Skyros, Greece

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Friday, 17 July 2015

The Skyros Centre opens this weekend : Writers' Lab, Life Choices and the Art Studio!


The Skyros Centre is opening this weekend with three fabulous facilitators to kickstart the season! We have the amazing Deborah Levy, Ilene Sawka and Juliette Smith running courses for this first week and then other inspiring facilitators joining us for two week holidays thereafter. Take a look below to find out more about what's on offer on our next 2 week holiday beginning 26 July. Work with experienced authors, life coaches and artists and explore your creativity and expand your potentials. 

Don't miss your opportunity to holiday on the picturesque island of Skyros and enjoy its traditional Greek culture along with good wine, delicious food and sunshine. Book online here or call the office on 01983 86 55 66 or email office@skyros.com for more information.

With best wishes, 
The Skyros Team
Isle of Wight

Writers' Lab: Mez Packer
Mez is author of Among Thieves and The Game is Altered and an Associate Senior Lecturer at Coventry University. In her course she will focus on structure, character, plot and voice looking at how to keep the reader wanting more. Mez has varied writing interests from scripts for apps and transmedia projects to short stories, which have appeared in various literary magazines.

Life Choices programme: Ari Badaines
Ari is an American clinical psychologist and has been a Skyros facilitator since 1982. Ari uses a variety of approaches including psychodrama and gestalt therapy to help people gain new awareness and experience more satisfying ways of being. He received a post-doctoral Fellowship with the National Inst. of Mental Health in Washington, DC where he trained in group psychotherapy. He also spent two years training as a Couple and Family Therapist.

The Art Studio: Amanda Davidson
Amanda was inspired by her tutor Raymond Briggs, best known for his story The Snowman, to become a children's book author and illustrator. As a successful mural artist, Amanda has worked for school projects, conservation groups and architects. Amanda adores teaching; it comes naturally along with her artistic flair. Fine tune your powers of observation by working with paint, pastel and pen. Still-life, landscape and figure drawing will be covered.

Flights and Multiple Holiday Discounts
Ryanair is offering up to 30% off flights in order to 'Keep Greece Flying' and it's worth reading this article here. Ryanair flights are from £29.99 leaving London Stansted and arriving in to Athens throughout the summer. Their offer ends today!

If you take more than one holiday in Greece with Skyros this summer and you will receive a multiple holiday discount. This is a double Friend of Skyros discount equating to £100 off a one week and £150 off a two week holiday. Book your second, third, fourth holiday at our Atsitsa or Skyros Centre and you will receive the multiple holiday discount for every additional Greek holiday booked.

Contact us
If you would like more information about any of our holidays we would be happy to answer any questions you may have.

phone: +44 (0)1983 86 55 66   

email: office@skyros.com

Online chat: www.skyros.com 

Thursday, 9 July 2015

Book your place now at the Skyros Centre



Holidays at the Skyros Centre in the beautiful, unspoilt village of Skyros in Greece are just about to begin. Atsitsa, our other holiday centre on Skyros island, has been running since the beginning of June and we have had amazing reports from holiday participants about their positive experiences. Despite the wider political and economic situation, life on Skyros island is as relaxing and inspiring as ever. 

A holiday at the Skyros Centre includes the opportunity to specialise by choosing either the Writers' Lab, the Art Studio or the Life Choices programme. These courses are run by facilitators at the very forefront of their professions and are getting booked up very quickly. Make this the year where you take that adventurous leap; embrace that Skyros holiday you have been curious about, start writing that novel you dream of getting published, create your artistic masterpiece and make that life changing turnaround you don't want to delay any longer. 

We have a limited number of spaces on some of our courses so here is your heads-up to start booking today to secure your place!  The Writers' Lab, Life Choices and the Art Studio all run simultaneously so book your course in advance. You can choose to change courses mid-week if you are on a two-week holiday, provided there is availability.

We would also like to welcome Richard and Clare Maddicott back to the Skyros Centre. They are returning to be your hosts and ensure you have all you need to relax and enjoy yourselves.


