Join me as I recap some favorite highlights from my plein air painting workshop in Greece.

For this remarkable workshop adventure, I teamed up with Walk Europe to create a seamlessly blended artistic exploration with cultural immersion, a holistic journey of art and culture in Greece.

Athens: The Beginning of Inspiration

Our workshop group touring the majestic Parthenon

Our journey began in the cradle of Western civilization, Athens, where we stood in awe of the Parthenon and painted the ancient streets of the Agora.

For me, this was a bucket-list trip and I was awed to be basking in the same Athenian sun that once illuminated the minds of great philosophers and artists.

During our private tour, our enthusiastic group found inspiration in the Parthenon’s columns and the grandeur of the historical Acropolis.


Our stay at the Electra Metropolis Hotel was also remarkable. Each evening, we were captivated by the breathtaking rooftop view, where the Parthenon illuminated the night with its timeless beauty.

Lori and workshop friends enjoying the view of the Parthenon

By the way, from the vantage point of the 10th story, the sunrises were equally spectacular!

Follow along and tour the Acropolis via this Instagram Reel …


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Agora: Where History Meets Canvas

Our brushes led us to the Agora, a place where time seemed to stand still. As we painted amidst the ruins of ancient marketplaces and temples, we felt the weight of history in every brushstroke.

The Temple of Hephaestus is even older than the Parthenon!

The juxtaposition of modern life and antiquity in this bustling city inspired us to blend the old and the new in our artworks.

Touring the many precious antiquities at the Acropolis Museum


Discovering colorful graffiti along the backstreets of Athens

Check out the Instagram Reel below to see more about our day in the Agora!


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A post shared by LORI MCNEE ARTIST (@lorimcneeartist)

Hydra: A Haven of Tranquility

From Athens, we set sail to the idyllic island of Hydra, known for its art and culture, charm and simplicity.

Lori’s group is ready to board the high-speed ferry at the Port of Piraeus in Athens to Hydra!
Lori’s student painting in the quiet alleyway in front of the Hotel Leto

Hydra offered a serene contrast to the bustling city, with its car-free streets, crescent-shaped harbor, and cobblestone alleys.

For plein air painters, each corner of Hydra was picturesque, waiting to be captured.

Honestly, Hydra is one of Greece’s best-kept secrets!

Hydra Port: The Heart of the Island

Hydra’s main town, aptly named “Hydra Port,” became our home on the island.

It was a vibrant hub of activity, boasting a lively waterfront with restaurants, shops, markets, and galleries.

We started each day with an optional brisk morning hike around scenic Hydra. The breathtaking views kept us inspired during the day.

The welcoming Hydriots shared their stories and traditions, enriching our artistic experience.

A workshop participant points out the Grecian trail-marker

In the timeless town of Hydra, a gentleman skillfully guides his pack horses through the cobblestone streets while simultaneously engrossed in his cell phone.
Plein air painting at the Four Seasons Resort in Hydra
Colorful boats filled the busy Hydra harbor
Painting along the cobbled streets

Narrow, steep stone streets wound their way through Hydra Port, leading us to quaint villages and hamlets scattered across the island.

A colorful village market

Mandraki, Kamini, Vlychos, Palamidas, Episkopi, and Molos unveiled the true essence of Hydra and its people.

Busy workshop participants engrossed in their artistic projects, either in gouache or oil painting

In each village, we found inspiration in the simplicity of life and the timelessness of the surroundings.

A market delivery by donkey

The Car-Free Oasis

One unique feature of Hydra is its ban on wheeled vehicles, including cars, motorcycles, scooters, motorbikes, bicycles, and e-bikes.

This policy preserves the island’s serenity and charm, allowing us to immerse ourselves fully in the tranquil beauty of Hydra.

One of my most cherished excursions was a horseback riding tour of Hydra.

What a unique experience that was!

Riding horses through the streets of Hydra, Greece


We embarked on a guided horse trek with Harriet from Harriet’s Hydra Horses as our personal tour guide.

The horses carried us up the island’s mountains, below the monastery and overlooking the harbor and picturesque beaches.

Our journey back to town took us along narrow cobblestone paths and stone steps, winding through the charming villages of Hydra.

I loved listening to the clop, clop sound of the horses’ surefooted hooves as they navigated their way through the stone paths, narrow streets, and ancient stairways.

A cute donkey takes a break in the midday sunshine

Hydra is also home to a plethora of cats, gracefully roaming the labyrinthine streets and becoming an integral part of the island’s charming atmosphere.

The locals lovingly feed and care for these feline inhabitants, creating a heartwarming bond between the island and its four-legged residents.

A lineup of well-fed kitties along our daily hike

Our plein air painting workshop in Greece was a journey of contrasts and artistic


At the end of each painting day, we gathered to share our creations and exchange ideas while sampling the local wines.

Together, we celebrated the remarkable progress that each participant achieved during the week with the instructions I provided.

The sense of artistic community and the growth in skills among the group was truly inspiring.

Greece’s culinary delights are truly a treat for the senses. Each evening, we eagerly strolled to a different local restaurant, eager to savor the authentic flavors of Greek cuisine.

Our lively farewell dinner was a joyous occasion

The delicious food was brimming with freshness that left our taste buds dancing with delight.

Every meal was like a journey through the rich and diverse taste of Greece, from the savory grilled meats and seafood to the vibrant salads and aromatic herbs.

With smiles on our faces and satisfied stomachs, our taste of Greece was a culinary adventure that we’ll treasure forever.

From the monumental history of Athens to the serene beauty of Hydra, we painted our way through landscapes that bridged the past and the present.

The island’s car-free oasis ensured that we embraced its peaceful atmosphere fully.

Our fabulous Greek Workshop group photo in front of our Hotel Leto!

As we departed Hydra, our hearts and canvases were filled with the colors and memories of this enchanting island. This truly was a journey of both art and culture in Greece!

Greece had once again proven itself to be an endless well of inspiration for artists and adventurers alike. Until we meet again.

Keep an eye out for Lori’s upcoming plein air painting workshops or consider joining Lori’s Fine Art Tips School for fun online learning.