Europe: Picture this

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The Independent Online
A combination of clear air, abundance of wilderness and the sun low on the horizon make midsummer in Newfoundland ideal for nature photography. Photo Travellers (01483 425448) includes the island in its programme of escorted photography courses. The two-week course takes place in July and costs pounds 1,995. Other subjects for 1998 include Costa Rica, South India, US National Parks and walking in Provence.

The surreal scenery and wild coastline of County Clare is the setting for a series of art holidays run by the Burren College of Art (00 353 65 77200). The college is spectacularly located on the edge of the Burren just south of Ballyvaughan, on the west coast of Ireland, and offers courses on painting, drawing and photography. A botanical painting week in May costs pounds 150, while a Beginning Photography weekend course is pounds 75. Accommodation is extra, costing around pounds 30 per day for full board.

Dillington House (01460 52427), near Chard in Somerset, is a council- run residential college offering weekend courses from October to June on all sorts of arts and crafts, including calligraphy and Japanese silk painting.

The ultimate contemporary guide for an artistic holiday in Spain must be the writer Michael Jacobs. He will be escorting a tour of Toledo and Madrid in April and October next year, on behalf of Martin Randall Travel (0181-742 3355). The five-night holiday costs pounds 845, with a single supplement of pounds 70. The group size is limited to a maximum of 22. The same company arranges private visits to the Sistine Chapel (a privilege enjoyed yesterday by the Cuban President's brother, Raul Castro), as part of some of its tours to Italy.

The new Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao is included on a Spanish itinerary from ACE Study Tours (01223 835055) in May; a week costs pounds 875. The company is also running a summer tour of Finnish art and architecture. Besides Helsinki, the trip includes visits to the timber town of Porvoo and the city of Turku.

In south-western France, a British-run visual studies centre called Atelier de la Rose (00 33 5 65 24 66 36) offers summer schooling in drawing, painting and photography. Non-participating partners can stay free of charge.

The throughly updated 1998 Painting Holiday Directory is published on Monday, price pounds 4.75 including postage. It is available from some bookshops or direct from PHD Publications, PO Box 1, Ponteland, Newcastle NE19 2EB (01830 540215).