Portugal is filled with beautiful and very conscious alternative projects that are bringing a new way of living life into practice. So far, I developped an interest to stay close to this new movement since I discovered it in Bali, where around Ubud, many communities/projects are already existing showing us the way of living in harmony with environment and others beings.
Some are Portuguese, others not, but together they are bringing the change they want to see in the world… From Yoga, spirituality, permaculture, sustainability, yoga, eco-building, detox, raw food, etc, different communities have different approaches and are focused on different paths.
I spent 2 weeks in a beautiful glamping site called « Choupana » – it is a silent retreat near Odemira, where I did volunteer in exchange of accomodation and food. Then one of my best friend came to visit me and we went on a road trip exploring more alternative communities, all around South Portugal. We visited 4 communities\projects, which are changing human’s life perspective. Bringing diversity into our life.
Through the visit, I saw an array of ways to live life and to be able to chose ‘change’ into my own. All places has developped their own way to make it more sustainable and I took many inspirations ideas here and there, in order to build my own space too – putting into practice already what I trust and living the way I want to live, and sharing my knowledge.
Imersing into an alternative and more sustainable way of living, stepping off the city life and engaging with a more rural experience is what we need to adapt to go back to a way of living more harmonious with the nature and others beings. Living life in a slow pace makes definitly more sense and all desires are removed. Then there is more time to take care of the body, mind and environment, get your hands dirty, eat an healthy and delicious vegetarian diet, learn how to pick your own wild greens, learn how to bake your own bread, learn how the cork comes alive from the tree to the bottle, go night searching for stars you never saw before…if you allow yourself to stop, breath deeply and look around, you will definitely be in love with what surrounds you and all the fuzz from modern society are realeased and that’s what we need.
Here is the places, we did visit during our tour:
Orada is a family run, eco-sustainable, community based soul retreat centre, nestled in 71 ha of nature and privacy, created with the aim of expanding health and proposing purposeful transformational moments.
Orada welcomes many yoga retreats, as permaculture and meditation. It is a beautiful sanctuary for mindful living. They also give the opportunity to volunteers to come and stay, experiencing the place in exchange of working hours. The owner is a great guy with tons of stories about the place.
Aterra is an ecological campsite on the Southwest coast of Alentejo, Portugal. They offer guests a unique ‘glamping’ experience in a rustic, yet very comfortable and beautiful, family friendly environment. Guest stay in romantic Rajasthani tents, stunning yurts or auspicious tipis, beside a large fresh water lake. Aterra aims to bring people back down to earth and step away from the world of technology, materialism and reliance on others.
This place was by far my favorite site, because it is a real sanctuary, wih all the elements included, all materials has been choosen with details, and all furnitures, tents, pillows etc is from all places i love the most, like India, Nepal, Morrocco… Their shala to practice Yoga is the most beautiful i’ve seen in Europe, very large, in the nature and circular.
QUINTA DE ALMA
Quinta Alma is a growing organic farm. Here we are eager to try and share permaculture and natural building experiences, in total harmony with nature. It is a place for those that want to have a close but yet comfortable experience with the natural elements. Quinta Alma is a magical place, totally off grid and hidden in the mountains of Monchique but right next to Aljezur, in Algarve’s Atlantic coast.
Quinta Alma is located in a 50 hectare land of wild and beautiful nature, but just 10 minutes driving from some beaches.
They don’t offer any retreats there, but glamping in safari tents right in the middle of nature surrounded by many horses.
Val de Choupana is a new ecological retreat opens for just a few. it is a glamping where you can relax in glamorous safari shelters and get inspired by the amazing local natural landscape. This site is wild and calmer than the others, because they open just 4 tents and it is dedicated to complete silence during evening.
It has been designed and built to provide the most relaxing, inspiring and comfortable experience of communion with nature. The owners Filippa and David built everything with their heart, this place has a real soul and i completly fall in love with everything each days. I met Filipa only, she is a great woman and she created this sense of family that is rare to find anywhere.
I stayed two weeks there, and will organize my next yoga retreat in June to share with my yoga participants this amazing opportunity to practice yoga into a sustainable center which is very much what I always wanted to developp for my retreats. Being aware of our body, mind and make peace with nature too.
…know yourself, embrace your body, love your planet…