£501 5 days from
per person
Average user review

Photography And Walking Holiday

Andalucia, Almeria, Spain

About the location

Combining ecology and creativity, this is a location aimed at those who love peace, inspiration and the natural world. The setting for your painting, photography or cooking holiday is an 'off-grid' destination for those looking to be inspired to unleash their creativity high in the mountains of Andalucia.

Set in the heart of the 'Parque Natural Sierra Maria-Los Velez', this ‘eco-chic’ guest house and 50 acre farm resides within a place of extreme natural beauty, profound peace and tranquillity and an awe inspiring wilderness, in one of Spain’s most dramatic alpine deserts.

Once five old farm houses, a cortijada, now converted into one very beautiful space, this carbon neutral guest house harnesses natural resources to create power from the sun and wind, cooking and heating with wood and recycling everything.

Rain water is harvested from the roof. Waste water is managed and utilised to irrigate the dry land. Time spent in this modern ecological guest house can offset any carbon footprint used to reach this place of natural beauty.

The guest house combines uncomplicated luxury with minimal intent. On the one hand respect has been given in its restoration to the simple vernacular architecture of the building, and on the other hand a crisp eye for detail has been employed which makes the place seem stunningly modern and the perfect setting for your creative or cooking holiday.

Your painting/photography guide and tutor is Simon Beckmann, professional artist and ecologist. Simon studied ‘Fine Art’ at Manchester School of Art before studying for a postgraduate at The Royal Academy Schools in London. Afterwards he lived in Milan where he pursued his interest in the early Renaissance painters such as Sassetta di Siena. Simon paints in oil but likes the portability of watercolour and favors the ‘simply’ executed and the thought provoking. Simon is also an accomplished photographer.

Your cooking tutor Donna is a friendly cook who will teach you traditional cooking methods of the region. Being an artist, she also puts a lot of emphasis on inventive and creative food presentation making this the perfect course for those who want their food to look as delicious as it tastes. Under her guidance you will discover the fantastic tastes of the region, as well as experiencing the local Spanish culture.

The eco guest house also hosts a Residency for international professional artists. These artists will be happy to share their experiences within the conviviality of the guest house, give you presentations of their work in the evening and access to their studio to explain their current projects.

The resident artists work on their own art work during the stay and are influenced and by the creative atmosphere of the retreat and also the sustainability of this unique location.

In the last 3 years alone, the eco-retreat have hosted over 140 artists and provided them with a studio environment free from distraction in one of Spain’s most beautiful regions. Resident artist come from all over the world as individuals or groups, so it is a great experience as you never know who you will meet during your course!

Withdraw from everyday life and express your creativity through painting, photography or cooking in a culturally stimulating environment for a holiday with a difference.


- Carbon neutral ‘off-grid’ eco-chic guest house and creative retreat
- A week here as opposed to a conventional guest house will offset your carbon footprint of your flight from Northern Europe
- Individual creative holidays designed to cater for all needs and abilities
- To augment your creative course we host a Residency for international artists
- Surrounded by the flora, fauna and beautiful landscape of one of Spain’s least known national park
- Food for the cortijada, where possible, is bought locally supporting the local economy and food culture
- Walled garden studio with stunning natural light
- Relaxing open plan sitting room area with wood-burning fires
- Beautifully designed bedrooms with wet room bathroom
- Friendly and professional hosts Simon and his wife Donna
- The beautiful Renaissance Castillo de Los Fajados in Vélez Blanco
- Two UNESCO protected caves of prehistoric painting
- Disabled access
- Wonderful star gazing opportunities

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Call us:

0845 625 0445

or +44 (0) 208 144 5990

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+44(0) 845 625 0445
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