Yoga everywhere

I think travelling and yoga are my two favorite things in the world. And luckily they combine very well. After all, yoga is like a travel in itself, a way to experience and explore. 

Like the beautiful yoga retreat I went to in Italy last summer where I also combined it with a few days in Naples. That was the yoga retreat where I found my own yoga way. Or the yoga and surf retreat I went to in Portugal, amazing place, loads of fun. I'm a big fan of Ashtanga yoga, a passion I found when I went to Goa in India a few years ago. And you don't have to go to a yoga retreat to do yoga when travelling. Yoga can be done everywhere. Like at sunset on the beautiful beaches of Bali. Or you can just bring your yoga math (by one for travelling) and do it at any hotel or floor you find. 

Just do it, do yoga everywhere! 

Inhale the future, exhale the past.


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Aljezur and the beautiful beaches of southern Portugal

Aljezur is a municipality in the south of Portugal. I spent a couple of days there this summer and Tipi Valley was in the Aljezur area. Not much going on Aljezur itself, but the reason to visit is the amazing beaches in the area. And Aljezur is close to many of them.

During my stay at Tipi Valley I visited three beaches; Odeceixe, Monte Clerigo and Amoreira. All beautiful beaches great for surfing. The surf school we went to was located in Odeceixe (Odeceixe surf school) and had great instructors, you can rent boards there any time. One morning we did yoga followed by breakfast at Monte Clerigo, it was beautiful!

I recommend the area around Aljezur and Aljezur itself had a nice Italian Pizza place and the restaurant Pont'a Pe was very good. Cafe da Ponte was also I nice cafe and the food marked there is worth a visit as well. If you walk to the top of the city you can see the remains of the Moorish 10th century castle and there's also a great view from there. 

You can take a direct bus from Lisboa to Aljezur (3-4 hours), but the airport Faro is closer. You should have a car if you are going to the area, it's worth it to visit different beaches and you will get bored staying and eating in Aljezur all the time. I stayed at the Amazigh hostel in Aljezur, nice hostel that also had private rooms. 

More about Portugal: check out my post about Lisboa.

Surf's up

Surf's up

Streetart in Aljezur

Streetart in Aljezur

Aljezur

Aljezur


Lisboa

Narrow streets, clothes drying in the sun and colorful or tiled houses. Lisboa is nice and cozy, even though many of the tiled houses are tagged down and you can see that Portugal isn't at a good place concerning the economy at the moment.

Sit down at a cafe in the narrow streets of Bairro Alto, drink an Espresso (coffee is good here) and a cherry liqueur (specialty from Lisboa), wander around the streets, see how people live and eat fish for dinner. 

You should do your research when it comes to dining by the way. Avoid the typical tourist restaurants in the area around Praca Dos Restauradores where the goal is to get you in there, give you some food (not very good) and no service. Unfortunately good service is not a mark I would put on Lisboa.

Stuff you should do In Lisboa:

  • Wander the narrow streets of Bairro Alto - loved it!
  • See the view and take a break at Miradouro De Sao Pedeo. Nice area with trees for shadow and a nice English garden.
  • Take the 28-tram. Nice way to see the whole city and cool old trams. But do not make the mistake I did, take the 28 tram and not the tourist trams driving the same tour for five times the price and you can not get off during the ride.
  • See the great Praca Do Comercio og the triumphal arch. There are some nice restaurants there as well.
  • Visit Museu Mude. The museum for modern design and fashion, a great display on the history of furniture design when I was there. And it's free.
  • Belem and other monuments, churches etc. are all great so see some of them.
  • Walk! My favorite tip for almost all cities, except from when you are going to the top of a hill, there is no reason to not walk in Lisboa. The distance is short around the city and there are nice streets and houses to see everywhere. 

Stuff you don't have to do in Lisboa:

  • Shopping. Lisboa is not a great city for shopping. Except if bags made of cork or stuff with rooster prints is your thing you should go somewhere else to do your shopping. 
  • Bring your high heels. There are cobblestone in all the streets and you have to do a bit of walking to see the nice parts of the city.
  • See Lisboa from the sea. It was a refreshing boat trip but you didn't really see anything special and it was very touristy.

A weekend is enough to see have you "have" to see in Lisboa. Even though it is a nice cozy city it's not on my top list, but if you are going to Portugal to see other places as well and visit beaches in the area it's worth spending a couple of days in the capital. 

More from Portugal: check out my post about surf and yoga in Tipi Valley and Aljezur and the beaches.



Surf and yoga in beautiful Tipi Valley, Portugal

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!

Yoga with a view.

Yoga with a view.

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Hammocks all around camp.

Hammocks all around camp.

Monte Clerigo, one of the beaches we visited.

Monte Clerigo, one of the beaches we visited.

Odeceixe, the beach where we spent most of the days.

Odeceixe, the beach where we spent most of the days.

James, Esther, Jennifer, Alex, me and Harriet. The great people I spent the week with. Thanks guys!

James, Esther, Jennifer, Alex, me and Harriet. The great people I spent the week with. Thanks guys!