I can feel the stay at Tipi Valley in my whole body; the big smile on my face as I think back, the peace I feel in inside and the muscles hurting from much more physical activity then I normally have in five days, .
Earlier this summer I spent five days at Tipi Valley Surf & Yoga Eco Camp in the historic area of Aljezur in the south of Portugal. In Tipi Valley you sleep in tipi's (with beds), the electricity is from solar power, the (sometimes) warm water in the outdoor shower is heated in the sun, there is no phone reception or wifi and most of the vegetables and spices in the food are grown at the place. You can really lose yourself there!
A day at Tipi Valley (you can choose to stay for 5 or 7 days) was normally like this:
- A sweet bell sound is waking me up around 7.45. Outside, tea and fruit is waiting and then it's time for yoga. Yoga is done outside under the cork trees with a beautiful view over the valley and you do your sun salutations as the sun rises. A great way to start the day.
- After yoga, breakfast was ready and after breakfast David from the surf school was there to pick us up and drive us to the beach. David is a great guy, he also showed us around the area and we visited three different beaches during the stay.
- Then we had surf instructions and surfing for about two hours with great instructors from Odeceixe surf school.
- After surfing it was time for lunch, brought in a big casket we would find salads or sandwiches, fruit and more. The location was off course the beach. When we finished our lunch we could surf some more or just relax at the beach or in one of the cafes for 3 hours before David brought us back to Tipi Valley.
- Back at Tipi Valley we had time to relax in one of the hammocks, have some tea and fruit, take a shower or just do whatever we wanted for some time until it was time for yoga again. The afternoon yoga was of the more restorative type and there was some meditation to.
- And then dinner was waiting for us. Always amazing home cocked healthy food with lots of vegetables and spices. We would sit by the table enjoying the food until the sun set down in front of us.
It may feel like a busy and strict program, but it really wasn't. I did not even use a watch while I was there and the fact that everything was so planned and great food always brought to you, just made it feel very relaxing. I also really enjoyed the fact that I couldn't use my phone (except on the beach during the day). It all kind of felt like being at summer camp, with adults.
I also appreciated that even though Tipi Valley is health focused and all, it wasn't like yoga retreats where you could not drink alcohol or coffee and it was not all vegetarian food. We bought wine for dinner some days and went to a bar in Aljezur one evening. It was all up to us, but to be done with respect for fellow travelers and the eco friendly environment.
The week I was there we were 6 people (from England, Ireland, the US and me from Norway, all traveling on our own), but the place had room for 12. You don't need to have any experience with surfing or yoga to go there (I had never even touched a surf board). However, I did find the yoga a bit to basic, I have done yoga for some years and I know that 'back to basic' was good for me but it would be nice if they did adjust it a bit more for those of us more experienced too. On the last day we did yoga and had breakfast at the beach. A really nice experience before heading home.
If you want to totally relax from your every day life and at the same time be physically active, do yoga and surf, eat healthy, live eco friendly and meet new people - then you should definitely check out Tipi Valley!
Obrigado Tipi Valley!