7 Days » Cultivate Contentment with Vonetta Winter, Portugal

7 days / 6 nights

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Growing up in the West Indies I became acutely aware of the natural and joyful ways people healed themselves and each other through touch, dance, storytelling.

Local food and a slow soul bolstering approach to life. This initial grounded upbringing was enhanced by the study of Social Anthropology at the London School of Economics, with a particular interest in shamanistic healing. Subsequent study of Community and Youth Work at Goldsmiths and several years working with homeless people, those with mental health difficulties, unemployed and vulnerable young people further fueled my compassion for human life and the desire to assist in a more pragmatic and direct approach.

It was around this period in my life that I became a Mum and suffered greatly with severe back pain and several years of allergic responses to various forms of pain relief. Walking one day with my son Joshua through the local library I found a rather dull looking little book with an unusually skinny big bearded Asian man performing various postures. For over one year this little book of yoga saved both my back and my sanity and therein began the long and as yet unfinished journey into the enquiry on the nature of healing.

With the birth of our youngest Eloise in 1999 I continued for another two years the practice of Astanga yoga and Iyengar before completing teacher training in the Dynamic Yoga Method with Godfrey Devereux in Tuscany, Italy. This method is a complete accessible system for the recovery of disturbed muscle tissue which is immediately accessible requiring no profound flexibility, stability or strength and yet I found that the leaps I made both physically, emotionally and spiritually to be both profound and unsurpassed.

General information Review Like

Yoga Styles

  • Hatha Yoga

  • Ashtanga Yoga

  • Vinyasa Yoga

  • Yin Yoga

  • Restorative Yoga

  • Dynamic Yoga

  • Forrest Yoga

  • General Yoga

  • Partner Yoga

  • Yoga Flow

Natural & Holistic Therapies

  • Aromatherapy

  • Acupuncture

  • Massage

  • Ayurvedic Massage

  • Meditation

  • Mindfulness

  • Ayurveda (Treatments)


7 / 7 days with instruction
English Instruction language
English, Portuguese, Spanish Spoken language(s)

Difficulty Level

  • Beginner
  • Intermediate
  • Advanced
  • Minimum age allowed is 18
  • The maximum participants in the group is 17
  • Seasonality


    Daily Program Review Like

    • Monday to Friday

    7.30am Kitchens open for tea, fresh fruit and nuts

    8am Silent led meditation walk through the forest

    8.30am Yoga 2 hour class with your teacher for the week

    10.30am Big breakfast, a variety of delicious rice and grain porridges, fruit salads, toasted seeds, local honey and freshly squeezed juices

    11.30am Free time / massage treatments / swimming / walking

    2pm Large nutritious lunch

    3pm More free time / massage treatments / swimming / walking

    5pm Yoga classes/workshops

    7pm Light evening meal

    • One afternoon in the week we head off to the nearby Rio Zêzere for a wild swim and mud bath weather permitting.

    Accommodation Review Like

    Since we arrived in 2008, we threw ourselves whole heartedly into restoring the four Xisto stone houses at Vale de Moses, with great care and respect to the old local Portuguese traditions of building with natural materials: clay, lime, stone and wood. We hope you'll enjoy staying in these old dwelling places as much as we have over the years. If you prefer to be even closer to nature, the Soulpad belle tents are delightful.

    You can choose to stay in one of 2 shared (single sex) stone cottages, 3 private bedrooms in the farmhouse or 6 Soulpads in the forest. Wherever you stay you will have nearby access to indoor bathrooms and also 3 outdoor showers. There are no ensuite rooms. Beds are either quality mattresses or superb Portuguese made futons, all with memory foam toppers, cotton sheets, blankets, mosquito nets, good pillows and duvets. Restorative sleep is an essential part of your retreat with us.

    Food Review Like

    Included Meals

    Breakfast , Lunch , Dinner , Snacks, Drinks

    Food Types Supported

    Ayurvedic, Fruit Based, Gluten Free , Lacto-Ovo Vegetarian, Lactose Free, Organic, Other Dietary Requirements, Raw, Vegan, Vegetarian, Whole Food, Yogic Diet

    Staff Review Like

    Vonetta Winter
    After training for 3 years in Traditional Chinese Medicine at the renowned BodyHarmonics Centre in Cheltenham, I opened a yoga and massage clinic from our London home in 2004. Then in 2007, with the desire to find pastures greener, I closed the clinic, spent time in India and on return went with my family on an adventure around southern Europe in a motorhome to magically find an abandoned farm in the Portuguese mountains that happened to have the same name as my dog, Moses. So we stayed to live in the rhy

    Spa treatments / Therapies Review Like

    • Healing Treatments

    Sometimes despite our better efforts to look after ourselves the batteries run low. The back aches, the knees creak, we suffer headaches, stomach problems, become demotivated, crabby or may suffer insomnia; all signs of the body, spirit, soul and mind asking for help. Touch is the most vital of ways to heal ourselves, and the touch of a professional can sometimes be exactly what we need to get us back on track. Your retreat includes a half hour health consultation, followed by 1 hour of body harmonising massage or Acupuncture. You can choose the most appropriate additional treatments from those listed here in your consultation with one of our experienced professional bodywork therapists.

    • Tui Na Massage

    Chinese Tui Na Massage is a deep tissue treatment on a clothed or covered body excellent for chronic complaints such as whiplash injury, tension, disc problems, rheumatoid arthritis, headaches, migraines, neuralgia, depression, insomnia, chronic strain, frozen shoulder, lumbar pain, and other illnesses of repetitive strain. You will be kneaded into a state of health.

