The Lakkos artists residency is a flexible space and works best with a variety of creative activities. We try to introduce musicians to local musicians, writers to writer, painters to painters.... Heraklion has a growing conceptual art scene which we mix with often. We also welcome archaeologists who just want to come and do research on the never ending local history. The cities creative scene is surprisingly big for a Greek island. To see what some previous guests have done check out our blog.
Little yellow guesthouse.
The guesthouse is a little old traditional house. It has a lovely private courtyard. It is one up, one down. The bedroom is of a good size and has a writing desk. There is a spare bed off the outside kitchen. Downstairs is a living room. The bathroom and kitchen are accessed via the courtyard. The renovation is finished and the house is back to what it was in about the 1960s. There is a cloths washing machine which is shared by all residence. Wireless internet is from the main house, the guest house receives the signal well.
The main house and artists studios
The main house has two double and two single bedrooms. The single bedrooms have access to their own terrace. One side of the house has a small kitchen. Both have access to a shared bathroom and main kitchen. The separate toilet and bathroom are shared by all. The bedrooms have been restored but the bathroom and kitchen retain the charm they had from many years ago.There is a central courtyard and large roof terrace which are also shared.
There is also a single bed in one of the studios. This comes in handy if a guest wants to stay on a bit longer.
The artists residency is located right in the middle of Heraklion's old towns creative centre. The house is actually three houses owned by one family. All houses stood abandoned for between 10 and 18 years before becoming an artists residency. Much restoration has taken place but there is still work to be done! The area is very quiet except for the older locals and their sometimes barking dogs. The residency is run by Australian visual artist Mathew Halpin. Mathew lives at the residency.
The houses were once one big Turkish house built many years ago. In the 1920's with the Asia Minor/ Greek population exchange Greeks bought the house and changed it to three. Now two of the houses are used for various artistic purposes with four studio spaces.
The main house is still a work in progress. The small guest house restoration is finished. They are totally livable, but as they are very old, and we are not rich the restoration is ongoing. Suggested donations will go towards future restoration, art projects and maintenance costs. Restoration work will not take place when there are people staying! So suggested donations are on application according to the need of the houses. Some of the donations also go into funding projects in the Lakkos area.
Minimum of two weeks stay. (Shorter can be possible if there are gaps). Maximum number of residence in the main house is 5 which is normally only in the summer. Partners on application. No pets or children. (This can be discussed but not likely in the busy period). Expectations of residence on application. Gallery space can be found for free or for more major exhibitions fees may apply. Working language is English. Greek and Spanish on application. The main house also has a cat and two small dogs who are very friendly! For visual artists who would like to leave a mural, large or small on a streets of Lakkos this is encouraged but optional. Many artists who stay have never done one so find the opportunity fun. The residency provides the paint.
Things to do while in Crete and Heraklion.
We have many different types of artists who come to stay. We always do what we can to introduce our artists to locals practicing similar disciplines. The underground arts scene is growing quickly in Heraklion. There are also local courses in painting and drawing, ceramics, yoga, dance. It is a small city but it does have a bit of pretty much anything you might want.
Generally most guests want to avoid the regular tourist traps. This is not always possible especially with the archaeological museum and Knossos palace. But as we also like the more obscure things to see on Crete we can give many good tips. The residency is about a half hour walk from the closest beach. Supermarkets and the fresh food market are also very close. There are a few places to buy art materials and hardware shops are also a short walk away.
Easy day trips.
Knossos palace is really is a must see. If you combine your ticket with the Archaeological museum you get a much better price. The palace is a 20 minute bus trip from the residency. The museum is a 10 minute walk. www.explorecrete.com/archaeology/antiquities-crete.html Archanes village is possibly the oldest continually inhabited village in Europe. Its history goes back 5000 years and is build above a Minoas village/ palace. It is a 25 minute local bus drive away from Heraklion. The village is very beautiful and the bus trip there travels through Europes oldest grape growing fields. On Sunday nights the local kafeneon always has live local music for free. www.we-love-crete.com/arhanes.html
Walking in the remote areas. Walking tours are normally a big turn off as group tourism is pretty vile. But there are local walking groups that charge very little and take groups to remote locations. You wont hear any languages apart from Greek on these tour. Our experiences with them are always fun and it is not hard to find somebody who talks in English. Going south is a must. It can be done on local buses without a tour as well. Here are some photos of a walking trip we did to South Rethymnon. It was mid Autumn (October) but still hot and great for swimming. It was a 6 hour hike which ended at a fabulous beach tavena where the beer was very needed!
The Ancient city of Gortyna is in our minds much more fulfilling than Knossos. Knossos is a must see but it is overrun with tourists. Gortyna has one paid part but most of it is lying in olive fields. Apart for goats and the occasional Sheppard you wont see anybody. You can catch a local bus which is about 45 minutes from Heraklion. You can also go via Matala beach and do two stops in one day. www.explorecrete.com/archaeology/gortys.html
As Heraklion is in the middle of the island nothing is too far to travel to. We have done much adventuring so tips are plentiful!
Stuff to do around the residency
The Lakkos kafeneon is one minutes walk away from the residency, on a lovely square. During the day it is good for breakfast and coffee. In the evening it is one of the best places for some drinks and small Greek dishes called Mezes. As it is so close to the house we often have drinks there. www.facebook.com/lakkos.gr/?hc_ref=PAGES_TIMELINE&fref=nf