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The Algarve, Portugal




17nd - 22nd September



Would you like to release to relax , restore & find peace, whilst supported in a beautiful natural environment, minutes from the ocean? 



We are so happy to offer the opportunity to join Transform to Bliss in the expansive space of the Algarve.
Our Transform to Bliss Wellness/Yoga Space is surrounded by lush nature gardens & a few minutes walk from the ocean. A beautiful nature connected environment to support you in that transformation to your original state of bliss.
Letting go & releasing all the tensions, the patterns & the conditions that prevent us living our best lives as we connect deeper to Mother Nature, the beauty & wildness of the South West Algarve & to ourselves.

Journey withTransform to Bliss & have the opportunity to enjoy..

Transformational Yoga & Meditation, Feminine or/& Full Moon Ceremonies, Chakra awareness practices, Self enquiry, Yoga Nidra, Kirtan, Releasing dance, Ceremonial Cacao, Breath work, Ayurveda, Reiki, Massage & Ocean swims. 
All of these are options, create your own retreat to give you what you want & when.

 Join Joanne & Marco Merlini in the Vidyanand Yoga School, Portugal.

Joanne, a Yoga Alliance Grand Master of Transformational Yoga & Meditation, Reiki practioner & Ceremony space holder & Marco Merlini ~ Ayurvedic Practioner for diet & lifestyle.

We will hold the space for you with a beautiful team offering the additional options of Kirtan, Breath work, Massage, etc..

In a wonderful location surrounded by beautiful gardens, views of the ocean & within walking distance of 2 beautiful sea front villages, our space will facilitate a deepening of the connection to the authentic you & encourage a state of joy, calm & bliss. 




Transfomational Yoga is a classical Yoga system originating in Tiruvanamalai, South India. The creation of Sri Swami Vidyanand who received the teachings from The Mother & Sri Aurobindo. This integral practice brings awareness to the chakras (energy centres), the elements that make up our bodies & to the present moment. 

A practice blending the Asana element of Yoga, with Pranayama, Meditation & Mantra, you will leave the practice feeling more centred, more bliss!

Joanne trained under the direct guidance or Swamiji in Southern India 2017-2019 to Grand Master level Yoga Alliance level & was granted the opportunity to open the Vidyanand Yoga School, Portugal.


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Meditation is the aim of our Yoga, to bring us to stillness, to peace, to centre. 
Each practice will hold an element of meditation & we will also offer solely meditation practices to connect you to this space. 

There may be ocean meditations, moon meditations, walking meditation & element meditation. All guided by Joanne.

'To realise the Self is to be still'

~ Ramana Maharshi



Ceremony & ritual is a integral part of what we offer, both in classes & on retreats in our light filled studio.
A beautiful way to come together in candle lit circle, honouring where we are & diving deep into our subconscious.
This may connect to the  Full or New Moon (timing dependent) & include releasing dance, pranayama, conscious enquiry, journaling, oracle cards, grounding or future self meditations, cacao & medicine songs. We'll go with the flow of the group.

To bring ritual & ceremony into our practice & into our life is the celebration of life, a deep grounding practice to ourselves, knowing we are part of a greater whole. A deep surrender in grace.


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Cacao gives the opportunity to tune into the beauty of your own heart, 
We use a Ceremonial grade Cacao from Peru which gives access to stuck emotions, clearing & tuning in to our inner truth. 

She is a powerful Plant Medicine that helps us to release emotional blockages, find forgiveness, love and may give insights of our future path.
Cacao is known for its many health benefits & also contains anandamide, the 'bliss molecule'.

 We will take you on a Cacao journey during our Ceremonies, It is a beautiful journey! 



Breathwork is an active healing breathing practice held to music.

The session invites you into an altered state of consciousness to release blocked emotions,stress and supports the body to clear toxins. A powerful experience offering profound shifts to encourage clarity, relaxation & a deep sense of Bliss. The session is held by the lovely Maaike who has been working with us since our opening. 

Reiki, a beautiful healing therapy, will leave you feeling relaxed, empowered & incredibly centered. Based on an ancient Japanese Healing Technique, you will receive the treatment fully clothed & relaxed on a massage table or grounded on a blanket in our treatment room.



Ayurveda is the 5000 year old holistic healing system of the East. Ayurveda meaning life science is considered to be the Sister science of Yoga. Ayurveda aims to bring balance back to the system to prevent & treat imbalance, illness & disease, treating you as a holistic individual.

A natural therapy of lifestyle changes, diet alterations & herbs are able to treat many health problems.

Marco, a practitioner of Ayurveda, gives the opportunity of consultations during our retreat. With a deep passion in his work & what it can bring, he brings his intuitive, loving & fun nature to bring you back to balance & health. 


Our Algarve retreat is set in the beautiful grounds of The Quinta do Mar da Luz overlooking the

Ocean in the South West of the Algarve.

