top painting destinations - south france

Our top painting destinations and how to get the best out of painting en plein air.

Have you dreamed about painting abroad, but are not sure where to go and what holiday to choose? We’ve been running our painting holidays in France for a number of years. We were featured in series 5 of a New Life in the Sun. And, along the way we’ve learned a thing or two about what makes top painting destinations.

Here are a few tips for you to enjoy your top painting destinations.

Unless you are a confident painter keep away from the crowds. You don’t want people constantly coming up and looking over your shoulder while you are painting. It will make you feel self-conscious and will also make it hard to concentrate. So, instead of heading for the tourist square, find a quieter corner or even a village where you can paint uninterrupted.

Get comfortable, especially if you are planning on painting for any length of time. This means finding somewhere you can sit. In a busier spot sitting on the edge of an outdoor café acts as a barrier and means you won’t be hassled. Find shade. Unless it’s very cool the sun is your enemy. It’s pointless going home with a beautiful painting and sun stroke.

And keep your equipment down to the minimum or find parking nearby. The fun goes out of it if you are lugging stuff around for miles before you find your perfect spot.

Or, go on a painting holiday. A good painting host should make the experience as hassle-free as possible. You are on holiday to get the most out of your painting time.

We spend a lot of time researching locations before we design our final itineraries. We transport and provide all your equipment. We’ll supply you with chairs or easels as well as side tables. Shade is a must-have in all our locations. We’ll drop you off as close as we can to the location so that you have less time walking and more time painting.

1. France

We started our painting holidays in France where we live, so of course this has to be our number 1. It’s easy to see why the south of France has been a hot favourite location for artists through the eras. Its beautiful villages and landscapes coupled with clear blue skies and fantastic light make this the perfect place to while away a week painting. We’ve been living in the south of France for almost 15 years. Not only do we know all the best locations to inspire you, but also cover all the points above. So, join us for a painting holiday in the south of France in either June or September if you want to channel your inner impressionist. To find out more click here.

2. Morocco

Or as we like to call it, “the nearest far away land”. History calls to you in Morocco. From its beautiful old Kasbahs, to its old walled medinas. This is a country where you can still really step back in time. This is one of our favourite painting destinations. We’ve not only toured the country for a month on our motorbike, but we spent a week there specifically looking for the perfect locations for our painting holiday in Morocco. Our 10-day painting holiday in Morocco takes you from Marrakech to the foothills of the Atlas Mountains, and on to Essaouira on the Atlantic coast. You will have the opportunity to paint a mix of landscapes, mosques old ruins and seascapes. To find out more about our painting holidays just click through to the painting details on our website.

top painting destinations - morocco

3. Greece

There are just too many beautiful islands to choose from in Greece, and that’s before we have even started to explore the mainland of Greece. Crete and Santorini are completely different in character and offer the perfect introduction to painting in Greece. From the colourful building of Rethymnon to the typical white Greek architecture of Santorini, our 7-night holiday in conjunction with Paint Away Tours is the perfect painting and touring taster of what a painting holiday in Greece has to offer. Simon has been invited to this tour as a visiting tutor in May 2023. You will also be accompanied by an English tour guide throughout the trip. Most days you will enjoy half a day painting before getting to know the islands better in the afternoons. Click here to find out more.

4. South Africa

We are looking forward to offering our first painting holiday in South Africa in 2024. From the iconic view of Table Mountain to the wonderful Cape Dutch architecture and a wildlife retreat. South Africa is a wonderful mix of landscape, architecture, and wildlife locations. As Monica still has family in South Africa we spend a month there every year. With our insider knowledge, we will be able to introduce you to the true South African experience. You will stay in the best accommodation that South Africa has to offer. We will introduce you to some fantastic local cuisine while Simon helps you improve your painting skills and technique. A truly immersive holiday. Don’t miss out on all our latest news and when bookings open for this holiday. Subscribe to our newsletter.

5. Croatia

How about a painting holiday in Croatia? Bring the islands of Croatia to life with your paintbrush. Each of the islands that we visit has its own character. Over the period of a week, we’ll make our way from Split to Dubrovnik, island hopping along the way. The perfect taster of the island life of Croatia. In 2025 we would love to add Croatia to our painting holiday schedule, or maybe you’d like to try something more adventurous. Painting and hiking the desserts of Jordan and the fantastic architecture of Petra. We’d love to hear more from you and what you would like us to explore for future holidays.