Botanical Drawing Retreat in Greece 2018


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June 8-16, 2018

with Wendy Hollender
on Pelion Peninsula, mainland Greece


June 8-16, 2018

at the Lagou Raxi Hotel in Lafkos, South Pelion, Magnisia, Greece
Workshop cost (6 days): $600
Travel and housing to be paid separately.
Study the fundamentals of botanical drawing using the mediums of graphite pencil, colored pencils, watercolor pencils and watercolor. This is a unique opportunity to study and draw plants adjacent to  a beautiful nature preserve on a remote peninsula in Greece! Drawing plants and flowers starts with observation. Under the supervision of Wendy Hollender, Illustrator, Author, and Instructor, students will learn about plant structures and their importance through dissection and comparison. Students will create detailed botanical drawings and sketchbook pages of flowering plants, fruits and seedpods, working directly from the wide variety of mediterranean plants growing near the Lagou Raxi Hotel. There will be opportunities to work on  detailed paintings for those with more experience.

Proposed Itinerary:

Friday, June 8: Arrival. 6pm Meet & Greet. Dinner at the hotel.
Saturday, June 9: After breakfast, a short introduction to the area and a walk. Afternoon drawing by the pool and relaxing. Dinner in the village square.
Sunday, June 10: 9am-1pm: Introduction to botanical illustration, description of materials. Practice some drawing techniques. Afternoon walk on the kalderimia to collect plant specimens. Evening dinner at hotel.
Monday, June 11: 9am-1pm: Botanical drawing, toning, and simple plant parts. 4-6pm: Continue with illustration work. Evening dinner at hotel.
Tuesday, June 12: 9am-4pm: Visit to a monastery hidden in a green valley. The hotel will prepare for a picnic on the spot. Botanical studies on material found. Dinner free (hotel or village).
Wednesday, June 13: 9am-1pm: More drawing; flowers. 4-6pm: Continue drawing. Evening dinner in hotel.
Thursday, June 14: 9am-4pm: Inspiration from the sea shore (Beach taverna). Botanical studies. Lunch at beach restaurant. Visit to Byzantine site and fisherman’s chapel by the sea.
Friday, June 15: 9am-1pm: Finishing off work. 4pm-6pm: Prepare for exhibition in seminar room of the hotel. 6pm: Exhibition and Farewell Dinner.
Saturday, June 16 : Check out and departure of participants.

The Village of Lafkos

Lafkos is one of the 24 officially ‘listed’ villages in the region of Pelion, about 45 km from the city of Volos. Medieval paths (Kalderimia) stretch around this car-free village and further afield to neighboring villages and the sea. Three museums and five tavernas are open all year. The smell of freshly baked bread in a wood-fired oven draws you to the bakery shop. The village has three small ‘mini-markets’, a craftsman jeweler, home made soaps and a gift shop. In under 10 minutes you can walk from the hotel through the village lanes to the square with its imposing church and plane trees. View and

Also check out these links for local walks and wildflowers.

Hotel Info and Cost

Lagou Raxi Country Hotel (330m) opened in 2014 and was built according to the local traditional architecture. It has a breathtaking view of the Pagasitic Gulf and it’s also close to the Aegean sea. There is an easy footpath from the hotel down to Milina. The British/French owners are putting their own cultural and culinary accents to add to the Greek traditions, which results in a very attractive mix. The hotel has a good-sized swimming pool and an all-weather tennis court as well as the Library, Terrace, Azure Restaurant, yoga mats and the purpose-built ‘Atelier’ or workroom. The 20 spacious and comfortable bedrooms are all named after local beaches. Free WiFi throughout the hotel.

Hotel charge is 85€* per night for single accommodation and proportionately less for two people sharing a twin (70€ each).  There is also the possibility of a triple for double occupancy which gives more space (78€ each).  If husbands, family, join as non-participating guests we can calculate prices for them as well.  The fee includes a full breakfast and one three course meal per day (half-board). Lagou Raxi pays a lot of attention to ensuring that groups have a balanced diet over the week with both Greek and other mediterranean cuisine.
*This amount does not include the course fee, flight, or transport to and from the hotel.

Hotel Contact Info:
The Mediterranean Centre for Art, Gardens, Plants, and Design
Lagou Raxi A.E.
Lafkos 37006
South Pelion, Magnesia, Greece
+(30) 24230 65144

Travel Info:


By air to the following airports then with hire car or taxi or (efficient) intercity bus (KTEL) to Volos where you can be picked up by the Hotel (please schedule this pickup with Lagou Raxi):

  • Athens International Airport (ATH)
  • Thessaloniki International Airport (SKG)
  • Volos (Nea Anchialos) Airport (VOL)

Direct from European destinations or with commuter plane from Athens (40 minutes). Short water-taxi ride to Pelion where the Hotel will pick up participants (please schedule this pickup with Lagou Raxi):

  • Skiathos (JSI)

PLEASE NOTE THAT U.S. CITIZENS (and those from many other countries) do not need VISAS to enter Greece.

Optional Travel Extras: Pre-Retreat Visit to Athens/Delphi.

The hotel has generously offered an extra sightseeing package. If you’re arriving at the Athens Airport Wednesday, June 6, they have arranged an Athens hotel, sightseeing tour of the Acropolis and the new Acropolis Museum, transportation, and a visit to Delphi en route to the Lagou Raxi Hotel on Friday, June 8. This package would be an additional cost. *If you are interested in this Pre-Retreat option, please contact Sue at Lagou Raxi Hotel, and she will arrange it for you.

Refund Policy:

Partial refund will be given in the event you cancel by February 1st, 2018, if your spot gets filled. Amount of refund will be $520.


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