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Communities In Portugal

Communities in Portugal have existed for many decades, but it’s fair to say the interest in living this way has grown massively in recent years and with this more and more communities have formed.

COMMUNITIES IN NORTHERN PORTUGAL

Aldeia de Cabrum Amakura/Ecoaldeia de Cabrum – Cabrum
A Portuguese-speaking community project, running regular events, open to volunteers and visitors.
“A aldeia é um pequeno paraíso”

Quinta das Relvas – Branca
An artist’s community farm, open to collaborations, artist’s residencies, volunteering, and training.
“Our main goal is to train and educate people on artistic and eco-sustainability, making them more active people spreading the message to their families, friends and local communities, changing a bit by bit communities to adopt more creative and healthier lifestyles.”

Kunayala Productions – Montalegre
An events management group turned community, revolving around the organisation of Forest Soul Gathering.
“Kunayala Productions is actually a group of people working on permaculture, eco-tourism, green education, events organization, decoration, handcraft, music production/artist management.”

Ecoaldeia Vegetariana – Cabeceiras de Basto
A smoke-, drug-, alcohol-, and meat-free community open to paying guests, and residents. The application process is in-depth.
“The ecovillage has started to exist with the incorporation of the first family, which is the promoting family of the project. We are now receiving individuals and families who bring with the wind the desire to join an ecovillage.”

Casa Bô – Porto
An association and co-living project open to residents and volunteers, and operating on the values of sharing, respect, integration, humility, consciousness, love and sustainability.
“Our vision is to contribute to the ultimate fulfillment of all Beings through the holistic development of the Human Being for your happiness, peace, and harmony with you in the Universe.”

COMMUNITIES IN CENTRAL PORTUGAL

Tir Na Si – Serra da Estrela
A small community working with natural building, permaculture, sustainability, and natural living. Looking for permanent members and all members contribute equally to the project.
“We are looking for new members to live in our off-grid eco-community in the Serra da Estrela Natural Park. If you are enthusiastic about growing your own food, working on the land, building with natural materials, living in community, and are looking for a place to settle, we have room for new short (min 3 months) or long term members.”

Quinta das Moitas – Serra da Estrela
Focused on land regeneration, land protection, community education, and simplistic living, this project is open to visitors and residents.
“Quinta das Moitas is an abandoned rural farm turned Permaculture Regeneration Project, located in the Serra da Estrela region of Central Portugal.”

Rainbow Lodge – Serra da Estrela
A spiritual retreat centre and community. Residents are welcome and all contribute equally to costs and tasks. Volunteers are welcome on a workaway basis.
“Let nature embrace you…quartz at your feet, stars above you! Rainbow Lodge is a 22 hectare Nature Reserve in Central Portugal. Situated at the foothills of the Serra da Estrela Natural Park surrounded by stunning mountains. Our intention is to create a peaceful space where people can spend time in nature, rest, relax and switch off from everyday life.”

Moinhos do Dão – Viseu
A community focused on arts, environmental awareness, permaculture and hiking, they residency programs for artists and ecologists as well as volunteer opportunities.
“Moinhos do Dão – Eco Quinta is a historic mill complex on the banks of Dão river surrounded by oak, chestnut and pine woodlands. The focus on living in harmony with nature plays a key role in the way life is lived at the quinta, the way it is managed and the activities we develop. The immersion in nature and living in a connection with nature at Moinhos do Dão is an experience we want to make available to our guests, residents, volunteers and our local community.”

Mount of Oaks/Monte dos Carvalhos – Fundão
A small off-grid community working with eco-building permaculture, arts, caring for the land, animal husbandry, and knowledge exchange. Offers regular workshops, events and open days, and is open to volunteers.
“From its beginning, Mount of Oaks has been a stage for playing with various notions of sharing of resources, knowledge, spiritual experiences; a time to seek solace in nature, and a platform for people to gather and talk. We have been working over the years to practice the ideals of living in community and from the land, interdependent with neighbours, and dedicated to the principles of permaculture.”

