Figs On The Funcho

Riverside Art and Walking Holiday

Painting in Paradise

An Artistic Retreat in Europe’s Picturesque Portugal

If you’re looking to develop your drawing and painting skills in a wide variety of media, then join Cheryl’s Riverside Art and Walking Holiday for an inspiring, creative retreat set on the banks of the alluring Algarve River in southern Europe.

Wake-up every morning to Algarve blue skies and an undisturbed and tranquil location with unbeatable sunsets and spectacular views to inspire your creativity.

Our Shropshire experienced, fully qualified Art Tutor, a member of Algarve Society of Artists and a Professional Member of the S.A.A., now resident in the Algarve, has a passion for sharing her knowledge and skills through tutorials and demonstrations and has her own step by step lessons in the series “Pick up a Paintbrush”, a regular feature in the quarterly online Algarve Artist magazine.

Tracy-Jane is full of enthusiasm and passion and it is reflected in her vibrant and colorful art work.

Southern Portugal is the perfect place to spend 6 nights and 7 days

This art and walking holiday offers an opportunity to improve your artistic skills and enjoy the positive healing effects of nature.

Immerse yourself here in blissful tranquility and timelessness, a secluded location, with breathtaking views and stunning sunsets. This serene setting will allow you to fully relax, improve your mood and allow your creative juices take over.

During your stay, you will enjoy daily art lessons on the waterfront deck under the mature carob trees with accompanying bird song. The surrounding countryside and views of the river will make you feel as though you have discovered a secret oasis and you won’t be at a loss when choosing your landscape art scenes.

The clean, country air and beautiful views of the river and countryside can be best enjoyed during picturesque, easy going walks where you will discover the lovely cistus rockrose, thought to be magical and therapeutic and Portugal’s national tree, cork oak, showing their bright orange-brown coloured trunks when stripped for cork.

sunset algarve portugal

So why should you join us?

  • Develop self confidence within your own artistic practice in a beautiful relaxed waterside location.
  • Identify new techniques and approaches through preparatory drawing.
  • Experiment with different materials while loosening up your creative practice.
  • Gain understanding of the important of contrasts in art.
  • Develop a better understanding of how perspective effects landscape painting.
  • Let the artistic journey dictate your finished results without pressure or forcing them.
  • Small groups to ensure individual attention for all abilities.
  • Non-painting partners are welcome.

Non-Painting Partners

The clearly signed walking route is ideal for exploring the countryside on your own and you are welcome to join the art group when they go out walking and exploring the countryside.

If you are a fisherman you can find a spot to fish anywhere around the villa and we can help you obtain a fishing license.

A 10 minute walk takes you to the quad bike adventure centre where you can join Hugo on a quad bike safari and venture into the countryside and along the river.

There are several quiet areas on the property to enjoy and take advantage of the peaceful, tranquil, scenic  surroundings. Enjoy bird watching, book a relaxing aromatherapy massage, a stand up paddle boarding lesson or you could simply chill out by the infinity pool and soak up some much needed vitamin D.

There is so much to discover and enjoy around our location such as golf, dolphin spotting, rock climbing or exploring historical towns. Cheryl loves finding places to shop, dine and explore that add a touch of authentic flavour and variety to your Algarve visit, and she is always excited to share them so that you can also experience these wonderful discoveries. Talk to her about  some of  her personal recommendations on things to do in the area.

The villa has a small collection of reading books, board games and a DVD library.

Delicious Delights Will Dazzle You

You will feast on a varied menu of raw, local seasonal produce and fresh juices, exploring what feels good and tastes great. Our menu includes tasty homemade cakes and treats too!

We will be lovingly preparing a variety of flavorsome vegetarian dishes in our riverside farmhouse kitchen using fresh produce from our local village market.  All meals are seasoned with the Algarve Portugal sea salt, Flor de Sal, known as the white gold of the Algarve that is manually harvested from clean Atlantic water.

