Guest Information

Cadence Coaching Wellness Retreat in Portugal
Guest Information

We look forward to welcoming you to The Cadence Coaching Wellness Retreat for Riders in Portugal!

The following information contains important details that will help you prepare for a magical week– please read it carefully and reach out to Jen at jen@jenverharen.com with any questions.

The Team

Jen Verharen is your organizer and head coach for the week. Eliza Romm will be in charge of travel logistics leading up to the retreat and the two of them will be present to assist you with concerns, questions, and any support you want or need during the week. We have put together a special Cadence Coaching Retreat Team who will be working collaboratively with the team at Wild View to make this retreat the best experience possible for you.

Our yoga teacher (TBD) will guide you through gentle hatha and vinyasa poses to support your health and wellness goals as well as your riding goals. Our fitness instructor is a certified personal trainer and experienced event rider. She will be teaching two fitness classes per day that are designed to be inclusive for all levels of fitness and experience. No previous experience in yoga or fitness is required- just a smile and an open mind!

If you have never done yoga or have a limited fitness level- no worries! All classes will be inclusive, progressive, and designed to meet you where you’re at regardless of your fitness level or experience.  The majority of us are riders leading busy lives and will not be showing up as super bendy yogis or fitness fanatics. We won’t be doing anything you can’t give a go. The classes will be fun and motivating. Our advice is to try everything and don’t compare your chapter 1 with someone else’s chapter 10. You will feel so GOOD at the end of the week if you try all the things.

Kimry Jelen is a celebrated equine artist. She’ll be teaching art classes during the retreat and offering up the possibility of art as a modality for healing and self-care as well as just being just plain fun!

Our nutritional therapist will be in-house periodically throughout the retreat. She will give nutrition and wellness talks on topics ranging from sleep to stress and hormones to detoxification. She’ll teach us about the food we’ll be eating and the philosophy behind the nutrition program at the retreat. She’ll also be available for small group break-out sessions on special topics so you can get all your nutrition questions answered by a top-notch expert in the field!

An exceptional local massage therapist will be in-house most afternoons during the retreat. As the retreat draws near, you will receive information about how to book your massages.

The local Wild View Team, including housekeepers, the chef, and the maintenance team, will work to take care of us in the background. Feel free to chat with them. They are delightful!

A Typical Day

Each day will be scheduled purposefully to allow you to build new healthy habits and structure into your life. There is plenty of time in the day for relaxation, typically during the hottest part of the afternoons. Sleep is key. Each day ends around 9:30 p.m. to encourage long recovery periods, and we will wake reasonably early to catch the sunrise.

7:30 Meditation

7:45 Yoga

8:45 Walk

10:00 Breakfast

10:45 Coaching/Inspiration/Education

11:30 Fitness

12:30 Breakout Sessions, Pool Time, Massages

2:30 Lunch

4:30 Fitness

5:15 Yin Yoga

6:00 Sauna and Pool

7:30 Dinner

8:15 Various things… like art classes and star gazing from the rooftop terrace

You can attend all the activities if you want or attend some of them. You can lie on your sun lounger or hang out by the pool all day. You can walk or run or swim or nap- it will be up to you to find the perfect balance of participation and rest- it’s all good!

The Food

We will provide delicious, plant-based meals carefully planned by a nutritional therapist in collaboration with the local Wild View chef to ensure optimal, clean nutrition during the week. You can eat as much healthy food as your body needs for fuel. Meals will be buffet style so you will never feel deprived or restricted. Portion control will be up to you. The meal schedule is designed to help you get the most benefit from the nutrients in the food while allowing for “digestive rest” between meals. This aids in the absorption and digestion of food to ensure optimum energy levels and model healthy lifestyle habits. Please note there will be no caffeine at the retreat so it is advisable to decrease or abstain from caffeine for a week or two before to detox and avoid nursing a mild headache during the retreat.

Prepare to RETREAT!

The Cadence Coaching Retreat for Riders in Portugal will be a healthy holiday. It will be a time to switch off, cleanse your body, and recharge your batteries. To get the most out of your week, we encourage you to take time to consider some simple preparation steps:

  1. One week before, reduce or eliminate alcohol.
  2. Two weeks before the retreat, taper your caffeine intake. You can use half-caf and black tea to decrease the amount of caffeine you drink and replace it with herbal tea by the start of the retreat. This will prevent caffeine headaches from detracting from your retreat experience.
  3. Decrease or eliminate added sugar, gluten, dairy products, and processed food one week before.
  4. If you have a full-on stressful lifestyle, take a few moments each day to sit quietly, take some deep breaths, and focus on preparing yourself for a week of relaxation and healing. If you don’t have a full-on stressful lifestyle, congrats!

