Greek language courses on the island of Ikaria

  • 15 lessons in 17 days, 54 teaching hours +24h of activities (equivalent to a 3-week course).
  • 10 lessons in 11 days, 36 teaching hours +18h of activities (equivalent to a 2-week course).
  • Class size: 2-8 students at a similar level



Several classes are formed for each course, each consisting of 2-8 students at a similar skill level. The program of study is divided into 6 levels (A1, A2, B1, B2, C1, C2), according to the guidelines of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR). Courses are adapted to the individual needs and interests of each student, and are intended:

  • For adult students of modern Greek at all levels (absolute beginner through intermediate and advanced).
  • For adults of any age who wish to begin to study Greek, or who wish to improve their Greek.
  • For teachers of ancient or modern Greek.
  • For interpreters, and translators.

Our instructors are young but experienced as teachers of Greek as a foreign language. Grammar and vocabulary are taught via the use of texts and materials written by the Centre. Emphasis is placed on the development of listening and speaking skills. New material (both in grammar and vocabulary) is mastered by students with the use of word games and verbal exercises.

The small class size (2 – 8 individuals) ensures that every student will have the chance to speak and improve their language skills in the course of each hour of instruction. During the weeks of instruction students will also have the opportunity to discover some of the less well-known aspects of contemporary Greek life, through songs, music, conversation, presentations and assignments.

Accommodation and transport

The guesthouse in Ikaria

During Easter and November courses, all students are expected to stay on-campus, although it is not at all obligatory. A family atmosphere is created. Several excursions are organized to different interesting spots of the island. There is also a shuttle to Evdilos, in the scheduled days. However, students use the Centre’s shuttle to go out and eat or shop with their teachers, almost every day, according to the group’s mood.

From 2017 the lessons from May until September are taking place one day on-campus and the next day off-campus, at hotel Atheras, in the coastal village of Evdilos. As our campus and guesthouse are located in an area on the mountain not easily accessible on foot (40 min walk to the beach and 15 min walk to the closed village of Arethousa), this “dual-location” provides our students the possibility to stay in Evdilos, a small village by the sea. It also provides the campus’ fans the possibility to stay on-campus and take some of their lessons in their favorite place!

What about transport?
From May to September there are 4 lessons in each 11 day course given on-campus in Arethousa, one every other day. During these days we provide a free shuttle service to our students staying in Evdilos. The Centre’s shuttle leaves 30′ prior to the lesson, and returns just after the end of the lesson. Students off-campus will enjoy the landscape and the quietness of the campus, during these short excursions to the Ikarian mountain.

For the remaining 6 days we have lessons in hotel Atheras, in Evdilos. During these days we also provide a shuttle service for the students staying on-campus: The Centre’s shuttle leaves at 9:00, 30min before the lesson. The lessons typically end at 12:30. There are also afternoon activities, from 19:30 – 21:00. Between 13:00 – 19:30 students can hang around the restaurants, the cafeterias and  the nearby beaches. After all, it’s summer holiday! There are several restaurants and cafeterias and a few nice beaches accessible on foot from Evdilos. The shuttle returns around 22:00 in the evening, after dinner.  For those who are not happy to spend all day long away from their room, we recommend rending a car or a scooter. The cost of a car is approximately 200 – 250€ per 11 day session. There is no public bus service, a bicycle is not an option because of the terrain, and the taxi costs 15€ (one way).

Do you have my level?

A homogeneous, small group is the key for the success of a lesson. The classes / levels are formed after students arrival, as we must evaluate at the same time and comparatively all language skills (speaking, listening, reading, and writing), of ALL OF OUR STUDENTS, in order to achieve the formation of highly homogeneous classes. For this reason we are using both, a written placement test as well as an oral interview. Note that as the classes are small, the curriculum is always adjusted to the real needs of each student in the class. In this way we can guarantee that you’ll participate in a class that will help you to improve dramatically your skills in Greek language. You have to trust our word. After all, we are on the “business” for 22 years, since summer 1995!


Registration | Εγγραφή

Send us the registration form you will find at this link:
The reservation must be followed by a deposit equal to 290€. You can pay via Pay Pal (+4,5% Pay Pal fee) or via bank transfer. More information will be sent after the submission of the registration form.
Cancellation policy: If you cancel your registration: We offer a full refund of payments if you cancel before the 10th of the month which is two months prior to the month of the course starting date (i.e. before the 10th of June if the course starts in August). After this deadline there will be no refund. However you reserve the right to re-register in a class in the same or the following year.

