By: Mikael and Thrillism
10 minute read
Last updated June 5th, 2020
There are very few surfing destinations in the world that can live up to Portugal and its epic coastline. But this European hotspot is so much more than just a surfer’s paradise. Yes, surfing is the #1 activity here, attracting travelers from all over the world, but the country is also well-known for its yoga culture.
Whether you’re talking about intimate yoga studios in Lisbon or beachside yoga decks in Peniche, there’s no denying that Portugal has a lot to offer a yogi-surfer. So if you want to take advantage of all that this cultural European destination has to offer, it’s time to book a surf and yoga retreat in Portugal.
Getting anywhere in Portugal is simple, mainly since this Western European country is so small. Most surfers fly into the capital city, Lisbon, before taking the short trip north to Peniche. Even if you’re itching to get in the water ASAP, try to spend at least a day or two in Lisbon.
The capital is filled with amazing culture, architecture, shopping, authentic cuisine, and a vibrant atmosphere. After Lisbon, there are a few ways to get to Peniche. It’s only a 90-minute drive, so renting a car is a popular choice. Taking a bus is another option, and it’s also the cheapest way to go.
Buses run from Lisbon to Peniche several times a day, and the cost is usually about 8 euros per trip. Uber is available in Lisbon, so if comfort is your main priority, you can try your luck to see if any Uber drivers are willing to make the drive to Peniche.
Before booking any surf yoga Portugal retreat, it’s a good idea to brush up on all things Portugal. Understanding a new destination’s culture and customs is the easiest way to stay safe and make the most of your experience.
Compared to some of its EU neighbors, Portugal ranks high when it comes to safety. Even the hustle and bustle of Portugal’s capital city, Lisbon, is extremely safe. Violent crime is very uncommon throughout the entirety of Portugal, but petty theft still does happen. Just be aware of your surroundings and keep your belongings close, especially on metros in larger cities.
The people of Portugal speak Portuguese, but there’s a good chance you’ll hear a wide range of languages during your time here. Getting by in Portugal with only English speaking skills is easy enough, especially when traveling to surf and yoga retreats in Portugal that attract tourists from all over the world, like Lagos and Cascais.
Like all EU nations, the Portuguese use the Euro as their currency. One Euro is worth about 1.12 USD, and getting access to local currency is as easy as visiting an ATM in your area. To avoid ATM fees or terrible currency exchange rates, it is recommended that you arrive with some Euro whenever possible.
Portugal isn’t the cheapest country in the world, but it is very affordable when compared to other countries in Western Europe. Whether you choose to stay in an Algarve surf and yoga camp Portugal or you book a dorm bed in the heart of Lisbon, you should be able to do so while also sticking to a budget.
Getting around is just as easy as finding a reasonably-priced place to stay. If you’re arriving at Lisbon’s international airport, you can even use your Uber app to get to your next destination. Larger cities like Porto and Lisbon have easy-to-use and budget-friendly public transportation. Smaller towns and villages will still have bus routes, and local taxis are always an option.
Although you won’t be able to surf directly in Lisbon, it is suggested that you spend at least a night or two in the country’s capital. There is so much culture in Lisbon, including yummy food and impressive architecture, so it would be a shame to miss out on this. After exploring the city, you’ll be fully ready to visit the best waves in Portugal.
For beginner surfers, one of the top destinations for booking a surf and yoga retreat in Portugal in Cascais. More specifically, you’ll find all your beginner-level surfing buddies at a Cascais beach break called Guincho. This relaxed Portugal surf spot is best for beginners during low and mid-tide.
Peniches is another doable surfing spot for beginners, especially the long beach break called Cantinho da Baia. This break runs about 3 kilometers long, giving newbie surfers plenty of room to get comfortable with the water sport. Head even further north to for another beginner-friendly wave called Foz do Lizandro.
In each of the areas we’ve mentioned so far, there are also plenty of surfing opportunities for more advanced surfers as well. Intermediate and advanced surfers tend to gravitate towards the southern peninsula of Algarve. No matter where you go for surfing, there will be plenty of opportunities for focusing on health and wellness through yoga and meditation.
Surf Yoga Portugal is one of the most-visited Portugal surf and yoga retreats in the country. A huge reason for this is the amazing Ericeira location, which offers endless opportunities for both yogis and surfers alike. The yoga surf school has been in business since 2012, connecting visitors to world-class Ericeira waves. Some say that Ericeira is the best location in all of Portugal since it caters to all surfing levels.
“We breathe Surf and Yoga, love to get in touch with people from all over the world, share great experiences and our local knowledge.”
– Surf Yoga Portugal
Surf Yoga has several options to choose from. You can choose the Surf package, the Yoga package, or get a little bit of both with the Surf Yoga option. There is also one for SUP Yoga, so you can take your yoga skills to the water on a standup paddleboard. Surf Yoga is the ideal choice if you want the perfect combination of in-water and landbased activities.
