Gaia Retreat & Eco Hostel
About us

About us

Gaia Retreat & Eco hostel is the culmination of many years dreaming, project managing and environmental activism by your hosts, Rasmus and Elizabeth.

We met each other in 2015 when working on a campaign for an environmental NGO. Sharing similar concerns about our planet and future, together we sought some other way of living that felt more aligned with the environmental realities we’d both become acutely aware of. Increasingly exhausted with city life and office work, in 2018 we set out to discover what the rest of Europe had to offer, and where we might lay down roots, in a converted jumbo transit van. We made a beeline for Portugal. Call it fate, call it calculated, it’s hard to pinpoint – but somehow we both felt pulled here, and despite ideas of discovering many new countries by road, we’ve hardly left since. After taking a year out to really begin to recover from all the years of stress and burn out, we began searching for a home. We discovered Casa Pequena thanks to a very friendly estate agent who paired us perfectly upon hearing our hopes and dreams – to build some kind of hostel or retreat place where people could connect with nature and remember the simplicity that underscores life.

Fast forward 3 years and that dream is very much grounded in reality, and our little retreat is open for business. And hopefully not the same kind of business we’re used to, but a new kind of business. One that seeks to be accessible, collaborative, community-focused. Business not driven by growth and expansion, but depth of experience. We want to keep things simple, so we can deliver careful attention, bespoke experiences, and the peaceful environment that is Gaia Retreat.

Anyway, more about us… Well, we can’t wait to meet you, basically. With a distinct preference for in person communication, we’d really love for your journey to Gaia Retreat to begin with a phone or video call so we can better connect and understand each other. Speak soon!

Will H
Will H
June 12, 2022.
Verified
Gaia Retreat is Beautiful! Forest land, lovely cabins and very friendly, respectful and talented hosts. The food is incredible and they are so thoughtful and attentive. Will be back for sure.
marianne gaj
marianne gaj
June 8, 2022.
Verified
This is really the place, if you want peace, quietness and Nature. The retreat is located in mountains with beautifull views, forests, running water and treks of different standards including the Portuguise Camino. We were accomadated in a cabin with a small kitchen and a very comfortable bed and slept like babies. The retreat are hosted by Elizabeth and Rasmus. Both very dedicated and friendly People, who Will do their utmost to make you feel comfortable. Rasmus (The Chef) cooked delicate and lovely fod for us. We were especially fond of the Italian inspired menus. We are very satisfied with our stay and will definately Be backūüėÄ
Josh Menkens
Josh Menkens
April 21, 2022.
Verified
It was a pleasure to spend a week at Gaia Retreat. I was able to fully disconnect from my fast paced life and reconnect with nature. The retreat is situated on an old wine vineyard, Liz & Rasmus are regenerating the land to create food forests and sustainable eco systems. I spent my week swinging in a hammock drinking cold beers and exploring the mountainside. Rasmus is an amazing chef, I decided to let him cook for me every day and I felt truly spoilt. I cannot recommend Gaia Retreat enough. I cant wait to go back! Please check out all of my photos attached.
S J
S J
March 30, 2022.
Verified
Felt nourished from the fresh air, trees, animals and wonderfully at home in the cabin. I felt inspired and created art sitting in the sunshine looking across the valley (The views are gorgeous ). It's a tranquil place with lovely walks around, including part of the Camino de Santiago. I loved hearing the birds and sounds of the trees waking up and going to sleep. Rasmus is a great chef - I recommend a taste of the hummus he makes and homemade flatbreads! Buff is a dear friend and kindest soul. Thank you both for your hospitality down to the touches of fresh herbs and flowers on arrival, blankets and all the things one may need for 'off-grid' living.
Learn English with Mingle-ish
Learn English with Mingle-ish
January 18, 2022.
Verified
Excellent location in nature in The Portugese mountains. A very relaxing retreat with amazing hosts and great vibes. Chill out in a hammock with the chicken or go for a hike in the mountains and feel really refreshed after your stay. I can't wait to go back, I thoroughly reccommend it!!!
Carmen Kerschbaumer
Carmen Kerschbaumer
November 28, 2021.
Verified
Such a beautiful place. L and R are amazing hosts. Dont forget Svedgen the dog, we had such a lovley time there. Lots to discover, serene and tranquil. Just what we needed to get ready for another ten months of a hectic work schedule. Miss you!
Adriano Costa
Adriano Costa
November 8, 2021.
Verified
Eu e a minha companheira passamos um fim-de-semana na Gaia Retreat & Eco Hostel e foi realmente uma maravilhosa experi√™ncia de reconex√£o com a natureza. Para quem vive num meio mais stressante e agitado e sente necessidade de uma pausa da az√°fama acreditamos que aqui encontra o local ideal para tal. √Č um prazer desfrutar da paisagem do Minho logo ao acordar, melhor ainda √© sentirmo-nos englobados naquele ambiente de uma forma t√£o natural e num s√≠tio onde a vida √© feita em simbiose com a natureza e inspirada na pr√≥pria. H√° ainda a possibilidade de conhecer os trilhos pela serra, partes do Caminho de Santiago, ribeiros e lagoas muito bonitas nas proximidades. A comida √© fant√°stica, a Buff e o Rasmus sabem hospedar e deixar quem os visita super √† vontade. Recomendo a 100%!