Spending a few days honing your camera skills with a group of like-minded companions must feature at the top of any avid photographer’s wish list. The key ingredients for a successful photography workshop or retreat include unique or sensational scenery, enthusiastic company and good accommodation and food.
1.Cambodia - Pavillon d’ Orient Boutique Hotel
© Pavillon d’ Orient Boutique Hotel
A photographic retreat and workshop at Cambodia’s awe-inspiring Angkor Temple Complex (the largest ancient temple in the world, dating back to the 12th century) should feature at the top of every avid photographer’s wish-list. Today it is relatively easy to access this remarkable UNESCO World Heritage Site and the beautiful Pavillon d’ Orient Boutique Hotel is located less than 600mt from the ticket office. The hotel can arrange a special guided tour where you will have the assistance of a professional photographer to guide you every step of the way. Your fully inclusive package includes beautiful boutique accommodation and delightful Cambodian food served alfresco in the tropical gardens. Between photo shoots you can relax around the pool or enjoy a massage at the spa.
Pavillon d’Orient Boutique Hotel, Road 60, Siem Riep, Cambodia, Phone: +855-63-96-06-46
2.Canada - Brewster Mountain Lodge
© Brewster Mountain Lodge
Located within the beautiful Banff National Park in Alberta, Brewster’s Mountain Lodge in downtown Banff is surrounded by the awe-inspiring splendor of the Canadian Rocky Mountains. The lodge is located less than 5 minutes from some of the best photographic hot-spots in the National Park including the Vermillion Lakes and there is tremendous scope for excellent wildlife photography in the area. If you visit at the right time of year you may be lucky enough to capture the elusive Aurora Borealis (Northern Lights). Brewster Mountain Lodge is particularly well-equipped for a retreat or workshop – there is accommodation for up to 70 guests and a meeting room for 30 people where you can watch presentations or present lectures.
Brewster’s Mountain Lodge, 208 Caribou Street, Banff, Alberta, Canada T1L1C1, Phone: 403-762-2900
3.Costa Rica - Arenal Observatory Lodge
© Arenal Observatory Lodge
Attending a photographic retreat or workshop at the Arenal Observatory Lodge will place you in the heart of Costa Rica’s splendid Arenal Volcano National Park, surrounded by incredible scenery and over five hundred species of colorful birds; the lodge directly overlooks the sleeping giant that is the active Arenal Volcano (currently in a resting phase). You can take amazing photos in the lava fields (which can be reached on foot) and there are over seven miles of trails which will give you access to all the prime photo hotspots in the park. The Lodge offers a variety of comfortable and stylish rooms and suites and you can enjoy the pool, spa and bird sanctuary between photo excursions.
Arenal Observatory Lodge, Alajuela Province, La Fortuna, Costa Rica, 21007, Phone: +506-22-90-70-11
4.Croatia - Pansion Breza
© Pansion Breza
The beautiful Plitvice Lakes National Park in central Croatia is home to one of the most beautiful lake complexes in the world. Photographers can expect to be dazzled by a series of
16 terraced lakes and waterfalls that appear to be in constant motion. In winter the entire landscape is covered in snow and glittering frozen waterfalls – an awe-inspiring vista. The Pansion Breza is a guesthouse located less than 800 m from the largest of the lakes in the complex, offering easy access to all the photo hotspots. You and your fellow photography enthusiasts can choose from double, triple and family rooms (for 4 guests) and the 25-seat dining room is available for presentations and talks during the day.
Pansion Breza, Plitvica selo 21, 53231 Plitvicka Jezera, Croatia, Phone: +385-53-64-83-32
5.Ecuador - Las Tanusas Resort and Spa
© Las Tanusas Resort and Spa
Nestled along the beautiful Pacific shore of Ecuador, far away from the intrusion of everyday life, the Las Tanusas Resort and Spa offers a perfect location for a destination photographic retreat. Not only will the resort put together the perfect photographic itinerary for your group based on guided tours to some of the most sensational scenery including whale watching, island and forest tours and snorkeling and scuba excursions, they also offer meeting rooms and wonderful food and accommodation. When you are not glued to your camera you can enjoy various leisure activities including surfing, cycling, yoga and Pilates. Accommodation is in comfortable suites and villas located directly on the beach.
