Figs On The Funcho

Botanical Painting Holiday and Yoga

painted dark-red persimmon
Botanical painting of a dark-red persimmon by Toni Dade

4 Night Botanical Art Holiday at Europe’s Bucolic Riverside Location

The painting holidays run at Algarve’s Figs on the Funcho are one of the creative activities as seen on the popular TV series “A New Life in the Sun” (seventh series).

Your botanical water colour painting week-end holiday break offers an opportunity to improve your artistic skills and enjoy the positive healing effects of nature. Budding artists can enjoy painting workshops led by an experienced and qualified art tutor. The painting break is suitable for the beginner and advanced artist.

“A great relaxing location with fantastic views.” – Sally

Your painting instructor will be on hand throughout the week-end with not only demonstrations but also to provide 1 to 1 guidance and tuition; all from the scenic riverside deck. The breath-taking views of the river, countryside, and hills, helps artists to take time out and feel more relaxed. Not only do our creative guests come away having improved their artistic skills, but they also enjoy being close to nature that is known to generate emotions such as calmness, creativity, and joy.

“Figs on the Funcho; a lovely, happy, gentle, friendly, relaxing, restorative, fun and memorable place to spend a week. I didn’t want to leave!” – Judith

water droplets on pink rose
Artist Toni Dade: pink rose covered in water droplets

Botanical Painting Holiday Itinerary

Please note the itinerary is for guidance only and is subject to change depending on the group’s needs and experience.


15h00 We’ll have one Faro airport pick-up at 3pm for the group. We can arrange airport transfers for you at other times for your cost. If there is anybody else arriving doing the same we will arrange it so that you can share the transport costs.  

Saturday and Sunday Will Follow a Similar Format

09h00 –  10h00 Outdoor breakfast with views of the rolling hills

10h00 – 13h00 Botanical watercolour painting class

13h00 – 14h00 Lunch on the sunny terrace

14h00 – 17h00 Botanical watercolour painting class

17h30 – 18h30 Yoga

Every Evening 

18h30 – 19h30 Sunset drinks and an opportunity to enjoy our gorgeous sunsets

19h30 – 20h30 Al fresco dinner under the Algarve starry sky

20h30 – 22h00 Port and cheese on the riverside deck


The last day, Monday, is a free day that can be spent on location or you can book a trip or outing after the morning yoga session. Figs on the Funcho is a riverside retreat with winding pathways in the garden that has easy waterside access for kayakers, paddle boarders and wild water swimmers. Alternatively, if you would like to explore the Algarve region I am keen to share my Algarve experiences with you as I love to explore the area, find new beaches, restaurants and activities and visit the traditional villages nearby.

About Your Art Tutor, Toni Dade

art tutor pineapple painting
Art tutor, Toni Dade, showing her pineapple watercolour painting

A gold medal-winning illustrator and artist, Toni Dade, lives and works in the beautiful rural Algarve as an art tutor and Pilates instructor and enjoys painting and homing stray pets in her free time. 

After completing a Natural History Illustration course in the 90s she continued to paint, exhibit and sell her illustrations.

Toni was awarded a Gold Medal for her exhibit ‘Seasonal Observations from the Branches of a Pomegranate’ at the 2021 RHS Botanical Art & Photography Show. Her Gold Medal award artwork is a series of six paintings of the pomegranate (Punica Granatum) through the seasons to display the life cycle of this plant.

Toni’s beautiful delicate botanical paintings are a true reflection from her careful observation, attention paid to the details and depth of colours applied to her artwork.

She has exhibited with The Society of Botanical Artists and was awarded a Fellow membership with them in 2019 and is a member of the Algarve Society of Artists.