Courses this summer at the Skyros Centre

Life Writing with Deborah Levy - 2 places remaining

Sun 19 - Sat 25 July 2015 - £545

Aspects of Novel Writing with Mez Packer
Sun 26 July - Sat 8 August 2015 - £1245

Successful Fiction with Leigh Russell - 5 places remaining

Sun 9 - Sat 22 August 2015 - £1245
Life Writing with Monique Roffey

Sun 23 August - Sat 5 September 2015 - £1195

Successful Relationships with Juliette Smith

Sun 19 - Sat 25 July 2015 - £545
Choose Life at Any Risk with Ari Badaines 
Sun 26 July - Sat 8 August 2015 - £1245

Living Creatively with Kate Daniels

Sun 9 - Sat 22 August 2015 - £1245
New Beginnings with Dina Glouberman - 3 places remaining

Sun 23 August - Sat 5 September 2015 - £1195

Presence through Art with Ilene Sawka

Sun 19 - Sat 25 July 2015 - £545

Mixed Media with Amanda Davidson
Sun 26 July - Sat 8 August 2015 - £1245
Watercolour Painting with Michael Gahagan

Sun 9 - Sat 22 August 2015 - £1245
Watercolour Painting with Michael Gahagan

Sun 23 August - Sat 5 September 2015 - £1195

Wednesday, 8 July 2015

The Skyros Island Support Fund


Dear Friends of Skyros,

The crisis that the Greek economy has come up against may not affect our holiday participants on Skyros island but it does affect the locals. Difficulties may be hidden from view but they are there. Your presence on the island is, of course, very helpful. By visiting and enjoying the local shops, bars and tavernas you directly benefit the local economy. In addition, unlike many holiday companies, we ourselves use locally owned and maintained facilities with policies in place that favour local produce and services.

This is always the case whenever you visit the island. This time, however, your presence on Skyros island, as in any other part of Greece, is far more important as the island now depends on it.

Our guests and staff also helped enormously to provide support through the Skyros Island Support Fund which was set up in 2013. Through numerous creative ways including fun auctions held during the holidays the Fund raised a phenomenal €33,213.90. 


A committee of three members was formed locally in Skyros island to advise on where funds were best spent, and its work has been hugely appreciated. We have received many letters of thanks including those from the Town Hall, the health clinic, and all the various schools.


Over the past two winters the Fund donated a total amount of €20,890.40 for the purchase of diesel to heat the island's nursery, primary and secondary schools and its health clinic. Government funds had dried up for the purpose and without this contribution they would have been left to cope with winters as cold as Scotland’s.


Another €1,900.00 has been donated to the Skyros island health clinic. This has helped buy much needed supplies and also contributed towards the cost of an extra nurse for 2015 and, the year before, in accommodating a visiting doctor to the island. The Fund also contributed €2,400.00 in support of a local family whose breadwinner was suffering from cancer and €500.00 towards the cost of an urgent eye operation for an 8 year-old girl in danger of losing her eyesight.



Further contributions include €500.00 to the local cat charity, €500.00 to the Skyros Island Horse Trust and €100 to a local group for the promotion of the island.



The Fund still has €6,423.50 at its disposal, but to meet the increasing local needs we would need to raise more. Your help here would be invaluable. If you wish, you can contribute directly to the Skyros Island Support Fund by contacting the Skyros office on 01983 865566 or by email at office@skyros.com. Otherwise, we welcome your involvement and innovative ideas for fun ways we can raise funds during the season.


With thanks & best wishes,



The Skyros Team

Isle of Wight

Thursday, 25 June 2015

Skyros Holidays: treasuring the moment, cherishing a community


Skyros is about living fully in the moment – and making the most of it. It is about the joy of living. It is the pleasure of going for the spectacular that transcends every preceding fear and the delight experienced by the appreciation of things for what they are - ‘a river for its riverness’, as Plato said. With Skyros you can leave your daily toils behind and appreciate all life can offer with people who can become your best friends. All under the delightful Greek sun, next to the sea and amidst lush colourful gardens, with delicious Mediterranean food and an abundance of laughter.  www.skyros.com


Skyros is the leading alternative holiday and offers holidays with a difference – perfect for solo travellers, lively individuals, all ages and genders. It is the place where participants can let go of any inhibitions, forget social barriers and get back in touch with their organic self.

It is based on a series of interlocking communication structures, including community meetings, ‘oekos’ or home groups, a variety of creative courses, co-listening in pairs and the communication with one’s real self. These simple and safe communication structures open up the possibility of 'real talk' and 'real listening' in which the participants are at once fully present to each other and to themselves.


