Creative escapes for artists

Caroline Cassidy

If you're bored of the beach and looking for a more inspirational but equally relaxing break, a creative holiday could be just the thing.

Art holidays abroad
Art holidays abroad

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From watercolours and oils to sculpture and photography, artistic holidays abroad are a great way to take in the scenery while learning or improving your skills. So why not get your imagination flowing with a creative escape?

From the famous white villages of Andalucia to the beautiful landscape and wildlife of Extremadura, a painting and drawing break in Spain is ideal if you want to combine art with relaxation and almost guaranteed sunshine.

There are numerous residential breaks and courses available, where you can relax at an idyllic finca, Conquistador palace or mountainside village before heading out to paint the dramatic countryside, all beneath a clear blue sky. Tuition is almost always on hand for both beginners and more experienced artists.

Check out or for an idea of what a Spanish art break can offer.

The home of Michelangelo, Da Vinci and Caravaggio, to name but a few, Italy is steeped in artistic history, making it the ideal place for a creative escape.

For a truly special trip, it doesn't get much better than Tuscany. Sculpture, watercolours, oils and even abstract art courses are available - and if you're stuck for inspiration, a visit to Florence, the birthplace of the Renaissance, will undoubtedly get the creative juices flowing.

Fancy yourself as a budding Van Gogh or a Monet in the making? Then France is the place for you. Whether you prefer the bustling cafes of Montmartre or the sun and sea of the Riviera, it's easy to immerse yourself in the landscape and culture of a country that has inspired artists throughout the ages.

Batik painting, oils, watercolours, sculpture... such is France's artistic heritage that finding a course or holiday to suit is simple. The only problem you'll have is choosing where.

With an ancient history, white, hilltop chapels and a crystal-clear blue sea, Greece and all its islands make for a stunning painting landscape. Blessed with light to die for and with sketching opportunities round every turn, a Greek escape is perfect for beginners and accomplished artists alike.

Have you been on an artistic holiday abroad? Leave your recommendations below...