Karma Surf Retreat, Portugal


If you’re looking for a surf and yoga retreat in Europe with a difference then look no further.

Ola Nina recently chatted with one of the co-owners of Karma Surf Retreat in Portugal – Jens Kielmann.

Set in the beautiful mountain village of Malveira da Serra, owners and friends Jens and Timo first met at elementary school in Germany. Timo arrived in Portugal about 10 years ago and took his first job after university in the Algarve selling solar heating projects. Jens followed about five years ago when he decided he needed a change.

Jens started his own business as an online marketing consultant. But it was three years ago that Timo and Jens decided to create a business together so they could combined their hobby – surfing.

With good business knowledge behind them, the duo thought of Algarve-Surfcreating a holiday for people wanting to relax and surf yet find decent, affordable accommodation away from the crazy party scenes.
Jens said he remembers looking at surf holidays for himself but not really finding any appealing offers.
“I felt “too old” and exhausted for sleeping in a six bed dorm or tent amongst 20 to 40 drinking, smoking and partying 16 to 23 year old youngsters,” Jens said.
“When we finally came across the location it felt like all the pieces came together and the Karma Surf Retreat was born.”
The result? a retreat that offers luxury villas with double room accommodation, a big paradisiac garden and pool with sea views, high quality yoga and surfing lessons and delicious, homemade food.


“With everything we do, we are really detail-driven and always add our personal touch and individual service for our deserving guests,” Jens said.

“The villa is situated close to Lisbon in Malveira da Serra near Praia do Guincho – one of the most beautiful beaches of the area – right next to the natural reserve Serra de Sintra.

“Its right at the westernmost point of continental Europe Cabo da Roca. Being close to Sintra and Lisbon complements our sportive components perfectly as it offers many interesting venues for sightseeing, which is highly appreciated by our clients.”

A typical day at Karma Surf Retreat:
Wake up at 7.30am. Stay in bed until 7.55am. Do yoga from 8am until 9am, join other guests at breakfast until 10am, get picked up by the surf teachers and driven to the beach, have a surf lesson and some time to chill while having a vegetarian lunch package.
Get brought back to the villa or stay at the beach. Have an hour to relax or yoga in the afternoon. Relax. Go out for dinner or prepare a nice meal with the other guests back in the fully equipped spacious kitchen of the villa and enjoy it on the terrace watching the sky turn purple. Have some stimulating conversation, a good night wine and go to bed for a resting nap.
On Saturday (changeover day) the retreat offers a brazilian welcome barbecue for guests serving Picanha as well as vegetarian options. On Wednesdays the retreat offers a five course Portuguese seafood lunch and for relaxation – massages right after.


The retreat is now offering new packages in combination with yoga, such as SUP (stand up paddle boarding), climbing, hiking and mountain biking.

The retreat is also offering special weeks such as a functional fitness or mindfulness (MBSR) week with special guests. Also special yoga teachers are visiting the retreat once in a while to share their knowledge, such as Brittany Trubridge, wife of the world record holder in freediving Wiliam.



It’s truly is hard to find something comparable like Karma Surf Retreat in Europe. There is Yoga Retreats or Surf Camps where you can each book the other activity as an add-on. You can sleep in tents, low budget accommodation, but also expensive luxury resorts (hotels). Each one with its own disadvantages. It truly seems like these guys have put a lot of thought into this retreat and created great accommodation and packages to make the whole experience memorable.

“Although its much more work than we have expected, we are super happy with what we have created and love to see how we make people happy and relaxed. Our luxury and quality of life is determined by the fact that we are able to go for a sunrise/sundown-surf-session or whenever we want between our daily work. If we really need a break we pack our VW vans for a weekender and head to secret beaches north or south of us and do what we like the most: surf – eat – sleep – again!.” 

For more information visit their website: www.karmasurfretreat.com 

Wow what a life guys thanks for sharing your story with us! – Ola Nina