Permaculturing in Portugal

One family's attempts to live in a more planet-friendly way


Government restrictions on free movement and assembly put in place in response to CoViD-19 very regrettably meant we had to cancel all our courses in 2020, some quite literally only at the last minute.

After 2019's great start to the quinta's career as an education centre and its ongoing recovery from the 2017 wildfires, this has been quite a considerable blow, not least in the resources invested in preparing for courses which could not then take place.

For 2021, we are resuming (circumstances permitting) our programme of Permaculture Design Certificate courses in partnership with Circle Permaculture. We've chosen July and August as being the months most likely to feature the least restrictions. July's PDC currently has just 2 places remaining and August’s only 3. Catch us while you can!.

We also hope to organise a rocket mass heater build and more natural building and vermicomposting toilet workshops, but for the moment are adopting a stance of watching and waiting to see how events unfold.

Students on the Permaculture Design Certificate course making compost

Keep an eye on this page for further developments or sign up for our newsletter below if you're interested in joining us.

Loading Events

« All Events

  • This event has passed.

Permaculture Design Course August 2021

August 8 - August 22

After 2019’s shiny beginnings to Quinta do Vale’s partnership with Circle Permaculture and last year’s big disappointments (fully booked courses cancelled at the last minute thanks to CoViD-19 restrictions), I’m delighted to be bringing the crew back to the quinta in 2021 to offer the full 72-hour certificated PERMACULTURE DESIGN COURSE! Endorsed by the Permaculture Association UK, George Christofis and team’s PDCs get enthusiastic reviews wherever they’ve held them (in Spain, Portugal and Sweden).

The course will run August 8th to 22nd 2021, with the option to stay on a further week for our Post-PDC Practical Course immediately afterwards.

Teachers will be Aline Van Moerbeke, Adriana Garcia Aparicio, Liselotte Willemijn and Wendy Howard.

Full details are on Circle Permaculture’s website.

Permaculture Design Course at Quinta do Vale

PDC practical session – sheet mulching to create new growing beds

Permaculture Design Course program

The 72-hour certificated Permaculture Design Course follows the curriculum as laid out in Permaculture co-founder Bill Mollison’s Permaculture – A Designer’s Manual, integrating co-founder David Holmgren’s Seven Domains of Permaculture Action. It covers subjects ranging from ethics and principles of permaculture, natural systems, aquaculture, sustainable design methods, patterns in nature, land restoration, water harvesting, grey water recycling, natural building, food forests and guilds, energy conservation, appropriate technology, renewable energy, urban permaculture and invisible structures.

The course teaches how to develop sustainable human settlements, and how to extend and preserve natural systems. The content will be covered between theoretical lectures and practical applications. The courses aim to utilise the collective intelligence of the group with engaging participatory classes.

You can view a schedule of 2019’s course here. The schedule gives a general idea of what to expect but will vary course to course.

Permaculture Design Course at Quinta do Vale


Accommodation is camping on designated pitches. Please bring your own tent and bedding. Alternatively, there is a comfortable caravan for 2-3 people and 2 pitches for camper vans. Bedding is not supplied for the caravan so please bring your own.

We have hot (solar-heated) showers and composting toilets. There is abundant off grid electricity for phone/tablet/laptop charging, free wifi onsite and course participants have the use of refrigeration/kitchen facilities/laundry plus the social/hang out space in the communal building and any evening activities (movies, etc) we might put on.

Phone signal is reasonable for all networks which can make use of Altice MEO’s infrastructure. Vodafone doesn’t get signal here, but you can connect from the village above us. There is also free wifi in the nearest village below us, along with a river beach and outdoor café.

Beyond the quinta, there’s a lively international social scene in summer revolving around the river beach and local cafés. There’s lots of music, local markets, events, workshops, parties and lots of opportunities to meet locals and the sizeable community of eco-immigrants in the area.

Permaculture Design Course at Quinta do Vale

Benfeita river beach

What to bring

  • comfortable clothes and clothes you don’t mind getting dirty
  • sturdy shoes
  • a swimsuit for the nearby river beach
  • tent (if camping), bedding and sleeping bag
  • flashlight/torch
  • ecological body care products
  • note taking (blank pages recommended) and drawing materials
  • musical instruments!

Students working on site designs during 2019’s PDC


€700 camping (please bring your own tent or camper van). Early bird discount price of €650 valid until April 15th.
€800 caravan twin or triple share (must be booked at the same time). Early bird discount price of €750 valid until April 15th.

There is a special non-resident rate of €550 for people living locally ONLY . We encourage you to consider staying onsite though as evening activities are an integral part of the course … not to mention good fun.

Prices include all meals (breakfast, mid-morning break, lunch and dinner). Please be sure to let us know of any special dietary requirements on the registration form.

Anyone who was booked to come on last September’s cancelled course who would like to come to this one, we will honour the prices you booked at last year. Please either reregister or let us know by email.

To sign-up for this course, please fill in the registration form and pay a deposit of €100. Please note that if you have to cancel for any reason we will refund 75% of your deposit provided we can fill your place. The refund can only be made once we’ve done so. If you would like to stay on for the Post-PDC Practical course, you can apply on the same form. Please note the deposit is then €25 extra.

Please note that I make learning opportunities and the facilities at the quinta available in good faith, but at your own risk. Accidents happen so please make sure you have adequate and appropriate health and travel insurance and are covered against injury to others as well as yourself.

Getting to Quinta do Vale

See the Getting here page.

If you would like to be collected from the nearest long-distance bus stop at Catraia de Mouronho, which is half an hour’s drive from the quinta, we ask for a contribution of 15€ per journey. Please mention this in the comments section of the application form. We’ll give you the opportunity to arrange to share journeys (and hence cost) with other course participants nearer the time.


Quinta do Vale
Benfeita, Coimbra 3305-031 Portugal + Google Map

Sign up to our mailing list if you'd like to be kept informed about upcoming courses at the quinta. (You can also elect to receive occasional newsletters about volunteering opportunities if you're interested, although please note you can apply to volunteer at any time.)


* indicates required

Please make sure you check the courses box below to make sure your name goes onto the right list. (You can check the other boxes as well if you're interested.) We send out different newsletters to each list.

Next Post

Previous Post

© 2021 Permaculturing in Portugal

Theme by Anders Norén