Painting Holiday

Explore your Creativity


ACTIVE CRETE's Painting Holiday offers you the opportunity to relax in one of the most beautiful places of the Mediterranean, by painting, but also having enough time for other activities you choose yourself (swimming in the sea, reading a book by the hotel pool etc).

The area of Kissamos where our holiday takes place is part of the European Programme NATURA 2000 which aims to protect its rich natural heritage and to promote eco-tourism.

The accommodation of our guests is in several hotels (depending on the holiday dates), top rated by world famous hotel booking sites. They all have a swimming pool and a garden & they are very near or by the beach.

There are several tavernas near the hotels, top rated by international holiday rating sites, offering excellent local food at prices of 12-18 Euros per person including local wine. There are shops in the nearby Kissamos town.

This Painting holiday contains five days to enjoy painting and sketching a variety of subjects in the beautiful Cretan landscape. All activities are of course optional and flexible. Artist Camille Marquand ( will be leading 7 painting sessions.

Materials: Basic materials are available, including a board, pencils, pastels, a wetbox with acrylic colours, and brushes. Lightweight collapsible stools are also available. Also, you are encouraged to bring some of your own supplies, e.g. sketch pad, watercolours, or watercolour pencils etc. 

Philosophy: To offer opportunities to enjoy painting and sketching a variety of subjects, among like-minded people. This is not a course with a diploma at the end but a chance to paint outdoors, compose your own paintings, share insights, see things afresh, and above all to have a wonderful and relaxing holiday.

Dates, Prices and Accommodation

FromToAccommodationPrice DPrice SBook
Tue 10 Sep 2024Tue 17 Sep 2024Cormoranos Apartments1090€1260€BOOK NOW
Tue 08 Oct 2024Tue 15 Oct 2024Sunny Bay Hotel1050€1200€BOOK NOW
Tue 06 May 2025Tue 13 May 2025Sunny Bay Hotel1050€1200€BOOK NOW
Tue 10 Jun 2025Tue 17 Jun 2025Cormoranos Apartments1100€1260€BOOK NOW
Tue 09 Sep 2025Tue 16 Sep 2025Cormoranos Apartments1120€1290€BOOK NOW
Tue 07 Oct 2025Tue 14 Oct 2025Cormoranos Apartments1120€1290€BOOK NOW

For details about the accommodation please click on its name

Price D : Price per person for two occupants in the twin bedded apartment/room
Price S : Price for a single occupant in the twin bedded apartment/room

25% of the price is payable on booking and the remaining 75% is due 30 days before the holiday.

Payment may also be made in GBP.

Prices include:

  • Transfer from/to Chania airport (transfer from/to Heraklion airport can be arranged on request at an additional cost).
  • 7 nights, shower/WC, hot water, fridge, electric cooker(Cormoranos Apts), balcony/terrace, wifi access
  • 7 x Breakfast
  • Dinner on the evening of arrival
  • 7 Painting workshops with painting leaders
  • 1 painting exhibition and party

Prices do not include:

Flights, Meals (except dinner on the evening of arrival), tickets to sites or museums, bus tickets, travel insurance, air conditioning which can be used at an extra cost of 10 Euros/day (although usually not necessary in the months of the programme).

Special rates and tailor made holiday dates for group bookings above six people !

Painting Holiday Programme

Day 1 - Arrival - Welcome meal

Arrival day. Transfer from Chania airport. You will be met by our local taxi driver and taken to your family run hotel. To get to our destination on the following days, we usually walk or take the public bus, to keep our carbon footprint low and to enjoy being part of the reliable local transport system. On the first evening we offer you the chance to get to know everybody at the Welcome dinner.