Botanical Paintings by Toni Dade

Toni Dade’s Exhibitions and Awards:


  • Gold Medal at The RHS Botanical Art & Photography Show at the Saatchi Gallery
  • “Abril Traz Novas Cores / April Brings New Colours” Escola de Artes de Lagoa
  • “Purely Botanical? II” The Association of British Botanical Artists


  • “Purely Botanical” with The Association of British Botanical Artists
  • Awarded “The Great Art Award” at the SWA exhibition.
  • The Society of Women Artists 159th Annual Open Exhibition-online
  • “Plantae” online exhibition with the Society of Botanical Artists


  • Selected by the RHS to exhibit with them.
  • “Plantae” with the Society of Botanical Artists, Mall Galleries, London


  • 2017 “Changing Seasons” with the Society of Botanical Artists, Westminster Central Halls, London


Botanical Painting

Had the most brilliant painting holiday at Figs on the Funcho. The painting classes were so well organised and really great fun, with a super teacher (Tony) who made every step enjoyable. Graham and Cheryl are fantastic hosts, generously investing their time and energy to make your stay as enjoyable as possible, nothing was too much trouble for them. The food was 10/10 - every breakfast, lunch and dinner was a treat and all done with such grace and style. The surroundings are beautiful - some fabulous walks, fun to be had on the river and a lovely pool area to enjoy or just relax in with a good book.Travelling on your own, as a couple or part of a group - this is a wonderful place to be, I thoroughly recommend it.
- Patricia Brookwick


I really enjoyed my stay at Figs on the Funcho. I was there for the watercolor class with Toni. She was a great teacher and always encouraging. The venue was very attractive with walking trails to explore when we weren’t painting. I can’t say enough about the hosts and cooks Cheryl and Graham. They were very welcoming and caring. I ate every morsel of the deliciously prepared food.
- Debra Laxton

Wonderful Painting Workshop

Hi I recently attended a 2 day botanical painting works shop at Figs on the Funcho . The tutor was Toni Dade . It was held on Saturday 11th and Sunday 12th June 2022. Toni is located near by. Her web address is and the location web address is Toni was very patient and informative and her teaching style was wonderful and inspiring I achieved so much more than I thought I would. The location of Figs on the Funcho was perfect, outside in the Algarvian sun overlooking the Funcho lake. Cheryl and Graham looked after us very well, were served beautiful lunches and were able to take a dip in the pool to cool off.
- Sarah Chivers


Suitable for all artistic levels, from the beginner to the advanced artist.
Minimum age 18 with no upper age limit.

Art Supplies

Art equipment is supplied so don’t worry about packing your own but if you have favourite brushes, watercolour paints, or materials, please feel free to bring them.
Art supplies on hand include watercolour painting paper, tracing paper, painting brushes and watercolour paints.

infinity swimming pool view
Infinity swimming pool with river and countryside

Watercolour Botanical Painting Holidays For Singles

“I attended the plein air day at the Figs on the Funcho and had a wonderfully magical day. I came away with some new friends and my own painting.” – Liza

“Travelling on your own, as a couple or part of a group – this is a wonderful place to be, I thoroughly recommend it.” – Patricia

We have many creative solo travellers who have made friends easily on our creative holidays. Having a common interest makes it easy to form friendships. The after-dinner cheese and port gatherings under the carob trees are a firm favourite with our guests as this is when you get to know each other a little more and form lasting friendships.

What is a Non-Painting Partner To Do All Day?

“I went along to Figs on the Funcho as a non-painter with my painting partner. My time there was incredibly relaxing with stunning views across the river and countryside, with interesting walks and sunsets to die for.” – Clive

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,  fishermen can find a spot to fish anywhere around the villa or simply chill out by the infinity pool and soak up some much needed vitamin D.

The River House is also great for relaxing and is stocked with a small collection of reading books, board games and a DVD library. 

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.

There is so much to discover and enjoy in the Algarve that is within easy reach.  I (Cheryl) love finding places to shop, dine and explore that add a touch of authentic flavour and variety to your Algarve visit, and I am always excited to share them so that you can also experience these wonderful discoveries. Talk to me about some of my personal recommendations listed on our  things to do page.

Your hosts, Cheryl and Graham, at Figs on the Funcho

Delicious Delights Will Dazzle You

Graham and I, will be lovingly preparing a variety of wholesome vegetarian dishes, that may include a couple of fish options, 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.

We enjoy cooking and testing new recipes in our kitchen and guest reviews happily report their joy in discovery new healthy vegetarian meals. 