Course fees & Early bird booking | Δίδακτρα και εκπτώσεις

You will receive a brochure with info regarding tuition, accommodation fees & daily schedule for each course in your inbox, if you submit the form you can find here[/lang_undefined]

Please note that there is:

  • -15% discount on the tuition for registrations before 20 Dec./2017
  • -10% discount </strong> on the tuition for registrations before 30 March/2017 May 15th 2017 (expect Easter course)

Schedule | Πρόγραμμα

You may register in one of the following courses during 2017:

  • Easter course
    9-19 April (10 lessons in 11 days)
  • 20-30 May (10 lessons in 11 days) or 20 May-5 June (15 lessons in 17 days)
  • 17-27 June (10 lessons in 11 days)
  • 11-21 July (10 lessons in 11 days) or 11-27 July (15 lessons in 17 days) 11 July – 2August (20 lessons in 23 days)
  • 23July-2 Aug. 23 (10 lessons in 11 days) or 23 July-8 Aug. (15 lessons in 17 days) or 23 July-14 August (20 lessons in 23 days)
  • 4-14 Aug. (10 lessons in 11 days) or 4-22 Aug. (15 lessons in 19 days*) or 4-27 Aug (20 lessons in 25 days*)
  • 17-27 Aug. (10 lessons in 11 days)
  • 9-19 Sept. (10 lessons in 11 days) or 9-25 Sept. (15 lessons in 17 days)
  • Greek language and olive harvest:
    11-21 Nov. (10 lessons in 11 days) or 11-27 Nov. (15 lessons in 17 days)

*Note: 15th & 16th of August are 2 extra free days in this course.

The first day of the course, the lesson takes place in the afternoon. The  rest of the days the lessons take place in the morning (9:30 – 12:30). After morning classes end, students have free time, to eat, study and rest. In the late afternoon – evening several activities are planned, such as singing lessons, conversation classes, lectures, dance courses and film screenings. A shuttle service is at all students’ disposal, for going to their classes from Evdilos or the Centre’s guesthouse and return. For a detailed daily schedule, including the shuttle service timetable for each course,  click here

How to get to Ikaria | Πώς θα φτάσετε στην Ικαρία

By plane from Athens (, or Thessaloniki ( Low-fare carriers like Ryanair or Εasyjet fly to Athens or Thessaloniki.

By ferry from Pireas or one of the nearby islands with international airports, like Samos or Mykonos. You can get to these islands via charter flights from Europe. Ferry schedules and online tickets:

Attention: Ikaria has two ports: Agios Kirkikos and Evdilos. Try to arrive in Evdilos. Agios Kirkikos is 1h away by car (40Km) and the taxi fare is more than 50€

Campus & guesthouse in Ikaria

Students may live on-campus, at the Centre’s guesthouse, in a family atmosphere, where they can speak Greek even outside of class time, with the instructors also living on campus.They can relax and focus on their studies in the quiet and natural environment around the Centre, with its gorgeous views of both mountains and sea

The Ikarian Centre’s campus is located 1,5 km away from the picturesque village of Arethousa, in a remote and peaceful mountain spot (300m altitude, although it’s only 45 minutes by foot from the beach.A breathtaking landscape combines views of the sea and the island’s mountain. In the sky, birds of prey fly during the day, while the Milky Way and thousands of stars appear on the clear summer nights.

There are numerous opportunities for hikes nearby, as well as bird-watching, swimming, and sun-bathing, not to mention the opportunity to become acquainted with the local Ikarian culture, which may make you believe that you have stepped out of a time machine.


The campus and the guesthouse was completed in 2001 and consists of a group of four separate buildings immediately adjacent to the classrooms and studios, each designed and constructed with a careful eye to the traditional local architecture. The facilities include:

  • 2 meeting rooms – classrooms: one for 40 people, and the other for 10
  • A large open-air meeting area – classroom for 40+ people
  • A small library with dictionaries and literature in Greek.
  • A large communal kitchen and a kitchenette in each guest room.
  • Fast and reliable Internet and wifi, telephone, washing machine.

The guesthouse

There are 7 independent two -or three- bed rooms, each with private bath and kitchenette and a large 40 m2 studio for 5 people. Each of the simple rooms can host 2 or a maximum of 3 people (the third in a bunk-bed). All rooms have a private bathroom and they are located adjacent to the course venues.
Please note:

  • Breakfast IS NOT served at the guesthouse, however our guests may use the kitchenette in their room in order to prepare breakfast and simple meals.
  • Linen is provided to all guests.

