Welcome to The Greek Project
This coming year we look forward to a return to Greece! Thanks to covid you will not be surprised to learn that 2020 was the year in which we ended up mothballing everything we had planned. In 2021 we’re hoping at last to retread those steps – with a few more exciting ones besides. This will continue to be with the virus very much in mind and we ask potential participants to please read here before committing to travel with us.
As for us, we’re very much looking forward to our previously intended expansion eastwards : towards Thrace. Behind us are a cluster of cultural and culinary tours with the once great multicultural city of Salonika, our first and constant love. And Salonika will continue to be at the heart of our unashamed aim to combine the pleasures of Aegean sun, sea, good food, wine and atmospheric surroundings with a more flavoursome, even pungent recipe: Study-tour holidays with intellectual bite.
With that in view, we’ll be overhauling our ever popular cultural tour of Salonika into something both more focused yet also more vibrant and pleasurable. We’ll also for the first time be enjoying the world of Greek cinema in Salonika, by way of a special autumn weekend. And reaffirming our pleasure in Greek language learning we intend to run an almost beginners course in the city at the end of the summer period. This will act as a foil to our regular summer Greek language course for more advanced learners in June but with the difference this year that for the first time, the latter will take place in Ellie’s home town of Xanthi, in Thrace. Xanthi will also be base for our ‘Thracian Homecoming’ tour of town, coast and dramatic hill country to which we’re also very much looking forward.
Xanthi offers something rather different to Salonika: a much smaller city with a beautiful old town, where the sound of the muezzin’ call to prayer harmonises evocatively with the bells from countless Orthodox churches. Xanthi thus is genuinely multi-ethnic, at the centre of a part-mountainous, part delta region where diversity, natural and human, is the norm. Head up into Pomakochoria, as we will, and the sense of a Greece as a sum of many parts is tantalising.
– – – – – –
We conceived our first not-for-profit study-tours to express solidarity with a country in adversity. That has not diminished. Each tour throws up aspects of a country – and peoples – whose physical beauty, cultural depth and exuberance for life have to be set against an often troubled recent past and austere present. But instead of shying away from these realities our head-on engagement with the histories, languages, cultures, cuisines and environment of the region has paid dividends in the reward to our participants.
Our featured tours for 2021 are yours for the viewing. And don’t forget too to have a look at our tailor-made tours aimed at realising your own discrete educational, recreational or fact-finding passions and agendas.
We look forward to your company!
Ellie and Mark
What makes us different?
The Greek Project began as a conversation between friends. Partly that was about the economic crisis, and how we might do something small to promote ordinary Greek people in their hour of need to an audience that already knew that there was something more to Greece than its negative press.
But that proposition raised a more general question about the nature of modern travel. How does one get to know any country in a more than a skin-deep way? Why is it, for instance, that when one goes on a guided visit of some really stunning place, what one invariably gets to hear is banal, the resulting impression being that ‘tourism’ nearly always plays safe, shying away from the difficult, problematic – but often most seriously interesting things about a country’s past? And why is it always so difficult to genuinely encounter its living people other than in a superficial manner?
If you have an idea for a study-tour tailor-made to your group, circle or college department, why not get in touch with us by clicking on the enquiry form below? We will scope your idea on request and while we can organise a bespoke tour for any number of people however small, prices become comparable with our featured tours with a minimum of ten guaranteed participants. Tailor-made tours can be organised as a long-weekend, a short or full week, or longer.