International Travel – For something a little more exotic.
We have a blast on our trips! Each destination is a totally different experience, but normally we have both studio and plein-air time (along with days visiting local villages, shopping, having great meals (and wine) and just experiencing what the country is all about.
Our workshops are relaxing and FUN – an artist’s retreat. And there’s no need to be afraid of drawing or painting plein air! It’s my job to teach you at your level of experience, and I love my job.
Join us for unforgettable adventures and lasting memories. There’s nothing like it.
UPCOMING Journey Workshops
April 16th – 30th 2024
Sept 29th – Oct 13th 2023
One Spot Open
Morocco is vast, amazing, rugged, colorful……it is an adventure.
If you are considering embarking on this trip with us, there are some things you should consider and I want to spell it all out for you because this trip is very different from any others we have taken together.
I am keeping the groups small. Absolutely no more than 14 participants on each trip.
DAILY TRAVEL and CONDITIONS
We will travel in 4×4’s, three people and the driver in each one. This will give us flexibility, ease of travel in the desert and ability to see the scenery on long drives.
We will do a lot of driving on this trip, including some long drives. There’s really no way to see the cool things of this country without driving. I was worried about this when I went on my own trip there, but strangely enough we didn’t mind the drives. We enjoyed seeing the constantly changing scenery, chatting and taking notes about all we’d seen the day before, and listening to Oualid tell us about Morocco and his life there. And we stop to see things along the way. We began to look forward to getting into the car and moving on to the next amazing place.
Maybe this is not for you, only you can decide.
Secondly, you should be in good physical condition for this trip.
There will be stairs and possibly a lot of them. The guides will handle our luggage, but you will still have to “get yosef up doze stairs!” And there will be a lot of walking, too. In the Medinas, thru kasbahs, old old buildings, dunes in the desert. And believe me, you will want to do it all. If you are not up to this, you will miss a lot.
PAINTING – Amount of painting time is uncertain for this trip.
I see a spot of 3 days mid-way thru at a desert oasis where I plan for us to paint. Other than that, we will try to fit in bits of painting time when and if we can.
As in any other country, one never knows about the weather. The best I can tell, September and early October are very much like it was on my visit there in early April. Very moderate temps. 70’s, 80’s daytime and 50’s at night. Now, that being said, I’ve also heard it could be very hot mid September. That’s just how it goes with the weather. The week before we went in April the temps were in the upper 80’s. We got there and the days were no more than 60’s and down to upper 40’s and 50’s at night. Then the days went up to 70’s and nighttime still cool, which was really perfect. Despite what you may have heard they do have heat and air conditioning in the Rijads there. We were very comfortable, but wore jackets most days.
Partially because of the unexpected cool weather while we were there, we both wore the same 3 outfits over and over….and over. Honestly, you will not need many clothes for this trip.
Moroccans are very modern. Some wear head scarves only, others wear the entire garb and some others wear the black dress with only eyes showing. They have a wonderful sense of humor. I found the people very kind and genuinely appreciative of tourists and no ill-will
against Americans at all. Always willing to help. One man actually came up to me in the big square in Marrakech and motioned me to close my purse, which I hadn’t noticed was hanging open.
If you sign up for this trip, I will send a much more detailed suggestion for clothing. Mainly, you want to be respectful and not wear short shorts, or wife beaters, or leggings without a shirt over them. You may see other young tourists dressed “sparcely” but I don’t want us to be one of those. #coverupdatass. Haha.
Yes, I felt safe while there. Our world is what it is today and you never know what can happen anywhere in the world. We did not go anywhere secluded without our guides. In Marrakech and larger cities, no problem for sure. Basically, when I travel, I follow the same rules I do when here in the US. I would not go out alone from the hotel at night and wander the streets.
If I’m in a city and there are other tourists out and about, then yes. But if streets are empty or there are people I don’t know lingering about, I don’t go there. It’s common sense, I think. I am also signed up on the US State Department travel website which notifies you of any changes in security anywhere in the world.
This is our proposed itinerary at this moment. I may change this a bit and, depending on the day’s chance happenings, we may not do everything mentioned here. But we will do most everything and most likely add in a couple of surprises as well.
Day 1 : CASABLANCA – RABAT ( 1H30 drive)
Pick up at the airport in Casablanca. If some members of the group arrive early we can arrange for them to Visit Hassan 2 mosque and have some lunch at Ricks cafe to then transfer the whole group to Rabat. Drop off the luggage at the riad and freshen up. Later, go out and have a stroll around Kasbah Des Oudayas and the old town. Dinner and accommodation at Riad Kalaa 1 and 2 . FYI: (Your flight would have to arrive by noon in order to have time visit the sights in Casablanca).