Spirala Ecological Village – Idanha a Nova
A new pioneer project focused on self-development and communion with nature.
“We believe it is our duty as humans to initiate and advance the transition to sustainable living, by creating green corridors for all living beings and reduce our ecological footprint on our planet.”

Keela Yoga Farm – Mata da Rainha
A highly-structured project focusing on eco-building, permaculture, and yoga, with regular workshops and courses. Open to paying volunteers.
“Keela is a vision of a couple – Laurence and Kimberly Manchee – who want to see a healthier, happier world through the practice of Permaculture, restoration, reforestation, Yoga, sustainability and producing food.”

Adagatiya – Mata
A long-standing community project, open to volunteers on a workaway basis.
“‘Adagatiya’ is the Cherokee Indian word for ‘guardian’. We at Adagatiya understand ourselves as the guardians of our land, as the keepers of its flora and fauna, not as mere owners or occupants. By living in symbiosis with our natural surroundings as much as possible, we not only reduce our ecological impact regionally, but globally.”

The Happy Tribe – Coimbra
An as-yet unformed raw vegan community, operating on consensus and actively looking for members.
“Want to join a raw vegan collective community? In the center of Portugal, near the Mondego River. You are welcome to come and experience a peaceful life in nature, quiet, landscapes … And see if it’s right for you to stay, and live together as a supportive community.”

Love Learning – Espinhal
Contact Naomi at lovelearningportugal(at)gmail.com
A small education project for children aged 7 to 14 currently. Some learning is more formal using Montessori and Waldorf approaches, following Earthschooling Waldorf curriculum, and some is more freestyle.
“The community is strong but ‘loose’ in that people all live in their own houses and villages within 20 mile radius but get together often, such as dance meditations for adults, playing at the tree climbing centre, or meeting at the playground.”

O Fojo – Almoster
Offering many events and courses, this project is focused on education in permaculture, natural building, and organic agriculture.
“At O Fojo Permaculture | Integral Education Center, as a community, we walk the pathway of personal transformation through nature connection and a mindful attitude towards life. Observing. Living joyfully the process itself. As it is. Here and now. We envision to live an abundant, happy, balanced, healthy and nature-connected meaningful life. And we are here to share it.”

Casa Fluxus – Castelo de Vide
A small community of mostly nomads, focused on connecting with nature, and community connection. Open to guests, residents, and volunteers.
“Fluxus is a homeland in the nature receiving creativity life force. We magnet artists, creators, alchemists, transformers, in a together magic cauldron to find better ways of being better versions of our humanity, conscientious about our co-creation of experience. Looking for sustainable integrative cooperative systems.”

Ecoaldeia de Janas – Sintra
An ecovillage and rural tourism project offering spaces for paying guests, volunteers, internships and residents. Acceptance is dependent on an extensive application basis.
“Ecoaldeia de Janas is a collective of people together with the aim of building and experiencing a centre of nonformal education for sustainability connected to traditional handicrafts, applying and sharing practical and innovative solutions towards a greater resilience at a local and regional scale.”

Biovilla – Setúbal
An eco-tourism and sustainability project open to paying guests, for at least one week, between January and May.
“In Biovilla we fulfill individual dreams shaping collective dreams. We do our best to create environments that serve us all. We hear us and we all have a saying in the cooperative matters. We are friends, partners, and associates. We focus on solutions as a way to solve the obstacles.“

SerVivo – Palmela
A co-living project focused on arts, dance, and eco-friendly living, hosting regular workshops and events.
“We are a community of artists, body researchers, and nature lovers. Here you can find a safe and loving space where you can be yourself. We are all learners and masters in an impermanent reality.”

