Botanical Watercolour Painting & Yoga Holiday Retreat September

São Bartolomeu de Messines, Portugal

Figs on the Funcho
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22 reviews
Sep 27 - Oct 1, 2024
Group size: 4 - 8
Botanical Watercolour Painting & Yoga Holiday Retreat September
São Bartolomeu de Messines, Portugal

Figs on the Funcho
  • Email address verified
  • Facebook verified
  • LinkedIn verified
22 reviews

Sep 27 - Oct 1, 2024
Group size: 4 - 8

About this trip

Join us for an unforgettable botanical watercolor painting and yoga retreat, where you'll have the opportunity to enhance your artistic skills and experience the healing benefits of practicing yoga in a natural setting.

Under the guidance of our experienced and qualified art tutor, Rita, you'll unlock your inner artist during our painting workshops. Rita's artistic passion centers on capturing the beauty of the natural world with an eye for detail, a commitment to realism, and an insatiable curiosity about the various forms found in nature.

Furthermore, our daily yoga sessions in the midst of nature will deepen your connection with the environment, fostering inner peace and mindfulness. Amidst the tranquil beauty of Figs on the Funcho, you'll find the perfect space to relax, improve your well-being, and quiet your mind.

Apart from our villa, Figs on the Funcho also presents the choice of residing in our two glamping safari tents. These tents have access to the garden bathroom, complete with a rain shower and a basin equipped with a mirror and a hairdryer for your convenience. With both tents offering breath-taking river views, each can host up to 2 guests, delivering a distinct and immersive encounter with nature. Whether you opt for the villa or one of our safari tents, an unforgettable and rejuvenating escape is guaranteed.

At Figs on the Funcho, we're dedicated to embracing nature and responsible travel. We're proud recipients of the Lux Life Hospitality Award for "Most Idyllic Riverside Retreat 2023 - Algarve," a testament to our commitment to excellence.  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). Additionally, we are proudly listed in Simon Heptinstall's "10 Best Art Escapes in 2019" for the Mail Online.

Don't miss out on this opportunity to improve your artistic skills and enjoy the positive healing effects of nature. 

Book your spot now!

Your painting holiday with yoga

Rita's artistic approach, deeply rooted in nature, guides our three-day workshop. 

On the first day, we focus on classical plant illustrations using graphite pencils and watercolours. 

Day two explores the fusion of watercolours and fine-line pens, experimenting with line thickness and a monochromatic palette. 

Day three embraces spontaneity, relying solely on watercolours to capture botanical beauty. 

We end the day with a serene yoga session on the deck under the carob trees.

Refer to the itinerary section for detailed daily activities.

Check-in Check-out

Check-in from 16h00. Guests are requested to arrive before 21h00; otherwise, arrival should be scheduled for the following morning.

Check-out will be after the 09h00 breakfast.

How to get there

We'll pick you up at Faro airport at 3pm; if you've opted for a different route, we'll warmly welcome you at the riverside villa from 3pm.

For those arriving by train, disembark at Messines-Alte train station and choose a quick 5-minute taxi ride to reach the villa. This is an excellent choice for those who prefer to avoid an internal flight and instead savour a scenic journey through the countryside.

If you're flying into Faro airport, you have two options: either take the train to Messines-Alte and select a 5-minute taxi ride to the villa or opt for a 45-minute airport taxi transfer directly to the villa.

Follow the Google map directions for those travelling by car.

A Typical Day

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

10h00 – 13h00 Botanical watercolour painting class

13h00 – 14h00 Lunch 

14h00 – 16h30 Free Time

16h30 – 17h30 Yoga, Mindfulness, and Serenity


19h30 – 20h00 Sunset drinks and an opportunity to enjoy our gorgeous sunsets

20h00 – 21h00 Al fresco dinner under the Algarve starry sky

21h00 – 22h00 Cheese and port or dessert on the waterfront deck

About your Art Tutor Rita Afonso

From Rita Afonso's early years, she has been deeply passionate about the wonders of nature, wildlife depiction, and the enchantment of colours. Born and raised in Silves, Algarve, she pursued a degree in Arts & Multimedia. To quench her thirst for knowledge in the realm of drawing, she embarked on a scientific illustration course, ultimately guiding her towards her true calling: teaching. 

