Mediterranean Herbs, Essential Oils and Distillation in Greece

Mediterranean Herbs, Essential Oils and Distillation in Greece
Study Abroad

Next travel dates pending. Contact Admissions at 800-487-8839 for more information.

ACHS provides comprehensive holistic medicine study-abroad programs for adventurous adults of all ages. Our rewarding experiential summer study abroad programs provide an invigorating blend of lectures, workshops, and tours of the surrounding areas.

You will join a group of like-minded adults in exploring historically significant areas while you expand your theoretical and practical knowledge of the subjects we study. We allow plenty of time to explore further on your own or in small groups, or to relax in the idyllic setting we personally seek out to enhance your study experience.

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If you've always wanted to learn more about Mediterranean herbs and essential oils, this program is a must for you! Led by ACHS President and Wellness Expert Dorene Petersen and Guerilla Distiller Robert Seidel, this program provides hands-on experience working with Mediterranean herbs and essential oils for therapeutic use including: Making preparations, harvesting cultivated and wild-crafted botanicals for distillation, essential oil distillation, therapeutic blending of essential oils, and more!


Greece and its sun-kissed isles offer a tantalizing cuisine that is fresh and fragrant, served with warmth and vitality. The Greeks' zest for the good life and love of simple, well-seasoned foods is reflected at the table.

Throughout your stay your meals will be prepared with fresh local produce. Two meals are included each day. Greek meals may be different than you are used to. Students who are following particular diet plans, such as high protein plans, may need to bring supplements such as meal bars.

  Villa Abella

The small, picturesque Villa Abela is our base for this program. Featuring grounds and courtyards covered in multi-colored bougainvillea, Villa Abela is nestled in a south-facing hillside and protected from island breezes that are common in the summer. Villa Abela offers accommodation for a small number of students. Abela (meaning the place where grapes grow) is a quiet secluded bay with safe swimming and Villa Abela is just 100 yards from the beach. Our classes are held daily at Villa Abela.


The fee includes four nights' accommodation at Villa Abella or the Beachside Taverna. The cost is based on 2 persons sharing a room. There are a few single rooms upon request with an additional charge for each night. Each room has a shower, toilet, and washbasin. The standard of accommodation is rated as four keys. Keys are the rating classification for rooms in Greece. Four keys is the highest rating. Rooms are still small but clean, quaint, comfortable and private. There are no telephones in the rooms. The rooms are charming but not luxurious and the room size is smaller than U.S. hotels. Laundry can be done for a small fee.

Beachside Taverna

The Taverna offers accommodations right on the beach and allows students to be immersed in the Greek culture.

Class Size

This program is limited to 20 students.

About the Area

Villa Abela is approximately 9km from the ancient town of Ermoupolis. With its long and fascinating history, Ermoupoli was the leading commercial harbor in Greece and still has a flourishing artistic and cultural life. It has been referred to as the little Paris of Greece, and features many examples of splendid neoclassical architecture. It is indeed like walking through a living museum! Today, Ermoupolis has an active café and nightlife culture, which makes it a fun place to visit.


All baggage is your complete responsibility. The retreat does not have an elevator or baggage assistance, so we suggest that you travel light, as you are responsible for carrying your own cases. College staff will not be available to assist with baggage, so you should ensure that you can comfortably manage all of your bags. The College accepts no liability for loss or damage to baggage or belongings. We strongly recommend you leave your valuables at home.


Meal style is Greek cuisine prepared with fresh local produce. Two meals are included each day using regional produce. Greek meals may be different than you are used to. Students who are following particular diet plans, such as high protein plans, may need to bring supplements such as meal bars.

A vegetarian option is available but must be requested when booking. Please note that we are unable to accept requests for special menus to meet more specific dietary or religious requirements. There are stores in Abela for extra snacks.

Breakfast is typical Greek style with fresh bread, jam, fruit, boiled eggs, cheese, and hot beverages. The Europeans are not renowned for their breakfasts, and to Americans, they tend to be somewhat basic even in the best hotels!

Lunch is a three-course meal, often including a tomato, cucumber and olive salad, with a meat, chicken, fish or vegetarian dish with a selection of vegetables and either a selection of fruit or small sweets for dessert. Greek cuisine has limited choices for desserts. Vegetarian meals are usually omellets, vegetable mixtures, or small baked or dried vegetable patties called keftedies.

The evening meal is similar to the mid-day meal.


We do not permit smoking in coaches, at the Villa, or in the proximity of other students in the program.


