In the following you will find some commonly asked questions (Q) that we have answered (A) here in order to help you during your booking decision making process, in preparation of your holidays or during your stay. If you have further questions, please don’t hesitate to contact us:
Q: Which airport do I have to choose to get to Karma Surf Retreat?
A: When opting for the retreat location near Lisbon (i.e. Guincho Villa/Apartment), you have to fly to Lisbon airport (LIS). When you would like to join us at the Algarve location (i.e. Algarve villa) you have to fly to Faro airport (FAO) – you could however also fly to Lisbon and take the train or a rental car from there (both 3-4 hours travel time). Both airports are located in Portugal in the south of Europe.
Q: How far is it from the airport to the Retreat?
A: Its approximately 35km / 30 minutes by car from Lisbon airport to the retreat location near Lisbon (in Malveira da Serra). From Faro airport to the Algarve villa (Budens) it takes 100km / 60 minutes by car.
Q: How can I get from LISBON airport to the Guincho villa / apartment?
A: basically you have 3 options to choose from:
1. By bus+train+taxi: From the airport, you take the public shuttle bus to the train station Cais do Sodre, where you take the train to Cascais (combined approx. 7€). From there you take a taxi to the retreat in Malveira da Serra (approx. 8-12€). Travel time: 1-1,5 hrs.
2. By Karma shuttle bus: You will be picked up at the airport (meeting point: café mybistro in the airports public area hall). Cost: see next Q. Travel time: approx. 30 minutes.
3. By taxi: from Lisbon airport to the Lisbon retreat location it takes, depending on the taxi drivers mood and creativity, between 40€ and 80€. Travel time: between 30 and 60 minutes.
Q: How can I get from FARO airport to the Algarve villa?
A: basically you have 4 options to choose from:
1. By bus/train/taxi: From the airport, you take the public shuttle bus to the train station Faro (approx. 2€) or Taxi (10 min drive, approx. 10€), where you take the train to Lagos Train Station (approx. 7€) From there you take a taxi to the retreat in Budens (St Antonio Villas, Golf and Spa Resort) (approx. 20€). Travel time intotal: 2-2.5 hrs.
2. By Karma shuttle: You will be picked up at the airport (meeting point: arrival Hall, it’s a small airport, you will recognize our driver by his Karma Surf Retreat Tshirt , or sign). Cost: 80€, can often be shared with other guests arriving at similar times. Travel time: 60 minutes.
3. By taxi: from Faro airport to the Algarve retreat 100€, Travel time: approx 60 minutes.
4. By public shuttle service providers you can find online. They are between 20-100€ per person, but waiting and travel time will be much longer due to grouping of all sort of gustes from various Hotels.
Q: Do you offer an airport transfer service to the Retreat? How much is it?
The ride between Lisbon airport and Guincho villa/apartment cost 50€ (one-way) with 1-3 Persons and 80€ (one way) with 4-8 Persons.
Also due to ecological reasons, we try to put together as much persons as possible in one ride. This way, also the cost per person is reduced as it can be shared. For example if 2 persons share a shuttle each Person pays 25€ (50€ / 2 = 25€). If 5 Persons ride together, they pay 16€ each. In order to achieve this, short waiting periods can occur. If you wish not to wait and rather pay the full shuttle price (50€) please tell us, so we can plan the shuttle schedule respectively.
The ride between Faro airport and the Algarve Villa cost 80€ (one-way)
Q: Where at the airport LISBON is the meeting point?
A: The meeting point at Lisbon airport is the Cafe myBistro in the entrance hall of the airport. In case you have to wait, you can sit down there and have something to eat and/or drink. We will pick you up there dressed in a Karma Surf Retreat T-Shirt or holding up a sign.
Q: Where at the airport FARO is the meeting point?
A: The meeting point at FARO airport is in the arrival hall. In case you have to wait, you can sit down in a café there and have something to eat and/or drink. We will pick you up there dressed in a Karma Surf Retreat T-Shirt or holding up a sign
Q: Does it make a difference, if you pick me up or bring me somewhere in Lisbon (e.g. hotel before or after your stay at Karma Surf Retreat Lisbon)?
A: Nope, we are pleased to give you a lift to wherever in Lisbon and try to plan the routes respectively.
Q: Which accommodation is the Lisbon Retreat? Guincho Villa? Where are the Cottages and the Apartment? And where is the Algarve Villa anyways?
A: The Guincho Villa is our retreat location near Lisbon, which hosts all the double rooms and also the apartment. Right next to this property, there are the two Cottages joined together with the Guincho villa through the large beautiful garden.
