Walking and painting holiday in Crete

What a perfectly balanced artistic escape: spend your mornings on leisurely walks in the Cretan countryside, and your afternoons painting what you’ve seen in the studio – or al fresco.
Hotel with pool near Kissamos, Crete five morning walks 2.5-4 hours long four afternoon painting workshops with the resident artist bring your own materials or use provided pencils, pastels, acrylics hearty breakfasts every day free time to relax on the beach end of trip exhibition and party
950To1090 excluding flights
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8 Days
Small group
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Description of Walking and painting holiday in Crete

A fantastic, relaxed, eight-day walking and painting holiday in Crete. This trip is for keen painters and novices alike – with a morning walk every day to get your creative juices flowing. You can participate as much or as little as you like.

This trip is based in a locally-run hotel in Kissamos, on the northwest coast of Crete, with a studio complete with resident artist, and a pool. Enjoy the local area’s wonderful history. There are monasteries, Byzantine and Classical remains, and the odd cannonball left as evidence of the frequent Ottoman bombardments suffered by the island.

Every day you’ll go on a morning walk into the Cretan countryside, using a local bus to get to and from trail heads. On these gently-paced walks there’s plenty to stop and enjoy: Crete is replete with olive groves and little countryside chapels, curious goats and carpets of wildflowers. Take plenty of pictures – they can all serve as inspiration for your painting class.

Thanks to the resident artist you’ll be in good hands for your painting workshops. These afternoon sessions take place either in the hotel’s studio, or outside in the landscape. You might perch on the rocks at the seashore with your easel on your knees or go into the town to paint the small dramas of everyday life in the local café.

Novice painters are very welcome, and this trip includes taught workshops where you can learn the basics of how to sketch, how to add colour. By the end of the week, you’ll be picking subjects with confidence.

On the last evening, celebrate your creations with a little exhibition party.

When you visit this small community, you’ll instantly become part of the family – you’ll get to know the local bread van, and the local winery. Your hosts are an ecologically conscious pair, using solar power and bus power when they can to run the trips, and water-based paints so that thinners don’t pollute the area.

This trip gives you a few hours of downtime in the afternoons between walk and evening painting class, when you can relax at the hotel’s pool or stretch out on the beach. Enjoy going into Kissamos in the evenings to try the local tavernas with your group. Whilst you’re in town, look out for local Tsikoudia (raki), herbs and honey – but the best souvenirs you’ll take back from this trip are the ones you paint for yourself.

Price information

950To1090 excluding flights
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Make enquiry

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12 Reviews of Walking and painting holiday in Crete

5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed on 22 Jun 2023 by

A well balanced holiday in a beautiful area. Camille and Jakovos were excellent hosts making sure we were getting the most from our holiday. Read full review

Reviewed on 25 May 2023 by

Such a rich and rewarding experience led by extremely knowledgeable, kind and caring guides. Read full review

Reviewed on 30 May 2023 by

The location of the hotel by the beach was superb. Coming down for breakfast in the morning to the stunning view of the bay from the restaurant was a real treat. Read full review

Reviewed on 23 Oct 2022 by

Excellent. Read full review

Reviewed on 17 Oct 2022 by

Excellent. Read full review

Reviewed on 13 Oct 2022 by

Oh my gosh I had such a great week... One of the best trips of my life and I hope to repeat it next year. Read full review

Reviewed on 25 Jun 2022 by

Loved all of it - lovely location that was so beautiful, great company, good walking, fun painting - a good introduction to Crete! Read full review

Reviewed on 23 Jun 2022 by

Travel light, take a sun hat and beach shoes for swimming in the sea and be prepared for a stress free holiday in a lovely quiet corner of Crete. Read full review

Reviewed on 23 Jun 2022 by

Overall a very lovely experience led by a great couple whose approach was flexible to suit differing abilities. I intend to return. Read full review

Reviewed on 18 May 2022 by

A great success. Beautiful and varied walks and encouraging painting sessions. Read full review

Reviewed on 22 Jun 2022 by

Really friendly and interactive group. Camille and her partner Jacob were warm, gentle and welcoming, it set the tone for the group. Jacob knows the area very well and was an excellent guide. Read full review

Reviewed on 12 Oct 2020 by

Camile and Iakovos are amazing hosts, warm, friendly, attentive and supportive, and I would highly recommend their tours. Read full review

Responsible Travel

As the pioneers of responsible tourism, we've screened this (and every) holiday so that you can travel knowing it will help support the places and people that you visit, and the planet. Read how below.