“The vegetarian meals a delicious revelation. I’ve ordered my first-ever veggie cookbook to continue the benefits of ‘Fig’s’ healthy delicious meals” – Judith

art holiday europe group lunch
Spacious outdoor deck area to enjoy al fresco meals

We have a passion for cooking and for sourcing local ingredients to produce good, healthy, wholesome vegetarian foods. Graham is an avid follower of Ottolenghi, Jamie Oliver, Bosh Brothers and the Happy Pear and many dishes stem from his chef heroes.  

Meals are served al fresco under the shady carob trees. Are you feeling hungry? Take a look at some of our healthy dishes on our  sample menu.  

“Cheryl is an excellent host and her culinary skills have literally changed our view of food; vegetarian food in particular, with flavours, textures and combinations that were an assault on the senses.” – Clive

Portugal riverside botanical painting holiday location
Botanical painting holiday riverside location

Home-From-Home Spectacular Accommodations. Await You.

“As a returning guest that almost says it all but I would also like to add with the spectacular location, comfortable accommodation, warm welcome, wonderful food and expert tuition, what a fabulous way to spend a week, hopefully will be returning again next year and can thoroughly recommend.” – Ann

We offer a slower pace of life for the artists who are nature enthusiasts and seek the “home-from-home’ modern comfort accommodation, privacy and peace allowing guests to disconnect from their hectic lifestyle.

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

  • meals are enjoyed with the group on the outdoor terrace (weather permitting)
  • painting workshops are enjoyed on the outdoor river facing deck under the carob trees
  • winding garden paths leading to direct access to the river to enjoy kayaking, paddle boarding, fishing, or wild swimming
  • lounge with double height ceilings and comfortable couches
  • spacious deck area with terraces offering warm sun, a cool canopy, and natural shade, all with stunning views of the countryside and breath-taking sunsets
  • a 100-year-old renovated farmhouse riverside property with infinity swimming pool
  • 4 large bedrooms: 2 bedrooms with en-suite bathrooms and 2 bedrooms sharing a large bathroom with double basins. Sleeps 8 all together and beds can be made up as single or double beds
  • reading books, board games and a large selection of DVD’s are available for the enjoyment of our guests
  • swimming pool towels provided
  • free internet connection (cable)

“The villa and grounds are beautiful and the surrounding countryside is breathtaking. At night I saw the sky filled with stars.” – Ramla

luxury bedrooms at riverside retreat
Spacious bedrooms at The River House

What’s Included

  • Art tuition all day Saturday and Sunday – 12 hours in total
  • All art materials:  watercolour paints, paper, tracing paper, paint brushes
  • Use of Plein air easels and tabletop art easels, if required
  • Yoga workshops
  • Welcome drinks
  • Breakfast, lunch and dinner. Not included are alcoholic and cold drinks, an honesty bar is provided.
  • Airport Transfers. We’ll have one Faro airport pick-up at 3pm for the group. We can arrange airport transfers for you at other times for your cost. If there is anybody else arriving doing the same we will arrange it so that you can share the transport costs.
  • Check-in after 14h00 and check-out is after breakfast on day 5 (Tuesday). An early check-in can be arranged.
dark green avocado half botanical painting
Dark green Hass avocado study by Toni Dade

What to Bring

  • Your swimming costume to enjoy the pool
  • Water swimming shoes if you planning on wild water swimming
  • Something warm to relax in at night
  • Sun hat and suitable footwear for outdoor walking and also if you plan to visit the historical town nearby, during free time, as the cobbled roads can be slippery
  • Plastic or cardboard postal tubes to take your rolled artwork home. Paper sizes provided will be no larger than an A3

What’s Not Included

  • Optional activities such as massages or activities on your free day
  • Travel Insurance (recommended)
  • Alcoholic drinks and cold drinks, we have an honesty bar
  • Airfares to Portugal

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 on Location

  • Aroma Body Massages – 1 hour – €60 
  • Stand-up Paddle Boarding / Kayaking – no charge for guests staying with us
  • Wild swimming
pink mallow botanical painting
Pink mallow painted by botanical artist Toni Dade

Book Your Botanical Painting Holiday 

Read more about our upcoming retreat dates and rates and how to book here …

Painting Lessons without Accommodation

Those resident in the Algarve may join the botanical painting lessons on Saturday and Sunday as day trippers without the option of accommodation, contact for details.

botanical painted purple tulip
Purple tulip painted by artist, Toni Dade