The Algarve Villa is situated in the south of Portugal in the south-west Algarve close to Budens, a small village between Sagres and Lagos.
Q: Are the Lisbon and Algarve retreats / accommodations close by and would you be able to transfer me from one to another if I stay for the two weeks?
A: It is a great idea to stay in both retreat locations (Lisbon & Algarve) and get to know Portugal from 2 perspectives. They are approx. 300km apart from each other. We can organize a transfer but most of the guests who do both Retreats, hire a car or travel from one location to another by train (3-4h). We can pick you up at the train station then.
Q: Is the Retreat close to the beach?
A: Both Retreat locations, Guincho Villa/Apartment/Cottages and Algarve villa, are approx. 4km away from the nearest beach. For surfing lessons, you will be shuttled to the beach every day. If you want to stay longer, you might as well do. You can get back by taxi or rental car then.
Q: How do I get from the Retreat to the city or other sightseeing places?
A: It is very easy to get into Lisbon (20km) by taxi in approx. 30 minutes. Alternatively you can also take a cab (15 minutes) or bus (30 minutes) to Cascais and from there you take the train, which brings you to Lisbon in 40 minutes. To Sintra the fastest way is by taxi in 15 minutes or you take the scenic route with a pit-stop at Cabo da Roca, the westernmost point of continental Europe, spending 30-40 minutes for the overall ride.
Q: Do I need a rental car?
A: It depends on your general holiday preferences. If you want to explore the area (beaches, restaurants and sightseeing venues) and go out for dinner a lot, we would recommend getting one.
But: Staying at Guincho Villa you don’t necessarily need a car as you will be shuttled to the surfing lessons (beach) and you have snack possibilities, restaurant and super market in 10-15 minute walking distance in the village close to Guincho villa/apartment/cottages. There, you also have bus stations which go to Cascais, Cabo da Roca and Sintra as well. If you want to go for a sightseeing tour, out for dinner or spontaneously to the beach you can also get a taxi, which is pretty cheap (see next Q/A). As well sometimes other guests have a rental and most of the times they are happy to share a ride if you pitch in a little gas money.
As well if you stay at the Algarve villa, the super market is in the close by village of Budens, but it is a longer walk of appox 30 minutes. You can as well walk to the beach and the near by fishing village of Salema with plenty of nice Restaurants, but here as well you will need to walk around 30-40 minutes. In the village (Budens) is a bus station too, with busses that go to Sagres and Lagos. The ride to Lagos, a pretty, small town with nice little shops and restaurants takes approx. 20 Min and costs appox 2-3€.
Q: How much are the taxis in Portugal?
A: In general going by taxi is quite cheap.
For example from Guincho Villa to Cascais (15 minutes) 8-12€, Guincho Villa to Sintra (15 minutes) 12-15€ and Guincho Villa to Guincho Beach 5€. From Algarve Villa to Lagos 15€.
From the Algarve Villa to Salema, Beach and Restaurants (5 minutes) 8€, Algarve Villa to Lagos or Sagres (20 minutes) 20-25€
Q: Where do you do the yoga classes?
A: We have many options and if the weather is good the classes will be held outside on our yoga terrace or at the pool. When the weather provides discomfort outside, the classes will take place in the big living room with panoramic sea view. Our yoga instructors might offer you an alternative location (for example at the beach) for the yoga class if all guests wish and agree.
Q: What kind of Yoga you offer in your Retreats?
A: At Guincho villa, we have 2 different resident Yoga teachers of which one teaches Hatha/Power Yoga and the other one Iyengar. At Algarve Villa it is a mix of styles such as Ashtanga Yoga, Vipassana Meditation and Yin Yoga.
From time to time we have weeks with guest yoga teachers teaching also different kinds of Yoga. Make sure to check back to our website for news or subscribe to our newsletter to stay up to date.
Q: What do we need to bring for surfing and yoga?
A: All surf and yoga equipment is included in the package price, such as yoga mats, blocks, So you should just bring a beach towel, shorts/bikini, and sun cream.
Q: Can I use the surf equipment the whole day outside of the lessons?
A: Sure. You can rent surf equipment for a special price outside of the surf course.
Q: Is this also suitable for surf-beginners?
A: In fact, most of our guests are beginners. In our groups there will be 1 surf instructor taking care of max 4 guests. If there are more advanced surfers we also split the group if necessary.
Q: When do activities start?
