The village of Agios Ioannis, located on the southern side of the Greek island of Crete, dates back to the 15th century. In the 1950’s, when irrigation systems brought fresh water from the mountains to the coast, the village became largely uninhabited and many of the stone and mud structures fell into ruin. The Mudhouse is one of the few renovated structures to utilize traditional Cretan construction methods.
Agios Ioannis is 9km from the coast, up a twisting mountain road, and at 500m above sea level boasts an impressive view of the Libyan sea. To the east the road leads to the village of Schinokapsala and crosses Pshiro hamlet, with a natural spring that feeds into the largest waterfall on the island and the only pine tree forest on Crete. The western road passes through goat grazing lands and olive tree orchards, over the Thripti mountains where it is possible at the narrowest span to see both the East and West coastlines of Crete. The climate of Crete in June and July can be quite warm, with temperatures reaching 40 degrees Celsius (around 100 degrees Fahrenheit). Nights may be very cool in comparison, requiring a jacket or sweater and long pants.
Artists are accommodated in the guest homes of the village residents. Agios Ioannis has a large international community, with residents from Italy, France, England, and mainland Greece. Each residence was rebuilt from the ruins of the original stone village to the specific taste of the owner, and no two residences are alike. To navigate the village, artists must be able to climb stairs and tolerate heat and sunlight. Artists' workspace needs will be taken into account when determining accommodations. Linens are provided and laundry facilities are available. Most accommodations do not include Wifi, although Wifi is accessible at the taverna. Guests are not permitted during the residency session, but arrangements can be made for artists and guests that wish to stay additional days before or after the session. Pets are not allowed and smoking is not permitted inside the homes or studios.
Meals are served family style at the Kafenio, a traditional Cretan taverna, at 2pm and at 8pm. The taverna offers an excellent sampling of Cretan cuisine; shared plates, salads and savory pastries, in addition to daily specials and entrees, locally produced red and white wine, and the local "moonshine" raki. Accommodations can be made for allergies and specific dietary restrictions, if notified in advance. Coffee and a light breakfast is served buffet style each morning at the Mudhouse. Most residences are equipped with a kitchen and grocery runs are organized periodically, as there is no store in the village.