Day 2 : RABAT – KENITRA – CHEFCHAOUEN ( 4 hour drive)
After breakfast, at 9:30 AM go out and visit the medina of Sale with a local university teacher ( Mohamed) and enter sites not accessible to the general public: the dungeons, the towers, etc. while also learning about the typical elements of a Moroccan medina from someone that is conduct-ing its restoration. Leave Rabat early afternoon to stop for lunch on the highway,. arrive in Chefchaouen late afternoon. Drop the luggage at the riad and go out to explore the fairy tale – like village and its turquoise blue alleys. Dinner and accommodation at Ryad Lina.
Day 3 : CHEFCHAOUEN – FES ( 4 hour drive)
Wake up early by sunrise to explore a different Chechaouen with no tourists and no locals too, just the beauty of the blues colors and the fresh air. An early meet-up as well for painting. Go back for breakfast at the Riad then roam around the medina or have your drivers take you to the nearby waterfalls. Lunch will be on the way. Reach Fes Early afternoon .Accommodation and dinner at Ri-ad Fes .
Day 4 : FES.
One day is hardly enough for all the wonders of the largest still standing enclosed city in the world and world- famous for its leather and metalwork to not mention the medersas or the leather tanner-ies, the 9500 derbs (narrow alleys), one of the oldest universities in the world and all the sounds, smells and sights that assault the senses. Fes conjures the image of the quintessential fabled Arab city as Baghdad at the time of the 1001 nights… Visit of the city with a local English speaking guide. He will collect you at your hotel at 9 AM. accommodation as per the previous day, dinner on your own, and I will be there to recommend good places .
Day 5 : leave Fes after breakfast to go and visit the Roman ruins at Volubilis and the historical sites of Meknes, one of the 4 imperial cities. The Agdal basins, the monumental gates, the royal mauso-leum, the ancient prison and royal stables are all worth a detour. Back in Fes early afternoon to go and see the Panoramic views of Fes and maybe the Pottery village if any one is interested. Also, shopping if you dare or a bit of painting! Accommodation as previously and dinner on your own.
Day 6: FES –IFRANE –AZROU—MIDELT –ERFOUD (7 hour drive)
Leave Fes early and our first stop is Ifrane and with its alpine chalets, trimmed gardens, leafy park surrounding a mountain fed lake, you could almost be in … Switzerland. Pretty walks are to be had in these forests where the cheeky Barbary macaque roam, to the delight of the visitors. The surrounding countryside is pigmented by apricots, walnut and pictures of rural Berber life as we approach Midelt. Will stop for a traditional Moroccan lunch with grilled lamb chops and ground beef. Leave the lush plains of Midelt behind to then cross the Ziz Gorges and arrive in Erfoud late afternoon. Dinner and accommodations at Riad Madu with a view.
Day 7 : MERZOUGA – ERG CHEBBI
After breakfast arrive in Merzouga at the foot of the dunes. Will take a drive around the dunes and go back to Erfoud to visit the Fossiles factories and have a special Berber Pizza for lunch at Rissani. hop on the camels and arrive at the high sand dunes in time to paint before watching the sunset. Then take the camels back to your desert camp in time for dinner. Accommodation in a comfort tents with ensuite showers and toilets, at a luxury desert camp.
Day 8 : MERZOUGA – RISSANI – TINERIR – TODRA – SKOURA ( 5 hour drive)
Wake up to witness the sunrise over the dunes. Later, have breakfast back at the camp and get back on the road. In Rissani or Tinejdad visit a traditional fortified ksour village and its wells of light. Todra Gorges, lie only 15 km from Tinerir, presenting an arresting spectacle with its crystal clear river emerging from it, its huge walls changing colour to magical effect as the day unfolds. Further on, reach the Valley of Roses, Dades gorges and then the palm grove of Skoura. Dinner and accommodation at our oasis in Skoura. We will paint during our time here.
Day 9 : SKOURA
Spend the day discovering the surroundings and the typical life in a Berber community. PAINT all the live-long day, or half day and…..Visit the palm grove with an English speaking local and learn about the century old traditions, the life in the fields, the adobe molding of the kasbahs, the making of pottery or visit a local souk. We can also arrange for a trek with a local guide around the peaks of Mgoun at 3000 meters high, where villages are stuck in time and locals are still using water mills. Or perhaps you will wish to enjoy the gardens of the guest house. Dinner and accommodation as per the previous night.
Day 10 : SKOURA – OUARZAZATE – AIT BENHADDOU -TELOUET – IMLIL ( 7 hour drive)
After breakfast, cross Ouarzazate and reach UNESCO world site Ait Benhaddou. The best way to explore the majestic citadel is by getting lost in its narrows streets. From there, follow the gorgeous Ounila Valley to reach Telouet and visit its pasha’s ruined palace. Take on the High Atlas and reach 2200 meters to then descend onto the plains of Marrakech. Dinner and accommodation in a an original Marrakech rijad….Enija.