Las Tanusas Resort and Spa, Ruta Spondilus, Manabi 130658, Ecuador, Phone: +59-39-98-19-94-28
6.France - Le Mas de Sylvereal
© Le Mas de Sylvereal
Located in the heart of the beautiful Camargue region of Provence, in what was once a 12th century Abbey, Le Mas de Sylvereal offers everything you need for a successful and comfortable photographic workshop or retreat. In total the guesthouse offers 33 rooms, several of which can accommodate up to four guests. There are beautiful gardens and courtyards where you can relax between photo expeditions and breakfast and dinner are available on site. The Camargue is world-famous for its beautiful white horses, greater pink flamingos and a wealth of wonderful historic sites which are just begging to be captured by your lens.
Le Mas de Sylvereal, Road Aigues-Mortes 30600, Vauvert, Phone: +33-4-66-51-83-88
7.Ireland - Delphi Lodge
© Delphi Lodge
Surrounded by verdant mountains, forests and salmon-filled streams in the heart of beautiful Connemara, Delphi Lodge and Cottages offer an ideal destination for a photographic workshop or retreat. Your group can rent the entire Lodge provided there are 18 or more in the group and if you have a larger contingent they can spill over into the cottages. Everything you need for a successful retreat is on hand – the lodge will supply breakfast and dinner, there is a good wine cellar and the lovely old dining room, which can seat 50, is perfect for meetings or presentations. The Lodge will arrange all your sightseeing tours (tailored to suit photographers) to ensure you do not miss any of the stunning Connemara and Galway scenery.
Delphi Lodge, Tawnyinlough, Leenane, Co. Galway, Ireland, Phone: +35-39-54-22-22
8.Italy - Palazzo Leopoldo
© Palazzo Leopoldo
Palazzo Leopoldo is an excellent choice for a photographic workshop in the heart of the Chianti region of Italy. Not only will you be within easy travel distance of some of Italy’s most interesting ancient hill-top towns and villages, (where you will be exposed to an extravagant number of perfect photo opportunities), but you will also have the chance to sample fabulous Italian country food and wine. The Palazzo dates back to the 1300’s and has been lovingly restored to offer boutique accommodation in the heart of an outstanding landscape. Expect lavish rooms, lots of antiques, beautiful tiled floors and modern bathrooms. Between photo expeditions you can relax by the pool, enjoy a wine tasting or be pampered at the spa.
Palazzo Leopoldo, Via Roma 33, 53017 Radda in Chianti, Siena, Italy, Phone: +39-05-77-73-56-05
9.Japan - Fuji Royal Hotel Kawaguchiko
© Courtesy of michelangeloop - Fotolia.com
The Fuji Royal Hotel Kawaguchiko, on the shores of Lake Kawaguchiko, is perfectly located for a photographic retreat in one of Japan’s most scenic and photographic locations. The area around the lake is famous for its natural hot springs and you will be within easy access of the lake’s northern shores, which offer the best views of striking Mount Fuji. Try to plan your visit to coincide with cherry blossom season in mid April or the stunning autumn colors in early November. Guests can choose from a variety of Japanese or Western-style rooms (budget dormitory rooms are also available) and between photographic excursions you can relax in the health-giving natural hot waters in both indoor and outdoor bath houses.
Fuji Royal Hotel Kawaguchiko, 6713-22 Funatsu, Fujikawaguchiko-machi, Minamitsuru-gun, Yamanashi, Japan, Phone: +81-5-55-73-22-28
10.Mexico - Agua Blanco Canyon Resort
© Agua Blanco Canyon Resort
The Agua Blanco Canyon Resort is located two hours from Mexico City, providing a seductively peaceful escape from everyday life where you and your group can totally devote your time to pursuing your love of photography. You will be surrounded by over 30 hectares of lush rainforest vegetation, where a short walk or hike will bring you to a myriad of wonderful natural features including rivers, waterfalls and springs just waiting to be captured by your lens. The resort has twenty rooms with beautiful mountain views and is dedicated to providing the ideal facilities for a destination workshop, including a presentation/lecture room and great food. In between your photo outings you can relax in the natural thermal waters, enjoy a massage or have some fun on an abseiling or canyoning adventure.