Her artistic endeavors are firmly rooted in the representation of nature, an unwavering devotion to detail, a commitment to realism, and an unending curiosity about the myriad forms and beings in the natural world. Over the years, she has cultivated a rich history of conducting illustration workshops and scientific illustration classes in collaboration with wildlife and environmental organizations, as well as art schools and libraries.

What to bring

  • Plastic or cardboard postal tubes to take your rolled artwork home. Paper sizes provided will be no larger than an A3
  • Your swimming costume to enjoy the pool and watersports on the dam. The water levels may differ depending on the time of the year and drought conditions.
  • Something warm to relax in at night.  
  • Sun hat and suitable footwear (trainers) for walking to explore different paths and also if you plan to visit the historical town nearby, during free time, as the cobbled roads can be slippery.
  • Insect repellent.
  • Appropriate attire for yoga is recommended. Yoga practitioners are welcome to utilize the provided mats and yoga equipment during the classes.
  • Paints, brushes and paper if you plan to paint during your free-time

Culinary Delights

Indulge in a delightful culinary experience during your stay on our botanical watercolour painting and yoga retreat.  Cheryl and Graham, are not only enthusiastic cooks but also ardent fans of culinary maestros like Ottolenghi, Ixta Belfrage, Sami Tamimi and Jamie Oliver. Their passion for cooking is infused into every meal they prepare for their retreats, and it's evident in the glowing reviews from their satisfied guests. You can expect a delectable array of healthy, vegetarian dishes that not only nourish the body but also tantalize the taste buds. Each meal is a journey of flavours. You'll have the opportunity to savour new and exciting culinary creations that are as pleasing to the palate as they are to the eye.

What Other's Have to Say

✨ ✨ "I really enjoyed my stay at Figs on the Funcho. 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

✨ ✨ "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

✨ ✨ “I have just got back from a botanical flower watercolour 4 night break. The surroundings were amazing even though the river had dried up. i can imagine that when its full it is spectacular. The hosts Graham and Cheryl were fantastic hosts. They cooked delicious vegetarian food, which was mostly produced from the vegetables and herbs grown in the garden. Breakfast lunch and dinner was actually the best part for me as nothing was too much trouble. It was so nice to have a glass of wine on the decking with cheese and biscuits, enjoying and talking about everyone's experiences and stories. I would definitely recommend this beautiful place. I am hopefully going to return next year with the family.”  - Caryl

✨ ✨ Oh and did I mention the food and the to die for homemade granola??!!! You’re in for an amazing treat” – Milu

✨ ✨ "So surprised at the vegetarian food. Every meal was delicious.” – Dave

✨ ✨ "A great evening with great vegetarian food cooked and prepared by Graham and Cheryl who were wonderful hosts.” – Rob

What’s included

  • Art workshops
    9 hours in total of art tuition Saturday, Sunday and Monday
  • Yoga sessions
    3 Yoga workshops on Saturday, Sunday and Monday
  • Art Equipment
    Use of Plein air easels and tabletop art easels, if required
  • Art Materials
    All art materials: watercolour paints, paper, tracing paper, paint brushes during workshops
  • Yoga Equipment
    Yoga mat, bolster, block, stap
  • Accommodation
    4 nights accommodation
  • Welcome drinks
  • Meals
    Breakfast, lunch and dinner (vegetarian).
  • Airport Transfers
    One airport transfer from Faro airport to the venue (15:00 on arrival day and 10:00 on departure date).
  • Train Station Transfers
    Those arriving by train can alight at S.B. Messines train station and then opt for a 5-minute taxi ride to reach the villa (please note that the taxi cost is only covered from Messines station)
  • Towels
    Bath and swimming pool towels
  • Wifi
    Fibre Optic

What’s not included

  • Optional Activities
    Optional activities such as massages (60 - 70€) or other activities during your free time.
  • Travel Insurance
    Travel insurance (recommended)
  • Drinks
    Alcoholic and cold beverages are not part of the package, but an honesty bar is available
  • Airfares
    Airfares to Portugal
  • Transfers
    Airport transfers at other times
  • Art Materials
    Bring your own if you would like to paint during your free time

Available Packages

One Person with En-Suite Bathroom
only 1 left


Spacious ground-floor bedroom featuring an en-suite bathroom and double doors that open onto the garden room. Check out the details for more information.

Deposit: €324
Two Persons with En-Suite Bathroom
Sold Out


€1,075 Per Person

Spacious ground-floor bedroom featuring an en-suite bathroom and double doors that open onto the garden room. Check out the details for more information. 

Deposit: €538
One Person with Shared Bathroom
only 2 left


An upstairs room offering scenic river views and a contemporary shared bathroom with dual basins. Delve into the details for more information on the Green Room and Zebra Room.   

Deposit: €235
Two Persons Shared Bathroom Purple Room
only 1 left


€690 Per Person

An upstairs room with dual skylights and a contemporary shared bathroom boasting double basins. Explore the details for additional information.

Deposit: €345
One Person Safari Tent With Shared Bath
only 1 left

One person in a Glamping Safari tent with a shared bathroom. Check out details for more information on our glamping tents.   

Deposit: €228


Welcoming guests from 3pm

Make yourself at home in The River House, where spacious and well-lit rooms await you. The large outdoor areas provide terraces basking in sunshine, sheltered corners, and natural shade. For those seeking leisure and relaxation, there's plenty of space to unwind. And don't forget to indulge in our infinity pool with breathtaking countryside views, offering an added touch of tranquility to your stay. 

15h00 - 18h30 Free time

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

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

20h30 – 22h00 Cheese and Port on the waterfront deck

Who’s Going

Your Organizer

Figs on the Funcho
22 reviews
🏆LuxLife Hospitality Award: Algarve's Most Idyllic Riverside Retreat 2023 Cheryl & Graham, co-founders of Figs on the Funcho, share their love for the Algarve through culinary, walking & painting packages. With 20 years of experience, they explore the best beaches, restaurants, and villages for a memorable experience. Passionate about cooking, they draw inspiration from culinary experts like Ottolenghi, Ixta Belfrage, Sami Tamimi, and Jamie Oliver. Their retreats offer healthy and delicious vegetarian meals, delighting all taste buds.


A lovely day out, with the experience to enjoy preparing and cooking some new food dishes, with other ‘foodies’ ! Graham & Cheryl are excellent hosts with a relax and welcoming atmosphere. Great location ‘out in the wilds’ of the beautiful Algarve ! I Can recommend it to any of you looking for ‘something different to enjoy’ 😎
By Alan C for Flavours of the Portuguese Spice Route: A Journey Through Africa on Apr 12, 2024
Thank you Alan, lovely to meet up with you
By Figs on the Funcho on Apr 13, 2024
We had a great day and enjoyed our brunch.
By Karen M for Ottolenghi Inspired Vegetarian Brunch on Mar 21, 2024
Cheryl & Graham were the perfect hosts, thank you in a beautiful setting, easy going pace, cooking lunch an enjoyable experience, very well organised & lots of tips as you go.. delicious food & company in very relaxed atmosphere, highly recommend 👌 Maureen 🇮🇪
By Maureen S for Ottolenghi Inspired Vegetarian Brunch on Mar 13, 2024
My friend and I attended the vegetarian cooking class recently. We have taken classes together all over the world and this was one of our best experiences. It was very welcoming (even though we arrived early) and it was also very organized. The other participants were lovely to meet and the setting was beautiful. The lunch was delicious and plentiful ( as was the wine) I would recommend the class to anyone.
By Mary Linda B for Vegetarian Mediterranean Lifestyle Cooking - Falalfel Making Workshop (copy) on Mar 04, 2024
I found joy in cooking again at Figs on the Fungo. It gave me a push to take up my Ottolenghi cookbooks. Without these workshops, I would never have made tahini and humus myself, which are much tastier than the ones you buy in the shop. Cheryl and Graham make you feel right at home in their cosy kitchen and are the most friendly and flexible persons. It's cooking without stress and meeting new nice people. Lunch together on a lovely terrace with an astonishing view and a heavenly dessert from Laura (their daughter) on top! I am already looking forward to the upcoming Ottolenghi inspired Brunch workshop.
By Leen V for Vegetarian Mediterranean Lifestyle Cooking - Falalfel Making Workshop on Feb 21, 2024
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