The ultimate permaculture, eco-building & yoga retreat experience.
Reconnect with yourself, and the land, on our unique fully immersive three-month eco and wellness experience.
Based at one of the best yoga retreat centres in the world, become certified in permaculture design and learn the art of eco-building while living in a creative community, enjoying delicious farm-to-table cuisine and practicing daily yoga sessions 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 ultimate PDC & Eco-building Retreat!
with Jacob Evans, Farm Manager
Nadia Glaesner, Soil Scientist
and Liam Colfer, Eco-builder
Suryalila Retreat Centre, Spain
January 4 - March 28 2020 (ongoing!)
April 4 - June 27 2020
September 12 - December 5 2020
Come study with us. Check the experience in the video below.
How is our PDC & Eco-building Retreat special?
Whether you want to boost your well-being, learn how to live off-grid or take an enriching career break, our PDC & Eco-building Retreat will change your life.
Providing you with the skills to live a holistic life in harmony with nature, this unique 12 week course will teach you how to build your own natural cob house and create an organic vegetable garden while nourishing mind, body and soul in the heart of Andalusia.
Over 12 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 cob house 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 daily vinyasa yoga sessions, 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 respected 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 new 3-month PDC and Eco-building Retreat where you will experience the magic of living 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 Retreat includes...
By the end of the course you will be certified in Permaculture Design by the Permaculture Association UK.
Sleep in an eco house
Once a derelict swimming pool, Casa Azul has been transformed into a sustainable eco-build with four separate bedrooms (two people per room), a cosy communal living space, living roof planted with succulents and eco showers set within organic olive groves with grazing animals.
120 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.
240 hours of gardening
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.
3 cultural excursions
Enjoy trips to local beauty spots such as a walk along the El Bosque River with its hidden crystal clear rock pools; a scenic hike up a well preserved Roman road from Ubrique to Benaocaz and a visit to Grazalema, a traditional Andalusian white washed village nestled in the beautiful Grazalema National Park.
3 visits to local eco-projects
Build your network and gain ideas with informative and educational visits to inspiring regenerative projects in the area which are making a difference at a 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 three delicious and nutritious farm to table organic vegetarian buffets a day lovingly prepared with seasonable produce 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, taught by the passionate land manager Jacob Evans. Living on site this PDC is an opportunity not to be missed.
Richard Stringer - Land Artist and Permaculture Designer
Meet your PDC & Eco-building Retreat Teachers
Farm Manager and Teacher
Having stepped out of normal life in England at 19, Jacob Evans has been on a journey of cultural exploration, working and studying in organic farms and sustainable living centres in Spain, Thailand and Latin America.
His diverse experiences in varied climates and contexts has shaped his passion for permaculture, local food production and regenerative agriculture, which he is now implementing at Suryalila Retreat Centre as the Farm Manager of their nonprofit permaculture farm Danyadara.
Since arriving in June 2016, Jacob has planted over 6000 trees, manages the organic olive orchard, edible landscaping and animal rotation while observing the land and improving the eco system function year after year. He has transformed the dry landscape into a green oasis filled with Mediterranean vegetation through intelligent design and is on a mission to transform agriculture in Andalusia.
Nadia Glaesner PhD
A strong interest in the environment inspired Nadia to take a MSc in environmental chemistry which continued into a PhD and a 11 year long research career in soil fertility.
She has researched nutrient availability of organic waste products as well as nutrient losses from fields to water bodies using both high and low tech approaches.
In 2014 she took a permaculture design certificate and has since applied the principles of permaculture in her everyday life. She believes that observing and mimicking nature leads to a sustainable way of taking care of ourselves and the planet.
Liam Colfer is a nomadic craftsman and a master traditional builder having worked with hand tools since he was as tall as a chisel.
Liam has spent most of his life building boats and houses as well as maintaining helicopters and lighthouses both in Ireland, throughout Europe and Australia. He has always been passionate about sustainability and working with the Earth’s natural cycles and has now turned his hand to eco building combining all the knowledge and inspiration that he has picked up from the unique and wonderful projects he has worked on.
Liam’s teaching style is in the Irish tradition, passing on knowledge through music, stories and craic. He brings his creative energy into every project he manages taking inspiration from his studies in medieval architecture and the wealth of inspiration he has picked up from his years of travelling, living off grid and studying ancient builds and new techniques.
Learn a wide range of building skills with Liam in a calm, creative, relaxed and fun environment.
The course will run Saturday - Wednesday every week.
Thursday and Friday are for homework and relaxation.
8:00: Daily Yoga Class - Vinyasa Flow
9:30 - 10:00: Breakfast
10.00 - 12.00: Theory with Nadia on Mon/Tue/Wed
12.00 - 1.30pm: Work with Jacob on our permaculture projects or with Glenn on eco- building alternating weeks.
1.30 - 2.30pm: Lunch break.
2.30 - 5.30pm: Work with Jacob on our permaculture projects or with Glenn on eco- building alternating weeks.
5.30 - 7pm: Theory with Nadia on Sat
5:30 - 7pm: On available days - Restorative or Yin Yoga class
* 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 your eco-building teacher Glenn Dunne. Check it out below!
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?
This three month Permaculture & Eco-Building immersive experience has a price of
When you book for April before the end of February, you can join for only
The price includes all living expenses at Suryalila, plus use of the facilities, three vegetarian meals per day, daily yoga classes, 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!