1 Month PDC & Ecobuilding experience
10th September - 8th October 2022 / Suryalila Retreat Centre, Spain
Reconnect with yourself, and the land, on our unique fully immersive four-week eco and wellness experience.
Based at one of the best yoga retreat centres in the world, become certified in permaculture design and learn eco-building techniques while living in a creative community, enjoying delicious vegeterian cuisine and practicing a daily yoga session surrounded by the stunning Andalusian countryside.
Let the joy of living in a holistic retreat centre lift your soul, as you become equipped with an invaluable tool-kit for a conscious and sustainable life.
Welcome to Danyadara's PDC & Eco-building experience!
Frances Osborn, Diploma in Applied Permaculture
Emilio Gilabert, Farm Manager
and Fermin Olalla, Eco-builder
Come study with us! Check the experience in the videos below.
Watch the whole PDC & Eco-building movie shot by the talented BBC filmmaker Michael Reilly here!!
How is our PDC & Eco-building course special?
Whether you want to boost your well-being or take a career break, our PDC & Eco-building experience will change your life.
Providing you with the skills to live a holistic life in harmony with nature, this unique one month course will teach you how to use and implement different eco-building techniques in small constructions and create an organic vegetable garden while nourishing mind, body and soul in the heart of Andalusia.
Over 4 transformative weeks, you will embark on an accredited permaculture design course (PDC) combining hands-on experience in the garden with classroom time where you will learn about vital topics in today's times such as syntropic farming and agroforestry.
The PDC will be integrated with an expertly led practical course in eco-building where you will learn how to create a sustainable small constructions from the ground up using organic, natural materials.
As you learn with us, you will be welcomed into the arms of a supportive yoga community and nourished with a daily yoga session, delicious vegetarian food, dips in the salt water swimming pool, meditation, inspiring discussions, outdoor pursuits, cultural excursions and much more.
Keep reading below or...
Meet your host - a spectacular world-class yoga retreat centre
Suryalila Retreat Centre is located on the site of an ancient olive oil mill nestled at the foothills of the stunning Sierra de Grazalema National Park. Directed by master yoga teacher Vidya Heisel, Suryalila is listed as one of the ten best retreat centres in the world and has been awarded a Trip Advisor Certificate of Excellence.
We, at Danyadara, are the nonprofit sister project of Suryalila, on a mission to fight desertification in Southern Spain through using permaculture principles. Since starting in 2016, we have transformed an arid stretch of land in Andalusia into a green, organic edible landscape by planting a food forest with 5,000 saplings, creating a flourishing vegetable garden, implementing systems to harvest precious water, regenerating an organic olive grove and working with our farm animals to help manage the land and boost soil health.
We are excited to share our journey with you on our 1 month PDC and eco-building experience where you will live the magic of joining in a friendly community where all who come here are offered an experience of profound beauty, wholesomeness, well-being, human warmth, respect and care.
Our ultimate PDC & Eco-building experience includes...
By the end of the course you will be certified in Permaculture Design by REPESEI, the permaculture association of the south west of the Iberian Peninsula with over 30 years of existence.
Sleep in an eco house
Once a derelict swimming pool, Casa Azul has been transformed into a sustainable eco-build with four separate bedrooms (2 double rooms in bunk beds, 2 individual rooms), a cosy communal living space, living roof planted with succulents and eco showers set within organic olive groves with grazing animals. Or sleep in the Gingerbread house, our newest eco-casa with two bedrooms. Other accommodations also possible.
Ask for more info!
60 hours of classes
To compliment your time in the garden and eco-building, you will receive daily classroom time where you will learn the theory behind the practical.
40 practical hours
Gain hands-on experience growing food and flowers in a Mediterranean climate following permaculture principles - skills which can be adapted and applied anywhere from an urban garden to a small holding and building small constructions with different eco-building techniques
1 cultural excursion/ visit to local eco projects
Enjoy a trip to local beauty spots such as a walk along the El Bosque River; a scenic hike up a well preserved Roman road from Ubrique to Benaocaz or a visit inspiring regenerative projects in the area that make a difference at grassroots level
Daily yoga practice
Through out the course, you will be welcomed into expertly taught Vinyasa and Restorative yoga classes held in Suryalila's beautiful yoga shalas and spaces.