Enjoy a variety of healthy breakfast options under the carob trees. Breakfast options  include fresh fruit, my home made granola, freshly baked muffins, gluten free buckwheat pancakes, oat porridge served with local Algarve lavender honey and freshly squeezed juices, smoothies and turmeric lattes.

Savour our best energising and nourishing vegan and vegetarian meals; flavoursome recipes that you will want to try at home.

dining waterfront deck
Waterfront deck for alfresco dining

Spectacular Accommodations. Await You.

Just a 35-minute drive from Faro Airport into the Algarve’s peaceful countryside, The River House features:

5 double spacious, airy and fully-airconditioned bedrooms – 2 with ensuite bathrooms – and a large communal bathroom. All rooms can have single beds upon request.

Light and airy social spaces, a high-ceiling lounge and kitchen outfitted with a center island and a cherry wood dining table.

Spacious deck area with terraces offering warm sun, a cool canopy, and natural shade, all with stunning views of the countryside and breathtaking sunsets.

An infinity pool with jaw-dropping views of the Funcho dam and river area.

luxury bedrooms at riverside retreat
Spacious, luxurious bedrooms at The River House

Art and Walking Schedule

There’s plenty of space to either join in the everyday activities and socialising, or you can simply opt out and enjoy the magical ambience in a space of your own. The River House provides plenty of relaxation spaces in the sunshine, shelter and natural shade.

Art Program:

Day 1 Art Theme – Natural Inspiration (Half Day)

Relaxed introduction morning at Figs on the Funcho learning how to use different shapes, textures and form from the nature. Using various drawing techniques and materials including graphite, charcoal and pen where you can ease into your art holiday learning new tips and tricks or a good refresher for the more experienced. Also a great way to get to know each other and discuss our art interests.

Day 2 Art Theme – When colour runs riot (Half Day)

A day letting vibrant colours and bold imagery inspired from many different sources comes together to create powerful abstract art. This will be a creative day exploring different colour and how it makes us feel. Chance to try out different art materials like watercolour, acrylics, chalk or oil pastel, wax resistance and much more. All that is required is an open mind willing to explore.

Day 3 Art Theme – A River with a View (Full Day)

A day of 2 halves using the stunning location of Figs on the Funcho as inspiration for creating some landscape art. The morning will be used to work together and discuss how to select your view, then compose a painting or drawing while on location. After lunch, we will continue with the landscapes back at base where we can tune the fine details with guidance to create some impressive works of art. The hardest part of this day will be which view to choose, so maybe bring a camera. Material choice is  totally up to you, but maybe try something loose and see where the inspiration leads you.

Day 4 Art Theme – Ink and Mixed Media (Half Day)

A session on the joys of using ink in various ways to create interesting art works. A morning of play and experimentation where we will show you how versatile this medium can be, not to mention the possibilities when other mediums are used. From the application of ink from a pen for sketching, to brush work and the introduction of bleach and other unusual things.

Day 5 Art Theme – Suggestive Animals (Half Day)

Have you ever tried to draw an animal but felt it wasn’t quite right? Have you attempted to draw furry coat but it ended up looking flat? Well this tips and tricks session on all things animal will help you master simple shapes into various species followed by the techniques needed to make fur and feather come alive. From the smallest mouse, to the biggest elephant, anything goes in this session.

Walking Program:

In the afternoon, if you feeling energetic, Cheryl will take you walking to explore the countryside, taking in the delights of the local sites while walking through natural sights. Wildlife spotted in our area includes owls, foxes, herons, Algarve tiger and stags with amazing antlers. The surrounding countryside and views of the river will make you feel as though you have discovered a secret oasis in this remote and beautiful location on southern Portugal.

If you don’t want to be talking or listening and want to walk alone, the clearly signed, via Algarviana, walking route is perfect for solo walking. Enjoy the crisp, clean morning fresh air when you take pleasure in the Algarve sunrise and panorama country views. A morning walk is a great way to boast your creative inspiration at the start of the day.

