At the end of September I decided to flee Ireland for a rejuvenating mini break to Bura Surfhouse in Lagos, Portugal for a four-day surf, yoga, wine retreat.
With three of my favourite things rolled into one holiday I was boarding the plane to Faro airport before I knew it, where I was shuttled by a Greenbus transfer on arrival to the surfhouse (€30 return ticket for a 2 hour journey, organised by Bura).
Bura itself, I was surprised to find is more a modern villa rather than hostel with private rooms available or shared 6 bed dorms, a swimming pool, a bar, recreational areas, a spacious living area and a kitchen.
Just by reception was The Events Wall where daily meals were listed as well as the best bars, places to eat, see, party, surf, walk, etc.
As I had arrived on an early flight, I decided to go explore and check out Lagos town. Descending on the town from the coastal walkway I immediately noticed how historic it is.
Old ruins are free to walk around with art exhibitions on display inside and the town itself is made up of cobbled streets and colourful buildings.
As I had been up early travelling my belly was now calling and one of the first places I stumbled upon was a gorgeous little tapas restaurant called Meu Limao. On the waitress’ recommendation I chose the chickpeas, meatballs and coconut prawns – which were a hands down winner. A little pricey but very tasty.
I rambled around the cobbled streets a bit further before heading back to the surfhouse to lie by the pool and meet the other guests for a BBQ. Free beers were provided and it was a nice time to get to know everyone around the communal table outside.
The first 3 days of the retreat consisted of 8 a.m. starts and being picked up by our surf instructors from Extreme Algarve for the day. We would drive 45 minutes to Arrafina beach as at the time of our trip that was where the best waves were and we would spend the day at the beach surfing and tanning. The instructors are really fun and friendly and they cater for complete beginners to advanced surfers and the waves were huge when we were there!
We would get back to Bura around 5pm each day which gave us another hour by the pool and bar before freshening up for rooftop yoga at 7.30 p.m.
Our yoga teacher Miri was so sweet and by the time we would finish at 8.30/9 p.m. dinner would be served and we would spend the night chatting, playing music and just hanging out in the common areas.
Our last day was slightly different in that we had the morning free, so the girls and I went exploring, shopping and got our nails done as well as enjoying an authentic Portuguese lunch before meeting back at Bura for transport to a local organic vineyard for wine tasting.
The vineyard is run by a Frenchman who gave us a personal tour before sampling their four different organic wines with cheese and nibbles. I loved the fresh fig trees – pity the season was already over though!
That night to finish off our trip a few of us went for dinner together in a local seafood restaurant at the marina called A Barrigada.
All in all it was such an invigorating and uplifting couple of days and I returned refreshed and with a renewed sense of mind, body and spirit. I also met some pretty cool people and I have to hand it to Bura and their staff who went above and beyond to cater for my food intolerances making sure no matter what the menu offered they made it suitable for me.
Breakfast consisted of fresh fruits, tea, coffee, toast, eggs, cereals and pancakes with soya milk and wheat free bread provided for me while below depicts the some of the dishes we ate over our four nights, including homemade burgers, risotto and chicken parmigiana.
If you’re thinking of a lone retreat or a getaway with other young, interesting, like-minded people I think one of the programmes on offer at Bura is right up your street.