World-class vegetarian food
Enjoy delicious and nutritious organic vegetarian buffets a day lovingly prepared with seasonable produce many of them harvested from the garden as well as access to a selection of fresh fruits and beverages.
Great community spirit
Feel supported, nurtured and inspired within the arms of our creative, positive and international community where freedom of expression and respect for others are actively encouraged and held in the up most regard.
Danyadara PDC has been a learning experience on how to approach a community garden. I thought the mix of theory and practical experimental work allowed for overall skill development. All the tasks I have been involved in and the knowledge from the PDC, have helped me to see what might be necessary to living permaculture and integrating with the traditions from our culture to create a wholly balanced lifestyle.
Sam Bruton - Farmer and Permaculture Designer
A fantastic course in a superb location, Danyadara PDC is at the forefront of reversing desertification in Andalucia. They have created a unique balance of theoretical and practical teaching. Living on site this PDC is an opportunity not to be missed.
Richard Stringer - Land Artist and Permaculture Designer
Meet your amazing PDC & Eco-building Teachers
Emilio is the onsite farm manager at Danyadara.
Emilio has been living a simple life in the countryside for over a decade, cultivating the land and actively practicing agroecology.
The search for a healthier and more respectful life choices with Mother Earth led him to train in Yoga, Meditation, Health and vegetarian cooking, organic farming and mindfulness.
Together with his partner he founded the project Terrasukha, a mindful farm where a self-sustaining life was practiced in connection with earth-body-mind and spirit, until the universe presented him with to opportunity to manage Danyadara.
His objective is to create a 'green lung', a 'school of flavours of the earth' and a native forest that recreates and shelters the ecosystem that 100 years ago reigned in this region of Spain.
Fermin Olalla is a passionate teacher of the self-sufficient way of life.
Teacher and designer of green building houses, he has lived in the Matavenero ecovillage since 2003 where he has developed most of his work with eco-constructive techniques.
Specialist in working with natural stone, earth, wooden structures and construction with straw bales. He developed a multitude of projects with Tom Rijven and his CST technique.
His experience in community work and in construction with students, makes him prioritize aspects such as health and safety in construction, group integration, and cooperative and joyful work.
The course will run Monday - Friday every week.
On the first Sunday, 11th of September you will have a welcome meeting, introduction and tour of the grounds!
Weekends are off for homework and relaxation.
The PDC & Eco-building course include 5-6 daily hours of theory and work in our the permaculture farm or on different eco- building projects depending on the day and weather conditions.
* Please note that all work hours are contributing to our farm and nonprofit permaculture projects and are sometimes routine. The low overall cost price of this extended retreat reflects the fact that you are also contributing labour.
Your accommodation - The unique Casa Azul
Stay with your retreat friends in our latest eco-building, a renovated swimming pool built by eco-builder Glenn Dunne. Check it out below!
Besides, you can choose to stay on Suryalila grounds in a lovely yurt, glamping tent or come with your van!
Taking part in the Danyadara PDC will forever be a memorable experience. Each day outside in the beautiful landscape, observing, designing, digging, planting, watering, daydreaming! For me, the course highlighted how creative you can be within the framework of permaculture. How it can be applied in many diverse ways. Because of this, Danyadara has given me the confidence to move forward with my own future projects..
Lou Baker - University Student and Permaculture Designer
How much does it cost?
Prices for this 4 week Permaculture & Eco-Building immersive experience start at
(depending on the type of accomodation / vanlife also possible):
Come with a friend or a partner and reduce your fee up to
The price includes all living expenses at Suryalila, plus use of the facilities, vegetarian meals, daily yoga class, training and certification.
Please see above for all the details of what the course includes, and fill the form below if you have further questions or if you want to book!
This is a practical course which implies physical work so you need to be in good overal health to participate.
The low overall cost price of this extended stay reflects the fact that you are also contributing labour.
* Minimum number of participants for the PDC is 10