Quinta Do Mar da Luz translates to 'Country Estate of the ocean that gives light'

From the palm tree grounds there are views to the blue ocean & breath taking walks along the cliffs & beautiful light!

When we arrived, The Quinta took our breath away. We have traveled extensively & for us the gardens have the feel of Bali or Thailand, beautiful flowers, palm trees, banana trees & exotic birds singing at sunset.

We are within walking distance of the fishermen villages of Luz & Burgau with their cafe's & restaurants &
within 1 hrs drive of Faro airport.

There are stunning walking trails from villages to villages (known as the Fisherman trails), the choice of some amazing secluded coves, sandy beaches & so much nature & beauty all around.

The Quinta do Mar da Luz will offer you a bungalow or apartment or a Portuguese style room, with a terrace or balcony, a private en-suite bathroom & privacy to really retreat.

The extensive grounds are perfect to sit and enjoy the sun, there are 3 swimming pools to choose from, a tennis court & different terraces with amazing views. 

There is our large & light indoor 'Transform to Bliss' Studio with garden views where we offer our evening sessions & ceremonies  & our outside wooden Yoga Shala with sea views to practice morning yoga (weather dependent)

We may bring some of our practices to the cliffs for sunset & on the beach which are minutes away from the Quinta.

We have the option of a treatment room & a Steam room within the studio to really release & relax.

The location of our retreat space means you have the opportunity to be as anonymous as you feel, attend as many offerings as you feel & really connect to the nature surrounding you.
We actively encourage you to co-create a retreat that is perfect for you.

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The grounds of our retreat, outdoor Shala, accommodation & beaches 


This is a suggestion & is subject to change, to weather & to what you would like from your retreat



16:30 Arrive with us for a welcome opening gathering, cleanse & intention set, Universal card message for your journey & a grounding meditation to invite you to fully arrive.

18:30 Dinner

08:30-09:30  Transformational Yoga

09:30-10:30   Brunch @ the Quinta

11:00-13:30    Options of Yogic Talk, Ayurvedic Consultation, Breath work, Beach time, Swim, Relax @ the Quinta, Cliff walk, Reiki, Massage (design your own)

13:30-14:30   Lunch time
If you'd like to reserve a lunch with us @ the Quinta, 24hrs notice requested (or the freedom to go out & see what you find)

14:30-17:00   As 11-13:30

17:00-18:15 / 18:30-19:45 / 18:00 - 20:00
Afternoon Yoga..
(Tues) Chakra Activation Yoga 

(Wed) Kirtan
(Thurs) Yoga, Relaxation & Meditation

19:00 + Evening Meal 
As Lunch 

Or on Ceremony days ~ Ceremony from 19:30 (dinner eaten before)


08:30-09:30  Transformational Yoga

09:30-10:30   Brunch @ the Quinta

11:00 Closing Circle & shares/hugs

We can adapt to what you would like to receive from your retreat & it is your choice to build it as you wish.

All Classes are optional.
Do as little or as much as feels right.  


The Brunch is a buffet style brunch held in the beautiful gardens of our retreat space after a morning practice.
Think juices, coffee/tea, pastries, fruit, granola, salad, yogurt, eggs, toast, croissant, pastel de nata!

(If you prefer to make your own, then please request an apartment)

We live within 3 minutes drive (or 20 min walk) to the nearest village with a choice of restaurants & cafes should you wish to explore the area for lunch & dinner.
If on the days you choose to stay around the Quinta, we are able to cater on occasion, just let us know 24 hrs before. 

We have plenty of experience of retreat catering & choose for healthy, wholesome vegetarian offerings & are able to cater for most intolerances.





Having held Retreats in the South of Spain & the UK for the last 4 years, we chose to make Portugal our home in November 2020, or rather Portugal chose us. 
After years of searching for a place we could feel at home, connect to the land, to community & be able to offer what we love, the lock down was the push that made it all happen. We'll share more with you when we meet, but for now..this is us, Joanne from the UK & Marco, Dutch & Italian, coming together to hold space for you, with love. 

To read more about Joanne & her style, her why, her passion, click here


Contact us & lets plan your experience..

The Options & how to book? -

We offer a 'create your own retreat' concept. 
Giving the opportunity to choose your dates (obviously we'd need to discuss & make sure we're here!),
length of your stay, the type of accommodation you'd prefer (self catered apartment, ensuite room, etc), how often you come to classes, if you'd like to experience any other offerings (Kirtan, ceremony, breath session, etc), if you'd like to eat out & experience Portuguese cuisine or you'd like some catered meals in your room/apartment.

Build it how you would like so you get the most of your time. 

The cost of this is built up from what you choose..



From £40/night (Low season ~ Nov-March)


£125/ night (High season ~ July & August)

(More if you choose a self catered apartment & less if you choose to share with a friend/partner)



If you'd like to enjoy brunch at the Quinta & reserve an en-suite room, this is included. 
Should you reserve a self catering apartment, you are able to enjoy brunch when you wish for an additional £10.