This program includes lectures and hands-on creative sessions as you create your watercolor journal. 


Completion of the ACHS Study Abroad Intake Assessment and acceptance by the ACHS Admissions Committee.


  • ACHS President and Holistic Health Expert Dorene Petersen and Master Distiller Robert Seidel.

Travel Arrangements and Transportation

We strongly recommend that you plan to arrive in Athens at least one or two days before the program starts. We can recommend hotels in Athens. You can also arrive in Syros early, and we recommend staying at the Hermes Hotel in downtown Ermoupoli that enjoys a stunning location right on the water. Arriving early avoids delays and allows you to be refreshed and ready to enjoy and learn on the first day. Flight delays do happen, and if you are late arriving to Syros, you will incur additional cost to connect with the group.

Note: flights to Syros are only available twice a week (check with your travel agent). Ferries leave daily from the Port of Paraeus near Athens, but ensure you catch the fast ferry. Students are responsible for transportation to Syros.

Once you reach Syros, transportation costs relevant to the study tour are included in the fee as detailed: pick up at the Hermes Hotel on Day One, drop off at the Syros Airport or Port on Day Seven, plus all transport to and from tour venues.

Please note that there are taxi services close by or car and motorbike rental, for additional travel at your own expense. The transport is by air-conditioned mini bus with a driver.


$2995 USD (Does not include airfare to destination or travel insurance.)

Payment plans available. Please contact Admissions at (800) 487-8839 or email

Fee includes land package of:

  • All instruction
  • Four nights' accommodation
  • Greek cuisine prepared with fresh local produce (2 meals per day provided)
  • Transfers to and from meeting point
  • All tours and applicable entry fees during tour days
  • Certificate of Completion

Not included: airfare, travel insurance (required), snacks, 1 meal per day and incidental expenses.

Travel Companion Fees: Travel companions are welcome to join us, but do pay the full program fee.

Travel companions may accompany a student registered for the program. Travel companions must complete an intake assessment for admission and submit applicable application materials. Not included: airfare, travel insurance (required), snacks, 1 meal per day and incidental expenses.

Final Payment

Once we have received your Application, signed Educational Travel Program Terms and Conditions, and deposit, and your admission is accepted by the ACHS Admissions Committee, we will process your application, and send you a confirmation and invoice for the balance.

If reservations are made less than 60 days before departure, payment in full is required at the time of booking. If final payments are not received on time, the Australasian College may cancel your reservation and invoke the cancellation fee.

Cancellations, Changes, and Refunds

Your deposit must be paid to secure your accommodations. The balance of your fee is due eight weeks before the first day of class. A 100% refund is offered if you withdraw in writing within five days of enrollment. If you withdraw eight weeks or more before the first day of class, your deposit is non-refundable. If you withdraw within eight weeks of the first day of class, no refund is available.We require all students obtain travel insurance to cover lost deposits and payments for travel programs.

Passports, Insurance and Visas

All program members must possess a valid passport while traveling in Europe. Passport application forms can be obtained from your local post office. All passports should contain at least three blank visa pages and should be valid for six months after the completion of your program. Individuals who do not hold a U.S. passport should contact the appropriate consulate of each country included in the program to acquire any necessary visa. All passport, insurance, and visa charges are the responsibility of the student. We require that all students obtain travel insurance and provide proof of insurance at least 60 days before departure. Failure to provide proof of insurance will result in your enrollment being canceled and your deposit being forfeited.

Travel to Program Meeting Place

Transport to the designated meeting place for the program is not included in the program. Each student is responsible for all travel arrangements. The College is not responsible for missed Program time or expense caused by travel arrangements or missed connections. We strongly recommend that you plan to arrive a day or two before class starts. We can recommend hotels on Syros or Athens for students arriving early.

Program Membership

This Program requires a blend of adventuresome spirit, flexibility, spontaneity, physical fitness, walking ability, mental alertness, and a capacity for accepting situations as they exist and not necessarily as we would find them in America. If you have health concerns, we suggest that you contact your physician to help determine the suitability of the Program for you. We regret that we are unable to accept request for special diets, itinerary variations, wheelchairs, or individuals who require special assistance.

Program Price Does Not Include

Personal expenses including passport and visa fees, alcoholic beverages, optional sightseeing, traditional gratuity to your coach driver, and all other items of a personal nature. Travel insurance is not included and is required.

Any Questions?

Please email or telephone admissions at (800) 487-8839 or

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