These structures have successfully created soul community session after session for 36 years. This consistency is remarkable given both our constantly changing culture and the evolving expectations.

The courses available open up a world of opportunities for participants to try something new and learn a fresh skill.

For the creatives Skyros offers: drawing & painting, digital photography, creative writing, Mosaics. For the musical Skyros offers: Rock Choir, Singing with soul, Music & Singing, harmonies. For the sporty Skyros offers: windsurfing, abseiling, trapeze, dance, QiGong, tai chi. For the holistic Skyros offers: yoga, meditation, reflexology, massage and many more activities that would take too long to list! You can see our Atsitsa Bay programme here.

Our first three weeks have been a huge success and we have had some fabulous reviews:

’I have found acceptance, creativity and beauty in nature’, L.D, North Carolina


‘A magical spot with interesting people and stimulative company and courses’, J.B, Reading



‘Both Mindfulness and Yoga were brilliant!’, M.O, Northampton



‘Outstanding food, nourishing in every way. Delicious, varied, yummy, amazing’, H.T, Gloucestershire

Skyros is the destination that truly offers something different, which is why so many participants return year after year. Let go of inhibitions, lose sense of seriousness, build great friendships and find the true self. 

Skyros is contactable by email at holidays@skyros.com or call 01983 86 55 66 to find out more. 

Tuesday, 9 June 2015

Good people waiting for you in beautiful Atsitsa!


The 2015 Greek holiday season started yesterday, Sunday, in Atsitsa on Skyros island in Greece. The season promises to offer once again the same 'magical', 'life-changing' experience and Atsitsa will be the place 'where dreams come true'. Our amazing and hard-working staff team makes all the difference and ensures Atsitsa remains the thriving and beautiful holiday destination it has always been. Here the members of this year's admin team, keen to ensure you have your best holiday yet, take the opportunity to introduce themselves. You would love them!

With our very best wishes,


The Skyros Team
The Grange, Isle of Wight


The 2015 Atsitsa admin team . . .


Caroline Stuart-Taylor - Centre Manager: Having been to Atsitsa as a participant three times, I really love the place. It's so beautiful and the atmosphere that's created is very special. I love the ethos of the community here, and the courses are fantastic. Having worked all my life in ski travel, I am looking forward to using my experience in the running of Atsitsa and welcoming new people as well as friends from past courses.


Mark Shaw - Site Manager: I've been coming regularly to the island since 2001 and have worked in many different roles in Atsitsa from a work scholar to site manager. I have a military background and work as a climbing instructor for some of the biggest companies in the world. I love being here on the island appreciating both the natural environment and locals. 




Kelly Stock - Office Administrator: I have been a participant in Atsitsa several times now and it always feels like home when I return. The beauty and healing nature of the place never fails to surprise and I like the person I am when I am here. I hope now to help to make other people's holidays and experiences as special as mine have been. Read Kelly's thoughtful poem about Atsitsa here.


Jerri Conrad - Bar & Transfers Administrator: As a participant on the Skyros holiday in Marrakech I was  tasked to write a letter from my future self to my present self. Part of this letter described a beautiful future:

'You're now in the Mediterranean. Life is simpler and slower. You're living comfortably and authentically. You're spending your time with, and learning from, a vast range of interesting people. You are able to use your skill set in a creative way. You're bringing joy to others and, most importantly, to yourself.'



So when asked why I chose to join the Atsitsa community, I can honestly say that it's because it's the exact place I'm meant to be - my future self told me so!


Katherine Bates - Housekeeper: Hello! My name is Kate and my professional background was originally in the fashion industry covering everything from textile design and embroidery through to fine tailoring and dressmaking. Alongside this I have had a long career in the hospitality industry. I have come to Atsitsa to try something new and completely different from my usual routines. 

If you would like more information about any of our holidays we would be happy to answer any questions you may have.

phone: +44 (0)1983 86 55 66
Online chat: www.skyros.com 

Thursday, 4 June 2015

Lessons from Atsitsa. By Kelly Stock





Go to class but do not expect to learn what is in the brochure. Do not come with expectations of what you want - you will be given what you need.



Learn martial arts - how to tread carefully, to stand rooted and to find your balance in the world. To block, to know when to push, when to deflect and when to run away. To stand tall with your head held high.



In yoga, find how much you can stretch yourself and accept some pain is good.