Before the walking and painting holidays begin, we clean up plastic rubbish that has been swept in by the winter sea and put it into local municipality bins. Unfortunately there is no official recycling scheme in this area yet. On our walks, all rubbish is taken home after picnics. Sketching outdoors is conducive to respect for and contemplation of the environment. It is an activity with minimal to zero impact. We use water based paints so there are no polluting thinners. The ‘grey’ water can be re-used to water dry vegetation. We promote and share our real concern for the environment, talking about the birds we see (mostly raptors like buzzards and Griffon vultures, herons and finches and rarer migratory birds), the flora and fauna, such as tiny frogs on the road, taking great care not to tread on them. We point out badger holes and mourn the occasional dead badger or weasel on the road. We are constantly learning about the properties of plants and their uses, passing on this information to interested co-walkers or learning from them. For example, there are many carob trees around Kissamos Bay. Carob beans were a staple food during the Nazi occupation and are now a recognised nutritionally rich substitute for chocolate in vegetarian food.

As Walking Leaders, we are always willing to learn more about the history, botany, culture etc. of the area and to do what we can to protect it. We also grow our own organic vegetables, have a garden that is abuzz with insect life and use solar power for hot water. We walk a lot!

As most of the walks are in the local area on old tracks we do not need transport, but if we go further afield, we use the public bus system. The accommodation where guests stay also use solar power for hot water. Because our holidays are in the low season, it is rare to need airconditioning.


Our walking and painting holidays take place in a small area where we are well known and loved. The welcome given to guests by everyone is genuine and generous. Our suppliers are all local and friendly neighbours. For example the delicious bread van comes round 6 days a week, supplying the area. The baker always hangs a bag of free bread on a neighbour's fence because he is unable to pay for it. He supplies his bread to the accommodation we use. This is a small family run business, which uses its own organic produce in its generous breakfasts. The local tavernas to which guests return time and again also use their own vegetables, wine, raki and olive oil. Their friendly and direct communication with everyone creates a wonderful atmosphere. We introduce our guests to the local family run winery, which uses grapes grown only in Crete. They offer unlimited wine-tasting with all 30 of their varieties in a truly Cretan gesture of hospitality, in a room that also acts as a museum of old farming and vinicultural equipment.

In the town of Kissamos, guests are shown family run businesses and shops, where they can buy local honey, herbs, cheeses and other artefacts. Here too, there is a 24/7 Health Centre, open to all. We visit the excellent museum, where artefacts from the Minoan, Ancient Greek and Roman periods are on display, informing visitors of some of the many fascinating layers of Cretan culture. The small fee paid goes to the local council, who are proud of their heritage and are working to sustain their local culture. As far as payment is concerned, we always make sure that all bills are paid and tips left; that Cretan generosity is neither exploited nor misunderstood. We aim for a 'win-win' situation in our dealings with everybody and the result is guests feel so relaxed and welcome that they want to return.

As a village, we all support each other, exchanging skills and goods. This is the best form of charity on a local scale. On wider issues, like the new bio-sewage system that the local government installed, we are part of the discussion, calling for lower connection fees. At a time of economic crisis they are prohibitive and therefore unpopular. It is good news that they have reduced the costs now by more than 50%. This work goes on, as does vigilance over the quality of the sea. As mentioned above, we are also part of a voluntary group who cleans up plastic from the beach and adjacent ground.

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