Drawing and Painting Course in Guimarães, Portugal

We are thrilled to be running our first Drawing and Painting holiday at the stunning Pousada de Santa Marinha, a twelfth-century monastery in the historic town of Guimarães. With original cloisters and set in 18 acres of landscaped gardens with a superb pool, the Pousada is the ideal setting for a great week of artistic endeavour, relaxation and discovering the best that this fantastic region has to offer. A healthy combination of creativity, delicious food and wine and an active social schedule will guarantee a memorable holiday.

Fact File

Under the supervision of experienced tutor Leah Wells, this course will offer the opportunity to expand your artistic creativity in drawing and painting. The week will focus on specific subject areas such as still life, portraits, landscape and café culture and participants will learn how to use different materials and will benefit from Leah's artistic and technical support throughout the week.

Mornings will be spent at the Pousada in group workshops followed by afternoon excursions which will give participants the opportunity to capture the fascinating landscape, people and surroundings of this wonderful region. Excursions to Porto and Viana do Castelo are included in the course itinerary as well as opportunities to capture café culture in Guimarães.

In addition to the group workshops, individual sessions will be offered where participants can benefit from feedback with Leah on any aspect of their work.

As well as providing a rewarding creative experience, we aim to give participants the opportunity to enjoy a truly memorable holiday. A typical day will include a morning workshop followed by a buffet lunch, after which there will be individual or group feedback sessions. Afternoon excursions usually depart at around 3pm and return in time for dinner, with the exception of the excursion to Porto which will return at around 10pm.

On the penultimate evening there is a barbecue evening and a concert performed by the participants of the guitar and singing courses that are running alongside this course. Participants' work from the week will be displayed on this evening.

This region is a treasure trove of historic towns, award-winning wineries and beautiful countryside – not to mention local gastronomic delights. We are very fortunate to be based in the fascinating town of Guimarães, which was European City of culture in 2012. The town boasts a wealth of historic buildings as well as delightful medieval squares and has a lively cultural scene, with art galleries, cafés and boutique shops.

During the week, excursions are planned to complement the course schedule; we have selected some highlights which we hope will give a taste of the history and culture of this wonderful region, as well as offering great photographic opportunities.

  • Afternoon and evening to discover the beautiful city of Porto
  • Opportunity to explore the UNESCO World Heritage city of Guimarães, with its charming old town, castle, ducal palace and cable car
  • Visit to the delightful seaside town of Viana do Castelo with its iconic Santuario de Santa Luzia during their annual Nossa Senhora da Agonia festival
  • Tour and tasting at the tranquil family vineyard of Quinta da Aveleda

All of the above excursions are included in the price of the course.


Anyone who has stayed in a Pousada before will know they offer outstanding standards of accommodation, and the Pousada de Guimarães is no exception. Formerly a medieval Augustinian monastery, this Pousada has won awards for its restoration and is now renowned for its combination of luxury and beautifully preserved history and culture.

Set in eighteen acres of private grounds, the Pousada has an abundance of communal spaces – with a plethora of secluded corners in which to relax and unwind. Explore the botanical gardens with its lake, formal garden, cloisters, grotto and granite fountains. Make the most of the stunning swimming pool with views out over the town!

Accommodation at the Pousada is in well-appointed twin and double bedrooms, all with ensuite bathrooms, and is allocated on a room-share basis. If you are coming with a friend, or wish to share a room with someone in particular, please let us know. A limited number of single occupancy rooms (double or twin ensuite) are available for a supplement of £325; if you wish to reserve one, please check with us before booking.

One of the Pousada's comfortable rooms

All meals (except evening meal in Porto) will be prepared by the hotel’s acclaimed chefs and will comprise an extensive buffet breakfast, buffet lunch, and three-course evening meal. The Pousada’s restaurant is renowned for its gourmet cuisine and delicious local specialities.

We are able to cater for most special dietary requirements; please let us know of any on your booking form.

Restaurant at the Pousada

The total cost of the course is £1445 and includes everything except your return flight to Portugal.

What’s included?

  • Seven nights full-board ensuite accommodation
  • All meals (except evening meal in Porto)
  • Excursions and activities
  • Transfer from Porto airport and local transportation (for organised excursions)
  • Tuition and all other course costs

Participants are required to book their own travel to Porto airport, where a coach will collect the group. Please ensure that you arrive at the airport by 2.30pm on Saturday 17th August and that your departure on Saturday 24th August is no earlier than 1.00pm, to coincide with the coach transfer.

Recommended flights (opens in a new window)

If you would prefer to make your own way to Guimarães, there is a direct bus service from Porto airport to Guimarães bus station, which takes around 50 minutes. Alternatively, there is a train from the centre of Porto to Guimarães which takes around 75 minutes. The Pousada is a short taxi ride away from the bus and train stations.

If you wish to bring your own car, parking is available on site. Please let us know in advance and we will supply directions.

To reserve your place, please complete the online booking form and send your deposit to us (£275 per person) within seven days. Your booking confirmation will follow. The balance is required eight weeks before the start of the course.

More information on the booking process, along with payment details, is available here.

Any questions?

Please refer to the Find out more section for booking details, terms and conditions and frequently-asked questions.

We’d love to hear from you, so do contact us or you can request a ringback and we’ll call you as soon as possible.