I fell in love with Southern Portugal on a road trip with my husband. We stopped in to every beach we could find, and were stunned by incredible vistas, beautiful surfing conditions, the warm currents up from Africa, dramatic cliffs and caves, the most incredible fresh and delicious food. We loved how much of the Algarve was protected preservation land, and how much that invited us to just relax and enjoy the natural beauty. I knew right away that I wanted to bring a group here for the experience!
After years of hosting bigger retreats, I am so excited to scale things back to a small, intimate experience - it feels like a breath of fresh air! There are only seven bedrooms at the villa, so space is limited. This is an opportunity to re-set, dive deep into your practice, unwind, and explore the natural beauty of Southern Portugal which is so rich with nature, preservation land, and incredible beaches.
We meet in Lisbon at our lovely 4 star hotel, and you'll have time to explore the city for the day, and we highly recommend coming a few days early to tour around and adjust to the time change. In Lisbon we will supply you with a list of some of our very favorite spots; lots of recommendations for things to do, places to eat, etc. The following morning we'll drive down the coast to settle in to our new home-away-from-home, perched on one of the picturesque cliff sides facing southern seas.
At the villa you are encouraged to make yourself at home. All of our basic needs will be taken care of by our hosts and an incredible private chef. The villa itself is a magical place to relax and unwind. There's a pool, a yoga area, and balconies that overlook the ocean and cliffs. There will be designated quiet areas for those looking to retreat in a bit, to meditate or read. A beautiful beach is a 10 minute walk away.
We'll practice daily once we settle into the villa: A full practice of meditation followed by Vinyasa in the mornings to clear our minds, energize our bodies, and set the day. We'll have a full Yin Yoga practice each evening to restore us from the day's events and allow us to reset for the next day. Throughout the week we'll hold a few workshops breaking down aspects of the practice for those that want to dig deeper into challenging postures, Yoga Nidra, or Buddhist philosophy. Mornings are held in silence through breakfast, giving you an opportunity step out of habitual and unconscious patterns, and to move mindfully into the events of the day.
Three of the 5 days in the Algarve will be surf days. You can opt out, or just come along for the beach, but the surfing costs are included in the retreat for those that want to participate. We'll drive out to wherever the best break is. Those wanting lessons can participate in and hour and a half lesson in the morning, and and hour and a half again in the afternoon.
You do not have to have prior experience in surfing, or yoga for that matter, but you have to be up for the adventure. I myself am new to surfing, and promise to provide many laughs for you with my spectacular attempts to stand up on a board. By the end of the week I'm sure we'll all be championship quality surfers though, no worries.
Our meals will be healthy, organic (whenever possible) and influenced by the local culture and tradition. In the Algarve this means seafood in many cases, but our chef is able to accommodate any food preferences without you missing a thing.
We will leave the villa early on the last day to visit the magical city of Sintra with it's abundance of palaces and castles to explore. We'll settle into our hotel in Lisbon for one more night before retreat-end.
Included in Retreat:
4-star hotel in the Baixa district of Lisbon on evenings of April 7th and 12th, right in the heart of the city among the best restaurants, cafes, shopping, museums, and close to the historic district
Yoga twice a day (yin and vinyasa) and meditation at our villa in the Algarve (pic below)
3 full days of surfing in the Algarve: 3 hours of optional instruction each day
All surfing gear rentals (board, wetsuit, etc)
Transportation from Lisbon to Algarve
All meals in Algarve: 3 meals a day at villa and packed lunch when surfing
Transport to hidden beaches that we discovered on our last trip to the Algarve
Plenty of time to unwind, read, lounge by the pool, optional trips into Sagres, Cape St. Vincent, and other local sites of interest.
Tour of the epic castles of Sintra on our last full day in Portugal
Not Included in Retreat:
Flights to Lisbon
Transport from airport to hotel in Lisbon
Meals and activities in Lisbon (though we have a full packet of recommendations)