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New Year’s attitude make-over

Ready to start 2011 with a new outlook? Diets and exercise are great, but how about a whole new attitude?

Let Portugal Confidential introduce you to a few places in the Algarve that will give you a body, mind and soul make over.

Quinta da Calma in Almancil is just that, a “farm of peace”. A narrow road off the EN125 near São Lourenço takes you up a hill to a little community of bungalows and pavilions.

Here you can find classes in a variety of yoga disciplines. Spiritual lectures and workshops are also on tap throughout the year.

On Wednesdays, the Gaia Sol vegetarian restaurant is open for lunch. Feed the soul with specially-prepared organic dishes or get take-away for home from the organic produce market.

Organic fruit.
Organic fruit.

To the north, near Loulé, another special place has been created for relaxing and practicing peace of mind.

Quinta Mimosa is a 10-acre estate hosting yoga retreats, offering accommodation for quiet holidays and providing individual massages and body treatments.

The Tibetan Centre of Faro describe themselves as “the perfect place to find your inner peace and harmony”. Using principles of Buddhism, the centre offers a full complement of personal and spiritual development services including yoga, tai chi and meditation classes, as well as specially-created workshops and lectures.

Further to the east, in the hills near Tavira is Monte Mariposa. It is a retreat facility with a large accommodation structure, as well as a “village” of wooden cabins, teepees, Thai-style work space, outdoor kitchen, pool and even a sweat lodge.

Quinta da Calma Yoga pavilion.
Quinta da Calma Yoga pavilion.

Vegetarian meals are served with love. Sign up for meditation retreats, massage and yoga classes, or a variety of holistic treatments.

Tired of yoga on a mat? Have you tried yoga on a horse? The Holistic Riding Centre in Carrapateira in the western Algarve is truly a unique and awesome experience.

Here trainers involve riders in the grooming process, yoga or tai chi exercise and a horse ride that emphasises body and mind awareness, to the animal and environment. 

After a long day riding and meditating, surely your body could use some nourishing clean food.

Not far away, in Vila do Bispo on Estrada do Castelejo is Restaurant A Eira do Mel. Owner and chef José António Pinheiro practices the principles of the “Slow Food” movement.

This means food should taste good, be produced in a way that respects the environment and animal welfare, and ensures food producers are paid a fair wage.

If you would rather prepare an organic meal for yourself at home, then you need to contact Bio Mercearia in Portimão. Visit their website or give them a call. They have a wide selection of organic grains, cereals, fruit, meats, vegetable proteins and more. And the best part, they deliver! 

For expanded information on holistic experiences in the Algarve, please visit www.portugalconfidential.com and click on the Algarve Resident category.  Email [email protected]