Agua Blanco Canyon Resort, Camino Real to Anonas No. 1, Jungapeo, Michoacán 61470, Phone: +52-71-51-57-00-56
11.Namibia - Africa Safari Lodge
© Courtesy of anyaberkut - Fotolia.com
Surrounded by nature and offering endless vistas of the stunning African landscape, the Africa Safari Lodge is a great place to spend some time honing your photographic skills and relaxing under the wide Namibian skies. The lodge is surrounded by endemic animal and bird species which offer great opportunities for wildlife photographers – guided walks and game drives are available daily. Each of the modern and comfortable chalets have floor to ceiling glass doors to ensure you never miss a moment of the wildlife action. The lodge will arrange tours to must-see locations such as the famous dunes of the Sossusvlei, Keetmanshoop and other wonderful photographic locations, and when you are not behind the lens you can relax around the pool and spa.
Africa Safari Lodge, 25km West of Mariental, Namibia, Phone: +264-63-24-34-11
12.Nepal - Meghauli Serai
© Meghauli Serai
Spectacularly located in the heart of the Chitwan National Park, Meghauli Serai is a 30-room lodge which overlooks the rippling waters of the Rapti River and offers unobstructed views of the untouched jungle. You could not wish for a better place to spend some time honing your wildlife photography skills; the National Park is home to a wide range of unusual wildlife, much of which is endemic to Nepal, including Asian elephants and Bengal fox. You can spend your days exploring the park on game drives, guided walks, canoe safaris or join an elephant experience. When you return from another satisfying day of photography you can relax around the pool and enjoy an alfresco meal overlooking the wilderness.
Meghauli Serai, Meghauli Ward No. 1, Narayani Nager Palika, Chitwan National Park – 44207, Nepal, Phone: +91-22-66-01-18-25
13.New Zealand - Aoraki Alpine Lodge
© Courtesy of Paulista - Fotolia.com
Nestled in the heart of Aoraki Mount Cook National Park, Aoraki Alpine Lodge offers a comfortable base for your destination photographic workshop in the New Zealand Alps. Aoraki (aka Mount Cook) is New Zealand’s highest mountain and the National Park’s lakes, valleys, peaks and glaciers offer a veritable playground for landscape photography. There are many ways to explore the area – hop aboard a scenic flight, set off on foot along the famous Hooker Valley Track, join a Glacier Explorers Boat Tour or do a 4 X 4 tour. Whichever way you choose to explore Mount Cook you can be assured of dramatic photo opportunities around every corner.
Aoraki Alpine Lodge, 101 Bowen Dr, Mount Cook Village, 7946, New Zealand, Phone: +64-34-35-18-60
14.Norway - Hotel Union Oye
© Hotel Union Oye
Exuding traditional Norwegian charm, the Hotel Union Øye is an historic inn located close to the Norangsfjord and surrounded by some of Norway’s most remarkable scenery. Surrounded by such a magnificent landscape, avid photographers are bound to find a great deal to inspire them. You and your fellow photographers can enjoy a variety of ways to explore the region on foot, by bicycle, kayak, fjord cruise or even helicopter – the hotel will be happy to assist you to arrange tours to all the best sights. Return each day to your beautiful room which is truly fit for royalty. The hotel has a meeting room for presentations which can accommodate 45 people and the restaurant serves delicious three-course dinners every night.
Hotel Union Øye, Norangsfjorden, Norway, Phone: +47-70-06-21-00
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15.Patagonia - The Remota Hotel
© The Remota Hotel
Located along the sea shore in the town of Puerto Natales, the Remota Hotel is ideally positioned for accessing some of the best photographic areas of Chilean Patagonia. The hotel has 72 comfortable en-suite rooms, all of which offer outstanding views out over Ultima Esperanza Bay and the Balmaceda Glacier to whet your appetite for what lies ahead. The hotel offers a wide variety of guided half-day and full-day tours (on foot or by bike or horseback), as well as multi-day excursions in all-terrain vehicles, that will lead you to the most amazing natural wonders including lakes, waterfalls, fjords and ice fields. After a busy day on the fjords and glaciers you can look forward to a relaxing soak in the indoor pool.
