Gentle Crete Walking and Painting – NEW!

16th -23rd Jun 2020 (Tue - Tue)
7 Nights Bed and Breakfast - £835

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Walking and Painting Holiday

Introduction

Our Walking & Painting Holiday, in partnership with Active Crete, offers you the opportunity to relax in one of the most beautiful places of the Mediterranean, by walking and painting  but also having enough time for other activities you choose yourself (swimming in the sea, reading a book by the hotel pool etc).

The area of Kissamos where our holiday takes place is part of the European Programme NATURA 2000 which aims to protect its rich natural heritage and to promote eco-tourism. Our walks leave only a  green footprint as there is no need for transport. Also they are rich in archaeological, historical, botanical and artistic features.

The accommodation of our guests is in several hotels (depending on the holiday dates), top rated by world famous hotel booking sites. They all have a swimming pool and a garden.

There are several tavernas near the hotels, top rated by international holiday rating sites, offering excellent local food at prices of 10-15 Euros per person including local wine. There are shops in nearby Kissamos-Crete.

This holiday week contains :

  1. Five mornings of leisurely paced walks of light to medium difficulty lasting from 2.5 to 4 hours. These will take place along the beaches, in the hills, the valleys, the town of Kissamos and the surrounding area, as well as going through traditional villages and little-known Ancient sites. They are particularly beautiful in the Spring and Autumn with an abundance of flowers and plants. Each expedition starts at 9:00 am at the hotel and ends between 13:30 and 14:00 pm at the hotel. Each walk has regular rest stops.
  2. Four afternoons of painting workshops for beginners and more advanced artists, sketching with either the medium you have brought with you (for example pastels, oils or watercolour) or the medium we provide (pencils, pastels and acrylics). Each workshop starts at 17:30 and ends at 19:00. The painting sessions will take place either at the Studio or out in the landscape; if the group wishes, the sketching workshop can be combined with the walk, instead of the afternoon session, freeing up the evening and giving you the chance to paint interesting aspects of the walk. On the last day before departure in the late afternoon we exhibit our paintings and have a party.

There is the freedom to opt out from either the walks (one or more or all), the painting workshops or the communal meals.

Detailed Walking & Painting Holiday Programme

Day 1

Arrival day. Transfer from Chania airport. Welcome dinner.

Day 2
  • 7:30-9:00 : Breakfast.
  • 9:00 : Meet at the hotel.
  • 9:00-13:30 : Walk : ‘Platanaki – Korfalonas – Kissamos’.  From our hotel we walk to the sea and then along the beach to the Platanaki  and Korfalonas areas. We cross the little river of Korfalonas and continue further until we cross the little river of Kissamos and reach Kissamos town, where we can visit the local archaeological museum, the old fishing port and local traditional shops selling honey, wine, tsikoudia, herbs etc. We return by the regular bus service.

Walking part of the expedition: about 2.5 hours.  Difficulty : light

  • Return at 14:00 to the hotel.
  • 14:00-17:00 : Free time for lunch, relaxing, enjoying the beach and/or swimming.
  • 17:30-19:00 : First painting workshop. At the studio to discuss the painting programme, try pencils and pastels and do some warm up exercises in drawing/sketching eg: still lives/views of the sea/painting from sketches or photographs taken on the first walk. Beginners will be introduced to drawing materials and encouraged to start sketching.
  • 19:00 – … : Free time for further painting and enjoying the evening in the nearby tavernas.
Day 3
  • 7:30-9:00 : Breakfast.
  • 9:00 : Meet at the hotel.
  • 9:00-13:30 : Walk : ‘Ancient Mythimna – Agios Georgios – Villa Trevizan’. From the hotel we walk to ancient Mythimna’s archaeological site. We continue our walk through the olive groves in order to reach the medieval church of Agios Georgios which was built on the ruins of an ancient roman temple, which can still be seen today. We walk further across the southern end of the village of Drapanias on soil tracks to the ruins of the 16th century Villa Trevizan, named after a Venetian feudal family governing the area. After a short break in the center of Drapanias village we visit the Pnevmatikakis winery . We can choose to taste from more than 25 different wines and drinks made of local grapes. Our hotel is not far away.

 

Walking part of the expedition: about 2.5 hours.  Difficulty : light

  • Return at 13:30 to the hotel.
  • 13:30-17:00 : Free time for lunch, relaxing, enjoying the beach and/or swimming.
  • 17:30-19:00 : Second painting workshop. Meet at the Studio to collect paints and materials and then walk east along the bay to find a shady spot from which to sketch the rocks, trees and sea. For beginners this second workshop is the chance to try painting in colour, using shading to add depth. The receding rocky coastline is an excellent subject for the study of perspective and tone to create distance and for all artists it is a chance to paint ‘en plein air’.
  • 19:00 – … : Free time for further painting and enjoying the evening in the nearby tavernas
Day 4
  • 7:30-9:00 : Breakfast.
  • 9:00 : Meet at the hotel.
  • 9:00-14:00 : Walk : ‘Kolymbari – Astratigos – Afrata’. We go by public bus to Kolymbari we walk uphill to the west on the Rodopos peninsula in order to find the picturesque village of Astratigos: a very small village at an altitude of 210 metres without any shops but with beautiful views to Chania bay. We walk further to the north of the peninsula and arrive in Afrata, another small village with a tavern and a traditional Café. Time for a coffee break. From here on, during our whole way to the Gonia Monastery the views to the Chania bay are spectacular. The city of Chania and the island of Ag. Theodoroi are visible. Our next stop is at the famous Gonia Monastery which was built between 1618 and 1634 in its present location, with Venetian influences in its architectural design and adornment. The distinctive fountain in front of the monastery’s entrance was built in 1708 and the belfry in 1849. The monastery was heavily damaged by Ottoman bombardments on many occasions throughout its history, including in 1645, 1652, 1822, 1841, and finally in 1867 during the Great Cretan Revolution (1866–1869) against the Ottoman Empire, evidence of which can be seen today by the remaining cannonball lodged in the monastery wall. The monastery contains numerous Byzantine artifacts from the 15th and 17th century including Cretan icons by painters of the famous Cretan school of icon painting (which shaped El Greco). It also has numerous relics and other rare religious treasures from the Byzantine period and ancient inscriptions on the walls.

