Have you ever thought of discovering more about your favourite artist by going on a themed holiday? If you are obsessed by the Impressionists, moved by the Pre-Raphaelites or fascinated by the Italian Renaissance era then you can indulge your hobbies and interests by going on a holiday that inspires and delights. A week by the sea is a great way to relax and unwind from your busy lifestyle however; they say a change is as good as a rest so why not think about doing something different this year but going in a trail in search of art and culture.
Vincent Van Gogh arrived in Arles, Provence in 1888 and began the greatest productive painting periods of his life. Walk in the footsteps of Van Gogh with a walking holiday in Provence filled with stunning landscapes and villages. Thoughtful self guided and escorted walks through the landscapes of the Alpilles, St Remy, Les Baux-de Provence and Arles will immerse you in what could be described as Van Gogh country where you will walk in the artist’s trail, picture by picture. Les Baux-de Provence was the adopted home of Van Gogh, Arles was his second home and be sure to visit Saint Paul de Mausole monastery where he painted 150 paintings in a year.
Followers of Impressionist artist Claude Monet can visit the small village of Giverny in France, located less than 50 miles northwest of Paris. The painter lived here for over 40 years and his 19th century home and Japanese inspired garden are must-see attractions. The gardens, one of Monet’s favourite subjects, are filled with poppies, peonies, lupins and delphiniums. Monet’s paintings are brought to life with bridges, wisteria and water lilies in the ponds. Top your trip off with a visit to the Musee de l’Orangerie and the Musee Marmottan Monet in Paris which houses the largest collections of his works in the world.
Hard to imagine that Essex, home of the spray tan and fake nail brigade is also home to the great artist Constable. Dedham Vale in the northeast of the county was where John Constable spent his childhood and painted some of his most famous works. On the Constable walk you can cross Dedham Vale and follow the riverside path along the river Stour where you will pass many scenes that he painted including Flatford Mill and Lock which was owned by his father. A slight detour is worth a visit to the scene of the Hay Wain. After the walk, partake in some well earned refreshments at the Sun Inn, a medieval coaching inn on Dedham’s High Street.
One of the most famous names to come out of Spain, Salvador Dali the surrealist painter was born in Figueres in the Catalonia region. Take a walking holiday in Catalonia and stay in Figueres to get a feel for the area that influenced his work. You can event stay in Dali’s favourite eating place, the Hotel Duran and visit the Dali Museum to immerse yourself in his work. Get a real insight into his daily life by visiting Pubol Castle where he and his wife lived and take in the stunning Catalonian landscapes with charming towns and coastal fishing villages that inspired his work.
Whichever artist you intend to follow, even a trip overseas couldn’t be simpler with cheaper flights and transfers to Heathrow and Gatwick stress free, ticking each and every trip off your bucket list will be a piece of cake. You will arrive home more of an expert than you were before and who knows, perhaps you’ll be inspired to pick up a paint brush yourself!
Photo Credit: Flickr/Colin Howley