Assessment Division: Foods Intended for Particular Nutritional Uses and Food Supplements) of the National Organization for Medicines (EOF). Christina has collaborated with diverse physicians and has numerous publications in the field of nutrition, including mental illness.

Dr. Theodoros Kallitsis is the Farm Manager at the American Farm School of Thessaloniki and Adjunct Instructor at Perrotis College of the American Farm School of Thessaloniki. Before joining the American Farm School, he worked for over 20 years in the food industry, mainly in the area of product development and quality and later as a food safety and food product development consultant. He is a Research Associate at the School Veterinary Medicine, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki. Theodoros earned his Ph.D. degree in Food Science – Food Microbiology at the University of California, Davis, and his M.Sc. in Food Science – Food Process Engineering from the same university. His undergraduate degree is in Veterinary Medicine from the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki.

About the location

Crete, the largest island in Greece and the fifth largest in the Mediterranean, offers a diverse and captivating landscape for exploration. From remnants of brilliant civilizations to stunning beaches, majestic mountains, and fertile valleys, every corner of Crete holds breathtaking beauty. With its generous and welcoming hospitality, Crete reflects the grandeur of the island.

But beyond its natural wonders, Crete boasts a rich gastronomic culture celebrated for its Cretan and Mediterranean cuisine. This cuisine is not just about flavors; it’s a way of life—a philosophy centered on fresh, locally sourced ingredients like olive oil, vegetables, fruits, and herbs. These ingredients are the essence of the renowned Mediterranean diet, known for its health benefits.

About the hotel

Welcome to a redefined barefoot luxury experience in Crete. This is Minos Beach Art Hotel, member of bluegr Hotels & Resorts and Design Hotels.

With its minimal interior and traditional architectural design, Minos Beach Art Hotel embodies luxury with the authenticity of Cretan culture. Located right on the water’s edge, this 5 star luxury hotel in Crete offers all the standards of high-quality accommodation, from the authentic and warm hospitality of its dedicated people to its traditional architectural styles and minimalist, chic interiors. Walking across the hotel’s gardens, you can smell the fragrance of nature, while the meditating sound of the sea provides peace and tranquility.

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Indicative schedule


  • Check-in
  • Welcome Community Dinner


  • Optional body movement session
  • Breakfast
  • Session with Dr. Kallitsis: "How food from the ground ends up on your plate" – Focus on ingredient awareness
  • Free time for reflection and exploration / Optional activity: Guided tour of Knosos
  • Interactive Cooking Class with Tom: Breakfast blends - Learn how to start the day with breads, blended foods, cleansing smoothies, and healthy energy snacks
  • Community dinner with Tom at the hotel

Day 3

  • Optional body movement session
  • Breakfast
  • Visit to a local herb garden to learn more about the wealth of Cretan nature at Minos Palace
  • Free time for reflection and exploration on the island
  • Visit to a local farm to learn more about organic and seasonal products
  • Interactive Cooking Class with Tom in collaboration with the Women's Association of Kritsa: Learn how to use and utilize produce from the local herb garden/farm in everyday life and cooking.
  • Community dinner with Tom at the hotel

Day 4

  • Optional body movement session
  • Breakfast
  • Nutrition Workshops with Christina Kostara: Learn how to integrate the Mediterranean diet for wholesome nutrition, natural eating habits, and mindful living
  • Free time for reflection and exploration / Optional activity: Mirabello cruise
  • Masterclass with Tom in collaboration with Christina. Healthy desserts – Tasty and indulgent, but nutritious. Emphasis on nutritious yet tasty recipes, focusing on benefits of certain produce and how to cook with them
  • Farewell special community dinner executed by Tom with the support of the hotel kitchen

Day 5

  • Breakfast
  • Checkout / Departure
    End of the retreat

Disclaimer: This schedule is indicative and is subject to change as we move closer to the retreat date.

Start your

Event Highlights

Afternoon cooking classes with Tom

Dr. Kallitsis Session

Christina Kostara’s Nutrition Workshops

Visit a local herbs garden to learn more about the wealth of Cretan Nature

Visit a local farm to learn more about organic and seasonal products

Traditional Cooking lesson with the local women’s association of Kritsa

Optional Daily Body movement sessions (eg. Yoga or Pilates)


4500€/per person

in Double Occ. room


5500€/per person

in Single Occ. room

Flexible payment plan

what’s included

  • 4-night accommodation at Minos Beach Art Hotel
  • All cooking classes with Tom
  • Dr. Kallitsis session
  • Christina Kostara’s nutrition workshops
  • All breakfast meals
  • All dinner meals
  • Local herbs garden visit
  • Local farm visit
  • All body movement sessions
  • Traditional Kritsa cooking lesson

what’s not included

  • Airtickets to/from Greece and Crete Island – We strongly advise you to book flexible airfare tickets and flights with fewer carbon emissions to contribute to environmental protection, as it is our responsibility to safeguard our environment 
  • Accommodation Tax of 10EUR / room/ night payble by the guests directly to the hotel
  • Airport and Land Transfers
  • Soft drinks, beverages, water
  • Lunch meals
  • Whatever is not mentioned clearly in the inclusions

more info

We strongly advise you to book flexible airfare tickets and flights with fewer carbon emissions to contribute to environmental protection, as it is our responsibility to safeguard our environment


Flexible Payment Plan: Available – contact us at for details

Language: English

Land Transfer: Available upon request – contact

Cancellation Policy: Deposit amount is non-refundable | Should you wish to cancel your participation one month or less before the start of the retreat, 100% of cancellation fees are applied.

Important Info: In case there are Covid-19 restrictions or restrictions related to any other pandemic that prevent guests from traveling the total amount paid will be refunded.

Dietary Needs: Should you have any special dietary need/allergy, kindly let us know in advance in order to be able to better accommodate you in the best possible way.

Transport: For Tom’s retreat in Crete, you can fly into Heraklion International Airport (HER).

From there, you can book a transfer to the hotel (duration: 50min).

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