Greek Isles 2022, Trip 1: Chasing the Light
Travel, Art and Discovery
May 4 – 14, 2022 : Santorini and Paros
$ 4,200 per person Single Occupancy (Paros)
$ 3,500 per person Double Occupancy (Santorini + Paros)
NOTE: Only double rooms are available in Santorini. Both doubles and singles are available on Paros. Those who wish the discount must share a double in both Santorini and Paros.
“Enthusiasm is a wonderful thing. In South America, they throw flowers to you.
In Greece, the Greeks throw themselves.” – Melina Mercouri
In 1997, I took my second international trip and first solo excursion — three weeks in Greece, a country I’d never been to and knew ridiculously little about, filled with people speaking a language that was 99.9% foreign to me. But some force of nature whispered in my ear and I never doubted for an instant that I had to go — I just plotted my path and booked the flights. Greece was, as they say, life changing in so many ways: the way I understood myself, the way I understood others, the way I understood history, and the way I understood my place in the universe. I think we’re all due a bit of life-changing, don’t you?
TRIP 1: MAY 4 – 14, SANTORINI AND PAROS
FIRST STOP: OIA, SANTORINI
We’ll meet May 4 on the magical island of Santorini. Excavations suggest that the first human presence on the island was during the neolithic period, around 3600 BC, and was perhaps home to the Minoans. The many cave homes covering Santorini, newer homes constructed with a nod to the past, and the magnificently blue caldera are constant reminders of Santorini’s history and resilience. (Photos below by Pam Goode)
We’ll spend three days exploring this beautiful island from our cluster of distinctly Cretan homes (and pool!), shown below, overlooking the sea and villages with plenty of access to shops, beaches, restaurants, a bookstore, and history. (Photos below courtesy of rental agency)
Our Oia, Santorini accommodations include connected queen-bedroom-with-bath houses, pool, and jacuzzi overlooking the Aegean sea, only steps below the main pedestrian path that connects the entire island.
SECOND STOP: NAOUSSA, PAROS
After three glorious days on Santorini, we leave May 7 for a cruise across the Aegean to the island of Paros and the delightful village and harbor of Naoussa, replete with atmospheric whitewashed homes, voluptuous flowering vines, fresh seafood, shops, and endless inspiration. (Stock photos)
Our home base is just outside town in a stunning house with 8 bedrooms, 8 baths, ocean views, pool, outdoor lounge area, and outdoor workspace. Both doubles and singles are available. (Photos courtesy of rental agency)
Painters and mosaic artists will create site specific color palettes for Greece to inspire us not only during our time together, but also to use as reference upon returning home. Pulling from these colors, we’ll create sketches and mini mosaics exploring Greek culture and landscape on paper (or lightweight boards for mosaic) in multiple locations. The gorgeous blue and green seas of Paros, the whitewashed cave architecture of Santorini, and the glorious bougainvillea vines will provide ample composition and color inspiration for studies and larger pieces.
This will not be a standard workshop. Participants can expect short demos, exotic locations, morning prompts, evening group discussions and a lot of time to create and/or explore on your own. Our hope is that you approach this experience in Greece through the culture, landscape, and inspiration surrounding you, let it seep in quietly or boldly, and welcome the new ideas that take shape. We hope you’ll experience Greece with your soul and let it change your art, whether in whispers or raucous overthrow.
This approach should help you connect to your work more fully, strengthen your design skills and bring a freshness and immediacy to your work whether abstract or realistic, and whether you’ve been making art forever or are just beginning. Welcome!
- Transportation Suggestions
- Transportation from Santorini airport to accommodations
- Shared room with bathroom, terrace, pool overlooking the sea
- Transportation from Santorini to Paros
- Transportation from Paros to our house near Naoussa
- Single and shared rooms with private bath
- Tour through village of Naoussa
- Local maps
- Daily art prompts, discussions, and practice
- Specific activities will be outlined closer to the trip, potentially including beaches, 1/2 day sailing trip or island visit, cooking class, and tours of Naoussa, Santorini, and the island of Paros to stir the imagination and provide inspiration and space for art.
- Transportation to Santorini
- Meals unless Noted
- Art Supplies (limited)
- Return Flight Costs
NEED TO KNOW
- Greece uses the Euro as currency.
- You can arrive in Satorini by plane or by ferry, but there may be only one each day. Be sure to check ferry schedules before you buy a flight. Otherwise you may lose a day and that would be very sad.
- Arrivals by plane will let you out by the Santorini airport where taxis await with 24/7 service. The ride to our location in Oia will be E35-50 and takes about 22 minutes in a taxi. Airport Shuttles offer a cheaper though perhaps slightly longer ride.
- At this time there are some pretty easy flights. Lufthansa, for example, will take you from Charlotte to Santorini with only one stop. Can’t beat that!
- If you fly through Athens, be sure to check flights very carefully. On my first trip, I landed in Athens and couldn’t find the gate for my flight to Crete, so I asked a nice Greek guy for help. He looked at my ticket and then looked at me and said, “wrong airport.” Yes, I had to grab a cab and hustle.
GOOD TO KNOW
- Sunrise/Sunset: 6:00 AM – 8:25 PM
- Greece is a paradise for water lovers, pretty much devoid of sharks and tides remain pretty stable throughout the day. The beaches of Greece are safer than most, but do watch for sea urchins and other spiky things.
- Fortunately for us, many Greeks speak pretty fluent English. I asked someone about that once and his answer was … TV. Apparently it’s good for something.
FUN TO KNOW
- Paros has been inhabited since 4000BC and began to flourish around 3000BC.
- Paros is the third largest island in the Cyclades with a population of 12,853.
- The lovely village of Naoussa has 2,870 inhabitants.
- Tide changes in Greece are quite low, averaging about one foot, while tides in the Atlantic vary a bit over three feet. This is due to the small outlet for water exchange between the Atlantic and Mediterranean.
Feel free to contact us with any questions!
A Greek word meaning to do something with soul, love, or creativity;
sharing the essence of yourself by putting it into all you do.
Laura McRae-Hitchcock, Charleston, SC
Laura’s art moves between realism and abstract, much the way she treasures both being at home and the adventure of travel. An award winning painter and co-founder of Wild Hair Adventures, Laura has taught painting workshops for over 15 years. She calls a barrier island near Charleston, SC home, sharing it with her husband and a sweet cocker spaniel named Gunner. In addition to spending time with family, Laura’s idea of fun is exploring new places and ideas, and gathering with friends to make art, share meals and stories. “I love how exciting it is to see new things, experience different foods and cultures, meet new people … it definitely influences my work. And there’s nothing in the world like traveling with artists!”
Pam Goode, Charlotte, NC
Pam is an avid traveler, observer, thinker, introvert, writer, and artist, as well as founder of Ciel Gallery, Mosaic Art Retreats, and Wild Hair Adventures. She’s published two books of poetry and a novel, Touch of Fire, and is currently working on a book about her travels in Greece. Pandemic and all that — gotta get the travel fix somehow. Pam has been working in mosaic for 21 years, always with a concentration on color. “Raucous art. Happy art. Art that pours out every thought and feeling and passion. It’s what we’re here for.”
Say yes. Get it while it’s hot. It’s your journey. Make it count.