For each package, there are 3 timeframe options – 3 days, 5 days, or 7 days. If you have the time, definitely go for the weeklong experience. This includes 7 nights of accommodation at the Surf Yoga facility, daily surf lessons, 2 yoga classes each day, and transportation to and from Lisbon Internation Airport. Breakfast is included with each package, but you’ll be on your own for lunch and dinner.
The Salty Pelican Yoga & Surf has 2 locations, one in Sri Lanka and one in Portugal’s Cascais. Many travelers choose to head to Cascais because it’s a quick drive or train ride from Lisbon city center. But that is certainly not the only reason to travel to Cascais… it is also home to what some consider the best yoga surf retreat Portugal has to offer.
“We have poured our own heart and soul into creating these special places you can begin to call home… A place to be happy… A place to feel like your own.”
– The Salty Pelican
The team at Salty Pelican is focused on creating a calming and welcoming atmosphere that everyone can feel a part of. Solo travelers especially love it here since the place is designed to bring people together. There’s a cozy lounge, a cool chill-out BBQ area, and a garden area with patio loungers. Your daily program depends on what retreat option you’ve signed up for, but you can count on making lifelong friends no matter how you spend your time.
Every Salty Pelican retreat includes accommodations, a free daily breakfast buffet, herbal teas all day long, and easy access to the beach. Our recommendation is to stay for the full week with the Surf & Yoga 7-day retreat, but if you’re short on time there is also a 3-day retreat option. If you don’t think you’re cut out for surfing, you can opt-out and choose a Yoga & Massage retreat instead.
Another one of the best yoga and surf retreats Portugal has to offer, Moka Surfhouse is all about the union of mind, body, and soul through yoga and surf. Surfing is a form of meditation in itself, so why not combine it with the traditional practices of meditative yoga? At Moka, guests have the chance to practice yoga in an authentic Mongolian yurt after becoming one with the waves on a surfboard.
“Moka is our happy spot just outside the touristic Ericeira, a place where body and mind can find the right atmosphere to enrich themselves.”
– Moka Surfhouse & Yoga Retreat
What visitors love most about Moka is its location. It is located just outside of Ericeira close to all of the country’s best waves. The peaceful atmosphere of the area is the perfect yoga environment, but you’ll also have plenty of time to be social with your fellow Moka retreat mates. Everything from the surf school to the yoga studio to the Moka house itself is nothing short of perfection.
Moka guests get to stay in a Portuguese villa that has a large garden and ocean-facing terrace. From the terrace, you can even see the famous Palácio Nacional de Mafra beyond the hills in the distance. Booking with Moka is a much more intimate experience than you might expect from your yoga and surf camp in Portugal, accommodating only 20 guests at a time.
Soul & Surf has locations in India, Sri Lanka, and, you guessed it, Portugal. Thanks to its amazing location on the Algarve peninsula, this is the best surf and yoga retreat in Portugal for avid surfers. The daily yoga is an added bonus to the amazing surfing opportunities that come with any trip to Algarve.
“We’re all about bringing people together whether it’s out in the lineup, stretching in the yoga shala or around the dinner table.”
– Soul & Surf Algarve
Even if you’ve stayed at another Soul & Surf location, things work a bit differently at this location. They’re offering 3-night retreats catering to weekend warriors, 4 nights if you need a bit of extra time, and weeklong retreats if you need some serious soul-searching. These retreats aren’t completely all-inclusive, but they do include basically everything you need to enjoy your time in Algarve, completely carefree.
For the weeklong Soul & Surf retreat, visitors get 7 nights of accommodation, almost all meals (except for weekend dinners), 15 hours of surf lessons, and all the yoga you could ever want. Yogis especially love the 5 vinyasa sessions, 2 yin classes, and pranayama meditations that come with each package.
For travelers searching for luxury, there is no surf/yoga experience in Portugal quite like the one offered by Karma. Karma has several locations in Portugal – Lisbon, Cascais, Sintra, Algarve, Lagos, Sagres… wherever you’re hoping to go, there’s a good chance that you’ll be able to stay in a Karma luxury villa.
“You will enjoy the very best healthy food, professional and high-quality yoga and surf classes or other outdoor activities, as well as meeting great, relaxed and like-minded people, often becoming friends.”
– Karma Surf Retreat
Although surfing and yoga are the 2 main activities offered by Karma, there not the only ones. Visitors to Karma can also enjoy climbing, hiking, mountain biking, and SUP. The Karma Surf & Yoga package is by far the most popular retreat offering. This package gives guests the perfect balance to activity and relaxation through surf, yoga, and meditation.
The weeklong Karma retreat includes 7 nights of accommodation, 10 hour-long yoga classes, 5 1.5-hour surfing lessons, most meals, and shuttle transportation. The beauty of choosing Karma as your surf operator is that this is all about luxury, but it doesn’t necessarily mean that you’ll have to pay a luxury price.