Pachamama – Alcácer Do Sal
A small community of seven adults, open to co-living on a farm, with a large communal working area. Living spaces are rented.
“Here, 1hr away from Lisbon, we wish to create a sanctuary – a place for people to leave the city, the hustle, the complexity. We want to build a place for people to relax, get their hands dirty, lay in hammocks, enjoy music and the company of fellow travelers. We want to create the perfect space for you to stay in a caravan, a tent, a hammock or even your own little apartment. We have all the space in the world! “

Tribodar – Nisa
Focused on holistic unschooling and homeschooling, as well as food forestry, Tribodar is open to families wanting to join the schooling project.
“Tribodar is born out of a dream of reconnecting with nature and ourselves, to share knowledge and experience with each other, to enjoy learning within an alive and holistic approach, to live a more sustainable life and to take time to live and love.”

Folha Verde – Benfeita
A natural education project involving 150 families in the wider community. Open to volunteers but it’s unclear whether this is a co-living project or only an educational project run by the wider community.
“Folha Verde is a natural education project based in a restored olive press in the beautiful mountains of central Portugal. We are a group of home educating parents holding a space for our children to experience self-directed education.”

Awakened Life Project – Benfeita
A large initiative revolving around meditation, self-discovery, and liberation, offering regular retreats. Open to volunteers for at least one month, for those who resonate with their vision.
“The Awakened Life Project is situated in a beautiful and wild ecological reserve in the mountains of Central Portugal. We offer volunteer programs, courses, events, and retreats to support the liberation of the human spirit in a context of evolutionary emergence and communion with the ecological web of life.”

Vida em Transição – Coja
One family living with nature, focused on self-development and self-inquiry. Open to volunteers and paying guests.
“We are a family of 4 that came from Oporto. In search of who we are we found the Awakened Life Project, we fell in love with our own evolution and potential, we left our jobs, we found that we were pregnant, we decided to move from the city for the countryside and we came to live in a small village in Central Portugal, called Esculca…”

Quinta do Vale – Arganil
A permaculture project offering guided tours, events and volunteering opportunities.
“This project has been one of those dreams which, instead of fading away gracefully with time and age and ‘sense’, got progressively stronger and more insistent, so its eventual realisation became not just completely irresistible, but utterly inevitable.”

COMMUNITIES IN SOUTHERN PORTUGAL

Toca do Coelho – Monchique
An open community with a focus on arts and permaculture. Anyone is welcome, costs are shared equally.
“Toca do Coelho is a small open community/farm of minds, soul & agroforestry hugged away in the mountains of Southern Portugal. We open our arms & hearts to you & welcome you into this social movement of freedom, art, family, honesty & living. Come play with us!”

Cristaland – Lagos
Alcohol-free, drug-free and vegetarian community operating on a volunteer/workaway basis.
“Welcome to Cristaland, to be fully with us, please accept to evolve towards the opening of the HEART, the BODY and the SPIRIT in a fraternal and friendly environment of mutual aid in love and joy. And open yourself to creativity and experimentation.”

Paradise Island Retreat Centre – Lagos
Focused on spiritual growth with daily satsangs, this centre is open to paying guests and paying volunteers.
“Retreat center where you can raise your frequency within and beyond the human condition, going from duality to unity, from time to eternity.”

Laozi House – Lagoa
A retreat space, regenerative project, and meditation centre, operating on a membership basis. Open to some volunteers on a workaway basis.
“Laozi House is a non-profit association of people who choose for a healthy lifestyle, exploring how movement, sunlight, fresh air, natural remedies, and the right food choices can be the best medicine to promote well-being and longevity.”

Naturalmente Retreat Centre – Loulé
Paid retreat/community centre based on the Anastasia books.
“Naturalmente is a Holistic Retreat Center, focused on a Natural way of Living where we invite Everyone that feels the Call for a deep connection with Nature and Evolution, expansion of CONSCIOUSNESS and elevation of our Vibration.”

Monte da Vida – Beja
A regenerative land project, dedicated to meditative and Taoist practices.
“At Monte da Vida we are discovering our place within nature, through deepening our connection to ourselves, to the land and to each other, so that our actions may leave a positive legacy for the future.”