The neighborhood

Shopping can be done at Arethousa (the nearest village), about 15-20 minutes (1,5Km) away by foot. The road from the villages of Arethousa or Karavostamo to the guesthouse is not paved and there is no traffic. The beach (in Karavostamo) is 45 min away on foot (10′ by car). Many beautiful beaches are nearby, as well as tavernas, restaurants, coffee shops and bars (distances from 2-8 km, 5 to 20 minutes by car).

The cost of living in Ikaria is still quite inexpensive: A meal at one of the local tavernas costs about 10 – 12€ (including wine).

The teaching method | Η μέθοδος διδασκαλίας

Our courses assist students in improving all their skills (listening, writing, speaking and reading) in the Greek language. Additionally, the Centre’s aim is to make each course a cultural experience. Through a variety of guided activities (interviews, projects, lectures, pair work, etc.), students are brought in touch with the local community and are able to learn more about Greece and its people

Our teachers are Greeks who are specialized and experienced in teaching Greek as a foreign language. Our teaching method combines textbooks and traditional educational materials with other less conventional sources, such as songs, newspapers, the radio, and Greek literature. Each of these sources is used according to the student’s level. Emphasis is given to vocabulary and grammar through guided communicative exercises, and students also learn about contemporary Greece through texts and videos from Greek websites, the Greek press and Greek literature.

What makes our method different?

  • We don’t spend spend our lesson hours on grammar and the formal structure of the language.  Rather, we encourage students to practice what we  teach them.
  • The teacher speaks as little as possible in the class, and encourages students to speak instead.  The teacher’s role in the classroom is a) to briefly present material (words and grammatical rules), b) to encourage students to speak using THIS material and c) to correct students’ mistakes.
  • The number of students per class is very small; never more than 8, and usually 3 -4. During 4 hours of class per day, this gives plenty of opportunity for students to talk.
  • Usually the contact with the language does not stop after class hours. The teachers and the students are living close to each other, and together they create a community. Many of the after-the-class-activities are organized in order to encourage contact between the members of this small community.
  • The environment is really friendly and relaxed. No reason for stress or any kind of formalities. After all, learning is a game and a pleasure.

A few more words

In all our courses we employ a variety of language games, in addition to role-playing, in order to motivate students to practice the new vocabulary and grammar. In this way the students assimilate a large number of words (about 20 – 40 new words / lesson) and a considerable amount of grammar, which is then used in understanding the texts and exercises.

We always try to make the lessons, which are intensive, as interesting for our adult students as possible. In this way even our beginners reach a fairly advanced level after only two weeks. The video below is a “performance” done by a beginners’ class. The play was also written by a beginning student. None of them had any previous knowledge of Greek before they arrived in Ikaria. After two weeks in the course they were able to use a basic vocabulary (around 300 words, including about 50 verbs in the past, the future and the subjunctive). As a result:

We are very proud of the achievement that you can see on the video above.

Most of the “intensive” Greek language courses offered in Greece do not present more than 100 words in two weeks. The past and future tenses, and the subjunctive of verbs, follow only AFTER a minimum of 5 weeks (100 hours) of lessons. The subjunctive, which is used as the infinitive in modern Greek, is absolutely necessary in forming simple sentences such as  “I want to buy a newspaper”. This means that in most of the Greek language courses in Greece students must spend a fair amount of time and money before they can manage even simple communication with a Greek.

More videos from our courses:

Levels | Επίπεδα

Our classes in Greece are formed after the arrival of the students, and adapted according to their needs and expectations, their level, and the speed at which they are able and wish to move on. Instead of forcing the students to adjust to the course materials, in our courses we do the opposite: The material of each course remains flexible and is adapted to the needs of each class / each individual student.

The curriculum, however, does follow the guidelines set by the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages that was put together by the Council of Europe. It is widely used in Europe to describe achievements of users of foreign languages. The Common European Framework divides foreign language users into three broad divisions (Basic: A – Independent: B – Proficient: C) which can be sub-divided into six levels: A1, A2, B1, B2, C1, C2. Α description of each level is as follows:

