Although almost obsolete, “Philema” [φίλεμα –noun] is a word deeply rooted in the Greek tradition. Deriving from the verb “philévo”, which means to offer a small taste of something to eat or drink that we’ve usually prepared ourselves, a “philema” is a way of showing that you care. It is either done between loved ones (philos=friend) or between total strangers. In our culture, offering someone a bite and/or a drink is a sure way of showing your friendly intentions, in a way befriending that stranger. Philema shares the same root as the word “philosophy” and is at the heart of the concept of “philoxenia”, the word for “hospitality” in the Greek language.
Our name perfectly captures our mentality and our mission: The idea is to help our guests experience the backbone, the essence of our Naxian culture, while at the same time keeping the ideas of responsible tourism at heart. We do that by touring around in small, private or groups of existing and future friends, guided by a highly-knowledgeable and personable escort.
Our associates are hand-picked, based on what they do to maintain our culinary traditions and to showcase the flavors and aromas of this uniquely blessed land, in an ethical and sustainable way.
The people behind Philema food tours are local Naxian enthusiasts, deeply in love with the culture of their birthplace, ever so eager to transmit their insight of the island, as well as their passion for good food and meaningful experiences.
We focus on the people.
Investing in the eagerness of young entrepreneurs struggling to keep the tradition alive, but also, learning from the older safe-keepers of our history and their wisdom, we propose gastronomic and cultural itineraries and activities that combine culinary delicacies with a pinch of folklore and are sure to give you the best of both worlds. Our vision is to praise our local heroes and the island’s character so much, that future generations of locals will find good reason to stay on Naxos and work in traditional jobs, thus continuing to maintain the uniqueness of this place.
Our main goal is to provide special, exclusive experiences that really capture the essence and tell the story of this island. In an effort to showcase the riches of our intangible cultural heritage and the importance of its survival, we now go completely off the beaten path, and focus on providing an in-depth understanding of exactly how and why it is that Naxos, its people and its products are the way they are today.
With years of experience working in local travel agencies, we realized that there is a side of Naxos that remains unsung. We believe the real character of a place is instilled in the food, traditions, habits and every-day life of its people. Avid travelers ourselves, we propose our own favorite destinations, keeping in mind how we would like to see them while going on a foreign country adventure. We understand what makes this place so special, we know all the mouth-watering secrets of our island and we would love to have you experience Naxos the way it is meant to be experienced.
All you need to do is browse through our offered services and book one of our ready, signature experiences and events. In case you prefer to mix and match between different visits and create your own, individual itinerary, just email us and let us know about your preferences. We are more than happy to help you create a tailor-made itinerary, customized to the last detail so that the day of your Naxian food & culture experience becomes the highlight of your vacation.
You can choose among a wide variety of exclusive destinations such as a vineyard, a cheese home, a lush organic farm, a marble quarry and workshop, a honeybee farm and much more, always knowing that you are experiencing the authentic side of Naxos.
Sustainable tourism mentality
At Philema Food Tours, we believe without a doubt that there is a way to establish a respectful relationship between the growth of tourism services and the environment that makes the provision of these services possible, while at the same time respecting the hard-working people, aka the “local heroes”, without which there wouldn’t be a service or product to sell.
This is why we value and honor our providers and consider them equal members of Philema Food Tours. We try our best to leave a zero footprint and we only support vendors and practices that contribute to a sustainable touristic development, trying not to intervene or alter the places we visit.
We strive to promote the principles of responsible business practices to make sure we are always in line with a clear global and personal consciousness.
We strongly believe that the tourism industry should be more proactive in protecting the Earth and safekeeping its vitality, so that future generations will also be able to travel around the world and marvel at the unique beauty of each place. Tourism is a powerful global industry indeed, based on our intrinsic human need for exploration and discovery. It has the ability to perform some really in-depth changes.
At Philema Food Tours, we try to do our part in order to contribute in a positive way.