These steps will give your body a gentle runway toward a week of clean eating. They’ll prevent you from having distracting side effects in the first few days of the retreat. If you continue to consume caffeine, sugar, and alcohol before you join the week, you can potentially have a mild detox headache and light digestive symptoms in the first few days of the retreat. This is nothing to worry about, but it’s better to prepare in the prior weeks to maximize the value of your retreat experience.

You’re about to make an incredible investment in yourself- enjoy the process and the anticipation!

Traveling to Wild View

Wild View is an easy 40-minute drive from Portugal’s southernmost city, Faro. Faro is in The Algarve, which is known for its warm weather and gorgeous beaches. It is one of the most popular areas in Portugal to visit. (If you’d like us to arrange your transfer from Faro to Wild View and back, please let us know as soon as possible by purchasing your transfer here.)

Faro is a three-hour train ride from the Oriente Station in Lisbon, Portugal’s central hub and capital. You can book your train ticket here or shop around online. We recommend the beautiful train ride! The train ticket costs around $35.

Faro is also a one-hour flight from Lisbon Airport. You can book flights to Faro from Lisbon here or you can shop around online.

You can fly from the US to Lisbon or directly to Faro from some hubs in the US. We recommend booking your flight to Portugal (Lisbon or Faro) several months in advance to get reasonable pricing and more flexible flight options.

Group Transfers between Faro and Wild View on arrival day (4:30-10:30) and departure day (6:00 a.m. and 10:30 a.m.) are available for a single fee of $75 per person, round trip. Please sign up and pay for this as soon as possible so we can book the taxis. This is a safe, enjoyable, and stress-free way to start and end the retreat. We will pack a boxed lunch for you on departure day to ease your re-entry!

Once you have registered for the Faro-Wild View transfers, send your flight or travel information to Eliza at elizasydnor@gmail.com. Please write “CCR Travel” in the subject line. We can have you picked up at the Faro Train Station or the Faro Airport. Our taxi transfer company will email you 3-5 days before your transfer to make contact and provide details about where to meet. They will have your mobile number and flight time to track your flight. They will try to ensure you do not wait more than 30 minutes. The average time from arrival in Faro to check-in at Wild View is 1-2 hours, depending on baggage claim and passport control queues.

If you arrive in Faro in the morning and don’t want to wait at the airport until 4:30 pm, you can head to the Faro train station by taxi (€10-15). Leave your bags at the “left luggage” office at the Faro Train Station (€2-3) and explore the old town and harbor area for a few hours. We can then collect you from the Faro Train station at 4:30 instead of at the airport. Likewise, if your flight home is late in the day following the retreat, you can be dropped in the old town and make your way later, to the airport.

Check-In / Check-Out Time

Check-in starts at 5:00 pm on the 24th. Upon your arrival, one of our team will greet you for a tour. Dinner will be served at 7:30 followed by a brief orientation. We ask you to kindly not arrive before 5:00 for check-in as there will be no staff to receive you because we’ll be busy getting the retreat ready for you! If you arrive later than 8:00 pm, we will save dinner for you, and you will still be met by one of our team members who will show you to your room. Communication is key! You will be given a retreat contact to use via WhatsApp once you’re in Portugal, and Eliza will also contact you via email.

Check-out is before 10:30 a.m. on Saturday, May 31st. We will schedule your return transfer to Faro as early as necessary, but the final van leaves at 10:30 a.m. We will pack you a box lunch to ease your transition into post-retreat life!

Purchase your Faro-Wild View Transfer Here.

Packing

What to bring:

  • Water bottle to fill up and drink tons! (glass is not allowed at the pool)
  • Sturdy walking shoes and or gym shoes
  • Comfy summer shoes/flip flops /crocs to get to the pool
  • Several sets of gym/yoga clothes to avoid the need to wash them
  • A small sweat towel for the gym
  • Warm fleece/jacket for breezy mornings and evenings.
  • 1 or 2 sets of casual relaxation clothes- think pool, hammock, lounging
  • Hat for sun protection
  • Sunglasses
  • Eco/organic sunscreen
  • Ear plugs if you are a light sleeper and sharing a room
  • Medications and/or supplements you take
  • Euros for massages and tips- Stop at an exchange kiosk called a “cambio” at the airport, use a cash machine, or go to a “Banco de Portugal” to exchange dollars for euros.
  • Your favorite poetry and/or music to share

What not to bring

  • Towels (provided)
  • Hair dryers (provided)
  • Alcohol
  • Food (provided!)
  • Yoga mats (provided)
  • Shampoo and shower gel (provided)
  • Mugs or glasses (provided)
  • Pool basket totes are provided

Laundry

Water is a cherished and limited resource in the Algarve. There will be no laundry services available during the retreat. We recommend you bring enough clothing for the whole week or lightweight items that can be hand-washed and will dry quickly. Drying racks are provided in rooms, and the warm, breezy weather makes hand washing a brilliant solution if you like to pack light!