Day 2 - Kastelli/Kissamos
  • 7:30-9:00 : Breakfast.
  • 9:15 : Meet at the hotel.
  • 09:30-12:30 : Get to know Kastelli/Kissamos where there are shops, banks, pharmacies etc. We will look around for subjects to paint in the little country town and the Archaeological Museum (Roman mosaics/Ancient Greek jewellery/decorated pots/statues). For example the Venetian water tower/houses/doorways/ café/street scenes.
  • 12:30-17:00 : Chance to drink a beer or have a snack in one of the attractive nearby tavernas, swim in the sea or the pool etc.
  • 17:00- 19:00 : Meet at the hotel to go outdoors (weather permitting) for the First Painting session/ Introduction to materials if a beginner; sketching eg: still lives/views of the sea/painting from sketches or photographs taken on the first walk. Painting session leader: Camille
  •  19:00 - ... : Free evening to relax, have a swim, have dinner in the nearby tavernas etc.
Day 3 - Byzantine church - Olive Trees
  • 7:30-9:00 : Breakfast.
  • 9:00-10:30 : Free time to continue your own work.
  • 10:30-13:00: Meet at the hotel and go by bus to Ancient Mythimna to visit small Minoan ruins in Nopigia and nearby the Byzantine church of Ag. Giorgos, built on the visible ruins of Roman baths. Behind this are very old olive trees, so there is a choice of sketching subjects. Painting session leader: Camille
  • 13:00-14:00 : Lunch break
  • 14:00-16:00 : Continue painting/sketching. Painting session leader: Camille
  • 16:00- ... : Return to the hotel. Free evening to relax, have a swim, have dinner in the nearby tavernas etc.
Day 4 - Introduction to Icon painting
  • 7:30-9:00 : Breakfast.
  • 9:00-14:30 : Time to practise/sketch/continue work on your own or chill.
  • 14:30-16:30 : Indoors we will look at reproductions of ancient and modern icon painting and discuss features and ethos. Remembering that this flourishing tradition is believed to be a kind of prayer that is properly executed by artist-priests, we will approach the subject respectfully as novices, copying the Masters. Anybody willing to try to copy or reinvent an old topic will be given an introduction to tempera paint (egg yolk mixed with pigment) which can be used on top of dry acrylic. You may go home with your own icon (on paper) as a souvenir of Crete, which was home for centuries to a renowned school of icon painters, of which El Greco is the most famous. Painting session leader: Camille
  • 16:30- 17:00 : Tea/coffee break.
  • 17:00- 19:00 : Second session of icon painting.
  • 19:00- …: Free evening to relax, have a swim, have dinner in the nearby tavernas etc.
Day 5 - Free day

A free day to rest or do further painting or sightseeing on your own. You could enjoy the many attractions of Chania, or visit the famous Balos beach by a short boat trip or hire a car to explore further a-field…

Day 6 - Village scenes
  • 7:30-9:00 : Breakfast.
  • 9:00-12:00 : Free time to continue your own work.
  • 12:00 : Meet at the hotel. We take the bus to Drapanias.
  • 12:30-14:00 : Find a view to sketch with shade such as pretty Ag. Nikolas church as viewed from the garden (seating and shade there) old doorways/colourful garden/old walls/ street scenes/ the golden coloured stone Venetian tower a five minute walk away. Painting session leader: Camille
  • 14:00-15:00 : Lunch break
  • 15:00-17:00 : Continue with the painting session
  • 17:00- …: Return to the hotel. Free evening to relax, have a swim, have dinner in the nearby tavernas etc.
Day 7 - Final Touches - Exhibition Party
  • 7:30-9:00 : Breakfast.
  • 9:00-12:30 : Time to practise/sketch/continue work on your own or chill.
  • 12:30-17:30 : Free time to relax, swim, have lunch in your apartment/on your balcony or in the nearby tavernas etc.
  • 17:30-19:00 : ‘Show and Tell’ Exhibition Party - a chance to review/discuss/appreciate the week’s work with a glass of wine.
  • 19:00- …: Free evening to relax, have a swim, have dinner in the nearby tavernas etc.
Day 8 - Departure

Departure day. Transfer to Chania airport.

What to bring with you

Swimming costume, sun glasses, sun hat, sun cream, your own painting materials (optional).

Additional Information

There are a number of bikes at Cormoranos Apartments for hiring and exploring the surrounding area. They are road and mountain bikes made by IDEAL ( and their rental cost is 5 Euros per day. We can provide instructions for self guided rides upon request at the time.