    • Thai Massage

    Thai Massage a second clothed massage technique performed on the floor is a meditative dance between therapist and the person receiving the treatment. In a Thai Massage the nadis, energetic or Qi lines are systematically pressed and stimulated by thumbs and hands to remove energetic blockages from the body. Thai massage is a wonderful compliment to yoga practice as it invites deeper opening in the joints, particularly the hip sockets and the shoulders encouraging flexibility and mobility, a deep sense of well being and contentment. After a Thai massage the body drifts as light as a feather on a breeze, the spirit is refueled and the mind contemplative and serene.

    • Indonesian Massage

    If you prefer an oil treatment then Indonesian massage is also available. Indonesian massage is characterized by deep work along the lines of muscle tissues to lengthen shortened and tightened muscle fibers. Indonesian massage is soulful, you simply lie on the table and allow yourself to be perfumed, pampered and nourished. Yummy!

    • Acupuncture and Cupping

    Acupuncture rebalances the energetic potential of your body by stimulating energetic points or pools of energy through the insertion of needles. Acupuncture examines your physiological and psychological health as a whole to look for patterns of disharmony or imbalance in your body, you are viewed as a whole being in need of retuning so to speak. Symptoms of disharmony may be pain in legs, sciatica, insomnia, stress, Irritable Bowel Syndrome, however, in acupuncture the symptoms are treated within the context of the whole of your body.

    What is included Review Like

    • All food, accommodation and facilities
    • Transport to and from Oleiros
    • Guided silent morning walks in the forest
    • A mid week trip to the Rio Zêzere for a mud bath and swim (weather permitting).

    What is not included Review Like

    • Airport transfer
    • Additional spa treatments

    How to get there Review Like

    • Recommended Airports

    Lisbon Portela Airport

    170 km

    • Transfer not provided
    • Arrival by airplane

    Please book your flight to arrive at Lisbon Portela Airport (LIS). Fly into Lisbon or Porto on the Friday or Saturday if you can, and enjoy a day or two in those charming cities or by the beach before heading up to see us in the mountains on sunday afternoon.

    • Arrival by bus

    Take the 13:30 from Lisbon or the 16:30 from Porto to our local town of Oleiros where we will pick you up by car on arrival. Coach timetable (only for next month in advance), prices and tickets can be found on the Rede Expressos website.

    The Sete Rios coach station in Lisbon is 15 minutes away by shuttle bus, metro or taxi ride from both the airport and city centre. The Porto coach station is a 25 minute train ride into the centre from the airport.

    We will email all guests in the week before arrival so if you wish you can arrange to meet each other in Lisbon or Porto before travelling up to the forest together. A good meeting place in Lisbon is the café by the Zoo next to the coach station. The trip from Porto includes two changes, in Coimbra and Sertã, with a chance at each for a tea and short break. If you prefer to spend the afternoon in Coimbra rather than Porto, you can take an earlier coach or train there in time for the 18:30 bus to Sertã. The coach from Lisbon has one short break halfway at Tomar.

    The return coach to Lisbon is at 08:00, the one to Porto at 08:00 the following Saturday. You can buy your tickets online one week in advance as their site won't show the timetable before then, or 15 minutes before you board at the ticket office.

    Booking Review Like

    Cancellation Policy


    Deposit Percentage


    The rest of the payment should be made 15 days before arrival

    Features Review Like

    • Hiking

    • Massage

    • Spa

    • Swimming

    • Balcony

    • Dining area

    • Eco-Friendly

    • Fireplace

    • Garden

    • Meditation Garden

    • Multilingual Staff

    • Restaurant

    • River

    • Terrace

    • Yoga Deck

    • Yoga Shala

    • Patio

    • Free Parking

    • Wi-Fi (Not Included)

    • Free Wi-Fi

    • Laundry

    • Library

    • Mosquito Net

    • Room Cleaning

    • Tour Assistance

    Customer Reviews

    3 Item(s)

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    1. Review by

      Posted on

      I stayed for a week in this hidden gem.
      Services and Communication
      Accommodation and Facilities
      Quality of the Experience
      Value for money
      The location is unique and perfect for a yoga or meditation retreat. The stunning natural surrounding made me relax and the sweet staff took very much care of me and everyone else in the group. The food prepared by the lovely Spanish Chef was delicious and fruits and tea were provided all the time. Some rooms are simple and have simple bathroom facilities. But for those who want to enjoy nature and an outside shower in the sun looking at the green hills it is perfect. Would definitely return to this place! Thank you all for taking care of me ♡
    2. Review by

      Posted on

      Blessed to have been guided to your place...
      Accommodation and Facilities
      Quality of the Experience
      Value for money
      Services and Communication
      it was exactly what I needed. Connecting to nature, practicing Yoga surrounded by wonderful people, experiencing what good, healthy food can do for your body and soul, having a wonderful massage and experiencing the magic of a reconnective healing treatment. Missing the open laugh of such an uplifting soul like Oliver, missing the deep conversations with you, Andrew, missing the spirit and dedication of beautiful Mars. Thanks to every one of you who shared this week with me. You guys are all awesome. I love you. Truly.
    3. Review by

      Posted on

      Experiência a repetir!
      Services and Communication
      Accommodation and Facilities
      Quality of the Experience
      Value for money
      Lugar absolutamente incrível! Paz e tranquilidade, belas paisagens, comida fabulosa, pessoal muito acolhedor e dedicado. Só levamos boas memórias.

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