The Remota Hotel, Puerto Natales, Magallanes y la Antarctica, Chilean Region, Chile, Phone: +56-2-23-87-15-00
16.Scotland - Clachaig Inn
© Clachaig Inn
Scenically nestled in the very heart of the famous Scottish Highlands, in the town of Glencoe, the Clachaig Inn has been welcoming guests for nearly 300 years. Surrounded by the beautiful lochs, mountains and glens of the area, photography enthusiasts will find a wealth of inspiration. You can explore on foot along a vast network of hiking trails that will lead you to amazing views out over the Highlands. Expect snow-capped mountains, babbling streams, fantastic sunsets and a haze of purple heather (season dependant). At the end of the day you can look forward to rounding off your experience with great food, excellent local ales and famous Scotch whisky.
Clachaig Inn, Clencoe, Argyll, Scotland PH49 4HX, Phone: +44-18-55-81-12-52
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17.Australia - Pinetrees Lodge
© Pinetrees Lodge
Stunningly beautiful beach, ocean and mountain landscapes await you on Lord Howe Island in the Tasman Sea off the coast of Australia. The remarkable rainforest landscape which surrounds the Lodge, together with the award-winning accommodation and food, makes Pinetrees Lodge a perfect choice for a destination photographic retreat or workshop. In addition, the waters surrounding Lord Howe Island are teeming with marine life and offer near-perfect conditions for snorkeling, scuba diving and underwater photography. The Lodge hosts a special Walking and Photographic Week twice a year in November and May, when they offer a special fully-inclusive package, aimed at showcasing the extraordinary beauty of the island especially for avid photographers.
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18.South Africa - Jock Safari Lodge
© Jock Safari Lodge
Nestled in the heart of the famous Kruger National Park in South Africa, Jock Safari Lodge offers a perfect setting for an unforgettable photographic workshop for wildlife photographers. Guests at the five-star safari lodge will be taken on twice-daily game drives into the heart of Big-Five country to capture some of the best wildlife moments of their lives. To get even closer to the action you can join a guided walk, which is particularly good for birding. In between game drives you can relax around the pool, enjoy a spa treatment or spend some time sharing your photographic experiences. The suites are luxurious and all offer outdoor seating with amazing views (which often include visiting wildlife).
Jock Safari Lodge, Kruger National Park, Near Skukuza, 1351, Phone: +27-01-30-10-00-19
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19.Spain - Hotel Poeta de Ronda
© Hotel Poeta de Ronda
The steep and winding road that leads you from coastal Malaga up to the historic mountaintop city of Ronda is worth a photographic excursion in its own right. Once you reach the city, which appears to cling precariously to the mountain and the sides of the El Tajo gorge, you will find enough photographic material to keep you busy for days. Hotel Poeta de Ronda is situated in the heart of the Old Town and is ideally located to host your photographic workshop. The hotel can accommodate up to 24 guests in 12 beautifully decorated rooms and you will have access to the delightful Terrace Restaurant for authentic Spanish meals and a meeting room for get-togethers with your fellow photographers.
Hotel Poeta de Ronda, Calle Tenorio 1, 29400 Ronda, Malaga, Spain, Phone: +34-9-52-87-01-01
20.Sweden - Abisko Mountain Lodge
© Courtesy of Conny Sjostrom - Fotolia.com
Nestled in the heart of the Lapporten Valley in Lapland, close to the Abisko National Park, the Abisko Mountain Lodge is an ideal place to hold a photographic workshop in Sweden. Abisko is one of the best places in the world to see the Aurora Borealis (Northern Lights) and the best spot from which to experience this natural wonder is the Aurora Sky Station inside the National Park (Oct to November). You and your group can go on a number of photographic day-trips, visit the famous ICEHOTEL or enjoy some of the seasonal activities including hiking, dog-sledding and snow-mobiling. In the evening you can return to the comfortable Lodge for a delicious dinner.
Abisko Mountain Lodge, Lapportsvagen 35, 98107 Abisko, Sweden, Phone: +46-98-04-01-00
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21.Switzerland - Hotel Eiger
© Hotel Eiger
Offering majestic views over some of Switzerland’s most impressive mountains, the family-run Hotel Eiger is an excellent choice for a destination photographic workshop in the Swiss Alps. The hotel offers great deals for groups wishing to host meetings or workshops and will arrange all your excursions to the surrounding photographic hot-spots like Jungfroujoch, Shilthorn’s Piz Gloria and several other wonderful alpine vistas. You can use their meeting room for presentations or talks and they can arrange a variety of extras like wine tastings, tobogganing trips and other activities for your group. You can choose from a selection of very comfortable rooms and the hotel has an indoor swimming pool, sauna and whirlpool where you can relax after a busy day on the mountains.
