Botanical Drawing Retreat in Greece 2019


October 8 – 21, 2019

with Wendy Hollender
on Pelion Peninsula, mainland Greece

2 in stock


October 8 – 21, 2019

with Wendy Hollender
on Pelion Peninsula, mainland Greece


October 8 – 21, 2019

at the Lagou Raxi Hotel in Lafkos, South Pelion, Magnisia, Greece
Workshop cost (9 days): $900
Travel and hotel to be paid separately.
**In order to attend this workshop, you must stay at the Lagou Raxi Hotel and book directly with them by contacting Sue Wake (
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.
For nine days, we will work on various plants growing on the Pelion Peninsula. There will be many demonstrations in techniques of combining colored pencil and watercolor, and we will focus on different aspects of botanical illustration techniques. We will do outdoor sketching when we go on excursions to the beach or small villages. We will walk on the ancient kalderimia paths collecting plants to draw. Nighttime includes dinner either on the terrace, always with spectacular sunsets, or at a nearby taverna. After dinner we often walk to the village to see the activity around the square.

Proposed Itinerary:

Tuesday, October 8: Arrival. 6pm Meet & Greet. Dinner at the hotel.
Wednesday, October 9: Afternoon drawing on the terrace or in the studio. Dinner in the village square.
Thursday, October 10: Introduction to botanical illustration, description of materials. Practice some drawing techniques. Afternoon walk on the kalderimia to collect plant specimens. Evening dinner at hotel.
Friday, October 11: Botanical drawing, toning, and simple plant parts. Evening dinner at hotel.
Saturday, October 12: Workshop day.
Sunday, October 13: Day off (you’re free to draw on these days, but we will also offer group excursions)
Monday, October 14: Workshop day.
Tuesday, October 15: Workshop day.
Wednesday, October 16: Workshop day.
Thursday, October 17: Workshop day.
Friday, October 18: Day off (you’re free to draw on these days, but we will also offer group excursions)
Saturday, October 19: Workshop day.
Sunday, October 20: Finishing off work. Prepare for exhibition in seminar room of the hotel. 6pm: Exhibition and Farewell Dinner.
Monday, October 21: 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 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. Evening meals will be taken at the hotel, except on excursion days when lunch is included at a typical taverna.  (Hotel will offer lunch. Participants can go into the village in the evening.) Dinner will be a three course menu with additional salad, using as far as possible organic ingredients.  The hotel caters for vegetarian and gluten-free diets.  Dishes are from Greece and the Mediterranean basin generally and are chosen to offer a balanced variety throughout the period of the course.

Hotel Prices:

  • 90€ per person per night for single accommodation (additional price on request for Jr. Suite or Suite)
  • 85€ per person per night for two sharing a twin
  • 75€ per person per night for three sharing a triple

If partners, 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.

Please contact the hotel directly to reserve a room.

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 Thessaloniki, Vergina, Grevena, Meteora

The hotel has generously offered an extra sightseeing package. If you arrive at the Thessaloniki Airport Saturday, October 5, they have arranged a Thessaloniki hotel, followed by:
Sunday, October 6 – Morning walking tour of Thessaloniki old town. Travel to Vergina (1 hr.) for a visit to Tombs/Palace of Phillip II. Drive to Grevena (1 hr.) check into hotel in Grevena for evening meal in ‘mushroom’ restaurant.
Monday, October 7 – Visit Mushroom museum (1/2 hr.) for talk and then go on mushroom walk before late lunch. Drive to Meteora and check into hotel before dinner.
Tuesday, October 8 – After breakfast morning tour of Meteora Monasteries (3hrs.) and light lunch. Drive to Lagou Raxi and en route visit Pelion Orchid Centre. Dinner on arrival at hotel.
*If you are interested in this Pre-Retreat option, please contact Sue at the Lagou Raxi Hotel, and she will arrange it for you.

Refund Policy:

Partial refund will be given in the event you cancel by July 1st, 2019, if your spot gets filled. Amount of refund will be $720.