A: All surf and yoga classes are from Monday till Friday. Extra activities as SUP (stand up paddleboarding), hiking, biking, climbing, horseback riding or sightseeing tour to Sintra or Lisbon can be organized. Best day for extra activities would be Sunday, as you will have the most time for this.
Q: Are the waves too big for beginners?
A: Nope. As we have the luxury of having quick access to a south and west coast, we easily can avoid big incoming swells (mostly coming from north-west) and always find the best conditions suitabl for beginners, so you can easily learn how to surf.
Q: By submitting the booking form, do I enter some kind of obligation / contract? Do I mandatory book the holiday at that point?
A: Nope. The booking form just provides us with most of the data necessary to send you a binding offer and reserve your spot (max. 5 days until deposit). Only if the deposit is made the holiday is firmly booked.
Q: What is the price for the packages for 1 week?
A: The package prices you find on our website http://www.karmasurfretreat.com/rates.html (prices are per week and person).
Q: Can I stay longer than 1 week? 2 weeks? 3 weeks?
A: Sure! If you stay for 2 weeks you’ll get a 5% discount, if you stay 3 even 10%. If you would like to stay even longer or come as group ask us for special rates.
Q: Do you have credit card payment facilities?
A: Sorry we don’t work with any credit card company, yet. Please pay in advance by bank transfer or in cash at arrival.
Q: Does my child need to pay as well?
A: If you want to book the Surf & Yoga family package, your child counts as one person. This package is available for minimum 3 person family. For single raising parents we have a special offer, of course, which you will receive upon request/ submitting the booking form.
Q: Can I also come alone / Is this also for single travelers?
A: Sure! Lots of our guests travel alone and get to know new people here and you will even share a double room (with single beds) with another nice person (same gender if possible).
Q: At what time on Saturday can I check in and what time do we have to check out?
A: In general, you can arrive on Saturday even early in the morning and also an airport shuttle can be organized at any time. All rooms, however, will be cleaned between 10-14h, which means check-in is at 14h (or asap) and check-out is at 10h. Until your room is ready for you, you are, of course, invited to join us for breakfast or just chill out in the house, garden or by the pool. Others just drop off their baggage and head straight to the beach or to explore Lisbon or Sintra.
Q: Can I arrive or depart earlier or later than Saturday?
A: Since Yoga and surfing classes just begin on Monday, you might as well arrive on Sunday. BUT our delicious Brazilian welcome BBQ is on Saturday evening and seriously, you don’t wanna miss it. 😉 Regarding departure, as new guests will arrive on Saturday, check-out is on Saturday until 10 a.m. However, not only due to flight schedule, it is a good idea to stay a little bit longer or arrive earlier and enjoy the beauty of Portugal and his historic monuments. We will be happy to assist you with tips and help for booking alternative accommodation prior and/or after your stay at Karma Surf Retreat.
Q: Can I stay until Sunday?
A: If we are fully booked, no, as the new arrive on Saturday and expect their room empty and clean. Exeptions can be arranged spontaneously, if we are not fully booked the following week. Best chances are in low-season.
Q: Are the rooms single or shared? Do you have single rooms?
A: We have only double rooms with single beds (few with double bed). That’s why most of guests share a room.
Q: I don’t want to share my room with another person – can I sleep alone?
A: If you wish to stay alone in a double room, we charge a single supplement of €400.
Q: How many meals are included in the package?
A: We offer you daily biological breakfast, 4 healthy lunch packages, 1 seafood lunch (drinks incl.) on wednesday, 1 welcome bbq (drinks incl.) on Saturday and fruits all you can eat, as well as coffee, tea, water, juices and milk – all you can drink.
Q: What options for dinner do I have?
A: If you don’t want to cook your favorite meals yourself or together with others, we have some delicious (sea food) Restaurants close by (5-15 minutes). We can also offer an additional Vegetarian Dinner which can be catered to our Retreat (minimum order 3 persons).
Q: Is this a Yoga & Surf Retreat or a surf camp or a yoga retreat?
A: We are mainly Surf & Yoga Retreat, meaning the surf & yoga package is the most commonly booked although some guests also book our Surf or Yoga Deluxe packages containing just surf or just yoga classes plus one massage. Other packages (all in combination with daily yoga classes) become more and more popular as well, such as SUP (Stand Up Paddleboarding), hiking, climbing, mountain biking, or the surf-guiding package. You can also book each of those activities additionally. Moreover you can book extra activities such as horseback riding, pilates, windsurfing, kite surfing, diving, etc. on demand.