Skyros, Greece

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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.

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 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: 

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
Online chat: 

Monday, 18 May 2015

Yannis Andricopoulos, author and Skyros co-founder

Born in 1939, Yannis Andricopoulos (Γιαννης Ανδρικοπουλος) spent the formative years of his life in Athens – years scarred by wars, deprivation and political repression. ‘We managed to survive’, he says, ‘but only on grains of hope’.

With a BA in Politics, in 1964 he joined the Athens daily Avghi and in January 1967 he was sent to ‘swinging London’ as its correspondent.  The appointment was, however, short-lived as the Greek dictatorship closed Avghi down in April 1967 and deprived him of his passport.  His actions, the colonels claimed, were ‘detrimental to the national interests of Greece’.

While a political exile, he earned a Ph.D. in History from London University. He was also elected as the head of the Greek National Union of Students (EFEE in exile). The latter’s activities caused, among other things, his expulsion from a number of East European countries.

In 1974 he resumed his career as a London-based correspondent first for Avghi and then for Eleftherotypia, another Athens daily. In the same year, he also published his first book, 1944, Κρισιμη Χρονια  (1944, A Critical Year), an edited version of prime minister Churchill’s personal papers on 1944 Greece. He has since published three more books on 20th century Greek and European history (Οι Ριζες του Ελληνικου Φασισμου, Το Ευρωπαικο Αδιεξοδο, Η Δημοκρατια του Μεσοπολεμου). As a journalist he has reported from various trouble spots of the world.

In 1979 he co-founded, together with psychotherapist Dina Glouberman, Skyros Holidays, described by The Guardian in 2008 as ‘the first and still the best’ alternative holiday. He still co-directs it.  Ten years later, from 1989 to 1994, he also edited i-to-i, an alternative London publication, which attracted contributions from numerous established journalists and authors.

His trilogy – In Bed with Madness, The Greek Inheritance and The Future of the Past – was published by Imprint Academic in both the UK and the US in 2008. Inspired by his involvement in the truculent world of politics and the graceful, personal world of Skyros, the Trilogy takes a critical view of contemporary politics and culture.

History, Politics and Dreams, his latest book, was published in London in May 2015.

History, Politics and Dreams by Yannis Andricopoulos

This literary nonfiction book by Yannis Andricopoulos (Γιαννης Ανδρικοπουλος) takes the reader on a journey through history, politics and ideas on the strength of his personal experiences in Greece and England, the countries he views respectively as mother and wife. While factually accurate, the story is an engaging tale of dreams and doubts, illusions and disillusionment, hope and despair portrayed both poetically and also humorously. The book turns from page one into a compelling, vivid and dramatic account of the conflicting priorities and values that shape our lives. 

A part of this story is taken up with people such as ex-king Constantine, Margaret Thatcher, James Callaghan, Thabo Mbeki, Indira Gandhi, Turgut Ozal, Constantinos   Karamanlis, Andreas Papandreou, Giscard D’Estaing and many other leading figures whom the narrator met over the years as a journalist.

Leaving history behind, the story moves into the quandaries of our post-faith, post-ideology and post-everything world. Impelled by feelings of excitement and frustration, joy and anger or, in the case of Greece, mirth and gloom, it also highlights the need for a new, radical vision to help us resist the dispiriting cynicism of our times and face the future with confidence. 

This conclusion leads the storyteller to the Greek island of Skyros where several hundred Europeans question and challenge every year our culture’s assumptions and confirm their commitment to the fundamental human priorities and values. In the heart of his own thesis is the belief that the creation of a decent society is not the job of the state but of each one of us. 

‘Yannis’ honest, engaging and flamboyant voice’, one reviewer said, makes this book ‘an immensely readable work’. It is written, another reviewer stated, with the ‘clarity and sophistication of a genius’, an assessment that reminded another reviewer of some other books ‘deservedly seen as great’. ‘Every paragraph’, another pointed out, ‘contains a thought-provoking phrase’. 

Yannis has published eight non-fiction books – four in Greece and another four in the UK.

History, Politics and Dreams is available through
Waterstones, WH Smith, Foyles, Barnes & Noble, The Book Depository, Blackwell Books and also

Friday, 15 May 2015

We've been listening to you and here's our response...

