Art holidays in Greece
Description of Art holidays in Greece
For departure dates contact us on 01273 823 700
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.
PlanetWe operate small group tours that have a low impact on the community. All our accommodation used in the village is locally owned and maintained, typically Greek and full of character and charm. We employ staff from the village that also supplies some of our food. Vasso, our chef, rears goats, and supplies the goat’s cheese we use at our centre.
Our furniture and furnishings are sourced locally on the Island.
We ask all our visitors to limit the use of running water.
We are working with the local authority to bring further recycling to the island – plastic, glass and aluminium. We currently separate our plastics glass and paper and take them to the recycling bins. Most of our food waste is used for animal feed.
We support local businesses by buying all our fresh food on the island and where possible from local suppliers to cut down on the use of unnecessary transport. All dry goods are also purchased on the island.
We support and donate to the Simpson Katsarelia project which is striving to save the pure bred Skyrian horse through a conservation, education and welfare programme. We give our participants the opportunity to go and visit the centre and teach them the importance of education and welfare.
The ethos of our courses focuses on creating rather than consuming.
PeopleWhen you book this Art based holiday with us you are joining a 30-year tradition of supporting the local community and working together to maintain a responsible lifestyle. We aim to create a total living experience which can lead to changes beneficial both to the individual and to the world we live in.
As part of your booking, you will be provided with a copy of the company philosophy and pre-trip information on the host community to raise cultural awareness and help you to make decisions on how to integrate responsibly. During your holiday you will have opportunities to learn some local language, and will be fed on locally-sourced national cuisine.
On some sessions there are other opportunities to further integrate with the host community in various ways e.g. volunteering to enter the mini-marathon which brings visitors and locals together.
Our commitment to positive action is not restricted to this island alone. At our administrative offices various environmental policies are in place, including:
- All single sided printed material is stapled into booklets and re-used for notepaper
- All staff living within a 3 mile radius have elected to walk to work
- We have made available downloadable versions of literature from our site to reduce reliance on printed brochures and encourage online booking as an alternative to paper-based methods
- Waste materials are sorted for recycling wherever possible
The village is protected by the Greek government because of its architectural heritage. We limit sessions at the centre to minimize impact on the local community and environment.
Guests visiting the bars, tavernas, shops and small businesses of this vibrant community can be sure that they are directly benefiting the local economy as internationals are virtually unheard of on the Island. Visitors are also requested to help with a few chores to assist with the running of the community, from sweeping the yard and chopping vegetables to fruit picking from the garden. The objective is the creation of an ethical mini-society in which decent human behaviour counts more than money.
For decades we have have enjoyed a somewhat symbiotic relationship with our host island that has been, by definition, a mutually sustainable core. The local community has benefited from it as a significant part of our holiday fees is intentionally spent locally on goods, services and jobs.
As the situation in Greece has created new problems for the locals, we need to take this approach one step further. We have, thus, set up a fund to fill the gap that appears in the supply of fuel to the island’s three schools, the clinic and the nursing home during winter, when the island shivers as much as Scotland. This has been suggested by the locals as the government subsidies for the purpose have dried up. We have succeeded in raising over €27,000 this year (2013).
Charity, it is often said, begins at home, but for many of us the island is our home – be it a holiday home that makes us feel, when visiting, like coming home, or a spiritual home. The island is certainly something more than a pleasant holiday destination.
We have also often contributed generously towards various projects that benefited the island. Our support includes an £17,060.82 (US $27,930) contribution towards the purchase of medical equipment for the local health centre and £2,843.44 (US $4,655) towards the refurbishment of the island’s school theatre. Our staff and vacation makers also raised £10,425.85 (US $17,068) to help locals recover from a devastating forest fire. Support has also been offered to the local Folk Dance Society, the Greek Animal Welfare Fund (GAWF) and to the fund for stray cats and dogs.