Day 11 : MARRAKECH.
A private English speaking guide will uncover Marrakech and its treasures for you. The best is perhaps to start with the Bahia Palace and the ruined Badi Palace. Next door, the imposing marble columns of the gold-en dynasty , the Saadis, adorn the mausoleums. The small yet very richly decorated Douiria is a fine exam-ple of crafts and architecture from two centuries ago. Yves Saint Laurent’s Majorelle Gardens are also worth a detour. Accommodation as per the previous night. Dinner on your own. We recommend Dar Rhizlane, La Maison Arabe or La Paillote.
Day 12 : MARRAKECH.
Today we suggest discovering Marrakech a little differently than with a traditional guide. Your guide for the day will take you around the medina and uncover for you each component of the food circuit inside the old town: the mechoui lamb ovens, the preserved vegetables, the farnatchi stove, the herbs and spices shop, the local butcher and finally the souika market where you will bargain for vegetables and grains. She will also point out the different sites and monuments of Marrakech on the way. Then, in the shade of a traditional riad, you will be assisted by 2 dadas in making your own Moroccan meal. If you’re not crazy about cooking, you can just sip a glass of wine, watch the others at work and have a tasty lunch. OR….you could visit a local Hammam for around 20D additional. In the afternoon, you can catch up with what you have missed the last two days in the Medina of Marrakech, have some dinner on your own and back to the accommodation as per the previous night .
Day 13 : MARRAKECH – ESSAOUIRA ( 2h30 drive).
Leave Marrakech after breakfast to head to the Atlantic coast. Upon arrival, drop off the luggage and spend the afternoon wandering around the stunning medina with its white washed houses, art galler-ies, fishing port, food stalls, European fortifications and its all around farniente vibe. Dinner and ac-commodation. We plan to have painting time in Essaouira.
Day 14 : ESSAOUIRA
We will plan to paint at least a portion of the day. Time and place TBA. OR In the morning, have a visit to one of the local village markets outside Essaouira. Have lunch and a wine tasting session at the local wine domain Val d’Argan. In the afternoon, have a horse ride through the forest and by the dunes or go for a sail boat ride to see the Purple Isles. Accommodation as previously. Dinner outside.
Day 15 : ESSAOUIRA – MARRAKECH AIRPORT ( 2:30 hours )
Leave Essaouira after breakfast to be dropped off at the airport two hours before your flight .
Sept 4-11TH 2024 Filled
Sept 11-18TH 2024 Filled
Bruges is a city that will capture your heart. Bruges, a Unesco World Heritage is rightfully called the “Venice of the North”, because of its medieval architecture surrounded by numerous canals. Painting in Bruges, the Capital of the Flemish painters, is one of a kind experience.
Besides painting the endless vignettes Bruges has to offer, you will also experience Belgium’s specialties like chocolate, lace making, beers, diamonds, fries and waffles.
May 25th – June 3rd 2024
June 5-14TH 2024 Filled
One Spot Open
We are going to Croatia! We will be staying in Mlini, a small idyllic fishing settlement located only 10 miles from Dubrovnik. Although so close, it’s far enough to provide the kind of inti-mate isolation that is sometimes much needed after a day of touristing. It has beautiful natural stone beaches with clear blue sea, surrounded by rich and fragrant vegetation. We are in a small hotel that looks out to the sea with a beach right across the small street. The immediate surroundings are beautiful and it will be our oasis. We will be visiting Dubrovnik more than once, of course! It is an amazing ancient city with a rich history, good shopping and great gelato. What else do we need? Ha. It is an easy ride by shuttle boat or even taxi. The dock is just a few steps away. We have access to a great pool, too, as well as a studio room. There is SO much subject matter here! and although we will do lessons in our studio space, we do not want to spend a lot of time inside. So, we plan to take two full day trips as well as some boat rides to visit nearby villages and islands. We will paint on location at least once to get the experience in such a beautiful setting. We will not paint in Dubrovnik. Barbara and I found Croatia beautiful, friendly, relaxing. Strolling along the seaside, taking the boat out to explore was great fun. Food was fresh and delicious, too.
Enrollment Form & Deposit Instructions
Kathie George is a talented artist, a much-sought-after workshop instructor, and the author of five instructional art books. She is experimental and innovative when it comes to her use of media, but works primarily in watermedia. She is best known for developing and teaching the watercolor batik on rice paper technique. Her students rave about her friendly, informative, and energetic approach to teaching.