Shambala – Aljezur
A healing community practicing meditation, nonviolent communication, and sociocracy. Open to residents, visitors, and volunteers, and hosting events and workshops.
“We are creating a conscious community of people dedicated to healing ourselves and our planet. You can come and visit Shambala and learn how to connect with your own intuitive path using meditation, tantra, breath work and ceremonies.”

Afincerna – Odemira
A burgeoning community project based on land-regeneration. Open to committed members willing to help create from the ground up.
“Afincerna is 108-hectare ecosystem restoration and regeneration project in southwest Alentejo. It’s a place where people can learn, explore and share their transformative experiences.”

Permalab – Odemira
Shifting community of nomadic changemakers. Open to paying guests/residents.
“Permalab offers different spaces and services for events, journey, and experiences. We see us more like a flexible human settlement rather than a residency eco-village.”

Vale Bacias – Odemira
An NVC– and Sociocracy-based community open to long-term members as well as ‘nomads’.
“The Earth, for us, is a living holistic being, as well as the foundation for life for plants, animals and human beings. We are grateful for the light and the warmth of the sun. We take care of and honour the soil, the water, and the air as we use them.“

Monte Sahaja/Mooji’s Ashram – Odemira
Available, upon application, for short or long-term stays, for those who have already attended one physical or online retreat.
“Monte Sahaja is a sacred place dedicated to supporting true seekers who deeply aspire for liberation from the grip of ego identity. It is a rare place in this world as it is entirely dedicated to the complete realisation of the Self.”

Tamera Healing Biotope – Monte do Cerro
Large, well-established permaculture community practicing free love principles and radical land regeneration. Open to visitors only for paid monthly introductory weeks or weekly open days.
“Started in 1978 with a small group, we’re currently a community of around 200, working towards autonomous decentralized models for a post-capitalist world, with those who share our vision of Terra Nova.”

Vegoa/Vegan Hills – Pedralva
A self-sustainable vegan eco-village in which each member buys into the project. Open to visitors by appointment or on monthly open days.
“We imagine a land full of food, flowers, and trees, a place of small and infinite walk-able ways and natural buildings. Can you see it? We want it to be a place that is as an example of a cruelty-free world where people help each other and all the animals. A place that can receive people for events and health holidays. A place that encourages creativity and entrepreneurship. “

Friday Happiness/Pizza Party/Pizzanight Algarve – Tojeiro
A volunteer-based project centered around the organisation of public parties every Friday.
“The main issue of our association is to create an alternative living place for self-awareness and cultural exchange where we bring people from all over the world together – a place also for different ideas and lifestyles and to realize those ideas with the help of everyone. And what connects people better than a nice slice of delicious pizza from the stone oven, shaking music and a cold drink…”

Awakeland – Moinho da Rocha
Large yoga and permaculture project hosting dance, tantra, and meditation events. Open to work exchanges and paying guests.
“Rooted in a millennial mountain range, Awakeland Portugal is a yoga retreat center that believes in people, in a conscious life and auto-responsibility. At Awakeland Portugal, in harmony with nature, we root ourselves and manifest our highest being.”

Azula – São Luís
A small community open to people as paying guests or paying volunteers. Their focus is on permaculture, land regeneration and eco-building.
“Azula is a place, a project and the home of two families that share the same vision, to raise our children in a beautiful safe environment and to cultivate our land and ourselves to enjoy life fully.”

A Quinta – São Luís
A working farm focusing on regenerative farming, open to volunteers and paying guests.
“The project is all about restoring the land using different regenerative agriculture methods like water management, holistic animal management and permaculture. We would like to inspire future farmers and anyone else interested in nature and growing food by spreading knowledge through this website, workshops, guests, internships, open days, courses and connections.”

HUGE thanks to the lovely Jazz Meyer who made this blog and said ‘I put together this list of communities (inspired by my friend Donal Gannon) to help navigate through what can be a difficult and time-consuming search. It’s by no means exhaustive, and some of the communities here operate more like businesses than eco-villages, but it’s a good launching point.’

You can find out more from Jazz and see her other wonderful pieces here.

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