Reconnect with your creativity on an immersive one-week retreat combining mindfulness, movement, voice, and creative music-making, held in a stunning manor house on a working farm in rural Portugal.
Escape from the demands of everyday life to find peace, presence, and a deeper connection to your creative voice through the power of music. Led by expert arts facilitators, this inspiring retreat balances led group activities, one-on-one lessons, and time for reflection and rest, all within a supportive community. Release tension through movement and mindfulness sessions. Rediscover play, exploration, and creativity through voice and collaborative music-making sessions. Enjoy delicious, fresh vegetarian meals made from ingredients harvested straight from the farm. Reconnect with nature through walking in the hills and swimming in the river. Share evenings full of laughter and song around the fire with a new community of friends.
Whether you’re an experienced musician looking to deepen your practice, or just curious to learn how music can contribute to your well-being, we welcome you on this journey.
Our pedagogical method aims to not only improve musical ability and knowledge, but even more importantly, to build creative individuality and deepen a range of interpersonal skills. When you go home, you'll be able to apply your learning both on and off the stage in a range of extra-musical pursuits.
away from distraction, we can find peace and tranquility through seated meditation, mindful movement, sound meditation, nature walks, singing in nature and more
all participants may sign up for a 30 minute private voice lesson, as well as a 30 minute private mentoring tutorial at any point during the retreat
Movement & Voice
relieve built-up tensions in the body inspired by a range of somatic practices including yoga, Feldenkrais, and contact improv; explore movement, breath, vibration, and resonance of the voice
Free Time Activities
Massage (Swedish, bamboo, deep tissue, aromatherapy, infused oil, advanced clinical, reflexology, reiki, facial and neck, myofascial release)
Wine tasting; Guided 2 hour walk;
Hilario boat cruise in Dornes
create new music in a facilitated environment using games, improvisation, and devised composition with other participants; enhance your musicianship and collaborative skills
10:00 movement and voice
11:00 creative music-making
17:00 creative circle
21:00 optional evening activity
Check in on July 13th is after 17:00
Check out on July 20th is before 11:00.
I learned to flow with others and be myself at the same time. I learned to relax and enjoy being out of my comfort zone - I feel more open to different experiences now. I’m so grateful for your teachings! From a place of play and compassion for each other, you were able to lead us to a place of joy, connection and playfulness… I’m amazed how much I have learned without realizing. It has been life changing for me.
Everybody was different in terms of musical experience and confidence, and each was able to find a voice and expression; you can find your place and develop a new understanding of yourself and of music.
It’s an amazing opportunity to disconnect from the every day and tap into a completely different energy and creativity. Lived up to its promise and more - lovely location, wonderful vibe and activities, and a great chance to both relax and grow.
We will be staying in a beautiful 100 year old manor house set in a secluded rural valley surrounded by nature. Transformed into a dedicated holistic retreat sanctuary, the venue consists of the main manor house, shaded courtyard garden for al-fresco eating, herb & flower garden, vegetable garden, orchard, Yoga shala, and swimming pool. The surrounding eucalyptus forest gives the air an amazing fragrance, while on the north side there are various ruins and active olive orchard, and on the south side is a small working farm. There are also two dogs and two cats who live on the property (although as a rule, they’re not allowed upstairs in the house or in the yoga studio).
We aim to hold an eco friendly retreat, taking care to be respectful of resources and minimize our impact on the environment. Most of our vegetables, herbs and fruits are grown organically on the farm. The swimming pool is saltwater, and our venue hosts compost and recycle 90% of all waste. They use a thermodynamic pump to heat our water, clean with eco-friendly products, and sell arts & crafts made by local people.
Throughout our retreat, we will enjoy organic, locally sourced, naturally high-in-energy and balanced home-cooked vegetarian meals. We include various raw and vegan dishes in our standard vegetarian menu, but if you are vegan, do let us know in advance so we can adjust our menu for you. Wednesday night will be a free evening and we encourage everyone to try out the restaurants in the nearby town. On our last night we will enjoy a BBQ, suitable for vegetarians and pescatarians alike.
Breakfasts may consist of homemade sourdough bread, fresh fruit salad, muesli with homemade jam, yoghurt, and Kefir, tea and orange juice. A sample lunch might include a baked dish like Greek Spinach pie, served with salad and homemade pickles, chutneys and preserves. Our hosts make their own kombucha, kefir, pear-ale, and lemon squash, and elderflower syrup.
Our afternoon cake is freshly made each day, served with tea infusions, and raw, dried figs snacks are available for snacks all day long. Dinners consist of two courses, either starter and main course, or main course and dessert. There will also be an honesty bar for those who would like to taste a selection of local wine and beer.
Early Bird Discount
Early Bird Discount
Early Bird Discount
Week-long retreat in luxury location, with full accommodation, food, and workshop tuition
Early bird discount 10% off available till January 31st, 2019
Extended till March 31st, 2019!
--- Limited spaces! ---
Non-refundable deposit of €250 in order to reserve your place. Full payment is due by May 1st, 2019. Your deposit is nonrefundable, but your remainder payment is fully refundable until May 1st, 2019, after which no refunds are available. Places will be allocated on a first-come, first served basis and therefore we highly recommend applying early.
7 nights accommodation in a stunning Portuguese manor house
5 hours tuition a day from our expert leaders
30 minute private voice lesson
30 minute 1-1 tutorial
2hr gong bath
Three delicious vegetarian meals a day (except dinner on Wednesday evening)
Afternoon tea, coffee and cake
Salt water swimming pool
Fun evening activities including movie night, BBQ, song circles and more
Flights and travel to venue
Cost of extra excursions (guided walk, visits to local town etc)
Alcoholic beverages, dinner on Wednesday
Spa services upon request
Personal travel insurance
Creative Music Leader
Filipe Sousa is a Portuguese pianist/composer and workshop leader based in the UK. He trained at the Lisbon Gregorian Institute, Hot Club Portugal, and the Guildhall School of Music and Drama. With a background in capoeira and contact improv, his work as a composer and performer is often concerned with motion and movement, driven by a strong sense of rhythm.