Outside seating | sun beds | with views of the river and pool | algarve, portugal
A lazy day by the pool

What’s Included

  • Accommodation
  • Welcome drinks
  • Breakfast, lunch and dinner
  • Airport Transfers at a specified time
  • Art classes and materials
  • Nature walks
  • Mid week room clean and towel change

What’s Not Included

  • Flights to Faro Airport (FAO)
  • Optional Activities
  • Travel Insurance (recommended)
  • Alcoholic drinks and cool drinks, we have an honesty bar

Flights to Portugal

  • Direct flights from the UK to Faro Airport (FAO) or Lisbon (LIS)
  • Direct flights from the United States cities New York City, Philadelphia, Miami, Boston and Los Angeles to Lisbon (LIS)

Optional Activities

  • Aroma Body Massages
  • Indian Head Massages
  • Stand-up Paddle Boarding


21st September 2019

For departure dates in May and June contact Cheryl


From £995

Accommodation choices:

Shared room with:

  • shared bathroom – £995
  •  en-suite bathroom – £1,245

Private room with:

  • shared bathroom – £1,295
  • with en-suite bathroom – £1,645

15% Discount for a non-painting guest sharing a room
10% Discount for two guests booking the art course and sharing a room

Payment Plan

Deposit : £360 Now to secure your place
1st Payment: 18/05/2019
2nd Payment: 27/07/2019

Cancellation Policy

Should you decide to cancel your reservation and we confirm receipt of notice of cancellation more than 8 weeks before the course date, you shall be entitled to a refund of the total amount paid by you to us in relation to such booking less a cancellation charge equal to the amount of the deposit paid by you.

If we confirm receipt of notice of cancellation of your reservation 8 weeks or less before the course date, the balance remains payable. If you can arrange for someone to take your place or we may have someone on the waiting list for the entire course, we will refund to you the amounts paid to us by the new guest, less an administration charge of 15% of the monies paid by you to us in relation to your booking with us.

Read our full terms and conditions.

About Tracy-Jane

Art Tutor Europe Algarve
‘Self Portrait’ © Tracy-Jane Pooler

Tracy-Jane has a BA Hons degree in Fine Art as Social Practice from Wolverhampton University and then went on to achieve teaching qualifications in further education. Tracy-Jane was so appreciative of the support she received once she was diagnosed as Dyslexic that it inspired her to become an art tutor so she in turn could also help other adult art students break down some of their learning barriers.

Her art teaching experience varies from working in Family Learning with parents and children as young as 4, to working part time in Prison Education for over 9 years. In the UK she worked with adult beginners and intermediates for Telford College of Art Technology, taught private groups, ran art workshops and organised art day trips.

Originally from Shropshire, but now based in the Algarve, Portugal and blessed with some of the most beautiful scenery, a great inspiration to her wonderful vibrant, colourful sometimes expressive with its foundations firmly based on Realism.

Tracy-Jane likes to capture life and energy in her work.

About Cheryl Smith

view swing Algarve Atlantic ocean
Cheryl enjoying Algarve’s Atlantic ocean view

Cheryl, organiser of the art painting holiday, is passionate about Portugal; holidaying, exploring, experiencing new creative hobbies, good food, joyful living, well-being and mindful connection, especially with regard to a healthy work-life balance.

I love to share my love of healthy, delicious, simple cooking with friends.  I enjoy exploring raw, vegan and vegetarian recipes.  My knowledge of the locally grown produce enables me to source the best and prepare deliciously creative fresh food for you daily.

Having visited the Algarve for more than 20 years I am keen to share my Algarve experience with you as I love to explore the area, find new beaches, restaurants and activities, visit the traditional villages nearby. And I can spend hours in the local markets, surrounded by the colours and scents of locally grown produce.