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The Skyros Blog

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A new book - Skyros, Sunshine for the Soul - has just been published celebrating forty years of Skyros.

Its authors, Skyros co-founders Yannis Andricopoulos, historian and journalist, and Dina Glouberman, psychologist, recall their own personal journeys that led to the creation of Skyros and paint, in vivid colours, the development of Skyros through the decades and the contributions of so many. 

The book, which contains numerous beautiful and often delightfully funny photos, is now available to purchase. If you would like a hard copy of the book it available on AmazonWaterstonesFoyles and from the  Skyros office (£9.99).

Skyros, Sunshine for the Soul

Skyros was the very first holiday resort to introduce the concept of learning holidays – initially in the field of personal development – that challenged radically the ‘fly and flop’ holidays prevalent at the time. Skyros was also the very first to embrace and develop the concept of holism, which at the time was confined to the field of alternative medicine. The courses and activities offered included yoga, writing, art, health & wellbeing, windsurfing, personal development, abseiling, trapeze, dance, music and singing and much more. They were all designed to open the heart, expand the mind, recharge the body and uplift the spirit.

The Skyros courses have been, however, only one part of the experience that has given Skyros the magical qualities that are so often attributed to it. The other part is its community’s peerless culture that runs against the grain of the era that globalization and information technology have landed us into.

A Peerless Culture

Underpinned by simplicity, honesty, openness and trust, the Skyros community offers every member all the support they need to be themselves and, in doing so, reconnect with their essence. In the unbridled spirit of adventure, creativity and camaraderie this generates, people feel empowered to explore new and enthralling possibilities, unearth amazing layers of themselves, and, as importantly, establish new and often life-long friendships with fellow holiday-makers. In a world far removed from daily salaried routines, many also take the opportunity to reassess their life, redefine their needs and re-set their priorities.

All this is backed up by an ethos that emphasises being rather than having, doing rather than consuming and belonging rather than withdrawing into the cave of one’s private world. Emphasis is placed on cooperation rather than competition and respect for each person’s individuality. Rather than resign, accept and conform, people are further encouraged to question, challenge and create so that we can all, not only regain control of our lives, but also assert our power over our creations – the market, technology, systems, fashion, ideologies or fundamentalist beliefs. The result is truly awe-inspiring.

In the pursuit of Inner and Outer Change

In this context, the personal becomes political and the political personal, and inner and outer change walk hand in hand. This is vital for our future as, if in tune with the Skyros culture, the #MeToo Campaign has amply demonstrated. Very often, as a result, people return home with modified, and sometimes radicalized perceptions of both themselves and the world we live in. Life as it is lived is no longer viewed as destiny.

However, Skyros, ‘the Holistic Mecca’, is not only a ship loaded with original ideas. It is also great fun. Able to entertain themselves without help from the TV or cyberspace, people unlock their scintillating and sometimes boisterous sense of humour which dances its way into everybody’s heart. The cabaret, in particular, at the end of every session, is, thanks to everybody’s blossoming creativity, a breathtaking experience.

Skyros, by the way, is not a school. It has no gurus to preach the ‘truth’, it espouses no dogmas, and it has no prefabricated interpretations of anything to offer. Its culture is, instead, underpinned, developed and fine-tuned only through an experiential practice to which everybody contributes. It is, as it has been stated times and again, what democracy is all about and what, among other things, people take back home.

 

Irresistibly Attractive

Being an avant-garde cultural force, Skyros has attracted to its ranks numerous well-established people. Included among them are authors Hilary Mantel, Sue Townsend, Hanif Kureishi, Margaret Drabble, Alison Lurie, Steven Berkoff and Sophie Hannah, celebrities such as Hollywood actor Bob Wisdom, film director Ken Russell, singer and actress Toyah Willcox, sculptor Glyn Williams, performer Arthur Smith, US environmental campaigner Kirkpatrick Sale and many others.

See more at: www.skyros.com

Yannis Andricopoulos http://www.yannisandricopoulos.com/

Dina Glouberman http://www.dinaglouberman.com/

Buy the book from Amazon, Waterstones, Foyles or from the Skyros office (£9.99)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Comments

Thu 2nd Aug 2018 16:33 Malcolm stern said…
I love the magic of Skyros. This place has touched so many lives including mine Long may you run ( to quote Neil Young)

