Painting in Tuscany, Italy
Explore your artistic side in the rolling hills of rural Tuscany, a region of Italy that creative masterminds such as Michelangelo and Leonardo da Vinci called home. Whether you want to learn painting, drawing or sculpture, there are a raft of classes to suit you.
Art Toscana, near the small town of Barga, offers one- to two-week art holidays in a spacious, rustic farmhouse, set amid 23 acres of the Garfagnana Nature Reserve.
Combine art and sightseeing with the walking and sketching course, which includes five-hour daily strolls through the little-known landscape where students can develop their observational skills through drawing. A one-week art course costs from £760pp, including room, meals and classes.
Between art classes, you may crave ?a bit of city life. A must-see is the region’s capital, Florence, famed for ?its Renaissance architecture. Climb to the top of the Campanile, or bell tower, where you’ll be treated to stunning views of city and the surrounding area – well worth the 414-step climb.
Florence is also a great place to continue your learning holiday, as the city boasts a raft of cooking classes where students can learn to make scrumptious Italian dishes, such as homemade pasta. The Good Tastes of Tuscany Cooking Classes offers one-day courses for beginners from £122pp. Italian chefswill instruct students on how to make a satisfying Italian meal, from appetisers to dessert, including the art of making pasta fresca. You’ll also be taught how to create ravioli, tagliettli and gnocchi, as well as tasty sauces such as fresh basil pesto, in a hands-on culinary adventure.
Also within easy reach of Art Toscana is Lucca, a 35-minute train ride from Barga. Lucca is a maze of narrow streets leading out onto grand piazzas. The town oozes atmosphere, with architecture that ranges from sumptuous Renaissance to curvaceous Romanesque styles.
Tango in Granada, Spain
Master the art of tango, a seductive and dramatic dance, in the beautiful Spanish city of Granada, which boasts an intimate and friendly dance scene.
Club Dance Holidays offers week-long tango holidays for dancers of all levels, including 10 hours of classes and ?two evening Milongas where you can show off your moves with the locals. ?A seven-day holiday costs from £579pp, including classes and accommodation. ?
Yoga in Rishikesh, India
Take a well-earned break from a hectic work schedule by finding inner peace in the yoga capital of the world.
Many of Rishikesh’s ashrams cater for dedicated yogis, but there are classes for beginners at Yoga Niketan Ashram, which boasts a stunning mountain setting. Courses last from two weeks to one month. There are also daily classes for visitors. Single rooms cost from £6 to £12pn.?
Cooking in Oaxaca, Mexico
Forget nachos and burritos, Mexico’s gastronomy capital is famed for much more complex and delicate dishes.
Learn to cook traditional and contemporary Mexican cuisine at El Teatro Culinario Restaurant, which runs cooking classes from Mon-Sat. A one-day course costs from £40pp, and includes a visit to the neighbouring market, ingredients, a full recipe for the dishes you will prepare plus wine and beer. ?
Capoeira in Salvador, Brazil
Get fighting fit while getting to grips with capoeira, an art form which combines martial arts, dance and music.
The moves originated from African slaves working on the plantations in Bahia, where the colonial, coastal party town of Salvador is situated. A week-long Capoeira Experience holiday costs from £797pp with Journey Latin America, including B&B accommodation, airport transfers and four capoeira classes.