 

Walking part of the expedition: about 3.5 hours.  Difficulty : medium.

  • Return at 14:00 to the hotel.
  • 14:00-17:00 : Free time for lunch, relaxing, enjoying the beach and/or swimming.
  • 17:30-19:00 : Third painting workshop. Having found a subject to draw or paint on our walks, either from photos or from sketching on the spot, subjects maybe churches, doorways, colourful gardens, ancient olive trees, strange stones, seascapes, landscapes, whatever you like. By now beginners will have found the confidence to tackle more varied subjects. Help is at hand from the resident artist, Camille Marquand.
  • 19:00 – … : Free time for further painting and enjoying the evening in the nearby tavernas.
Day 5

A free day to rest or do further walking or sightseeing on your own. You could enjoy the many attractions of Chania, or visit the famous Balos beach by a short boat trip or hire a car to explore further a-field or …

Day 6
  • 7:30-9:00 : Breakfast.
  • 9:00 : Meet at the hotel.
  • 9:00-14:00 : Walk : ‘Drapanias – Potamida’. After a 20 minute walk from our hotel, we reach the village of  Drapanias which we skirt round. Going uphill we find an old track leading through the olive groves to the little chapel above us built into a cave… Michael the Archangel. We continue on this track over a small river bed and a magnificent mulberry tree until we reach a country road and more old tracks. At the sides of the path is a rare kind of mint and a lot of caper flowers amongst many other plants. Now coming downhill we reach another cave chapel … another Michael the Archangel, nestling under the shade of a plane tree from which the old church bell is hanging. From here we take the road to Potamida in the valley and turn back towards the sea, passing on our right the famous natural clay marls which tower above the fields. We will visit the mill museum and have a break there before we return to the hotel.

 

Walking part of the expedition: about 4 hours.  Difficulty : light

  • Return at 14:00 to the hotel.
  • 14:00-17:00 : Free time for lunch, relaxing, enjoying the beach and/or swimming.
  • 17:30-19:00 : Fourth painting workshop.  Either at the studio or on location: street scenes/café scenes or anything you want to do.
  • 19:00 – … : Free time for further painting and enjoying the evening in the nearby tavernas.
Day 7
  • 7:30-9:00 : Breakfast.
  • 9:00 : Meet at the hotel.
  • 9:00-13:30 : Walk : ‘Nopigia – Panagia Myrtidiotisa – Agios Vasilios’. Starting from the hotel we will walk past the open air theater to the little chapel  of  Panagia Myrtidiotisa in Nopigia and then along a rough path over stones and rocks towards the little medieval chapel of Agios Vasilios on the Spatha peninsula. The blue sea is always beside us. We will encounter only a few sheep and goats and enjoy great views towards the  Gramvousa peninsula  across  Kissamos bay, with the Spatha mountain on our right. We walk along Nopigia beach back to our hotel.

 

Walking part of the expedition: about 3.5 hours.  Difficulty : medium.

  • Return at 13:30 to the hotel.
  • 13:30-18:00 : Free time for lunch, relaxing, enjoying the beach and/or swimming.
  • 18:00- … : ‘Painting Exhibition’ of your work and party to review, discuss and appreciate the week’s work and developments in a relaxed way…
Day 8

Departure day. Transfer to Chania airport.

 

What to bring with you

Swimming costume, sun glasses, sun hat, sun cream, strong walking shoes, small rucksack.

Additional Information

Free transfer from/to Chania airport is included at any time. Transfer from/to Heraklion airport can be arranged on request (at an additional cost).

There are a number of bikes at Cormoranos Apartments for hiring and exploring the surrounding area.  They are road and mountain bikes made by IDEAL (www.idealbikes.net) and their rental cost is 5 Euros per day. We can provide instructions for self guided rides upon request at the time.

What’s included?

  • 7 nights Bed and and Breakfast accommodation (see also note about meals below)
  • Dinner on the first evening
  • Return transfer from/to Chania airport meeting any flight.
  • Basic art materials

Meals

There is a huge delicious breakfast (consisting of local home made products) every day and the welcome meal at the evening of arrival included. Almost all guests keep a part of the breakfast for lunch as they cannot eat it all in the morning.

Basic materials are provided (included in our price), including a board, pencils, pastels and a wetbox with acrylic colours and paper but artists are encouraged to bring their own mediums if they want. Lightweight collapsible stools are also available.

 

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