Massage

We will have a great local massage therapist available in the afternoons during the retreat. Massages are €70 for one hour (PLEASE BRING CASH IN EUROS). (You can stop at an exchange kiosk called a “cambio” at the airport, use a cash machine, or go to a “Banco de Portugal” to exchange dollars for euros.) We recommend you book your massage about four weeks before the retreat. We’ll send you information about how to do that as the retreat draws closer.

Excursions

There are recreational and cultural opportunities in the local area that are not a part of the retreat experience but that you may arrange on your own. We provide you with information here to assist you in making your travel plans.

Water

Wild View is in the wilderness, and the Algarve experiences yearly droughts. We will need to conserve water during our stay. Please be mindful of your water use—only flush if needed, limit showers by turning off water when applying soap, and refrain from washing clothes in the shower. Drinking water is provided in filtered water fountains—please bring a water bottle to fill up.

Sunscreen and Bed Linen

We politely request that you do not lay on the white bed linen in the rooms with sunscreen on, as it will stain and cause the linen to need to be discarded.

We recommend using an eco-sunscreen like Jason to avoid toxicity to your skin and contamination of the linen, pool water, and sun loungers.

Fire Risk Prevention

Wild View is in a high-fire risk area in the Serra da Calderão mountains in the Algarve. It will not yet be too hot and dry when we’re there in May, but the annual fires in Portugal cause devastation and severe losses to communities. As a result, we have a strict no smoking, candles, or open flame policy and ask that you respect this. The massage therapist and yoga instructor may burn incense in the yoga studio or treatment room – these are the only exceptions.

Private Waste System

Wild View has a private biological system for waste that gets blocked if waste products are discarded down the toilet. Please be careful not to put anything down the toilets besides toilet paper, or it will block your toilet and the whole system for others. Facial wipes, sanitary products, and cotton balls are the main offenders. Please put them in the bin provided.

Cleaning, Towels, and Glass

We provide sun lounger towels for use by the pool and bathroom towels for use in your rooms only. Please do not take your bathroom towels to the yoga studio or pool. To avoid unnecessary water use, we do not routinely clean rooms or replace towels during the week but will be very happy to replace towels or linens if needed. Please refrain from taking glass or mugs to the pool. If you take a cup of tea to your room, please bring it back so it can be reused. Thank you!

WiFi and Social Media

So you get the most out of the retreat experience, we encourage you to detox your mind and body. We will try to limit the use of digital devices in communal areas except for photos. It’s fun to break the habit of looking at your phone reflexively. Prepare your friends and contacts at home to respect your week away. We know that horse, job, family, and business responsibilities do not totally disappear, though, so WiFi and cell phone service are available full-time on-site. Please do not stream videos in your rooms, however, as it will block access for others.

Insurance

We recommend that you take out travel insurance for your trip, including coverage for medical expenses and travel issues. Squaremouth is a great place to start.

Health and Liability Waiver Form

Please fill out the online health form and liability waiver. This is required to help us ensure you have a safe, successful retreat. Please disclose all relevant information and provide any intolerances or dietary requests on the health form ASAP but no later than 12 weeks before the retreat date. If you fail to do so, we reserve the right to cancel your reservation and issue a refund. This is so we have all the necessary information in advance to assess if the retreat is appropriate for you. We will not be able to cater to any dietary requirements that are not disclosed on the health form in advance. We reserve the right to review the health form and cancel and refund your booking if we find the retreat may be inappropriate for you. Thank you for understanding.

Check-in and Check-out times

The retreat opens for arrival at 5 p.m. on Saturday, May 24th. Check-out time is Saturday, May 31st, by 10:30 a.m. We will help arrange your transfer times accordingly and ask you to adhere to these times so the Wild View staff can do their jobs.

Terms and conditions

As a part of the registration process, you agreed to the Cadence Coaching Terms & Conditions and released Island Equestrian Inc./Cadence Coaching and Wild View retreat from liability. You may review the Terms & Conditions here.  Let us know if you have any questions.

Feedback

This is the pilot iteration of this particular retreat and our first time running a program outside of the US! We ask that you collaborate with us to make it a fantastic experience for all involved. Your ongoing feedback will be vital to the success of this endeavor and will help us decide whether to take on this massive undertaking again! We expect you to have a wonderful time, and if, for any reason, something is not right, we would much rather have the opportunity to fix the issue than have you leave the retreat disappointed. Please let us know about it in person during the week, and we will do everything we can to fix it.

IT IS AN HONOR TO HAVE YOU ALONG FOR THIS RIDE.

See you soon!