Dear Friends of Skyros,

We've noticed from your emails and phone calls that there's a trend towards wanting more one week holidays in Atsitsa this year, particularly early and late in the season.

In the height of the season, many of you still want a good break for a fortnight but the trend seems to be towards more short breaks as well as one long one. Although we're close to the season beginning in Greece we are, nevertheless, both able and happy to accommodate your requests. 

It is possible, of course, to join any of these weeks together. We can book you an extra night in Atsitsa in between holidays. This change won't affect those who've already booked a two-week holiday. It simply opens up additional possibilities. Transfers to and from Skyros island will be rearranged to accommodate the increased number of one week holidays. 

See our new expanded programme below and online here.

With our best wishes,
From All at Skyros
Isle of Wight

More week-long holidays in Atsitsa this summer . . .

Sunday 7 – Saturday 13 June (AT1)
Drawing & Painting, Yoga for Every Body, Windsurfing, Rock Choir, Cuban Salsa, Mindfulness, Stand-up Comedy, Writing from Life

Sunday 14 – Saturday 20 June (AT2a)
Bodywork, Yoga for Every Body, Windsurfing, Singing with Soul, West African Dance, Drawing & Painting, Digital Photography, Life & Fiction (creative writing)

Sunday 21 – Saturday 27 June (AT2b)
Bodywork, Yoga for Every Body, Windsurfing, Singing with Soul, West African Dance, Drawing & Painting, Digital Photography, Life & Fiction (creative writing)

Sunday 28 June – Saturday 4 July (AT3)
Open Art Studio, Yoga for Every Body, Windsurfing, Finding Your Voice, Dance, Meditation, Massage, Reflexology, The Art of Swimming, Starting Your Novel

Sunday 5 – Saturday 11 July (AT4a)
All My Life's a Stage, Hatha Yoga, Windsurfing, Sing Your Story, Open Art Studio, Dance, Qi Gong, Massage, Reflexology, A Sense of Place (creative writing)

Sunday 12 – Saturday 18 July (AT4b)
All My Life's a Stage, Hatha Yoga, Windsurfing, Sing Your Story, Open Art Studio, Dance, Qi Gong, Massage, Reflexology, A Sense of Place (creative writing)

Sunday 19 – Saturday 25 July (AT5)
Landscape Adventure, Vinyasa Yoga, Windsurfing, Everyone Can Sing, 5-Rhythms Dance, Meditation, The Power of Laughter, Mosaics, Rhyme doesn't pay? (creative writing)

Sunday 26 July – Saturday 8 August (AT6)
Landscape Art, T'ai Chi, Vinyasa Yoga, Windsurfing, Everyone Can Sing, 5-Rhythms, Meditation, Passionate Living, Mosaics, Abseiling

Sunday 9 – Saturday 22 August (AT7)
Passionate Living, Yoga with Awareness, Windsurfing, Music & Singing, Watercolour Painting, Storytelling, Theatre Workshop, Circus Skills

Sunday 23 – Saturday 29 August (AT8a)
Music & Singing, Yoga with Awareness, Windsurfing, Comedy Improvisation Painting, Photography, Trapeze, Passion Power & Presence, Public Speaking

Sunday 30 – Saturday 5 September (AT8b) 
Music & Singing, Yoga with Awareness, Windsurfing, Comedy Improvisation Painting, Photography, Trapeze, Passion Power & Presence, Public Speaking

Sunday 6 – Saturday 12 September (AT9)
Life Choices, Beyond Yoga, Windsurfing, Harmony Singing, Painting, Photography, Trapeze, Comedy Improvisation, A Life Full of Stories (creative writing)

Sunday 13 – Saturday 19 September (AT10a)
Mindfulness, Beyond Yoga, Windsurfing, Music & Singing, Dance & Performance, Art from the Heart, Comedy Improvisation, Humorous Writing

Sunday 20 – Saturday 26 September (AT10b)
Mindfulness, Beyond Yoga, Windsurfing, Music & Singing, Dance & Performance, Art from the Heart, Comedy Improvisation, Humorous Writing

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


Online chat: