Vegetarian Delights March: Embracing the Mediterranean Lifestyle Diet

São Bartolomeu de Messines, Portugal

Figs on the Funcho
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22 reviews
Mar 8 - 12, 2024
Group size: 5 - 8
Vegetarian Delights March: Embracing the Mediterranean Lifestyle Diet
São Bartolomeu de Messines, Portugal

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

Mar 8 - 12, 2024
Group size: 5 - 8

About this trip

Join us on a culinary journey that promises to delight your senses. Discover the many advantages of the Mediterranean lifestyle while savouring delectable vegetarian dishes inspired by the culinary artistry of Ottolenghi and Ixta Belfrage.

Our retreat not only offers a unique opportunity to participate in group food preparation and cooking but also provides insights into the health benefits of the revered Mediterranean lifestyle, known for its significance in 'Blue Zone' regions.

At Figs on the Funcho, we believe in hands-on experiences. Guests are encouraged to roll up their sleeves, participate in food preparation, and cook delicious meals together. And after all the hard work, we come together to relish a well-deserved feast, complemented by the finest Portuguese wines.

In your spare time, put on your walking shoes and stroll along peaceful riverside paths, where every step unveils wonderful vistas that that will leave you in awe.

Our retreat offers not just an opportunity to elevate your cooking skills but also a chance to forge new friendships along the way. 

Don't miss this opportunity to enhance your culinary skills and immerse yourself in the Mediterranean lifestyle. Reserve your spot now for a truly unforgettable experience.

The cooking experience

Your culinary holiday starts with the welcome dinner featuring a lavish Mediterranean Mezze Spread to a market visit that introduces you to the Mediterranean lifestyle, our mornings begin with refreshing orange juice and delightful breakfasts. 

Engage in hands-on cooking lessons, exploring the artistry of Ottolenghi-inspired recipes, followed by dinners paired with Portuguese wines. The adventure continues with a Falafel-Making Workshop, a countryside walk, and a spectacular Medley of Ottolenghi and Ixta Belfrage dishes. 

Day 4 promises a symphony of flavours with a Mediterranean brunch and a Moussaka cooking class. The day concludes with a heartfelt dinner celebrating the creations from the cooking class.

View all the details in the cooking itinerary section.

The venue

Figs on the Funcho, crowned by LuxLife's Hospitality Award as "Algarve's Most Idyllic Riverside Retreat 2023", offers breathtaking country views that will undoubtedly leave you in awe. Immerse yourself in the tranquility of the surroundings, let the stunning landscapes inspire you, and create memories that will last a lifetime.

Our home-from-home, The River House, is the perfect retreat for nature enthusiasts seeking modern comfort, privacy, and peace. This renovated 100-year-old farmhouse riverside property boasts an infinity swimming pool, 5 large bedrooms, and can accommodate up to 10 people with the option of single or double beds. 

In addition to the villa, The River House also offers the option of staying in our two luxurious safari tents in the garden with stunning river views. Each tent can accommodate up to 2 guests, providing a unique and immersive nature experience. So, whether you choose to stay in the villa or one of our safari tents, you're sure to have an unforgettable and restorative getaway.

Food reviews

"The sunsets and sunrises were a joy, 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

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

"Graham is the Mushroom Whisperer" - Sam, Barcelona

“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 Dawson

“So surprised at the vegetarian food. Every meal was delicious.” – Dave Russel

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

What to bring

  • Your appetite :-)
  • 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.
  • Mosquito repellent.
  • Yoga enthusiasts can make use of available mats for their stretching needs.

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.

Getting here

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.

Cancellation policy

The terms and conditions including the cancellation policy can be found here  Retreat Terms and Conditions - Figs On The Funcho

Once a guest has paid the deposit for the holiday or event then it is deemed that they have accepted these Terms and Conditions

What’s included

  • Offsite Day Transfers
    Transfers to the market are included.
  • Accommodation
    Spacious, comfortable accommodation. Single or double beds with shared spacious bathroom or en-suite bathrooms
  • Meals
    Breakfast, lunch and dinner, wine with meals (not included: alcoholic drinks (honesty bar provided)
  • Welcome drinks
    Enjoy a refreshing welcome beverage upon arrival on the deck, shaded by the expansive carob trees.
  • Airport Transfers
    We’ll have one Faro airport pick-up at 3pm for the group. On departure date we have one transfer to airport after breakfast. We can arrange airport transfers for you at other times for your cost.
  • Towels
    Bath and swimming pool towels
  • Wifi
    Fibre Optic

What’s not included

  • Insurance
    Travel Insurance (recommended)
  • Drinks
    We provide wine at meals, any other Alcoholic drinks and cool drinks, we have an honesty bar
  • Airfares
    Airfares to Portugal

Available Packages

One Person with En-Suite Bathroom


Includes Transport on one Outings

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: €300


Day 1
Arrival Day

Settle into The River House at Figs on the Funcho before enjoying welcome drinks and dinner featuring a Mediterranean Mezze Spread.

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
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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