Voice & Movement Leader
Kate is a London-based singer, performer, workshop leader and producer. She trained at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in Voice and Leadership. As the creator of The Embodied Voice, she has a deep belief in the importance of reconnecting mind and body in order to improve mental and physical health, as well as performance skills.
Our retreat is located in Central Portugal between the towns of Tomar and Sertã and near the small town of Cernache do Bonjardim. We are about 3 hours drive from Porto, and 2 hours drive from Lisbon.
If you wish to explore the country while here, or tourist a bit before or after the retreat, then we recommend you rent a private car.
If you’re just coming for the retreat, then an alternative option to renting separate cars is to hire a minibus with driver. This option requires a group to depart together from the airport. Prices vary depending on amount of people in the group – a single trip will cost from 25€ per person in a group of 13 people. If you are interested, please contact us for an exact price.
Bus and train are the cheapest travel options, but will both require a taxi ride to our venue for the last leg of the journey. Let us know if you would like to explore this option and we will send you detailed instructions.
Check in on July 13th is after 17:00
Check out on July 20th is before 11:00.
Q. Who is the Create & Connect Retreat designed for?
A. Create & Connect is designed for a diverse group of people who are interested in music, voice, and healthy living in community with others. The retreat is not designed for absolute beginners to the world of music-making. However, those who consider themselves amateur musicians as well as those who are advanced are welcome, along with everyone in between. Did you play guitar in college, or do you sing in your local community choir? Do you write your own music or play in an orchestra or a band? Our facilitators are both professional facilitators with years of experience working with varying levels, and will tailor the retreat to the interests and abilities of those present.
Q. I’m a professional musician. Is this the right retreat for me?
A. Create & Connect is the right retreat for a professional musician if you’re looking for a fun, holistic, relaxed musical vacation. However, if you are looking for a more rigorous workshop to challenge your practice, then you may consider joining our workshop for professional artists, Other Lands Other Sounds 2019.
Q. I like to sing but I don't play an instrument / I play an instrument but I'm not much of a singer. Is this retreat right for me?
A. Our singing and movement sessions are geared towards everyone, not only those who "have a great voice". We will look at the fundamentals behind the expressive and communicative potential of our voices and bodies. Likewise, our creative music sessions are tailored so that everyone can find their place in the music-making process. Singers who do not play any instruments may, for instance, choose to play percussion, write for voices, or can try out a new instrument!
Q. What is the age range of participants at the Create & Connect Retreat?
A. Create & Connect is open to applicants who are of college age and older, ages 18+. We anticipate that participants will be a wide range of ages.
Q. Do I need to be able to read music?
A. There is no requirement to be able to read music. You will be guided through all the singing sessions and workshops and provided with lyrics and music sheets if needed.
Q. Are the rooms shared accommodation?
A. There is one single room available. Otherwise, accommodation is based on people sharing. All rooms are of very high standard and are extremely comfortable, clean and well located with washing facilities. If you have any particular requests (same gender, with friends etc), please let us know.
Q. Do I need to bring my own linens and towels?
A. All linen and towels are provided, except for pool towels. All bed linen is 100% cotton, made in Portugal. There is a change of towel every 4 days for those who request it and bed linen in the middle of the retreat. If you require clean towels every day, there will be an additional laundry cost of 2€ per towel each day. To keep the bath towels white, please bring your own pool towels.
Q. Is the Retreat wheelchair accessible?
A. Unfortunately, the Retreat has not yet been made wheelchair accessible.
Q. How much free time is there?
A. Free time is built into each afternoon (3 hours) and evenings (depending on whether you would like to participate in the optional evening activities). You may use this time as you like, to rest, swim in the pool, go for walks, take a 1-1 session with our tutors, book a massage or more. Some activities will need to be booked in advance, which we will take care of at the beginning of the retreat.
Q. Which meals are provided?
A. All meals are provided, except for dinner on Wednesday night. On that evening we encourage everyone to visit the local town and have dinner out in order to give our hosts an evening off.
Q. Are there limited spaces?
A. Yes, creating an immersive experience and a supportive community is very important to us, so we’re keeping this retreat to a small sized group of approx 15 people. We advise you book early to avoid disappointment.
Q. Can I bring my family?
A. Partners are welcome, but they would have to come as participants on the retreat. Unfortunately we have only one single room with a double bed, but partners can stay in a double room and put two single beds together. If you and your partner would like to bring your child or children, please inquire with us whether that is possible.
Q. When should I book my flight?
A. As soon as possible! Flights to Portugal over the summer can get expensive if left too late.
Q. Do I need to bring my own yoga mat?
A. Yoga mats, blocks, blankets are all provided.
Q. What happens if I need to cancel?
A. We cannot offer you a refund if you cancel less than 2 months before the start of the retreat. Please also note, the deposit you’ve paid is non-refundable. If you wish to gift your space to someone else or sell it on that is not a problem as long as you let us know.
Q. Is there WIFI?
A. Free WiFi is available, please note the speed can be limited due to the rural location – although, we would advise turning your phone off and enjoying the beautiful scenery of the valley.
To book your place on the Create & Connect Retreat please get in touch with us via our contact form or by emailing with the following information:
Name, Location, Email, Phone Number
Please tell us a little about yourself.
What is your experience with music?
What accommodation would you like to book? (Triple room, Double room, Single room)
To reserve your space, please send your deposit of €250 to:
For international transfers, we recommend using TransferWise.
We look forward to hearing from you!