Sing. Find your voice and discover what it is to be heard.



Leave behind your to-do lists. Take your time. Slow down. Create legacies that count. Footprints fade. Fingerprints last a lifetime.



Find out who you really are and not what others expect or want you to be.



De-clutter your life both of people and possessions. If you came here for six months what would you bring? What would you need? What or who would you miss most?



Look after your mind. Nothing works without it. You will not know the value of your sanity until you lose it.



Wear a bikini - you are not as fat as you think you are.



Connect with others. Take a chance on strangers.
 


Be brave. Fall in love a little with someone who is not your type. Rejection is not the end of the world but missed opportunities may be your saddest regrets.


Swim even if you are afraid of sharks.



Accept that life and nature can be cruel. Wasps sting and sea urchins stab. Pain passes, you survive, or you learn to cope with it better one day at a time. You are stronger than you imagine.


 
Find the beauty of nature too. The way the sea holds you in its embrace when you surrender to its strength. It's healing salt to mend old wounds.



Search for the stars in the darkness, both here and at home.



Try not to worry. It is the things you never imagine that hit you sideways.



Take time to grieve. Mourn the hopes, the dreams, the love that was not meant to last a life time.



Think carefully about what you cling to. It is always much easier to grab hold of the new when you let go of the old.



Be careful what you take home in your suitcase. Leave the long black coat you took off here. You do not need it any more. Leave the layers you have stripped off; the shame, guilt, anger and loss. The island will absolve you of it.



Learn the art of forgiveness. The trick is to let go of the hope that it should have been different.



Be wise with your expectations. To dream is to invite disappointment into your life. To hope for more leaves you vulnerable to disenchantment with what you already have.



Perfection is an illusion but there is no crime in aspiring to be the best you can be.



Time is precious. So live your life for those you have lost, but most of all live it for you.

Friday, 22 May 2015

Brand New Facilitators with Brand New Courses


We settle only for the best and we are very proud to present this summer's brand new facilitators teaching in Atsitsa on Skyros island, Greece. All at the forefront of their professions, they will be offering singing, dancing, yoga, writing, comedy, painting, theatre and circus skills. Courses over two week periods run for one week at a time and so those wishing to join for the first or the second week only will not miss out on any continuity of the course.

All of our facilitators have a warm and inclusive style of teaching that is tailored to the requirements of the individual as well as to the wider group. This summer we have more week-long holidays, ideal for those with busy schedules and prices below include twin shared accommodation, all meals and Skyros courses/activities.

See the full Atsitsa holiday programme online here.

Say hello to our new Atsitsa facilitators!

Kate Smurthwaite - Stand-up Comedy: Kate Smurthwaite is a stand-up comedian and political activist. Appearances include the BBCs flagship political debate show Question Time as well as BBC 1s The Big Questions, BBC Breakfast, BBC News 24, Channel 4 News, Channel 5 News, ITV News and many more. She will cover writing techniques, stage presence, keeping an audience in check, building performance skills and even try out some of our material to the rest of the group!

Dates: AT1: Sun 7 - Sat 13 June 2015 (1 week)            £545

Celestine Walcott-Gordon - Singing With Soul: Celestine is an eclectic soul artist with a velvet voice rich in emotion and experience far beyond her years. Celestine's recording and songwriting journey has seen her work with Gary Barlow (Take That), Cameron McVey (Neneh Cherry), and Stargate (NeYo, Rhianna, Mary J Blige, Beyonce) to name but a few. Learn exciting, uplifting songs from around the globe including African Gospel/Spirituals, Classic Soul & Jazz Songs plus more.

Dates: AT2a: Sun 14 - Sat 20 June 2015 (1 week)           £545
            AT2b: Sun 21 - Sat 27 June 2015 (1 week)           £545

Saskia Bakayoko - West African Dance: Saskia has been playing djembe, dancing and performing internationally for 20 years. Her extensive knowledge and sensitive teaching style has made her a regular on the international festival circuit. This course establishes the basics of the genre. You do NOT need to be a dancer to participate. You just need heart, determination and a desire to learn something new.



