Cultivate Contentment

  • Castelo Branco, Portugal
  • Jul 10 - 16, 2016
  • Trip Size: 1 - 20 people


Deposit: $150


This retreat is also available in fall: September 18-24, 2016!

Being cared for on retreat in a family home; having a simple and comfortable space to rest; wholesome food to nourish; revitalizing mud for the skin; experienced therapists to ease away persistent aches and pains; good company with time for meaningful conversation; silence and opportunity for reflection; early morning walks and late afternoon swims; visits to remote country villages, sampling the local fair. All of these things makes it just a little easier for those of us feeling stressed out and pulled in all directions, to feel restored. 

A retreat encourages us to foster expectations in harmony with our experiences so that a more peaceful or blissful state, contentment, can arise. Daily Morning Yoga Classes designed to challenge your strength, flexibility and stamina will be broken down into easily accessible steps so that the complete beginner along with the more advanced Practitoner can both experience the contentment that yoga posture practice encourages. This Dynamic and Yin Yoga inspired week is aimed at broadening our hearts, opening our hips, and finally lengthening our limbs and spine so that we may walk a little taller in our lives, contentedly guided by each and every moment of life and each and every breath. 

Vale de Moses is in the heart of the forested foothills of the Serra de Estrela. Life in these valleys 40 years ago was full of hard working Portuguese small holders who cultivated with their families every available piece of land by creating stone terraces on the hillsides. Small stone houses, adegas (wine making sheds), corals and water mills pepper the riversides and the valleys for miles around. Hence the name Moses, meaning a place of many millstones. These days, like so many rural communities across southern Europe, those small holdings have been deserted by younger generations of the families that built them, needing to emigrate to the cities or abroad to find work. 
Exploring the surrounding areas by foot, by bike or by car, you enter a by gone age, and marvel at both the views and the stonework of the river and terrace walls that seem to go on forever in all directions. An old forest farming life that thankfully is still being lived here by a handful of our neighbors, so we still can learn how to do it before those old ways are lost forever.

Retreats may differ slightly from each other,but generally you will follow a schedule similar to this, with 
a full orientation around the houses and valleys on Monday morning after yoga class and breakfast.

8.00-10.30am Morning silent walk followed by Yoga 
10.45am Breakfast 
11.00am-2pm Massages (if it’s one of your slots) 
2.00-3.00pm Lunch 
3-4.30pm Massages (if it’s one of your slots) 
Free time / swim / guided hike / trip to River The forest and River pools 
5-6.30pm 3-4 afternoon Yoga Classes / Workshops, or More Massages (on no workshop afternoons) 
7-9pm Dinner 
10pm Begin a full, restorative night’s sleep.

What's Included

All food, accommodation (in shared room/tipi) and facilities 
Transport to and from Oleiros 
Guided silent morning walks in the forest 
6 Morning Yoga and Pranayama Classes 
3 Afternoon Tai Chi Workshops 
Half hour private health consultation with Tongue and Pulse Diagnosis 
One hour Body Harmonising massage - Thai, Tui Na, Indonesian, Ayurvedic and/or Acupuncture 
A mid week trip to the Rio Zêzere for a mud bath and swim (weather permitting). 
Additional treatments available from our therapists for 75€ per 90 minutes

Not Included

Airfare Additional treatments Personal Expenses

Before You Go

What to bring 
To make the most of your stay here, take daily walks, hikes or runs in the forest accompanied by our dogs 
and then cool off from the heat of the afternoons in our natural river pools. Bring a good pair of walking 
shoes or trainers, swimming costume and waterbottle to rehydrate regularly, a warm jumperas the 
temperature drops in the mountains significantly at nightand to cover up after your morning yoga class, 
a raincoat in Spring and Autumn, and a good torch, as the paths at night, unless moonlit, are dark! 
For your yoga practice comfortable, soft stretchy clothingisall you need. We provide yoga mats and 
cotton towels, although you are welcome to bring your own. In summer sun tan lotion, and mosquito 
repellent in the Autumn. Please use the simplest, most natural version you can find of these and other 
washing products. You’ll be in and out of the rivers, and the water from your showersgoes directly to 
irrigate orchard trees and shrubs. We have a range of natural soaps, shampoos and toothpaste to buy. 
Pack Light. Remember that whatever you bring down the mountainside to Vale de Moses, you’ll 
have to take up again at the end of your stay. We live on the side of a very steep, deep and pretty valley.

For any other questions just call us on 
00351 272 634006 or email

Share this trip with friends by

  • Dec. 29, 2015

    "Vale de Moses is the most perfect place to retreat! You are surrounded by gorgeous nature, awe inspiring people, incredible yoga and delicious food" (Vale de Moses personal site, shortened)

    Lauraine ... Lauraine ...