For any days you wish to eat at the Quinta (relaxing on the terraces or round the pool),  please give us 24 hrs notice & we can arrange this. 
Lunch & Evening Meals ~ £15


Our timetable changes through the seasons.
For any classes that are being held when you arrive the class is £12/E12

Should you like additional classes that are not on the timetable, this will be classed as a private class & will be £50/E50

(Currently in July I am teaching 3 mornings & 2 evenings a week)

+ Breath Session £25 if joining a group (typically Wednesday morning) or £65 2 hr session (if private)

+ Massage (60 mins) £55

+ Ayurvedic Consulation (75 mins) £60

+ Reiki (60 mins) £50

+ Kirtan ~ typically Wednesday evenings (120 mins) £10


You are very welcome & encouraged to hire a car & see more of the beautiful Algarve. 
This may be the way you arrive from the airport. 


We can also arrange an Airport Taxi transfer. The cost of this is quite high & reflective of the Motorway tolls & fuel prices.  Currently a one way trip to Faro airport is £90 ~ this can be divided if you share the ride. 
Should we be free & have transport, it may be possible for one of us to collect you/drop you off at a cost that simply covers our costs or fuel & toll, but this cannot be guaranteed. 

There will also be the option of a collection from Lagos.

Once you arrive, there are options of hiring a moped, catching a local bus or an uber should you not hire a car. 
We are also walking distance to 2 villages & beaches. 



We are so blessed to live in the most amazing location where there are so many opportunities to experience a range of offerings. 
You may wish to accompany Joanne to a Satsang with Ganga Mira, or a Medicine singing circle, an ecstatic dance, a sound session with crystal bowls..

There are beautiful beaches to swim & 3 pools at the Quinta if swimming is your activity of choice. 
We also have a tennis court on site & have rackets should you wish to play. 

We can put you in contact with Kayaking, Surf or Stand Up Paddle board operators.


There is so much on offer, yet we are nestled in a quiet location deeply connected to nature!


Join us in November for 5 nights with a friend/partner & opt for a en-suite room with  terrace, brunch & 3 morning Yoga sessions with 2 afternoon classes ~ £160 each

Add a couple of meals & a breath session to make it £215 each

Join us in September for 5 nights alone & opt for a en-suite room with terrace, brunch & 3 morning Yoga sessions with 2 afternoon classes ~ £420

As you can see from the prices, our offerings are very reasonable. 
This does mean you are joining the classes that are already on offer, rather than having an exclusive retreat experience. We will leave you to your own devices, but of course we would love to interact & share some beautiful moments with you also! It is an opportunity to experience an affordable connection with us in the Algarve & be as involved with our offerings as you wish. 



£100 deposit secures your space


  • Flights

  • Transfers

  • Covid tests or visa

  • Insurance

  • Food and drink outside of the Quinta

  • Massage or other treatments outside of your chosen retreat plan

  • Please arrange your own travel insurance.






COVID_19 ~ Should we feel the need or be forced to cancel the retreat, your payment will either be transferred to another date or be completely refunded.

Please also note, a visa to travel to Portugal may be required, as may tests for your arrival dependent on your departure location & vaccination status.

Please read our terms & conditions prior to booking. ​







Payment is possible by bacs transfer or Paypal

Deposit by Bank Transfer to -

Joanne Merlini

Sort Code - 40 40 22

Account Number - 11417290


Payment can be made in 3 installments 

Please talk to us is this is difficult - we are very open & flexible 

Book in confidence

Payment options

Need more convincing?

Read some of what the 2018, 2019 & 2022 Retreaters said at the end of their beautiful Retreats -

'I am at the airport full of salt & sand..and taking so many beautiful memories of this week with me, it's been a really special time.

Thank you so much for everything xx'

'So much more than a Yoga Retreat. Everything was so carefully thought out from
adventure to meditation - A joy!' 

'100+ - A beautiful retreat, very relaxing. Leaving feeling refreshed.

Great new friends made & enjoyed many new experiences.
Thank you - life changing in fact'

We look forward to welcoming you in paradise!

Much love & Namaste

Joanne x

On our retreats we'll go deeper into Transformational Yoga, to the connection to you, releasing in a fun supportive way & explore ways to connect with our dormant energy.

To allow us to be our best selves, to feel calm & present, to stop the chattering mind, release blockages in our
bodies, emotions, minds & hearts, connect with our hearts & inner guidance & to hopefully
touch that place of bliss.

Encouraged by a beautiful setting & supported every step of the way, come & Transform to Bliss with us. 

~ We have seen real magic happen on retreats since we started our offerings in 2017. 
Big releases, realisations, life changes (incl a lady in her 70's moving to France to renovate a farmhouse, job changes to step into self employment & shifts in priorities) everything is possible when you take some time to go inwards!

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