Proficient User C2 (Advanced): Can understand with ease virtually everything heard or read. Can summarize information from different spoken and written sources, reconstruct arguments and accounts in a coherent presentation. Can express him/herself spontaneously, very fluently and precisely, differentiating finer shades of meaning even in more complex situations.
Proficient User C1 (Advanced): Can understand a wide range of demanding, long texts, and recognize implicit meaning. Can express him/herself fluently and spontaneously without much obvious searching for the proper expression. Can use language flexibly and effectively for social, academic and professional purposes. Can produce clear, well-structured, detailed texts covering complex subjects.
Independent User B2 (Intermediate): Can understand the main ideas presented within various complex texts regarding concrete and abstract topics as well, including technical discussions in his/her field of specialization. Can interact with a degree of fluency and spontaneity that makes regular interaction with native speakers quite possible without strain for either party. Can produce clear, detailed text on a wide range of subjects and explain a viewpoint on a specific topic giving the advantages and disadvantages of various options.
Independent User B1 (Intermediate): Can understand the main points of clear standard input on familiar matters regularly encountered in work, school, leisure, etc. Can deal with most situations likely to arise whilst traveling in an area where a language is spoken. Can produce simple coherent texts on topics which may be familiar or of personal interest. Can describe experiences and events, dreams, hopes & ambitions and briefly give reasons and explanations for opinions and plans.
Basic User A2 (Beginner): Can understand sentences and frequently used expressions related to areas of most immediate relevance (e.g. very basic personal and family information, shopping, local geography, employment). Can communicate about simple and routine tasks, requiring a simple and direct exchange of information on familiar and routine matters. Can describe in simple terms aspects of his/her background, immediate environment and matters in areas of immediate need.
Basic User A1 (Beginner): Can understand and use familiar everyday expressions and very basic phrases aimed at the satisfaction of needs of a concrete type. Can introduce him/herself and others and can ask and answer questions about personal details such as where s/he lives, people s/he knows and things s/he owns. S/he can interact in a simple way provided the other person talks slowly and clearly and is prepared to help.

Source: Council of Europe, European Language Portfolio

FAQ about Greek language courses in Ikaria | Συχνές ερωτήσεις για τα μαθήματα ελληνικής στην Ικαρία

  • Do you have my level?
    The classes are formed after students arrival as we must evaluate at the same time and comparatively all language skills (speaking, listening, writing and reading) of all of our students, in order to achieve the formation of highly homogeneous classes. For this reason we are using both, a written placement test as well as an oral interview. Note that as the classes are small, the curriculum is always adapted to the real needs of each student in the class. An online version of the placement test is also sent to the students after registration, although the submission of this test is not necessary before the student’s arrival on the island.
  • When do I have to arrive on the island?
    The first lesson take place on the afternoon of the day which is mentioned in the schedule as the first day of the course. In this way students may also travel to Ikaria in the morning of the first day. However, you are expected to arrive one day earlier. The last lesson takes place in the day which is mentioned as a last day of the course. If you are staying at the guesthouse you are expected to leave the day after. However, you can extend your stay for a couple of extra days if necessary and if there is availability in rooms.

Cars & scooters in Ikaria | Ενοικιάσεις αυτοκινήτων στην Ικαρία | Cars and scooters in Ikaria


  • Aventura (cars and motorcycles).
    Tel. (+30) 2275031140 (until 30/04/2002 tel.(+30) 210 9350983 & fax. (+30) 210 9312935
    web site
    avendura [at]
  • MAV (cars).
    Tel.& fax (+30) 2275031354 – (+30) 2275031036
    web site
  • Budget (cars).
    Tel. & Fax (+30) 2275031443
  • VANTI (cars): (+30) 6976099111 – (+30) 22750 31226
  • Lemy (cars): (+30) 6983418878
    lemy[at] website

Approximate price for a low budget car (i.e. Fiat Panda) during July – August: 30 Euros per day.

Students’ Comments

Un séjour linguistique inoubliable

Apprendre le grec est un projet que j’ai depuis quelques années mais que j’avais toujours mis de côté par manque de temps, priorité, etc. Il y a un an, j’ai décidé d’agir et je me suis donc inscrite au stage de 3 semaines en aout 2015 à l’Ikarian Centre.

J’ai opté pour le logement gratuit, une des cabines situées dans le Centre, que j’ai partagé avec une charmante étudiante ukrainienne. Les cabines étaient propres (nettoyées tous les deux jours) et commodes, avec des fenêtres qui donnaient sur une vallée et la mer.

En tout, nous étions 14 étudiants, venus des quatre coins du monde (Angleterre, Australie, Espagne, Italie, Slovénie, Suisse…), divisés par groupes en 3 niveaux. Ne sachant même pas comment déchiffrer l’alphabet, je faisais partie du groupe débutant, avec 3 autres étudiants qui n’avaient jamais appris le grec non plus.

