May 2020 Kefalonia, Greece Artist Residency

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Greek Island Artist Residency in Kefalonia

Join Art&Soul for this incredible 10 day Art Adventure on the beautiful Ionian Island of Kefalonia, Greece!

Kefalonia is an island in the Ionian Sea in the southern part of the Adriatic. It is one of the most ancient parts of Greece and has a long and colorful history.  A long, narrow island with a ridge of mountains forming a spine that runs north and south, it is surrounded by remarkably clear blue waters that are visited by divers from around the world.  

Our 10 day retreat will  be in the northern part of this island in the tiny settlement of Antipata. Our villa is only minutes away (2.5 km/1.5 miles) from the larger town of Fiskardo. Because it was largely spared from the devastating earthquakes of 1953, Fiskardo still has much of the character of ancient times. We invite you to come sojourn with us to this wonderful place that we know will awaken your senses and soothe your soul. 

On day 1, we will meet and greet each artist in the capital city (town, really) of Argostoli, which has an international airport receiving daily flights from London and several European connections.  There is also a bustling harbor where ferries arrive, and we can arrange to meet participants at the harbor as well. Our village is approximately 1-2 hours by car from Argostoli.

From there, we will escort the group to our beautiful private Villa, which is just outside of the charming fishing village of Fiskardo.  Artists will share 2 to a double occupancy apartment (each will have his/her own private bedroom, with a shared kitchen and bathroom). The apartment will have either a terrace or balcony view of the swimming pool, garden, and surrounding countryside with rolling hills of olive groves and cypress trees.  There are many amenities at the Villa, including outdoor lounge poolside, exercise room, covered outdoor work space which is also ideal for yoga and quiet time, and all within walking distance to shops, restaurants, cafes and more.

The Giants of Kefalonia are mentioned in Homer’s Odyssey, and the home of Odysseus can be seen on the island of Ithaca which is only a short boat ride away, for those who wish to visit.  We will gather frequently for “art outings” at various sites where the sun, sea and colorful villages will fill our senses…and then we’ll feast together on the patio in the harbor of Fiskardo, where we can also set up travel easels, camera tripods, along with a table of greek culinary delicacies!

The quaint and picturesque village of Assos is a favorite spot of ours, where we can enjoy a tasty lunch of local Kefalonian specialties, then take a hike along an old Venetian road leading to a Castle.  The views are spectacular!

There are many trails winding around Fiskardo, leading to Greek and Venetian ruins along the way.  Painting among the Olive groves and by the seaside will be grand, and the photographic opportunities are endless. The harbor is stunning, and we find ourselves constantly returning to sit, stroll, dine and create.  We have a large patio area right on the water, where we encourage artists to work when they wish, and to join other participants for social get togethers. Fiskardo has the seascapes, harbor and neighborhoods which are a feast for the eyes (not to mention feasts for the belly–SO many places to enjoy the local cuisine!)–but it is also nice to relax and create at our secluded Villa on the outskirts of town, where our artists can enjoy a calm and tranquil place when desired.

Sami is a sweet, little port town where we will plan a visit for lunch along the splendid wharf, and then continue on our way to the subterranean Melissani Lake, which is a truly incredibly spot…and one not to be missed!

Argostoli is a bustling town with a central “Platia”–town square–hosting fabulous restaurants, great shops selling local wares, and several cafes along the pedestrian walkway.  It is also the central port, with a lovely waterfront for leisurely strolls.  There are so many wonderful sights to see in Argostoli.

We will also tour places in more remote areas, where we can view the Sacred Monastery of Agios Gerasimos, the Patron Saint of Kefalonia.  We will also visit the Robola Winery for a tasting and tour!  Whether it is viewing the sunset at our favorite little outdoor cocktail lounge, or wandering past the bougainvillea and jasmine along the narrow streets, we strive to balance sightseeing adventures with time devoted to making art.  All our excursions are optional of course, but we do hope our artists take the time to explore their surroundings.  

This beautiful island has been frequented by artists as well as writers, such as the British writer Louis de Bernières who wrote the novel, Captain Corelli’s Mandolin, in 1994 (MUCH better than the movie!) so if you are a writer, you will have a great deal of inspiration for your work.

Our Island Sojourn provides an escape from busy lives, and allows for creative contemplation, expression, and rejuvenation in a luxurious location away from it all.  We encourage all “creatives”–established and emerging artists alike–to join us on this fabulous journey!

10 day Island Sojourn in Kefalonia, Greece

COST:  $975 USD

What’s included in the price?

  • Guided transport from/to airport or ferry terminal at the start and finish of residency.
  • Accommodation in a double occupancy suite in private Villa (2 artists per suite, separate bedrooms) Terrace or balcony with view of garden, pool, and countryside, shared full kitchen, dining area and bathroom, TV, WIFI, air-conditioning.
  • Access to onsite gym, and outdoor pool, lounge and recreation areas including garden space to draw, paint, etc.
  • Access to offsite outdoor (with shade cover) work/studio space on the harbor of Fiskardo (2.5 km/1.5 miles from Villa).
  • Guided excursions to sites around the island, and suggestions for additional places to visit.
  • Frequent get togethers-potluck style-at the Villa and at John and Souheir’s place in Fiskardo.

Things that are not included:

The cost of Car Rental (which we highly recommend, as there is no public transport on island) is not included.  We will recommend rental places which are very affordable, and artists can “share” cost and driving duties as desired.  Each driver must have a valid international driving permit (for U.S. drivers, apply and pay a small fee online at: https://driving-tests.org/beginner-drivers/international-driving-permit.  Participants with non-U.S. driver’s licenses, please search online for information.

Artists must bring their own art materials.  There are a few places to shop in Argostoli (largest town on the island), but supplies will be limited.  If you plan on working en plein aire, you might want to bring a travel sized easel.

Meals are not included–so please budget accordingly.  We tend to “dine in” most often, and splurge at the many wonderful restaurants in the area when we want to treat ourselves.  Grocery shops sell fresh produce, delicious cheeses, wine, olives, bread…all the basics for simple and tasty Greek cuisine.  If you would rather “eat out”, perhaps a budget of $20-$50 USD per day would be appropriate depending on your appetite!

Boat rides to Ithaca are not included, but we can certainly assist in lining that up for those who are interested.  We can also share information about a fabulous guide named Esther who leads a tour “in the footsteps of Homer”:  https://islandwalks.com.  It takes some travel planning to visit Ithaca–but well worth it. You should give yourself the longest day possible, or even decide to spend the night (we can suggest places to visit, dine, and B&B).

Here is a photo album, showing you our luxurious Villa outside of Fiskardo:

Kefalonia Villa Photo Album

and, of course…

We have SEVERAL photos of magnificent Kefalonia (including Ithaca), and have chosen some to share with you in this album…enjoy!

Kefalonia Photo Album

Last, but not least, here is the online application for our Greek Island Artist Residency:

APPLY HERE for Greek Island Artist Residency