Dates: AT2a: Sun 14 - Sat 20 June 2015 (1 week)           £545
            AT2b: Sun 21 - Sat 27 June 2015 (1 week)           £545

Claire Healy - Finding Your Voice: Claire Healy is an actor, musician and songwriter. She has toured extensively with Frantic Theatre Co. and taken her whimsical cabaret to venues around the UK, Ireland and Australia and written for theatre. Through a mixture of breathwork, singing technique and exploring different songs, this workshop aims to release your true voice, discover your own individual style and realise your potential.


Dates: AT3: Sun 28 June - Sat 4 July 2015 (1 week)   £545            
            AT4a: Sun 5 - Sat 11 July 2015 (1 week)           £545
            AT4b: Sun 11 - Sat 18 July 2015 (1 week)         £545

Stephen Clarke - A Sense of Place: Stephen is an English writer living in Paris. Since 2004, he has produced a book every year, including four Merde novels, a guide to living amongst the French – Talk to the Snail, and the number-one bestselling history book 1000 Years of Annoying the French. You have to observe, analyse, enjoy, and select when writing about a place. The result might be a novel, a memoir, a screenplay, travel article or sonnet. It will be comic, tragic, or anything in between.


Dates: AT4a:  Sun 5 - Sat 11 July 2015 (1 week)           £545
            AT4b:  Sun 11 - Sat 18 July 2015 (1 week)         £545

Cate Whittemore - Watercolour Painting: Cate Whittemore is a fine art painter, and a professional scenic artist. She has created scenery for movies, television, and theatre, including SPIDERMAN; Turn on the Dark and The Book of Mormon. Cate's course will explore watercolour techniques, landscape and perspective conventions, chiaroscuro, options and refinements. Daily practice, observing and painting will result in painterly progress and hopefully paintings full of the life and light of Skyros.


Dates: AT7: Sun 9 - Sat 22 August 2015 (2 weeks)           £1245

Alan Gill - Theatre Workshop: Alan attended the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama then began forging a career in at The Victoria Theatre, The Actors Company, Nottingham Playhouse, Cambridge Theatre, Theater Clwyd, The Traverse, The Nuffield Theatre amongst many more. You will be encouraged to try out new things in an environment that is supportive, built on trust and encouragement. Designed to appeal to anyone who likes to have fun and give it a try without putting people on the spot – who knows what you may discover?

Dates: AT7: Sun 9 - Sat 22 August 2015 (2 weeks)           £1245

Sarah Jane Cramond - Circus Skills: Sarah Jane works across Europe and Australia as a freelance aerialist. She has performed Silks, Aerial Hoop and Spanish Web at festivals and performed Fire and Aerial routines in Cabaret. She teaches adult aerial classes and youth circus programs with Aircraft Circus, Flying Fantastic, Circus Suburbia and Airborne Circus. Sarah Jane hopes to pass on her immense passion for circus. No matter what your age, she says, you can always run away with the circus!

Dates: AT7: Sun 9 - Sat 22 August 2015 (2 weeks)           £1245

Kenneth Ryan - Beyond Yoga: Kenneth's classes will include Yoga (from energetic through to restful), Qi Gong, Tai Chi and moving meditations. These practices will be adapted, often softened, to keep them approachable and to suit experience and level of ability. Whether holding steady postures or enjoying a more energetic practice, you can expect to discover greater openness and energy with ease. Anticipate also the bliss of being cradled into a deep relaxed awareness of being.


Dates: AT9: Sun 6 - Sat 12 September 2015 (1 week)               £545

            AT10a: Sun 13 - Sat 19 September 2015 (1 week)         £545

            AT10b: Sun 20 - Sat 26 September 2015 (1 week)         £545

Tony Hawks - Humorous Writing: Tony is the author of the bestseller Round Ireland with a Fridge - the story of his absurd quest to hitch round the circumference of Ireland within a month... with a fridge. After being serialised on Radio 4, the book became a top 10 Sunday Times bestseller. It has now sold over 800,000 copies worldwide including the US and Australia. Drawing on his own experience of having written several bestselling humorous books, Tony will use a variety of techniques to bring out the fun side in you. The focus will mainly be non fiction, but who know where things may go....?



Dates: AT10a - Sun 13 - Sat 19 September 2015 (1 week)         £545
 
            AT10b - Sun 20 - Sat 26 September 2015 (1 week)         £545

Contact Us
If you would like more information about any of our holidays we would be happy to answer any questions you may have.

phone: +44 (0)1983 86 55 66
email: office@skyros.com
Online chat: www.skyros.com