Expert tip: This is one of the most popular yoga retreats offered in Portugal.
People often do not understand the madness of surfers chasing their next wave, but once you catch your own, you will be instantly and irreversibly hooked on the experience. Surfing makes you acutely conscious of the water's energy and flow, much like a yogic breath, and this energy and flow should be used to their full potential. Surfing is a beautiful sport, but requires a focused body and mind, and for that reason the combination with yoga is just perfect!
You will be staying in a shared double room with shared bathroom or a 4 pers bedroom with ensuite bathroom. The peaceful property is located in an urbanization in the middle of the Costa Vicentina Natural Park, on the west coast of the Atlantic Ocean. The entrance to the Rota Vicentina trail, the old fisherman's trail that follows the coastline, is within an only 5-minute walking distance of the accommodation.
The retreat features three bedrooms, of which two doubles (25-meter squares) with a shared bathroom, and one large dorm room (35-meter squares) with an attached bathroom (four sleepers). The house itself has a large garden boasting shady olive trees and an extended herb and vegetable garden. A saltwater swimming pool allows guests to sunbathe and relax while talking with friends and fellow guests. On most days, yoga classes will take place on the wooden yoga deck in the garden, while bad weather sees the class head indoors.
The physical benefits of practicing yoga as a surfer are, for example, improved balance, flexibility, lung capacity, and core strength, and it also decreases the risk of injury. This is why practitioners of both yoga and surfing benefit from the physical and mental enhancements of the combined exercises. Prana Casa has developed a program in which they marry these two lifestyles. You will start your days with an energizing morning yoga practice, after which you enjoy a healthy power breakfast, and prepare for a day of surf and fun on the beach. You will end each day with a restorative yoga practice and a healthy, freshly cooked, vegetarian dinner coupled with some storytelling.
The retreat will take place in Portugal's least developed region, the western Algarve. Algarve boasts nationally protected nature reserves, pristine beaches, wild coastlines, and dramatic jagged cliffs.
The region is also home to Europes southwestern most point, Cabo de So Vicente (Cape St Vincent). All this is only 30 kilometers from the busy southern Algarve coast!
Every day is a healthy breakfast buffet. You will be provided with home cooked vegetarian dinners and 2 nights off, which allows you to try one of the nearby local restaurants and one night we will offer a fire pit night with Veggie or Fish barbecue (extra costs). Alkaline water, herbal tea, fruit are available during the day.
Like cowboys in the prairie, Bedouins in the desert, Scandinavians in the fjord. The horses are part of the nature. Free your mind and take part in it, too. 20 kilometers to the north of Cabo São Vincente, the most southwest point of Europe, between the Atlantic and Monchique Mountains the nature reserve Costa Vicentina applies and offers a breathtaking view of Portuguese landscape. Experience the narrow degree between desert and lake district, sandy beaches and rocky cliffs, green cork oaks, pine forests and deforested eucalyptus plantations. Set your spirit free and learn to trust the beautiful nature of a horse.
The southwest has a wide network of mainly unmapped dirt tracks that are great fun to explore on a (mountain) bike, with trips customized for all levels of ability. You can meander through colorful drifts of spring flowers and forests or see the ripening grapes and wheat fields in the autumn. Visit archaeological sites, fantastic beaches, and unspoiled villages as you pedal along some of the quietest roads in Europe. The more adventurous choose to ride a mountain bike as in this part of Portugal, most roads are still unpaved, so you can go on forever and just follow your nose.
Enjoy a dolphin seeing tour in Lagos. To get there, you will need to use the public transport system on your own costs (not included in the package price).
Tracking right next to the coastline, the Rota Vicentina follows the trails used by locals to reach the beaches and hot fishing spots. It is a single track along the cliffs with plenty of sand, which can only be explored by foot.
Since the accommodation is nested in the Costa Vicentina natural park, Prana Casa recommends you discover some parts of the famous Rota Vicentina.
There really is just one word to describe a carriage ride: relaxing! The calm horse pulling the elegant wooden carriage through our beautiful village. See individual villas with international decorating, uncountable garden designs and colorful flowers. It is such a different perspective to glide over two meters above the ground - soundless, if not for the rhythmic and smooth clopping of a horses hooves.
Surf classes are not included in the price since we don't want to obligate you a minimum amount of surfing days. You can try even just for one day (from 50 EUR), or go for the full week package 5 days (from 200 EUR). In this price board, wetsuit and beach transfer is included.
Being located on the corner of the Iberian Peninsula means that the Algarve has the widest swell window in the country. It was the last major European surf region to be explored, and although it does not contain the classic reefs of central Portugal, the potential for good yet uncrowded waves is high.
The west coast is by far the best destination as it picks up the predominant northwesterly swells. The south coast tends to have nice waves during the bigger winter swells but the further you get from the west coast, the smaller they become and the more tourists orientated it gets. It is these two very different coasts that make for such a special surfing location. With one coast facing predominately west and the other south, if there is any swell around, there will always be waves somewhere.
Get to know this gentle and intelligent animal, which faced a potential country-wide extinction with the implementation of modern farming equipment. The locals here have embraced these charming animals and the town is an unofficial donkey sanctuary, offering donkey tours through the Natural Park of Costa Vicentina.
Like pony trails, the animals are matched to their rider according to their experience and ability, so take advantage of specialized tours with these gentle animals, an experience not likely to be found anywhere else in the world.
The closest town from the accommodation is Aljezur, a beautiful representation of the untouched Algarve. Enjoy beautiful natural landscapes, where donkeys work the land, cowbells tinkle on the plains and some of the best beaches in Portugal await you.
Situated in the Southwest Alentejo and Vicentine Coast Natural Park, the large natural park that extends along the western coast of the Algarve, Aljezur is a small agricultural town lying on the fertile plains that border the Aljezur river. The hilltop ruins of a 10th Century Moorish castle dominate the historic town center and afford beautiful panoramic views of cork oak and pine woods, fields sprinkled with wild flowers and the sea in the distance.
The old town spreading down the hillside is a charming mix of cobbled streets and whitewashed houses, with the characteristic colorful trimmings around the windows. The newer part of town was established in the 18th century to relocate the population after the destruction caused by the 1755 earthquake, and lies at a short distance from the hill on the other side of the river. Heading out of town, it is hard to decide what is more appealing, the countryside or the coastline.
Nature walks, mountain biking tours and donkey or horse rides around the hills offer visitors the opportunity to admire wild boar, foxes and badgers in their natural habitat while Aljezurs 40-kilometer long coast is a treasure trove of rich marine life, numerous species of local and migrating birds and a beautiful mix of virgin beaches and peaceful river valleys.
The Costa Vicentina, as this south western coastal strip is referred to, boasts some of the most beautiful unspoiled beaches in Portugal. Many of them feature broad expanses of sand dunes flanked by towering cliffs, and hardly a building in sight. Prana Casa loves this place and they are sure you will love it too!
On site wellness practitioners and massage therapists are available for an extra cost. Please inquire to Prana Casa for more information.
There are various airports to fly into, the closest one being Faro Airport. From here, a 1 hour and 15 minute trip by car takes you to the west coast. You may also take a train or bus to Lagos, and then a taxi to the location. Prana Casa can happily arrange either a taxi and rental car for you.
There are also cheap flights flying to Lisbon (3 hours drive) and Seville (Spain), and there is good public transportation from there to Lagos which takes around 4 hours.