Immerse in the sea and sky, the sights and sounds of Crete
Program Dates: October 24 - 30, 2021
Escape to the beautiful island of Crete for ancient inspiration and natural wonders including the famous pink beach of Elafonisi. In this unique, artist retreat you’ll join a maximum of 8 to explore the streets of Chania Old town and Santorini. Be rejuvenated by the blue waters of the sea and even the textures of an enchanting forest.
Maximum 8 people
Wine and art tour of beautiful winery, monasteries, and a chapel
Photography excursion into an enchanting forest
Day trip to Santorini
Day trip to Elafonisi - the pink beach
A locals guide to the city streets, markets, and street food
Cooking class with local family overlooking the Aegean Sea
Optional add-on activities include museum tickets, and outdoor adventure such as Archery, Stand-up Paddleboarding, Jeep or Quad Safari, or return to the beach
This trip is limited to 8
Our Greek Community
From seas to skies, you'll meet locals who will share their passion for this phenomenal place.
“There is a kind of flame in Crete - let us call it “soul” - something more powerful than either life or death. There is pride, obstinacy, valor, and together with these something else inexpressible and imponderable, something which makes you rejoice that you are a human being, and at the same time tremble.”
Hotel Accommodations (double occupancy)
Guided walking tours
Historic monument tour
Santorini day trip
Flight not included.
Maximum 10 participants.
What you will do and learn.
The rejuvenation that comes from a retreat that indulges your senses can aid your creative pursuits in ways one can't often imagine. Let your imaginations run wild overlooking the sea, gazing at the stars, smelling the fresh air, and savoring incredible cuisine. Our cretian experience will give you an historical insight, new discoveries of old craft, and a renewed spirit to end 2021.
Where we stay:
The island offers us a delightful retreat for 6 nights stay. From white washed exteriors to comfortable interior spaces, to blue water and blue skies, you'll adore your time in Crete.
The island is accessible from Athens via a 7 hour ferry or a much shorter domestic flight.
DAY 1 - Arrivals at leisure to Hotel where you will meet up with your travel mates for the week.
DAY 2 - A day of discoveries in this Mediterranean island. Be transported to a magical world of wine, monasteries, chapels and scenic villages. From Byzantine architecture, a folklore museum and an ancient library of rarities to sampling select wines from a monastery’s production you will relish in the craft, craftsmanship, and artisan of the past.
In the early evening we will venture with our local photographer friend who will help you reconnecting with your camera and the pure joy of taking photos in a stunning and beautiful forest which very few people know about, and allows you to connect deep with Crete's beautiful nature.
DAY 3 - Breath fresh air on our full day trip to Santorini Island. This famous volcanic island, known for its sea-filled caldera (crater) and black cliffs will provide a backdrop for your creative inspiration as you may admire the whitewashed houses perched high on the cliffs.
DAY 4 - Stories of the streets will resonate with you today as we embark on a food and history walking tour in Chania. With our guide, we’ll explore the winding streets of Chania Old Town, and sample enticing local tidbits at the Municipal Market; examine relics of Chania’s Venetian and Ottoman days; discover the old Ottoman and Jewish quarters; and hear about the sailors, traders and heroes who shaped the city’s past. Watch artisans at work making Cretan handicrafts, and end with some delicious ‘mezedes’ (appetizers) perhaps teamed with local ‘raki’ spirit at a waterfront bar or taverna.
In the afternoon, we'll take sensory pleasure of taste, smells, and sounds of an authentic cooking, eating, and cultural exchange. Begin your visit with a walk through the vegetable gardens, where you harvest ingredients to use in your recipes. Learn traditional dishes from our hosts, and hear the stories behind each dish. Enjoy a walk through the mountain paths with views of the Aegean Sea. Sit down to a meal you helped prepare, including local wine and a sweet dessert. Enjoy an intimate cooking class and meal in a family home.
DAY 5 - Be ready early this morning for today's special delight - a venture to the blue sea and pink sand! Our transportation will make a short stop to see a cave before arriving at Elafonisi beach where you will have 4 hours to swim and relax! On the way back we will have an 1 hour stop at Elos village for lunch! We will be back around 18:00 in time to rest before group dinner.
DAY 6 - This day is on your own or you may choose one of the optional Add-on activities:
Heraklion: Nikos Kazantzakis Museum / entry ticket
Palace of Knossos / entry ticket
Final group dinner
DAY 7 - Departure
*Note this schedule including dates is subject to change due to local weather, force majeure or new opportunities that better suit the needs of the group. This will help you get an accurate picture of what your experience will be like. AIP programs are non-refundable, due to the advanced planning required to make trips possible. We plan every detail to make sure our stay is excellent in every way.
Other trip details:
"Crete is the largest island in Greece, and the fifth largest one in the Mediterranean Sea. Here, you can admire the remnants of brilliant civilizations, explore glorious beaches, impressive mountainscapes, fertile valleys and steep gorges, and become part of the island’s rich gastronomic culture. Crete is, after all, a small universe teeming with beauties and treasures that you will probably need a lifetime to uncover!" visit greece
"In 1450 BC and again in 1400 BC the Minoan Civilization was successively devastated possibly due to the eruption of the volcano of Thera and was eventually led to its decline. In the wake of the devastation the Dorians arrived to settle on the island. They were later followed by the Romans. After the Roman rule, Crete becomes a province of Byzantium until the arrival of the Arabs who occupied the island for an entire century (824-961 BC). During the Arab domination, Crete became the lair of pirates who were based out of Chandakas, present day Heraklion.
Next, Crete fell under Byzantine rule again until the arrival of the Venetians who occupied the island for approximately 5 centuries leaving their stamp on the island’s culture. After the fall of Chandakas in 1669, the Turkish Occupation began marked by ferocious and bloody uprisings. At the end of the 19th century Turkish rule came to an end. The Cretan State was created with the King of Greece as the island’s High Commissioner. In 1913, Crete was finally joined officially with Greece." visit greece
AIP will email you when it is time to get your ticket. We will complete much planning in advance, and will email this to you ninety or more days before your tip. We will send more specific details once you sign up for the trip. You will be met at the airport, and we will all go to the hotel together.
The average high temperature in October is 24ºC, so you won't need much more than your beach gear, shorts and t-shirts. You should pack a few warmer things for the evenings, as it's still pleasant, but temperatures fall to around 15ºC at night.