Hotel Eiger, Aegerten, 3825 Murren, Switzerland, Phone: +41-3-38-56-54-54
22.Thailand - Rabbit Resort Pattaya
© Rabbit Resort Pattaya
The Rabbit Resort is Pattaya is a photographer’s dream-come-true. Here you can not only enjoy a wonderful tropical beach holiday, but also pursue your photographic hobby with the assistance of professional Thai photographers to assist you. The traditional Thai Village style resort is located on Pattaya’s beautiful Dongtan Beach, surrounded by tropical foliage. There are 49 delightful rooms and villas to choose from and photo tours, workshops and classes are all available on site. When you are not behind the lens you can relax around the pool, take long sunset walks on the beach (with the camera, of course) and then enjoy cocktails and a choice of Western and Thai specialties in the Chefs Company Restaurant.
Rabbit Resort, 318/84 Moo 12, Soi Dongtan Police Station, Jomtien, Chon Buri, Thailand, Phone: +66-38-25-17-31
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23.China - Guilin Zizhou Panorama Resort
© Guilin Zizhou Panorama Resort
The beautiful landscape in and around Guilin is famous for offering a myriad of wonderful photographic opportunities. Regardless of which season you visit inspirational landscapes like the moody Li River, the Longsheng rice terraces and the Red Fluted Cave beckon. Although you will be surrounded by remarkable photo opportunities it would be a great idea to enlist the assistance of local photographers to guide you and your group to the best sights at the best time of day. Guilin Zizhou Panorama Resort is perfectly positioned to be your base during your photographic adventure in Guilin, offering a variety of spacious rooms and in-house meeting facilities.
Guilin Zizhou Panorama Resort, No 7 Chuanshan Rd, Qixing, 541001 Guilin, China, Phone: +86-77-33-67-79-99
25 Perfect Photography Workshop Destinations Around the World
- Cambodia - Pavillon d’ Orient Boutique Hotel, Photo: Pavillon d’ Orient Boutique Hotel
- Canada - Brewster Mountain Lodge, Photo: Brewster Mountain Lodge
- Costa Rica - Arenal Observatory Lodge, Photo: Arenal Observatory Lodge
- Croatia - Pansion Breza, Photo: Pansion Breza
- Ecuador - Las Tanusas Resort and Spa, Photo: Las Tanusas Resort and Spa
- France - Le Mas de Sylvereal, Photo: Le Mas de Sylvereal
- Ireland - Delphi Lodge, Photo: Delphi Lodge
- Italy - Palazzo Leopoldo, Photo: Palazzo Leopoldo
- Japan - Fuji Royal Hotel Kawaguchiko, Photo: Courtesy of michelangeloop - Fotolia.com
- Mexico - Agua Blanco Canyon Resort, Photo: Agua Blanco Canyon Resort
- Namibia - Africa Safari Lodge, Photo: Courtesy of anyaberkut - Fotolia.com
- Nepal - Meghauli Serai, Photo: Meghauli Serai
- New Zealand - Aoraki Alpine Lodge, Photo: Courtesy of Paulista - Fotolia.com
- Norway - Hotel Union Oye, Photo: Hotel Union Oye
- Patagonia - The Remota Hotel, Photo: The Remota Hotel
- Scotland - Clachaig Inn, Photo: Clachaig Inn
- Australia - Pinetrees Lodge, Photo: Pinetrees Lodge
- South Africa - Jock Safari Lodge, Photo: Jock Safari Lodge
- Spain - Hotel Poeta de Ronda, Photo: Hotel Poeta de Ronda
- Sweden - Abisko Mountain Lodge, Photo: Courtesy of Conny Sjostrom - Fotolia.com
- Switzerland - Hotel Eiger, Photo: Hotel Eiger
- Thailand - Rabbit Resort Pattaya, Photo: Rabbit Resort Pattaya
- China - Guilin Zizhou Panorama Resort, Photo: Guilin Zizhou Panorama Resort
- Cover Photo: Courtesy of comenoch - Fotolia.com