Nous avions 5 heures de cours par jour, 3.5 le matin (divisé en 3 parties avec un professeur et une salle différents pour chacune) et 1.5 l’après midi. Les cours débutants étaient principalement dirigés en anglais, mais avec de plus en plus de grec au fil du temps. Les professeurs expliquaient clairement tous les concepts grammaticaux et utilisaient une grande variété d’activités pédagogiques, en mettant l’accent sur l’expression orale.

Et les résultats étaient frappants. Après qu’un jour seulement, j’étais capable de lire et ecrire l’alphabet grec. Après une semaine j’étais capable de parler de moi-même et de mon entourage et à la fin du stage, j’étais capable d’avoir une (très simple) conversation. De zéro à une vrai conversation !

En dehors des cours, mes 3 semaines à l’Ikarian Centre furent inoubliables. L’ile elle-même est magnifique et l’équipe de l’Ikarian Center a tout fait pour nous la faire découvrir. Nous avions des sorties tous les deux jours, soit pour se balader dans les montagnes à couper le souffle, pour nager dans des plages perdues ou pour visiter des sites historiques et culturels.

Si vous lisez ces commentaires c’est parce que vous êtes déjà intéressé par la langue grecque et Ikaria. Que ce soit pour débuter, pour vous remettre à niveau ou pour approfondir vos compétences, je vous encourage tous de vous intégrer dans un stage à l’Ikarian Centre.

(no title)

I have been studying modern greek for almost 4 years at the Hellenic centre in London- I enjoyed this so much, I wanted to advance my greek by doing a more intensive course in Greece for two weeks- at the same time getting away from it all on what was reputed to be a left wing, slow-to-respond island.
The Ikarian Centre was great. In a most beautiful location with extraordinary tranquility, but at the same time lots of daily excitement from negotiating the narrow, dirt, switchback roads to and from the Centre, along the mountain, meeting a few goats or a local farmer who had decided to have a chat to his neighbour in the middle of the road. Fortunately one of our group volunteered to drive for our daily outings- thanks so much to the fab. Tim. The local taverna- I Plaka- became a favourite though other tavernas for lunch or dinner were easy to find, cheap, delicious and allowed us to practice our greek. Anna’s was truly sensational and such a warm welcome. The local population were consistently helpful and encouraging. The sea was not far, we sampled lots of nice, and a few great, beaches – gorgeous water.

What about the actual greek course? The lessons were excellent- we had three really good teachers who shared out the 3-5 hour sessions. We also had discussions about greek politics, the health system- two of us were doctors- a cooking lesson, dancing with a local dance school- who very kindly accommodated us, a hike down a gorge(see photo) singing at sunset with the most fabulous view(see photo). It was all really fun, in a fantastic setting, with nice people and…my greek improved a lot – though there is still great scope! I was really sad to leave.

Photos from Andrea:

Utopic trelokomio

I am Spanish, 27yo, mathematician, and I study Greek for fun, because I love the country and its people and lived in Athens for a few months yeas ago. I did the summer course and I definitely recommend the Ikarian Centre: great lessons, beautiful school in the mountain, Greek beaches and local parties in small villages. The lessons: with my experience in language courses, these lessons were the best we could have. We were 4 students in the intermediate level, and a typical lesson would consist of: 1) Around 1.5h with Mihalis and Despina e.g. reading an interesting text and learning vocabulary; 2) Around 1.5h with Tonia e.g. doing some grammar in a way that you never get bored and 3) Around 1h with Maria doing games to practice and integrate in your speech what you have just studied. The lessons are 100% participation and discussion, and the fact that you change teachers and environment makes it more complete and entertaining. You get as much homework as you want (reading or listening texts, writing compositions, a bit of grammar exercises), and we typically did it in the beach bar in the afternoon. My Greek truly improved! The experience: isolate 15 very nice and interesting people in a mountain, cause if you study modern Greek your are quite probably a nice crazy person, and you get an explosion of feelings, sharing, understanding and peace (add all the hippy bullshit that you want here, it is really nice). Despina, Tonia and Maria play a key role here: they are MUCH more than teachers, for a couple of weeks they also become your friends, guides, sisters, cook&dance teachers etc. A sort of free utopic society emerges temporarily. Then Mihalis’ mum, who is around 87yo and lives nearby, would come and tell you stories of the war and correct your Greek mistakes, some sort of intense conversation class. Everyday there is some activity such as panigiri (local party), open air cinema or excursion, so you won’t get bored at all. No matter your age. The island: Ikaria is a unique place, the Red Rock in the Blue Zone. Which means that the inhabitants are extreme left, free and happy and therefore live 100 years. But you can read about this elsewhere, I’m bored of it.