Love M xxx
Tue 28th Aug 2018 15:18 C. Morrison said…
This is a book that anyone who’s ever visited Skyros should buy twice - one to keep and treasure as a superb scrapbook of gorgeous images and memories, and the other copy to give a friend who needs to go, so they'll understand the allure and the ethos. ‘Skyros’ is much more than a beautiful place to relax and play creatively: a stay on the island has helped literally hundreds of visitor to enhance their lives , as the luscious pictures and impressive tributes show, and there's a fascinating account of the early days by founders Yannis Andricopoulos and Dina Glouberman which shows how this philosophy was engendered and carefully constructed. Highly recommended for any sunshine-loving soul!
Tue 28th Aug 2018 15:18 Michael said…
This is the fascinating story of the first 40 years of Europe’s first alternative/holistic holidays on the island of Skyros in Greece. Its focus on courses including yoga, writing, art, music, dance, health and well-being, and outdoor activities has been much copied. These were the pioneers, with a unique focus on community. Sunshine for the soul indeed.
Tue 28th Aug 2018 15:19 Minky said…
This book shows and tells the story of one of the first holistic centres in Europe. The photos and descriptions span a colourful 40 year history of how it came to being and the inspired vision of the co-founders as well as many of the amazing.impact of its ongoing work in transformation and healing.
Wed 29th Aug 2018 12:12 Mr. LG Murray said…
This is a fascinating part memoir and part scrap book of the past forty years of the Holistic Holidays run in Skyros, Greece. It really captures the feeling of that island and gives you an insight into the ethos of the people who run it. It made me want to visit again and I reckon, if you've never been, this book will give you the impetus to visit.
Sunshine for the soul, indeed!
Fri 31st Aug 2018 13:23 Mr. A. Risner said…
I originally went to Skyros for a holiday in 1997 and the memory and beneficial effect of it lasted for years. It’s a unique place and it’s mix of holistic and holiday have oft been copied but never to the same degree.
There is something magical about the place which the founders Yannis and Dina have been able to put across with both words and images in this book of celebration. It gives the reader an insight into how Skyros has grown over its forty years of providing amazing holidays which last long after one has returned.
Mon 3rd Sep 2018 15:50 Virginia Evangelou said…
We all need a little sunshine in our soul...

I discovered Skyros in 1998 and it changed my life, just as this enchanting place changes the lives of everyone lucky enough to discover it for themselves.

This is so much more than a book commemorating forty years of an alternative holiday center in Greece. It is a joyful celebration of friendship, community, learning, passion, experiences and lives enhanced forever because of a dream turned into reality by its pioneering founders, Dina and Yannis.
Their unwavering vision brought about a revolution in the evolution of alternative holiday centres, placing them first and foremost in this category forty years later.

For me, turning the pages is like revisiting a treasured photograph album, reliving cherished memories through a sea of familiar faces, many of whom have become great friends.

I feel both privileged and blessed to have been part of Skyros' extraordinary journey, and will keep returning for as long as I am able into the next forty years.
Skyros has been, and will continue to be a little sunshine for my soul.
Thu 13th Sep 2018 15:12 Steve Attridge said…
The Skyros adventure is the result of two extraordinary minds that were unafraid enough to take a leap into the unknown and create something quite new. Easy now amid a welter of holistic holiday experiences to forget that the begetter of them all was Skyros, dreamed up and refined by Yannis Andricopoulos and Dina Glouberman. Their achievement is astonishing. Hard work, vision, problem solving, overcoming disappointment, a willingness to adapt and change. It has deeply affected the lives of thousands, including mine. The first time I arrived on my own I got lost in the labyrinthine little streets. Getting lost can be the first step in the discovery of the new, and that is how it has been for me for twenty years now. Leonardo’s Mona Lisa is an example of his famous sfumato technique. Blurred outlines and relaxed colours that blend and merge creating new little landscapes of colour and form and leave space for the imagination to flourish. Sfumato also means literally going up in smoke, letting things go and in the smoke believing something new will arise, like the phoenix. I have always thought of the Skyros experience like this – a blending and shapeshifting that challenges, nourishes and leaves an indelible imprint on you. In this book Yannis and Dina give eloquent, lively, informed and deeply personal accounts of the journey from idea to realization. There is a refreshing degree of honesty in both their accounts of the doubts, fears, and sheer grit needed to keep the dream afloat. No one would do anything if they stopped to weigh it all up in advance – there is a moment to step into the unknown and they did this with style, panache and humour. Part of the shape shifting was a willingness to change and embrace new and varied cultural forms and interests: personal development, arts, writing, psychology, yoga, physical sports, music, dance. The Skyros venture has been innovative and brave. For example, the introduction of co-listening – thinking/talking in another’s presence without interruption, is immeasurable in what it teaches us about human communication and how listening is a skill we lose at our peril. The photographs further illuminate the Skyros story with telling moments of joy and industry. We should be grateful for this unique human experience.
Thu 13th Sep 2018 15:12 Amazon Customer said…
This delightful Greek coffee table book is in many ways a reflection of the Centres themselves. Created jointly by the unique alchemy of Yannis and Dina, underpinned by their vision, brought to life by the history and its stories, and exuberantly decorated with photos of the myriad of amazing people who have contributed to its success and longevity - whilst having the time of their lives. Not just a trip down memory lane (the Centres continue to flourish to this day), it serves as a reminder that the Skyros values and ethos expressed in the book are as relevant today as ever. It may not yet be possible to bottle the 'Skyros magic' but this is the closest thing yet.
Thu 13th Sep 2018 15:13 Theresa Amarilio said…
'Skyros' is a book that beautifully describes how the need for a creative community, became the inspiration for thousands of people over the last 40 years. I love the pictures in it describing this venture so well!

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