I have been studying modern greek for almost 4 years at the Hellenic centre in London- www.helleniccentre.org/greekcourses.htm. 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.