I’m kind of kicking myself for not posting earlier about my yoga trip to Casa de Carrasco.
And do you know why I am able to actually kick myself?
Because I’m quite bendy, that’s why! And all thanks go to the wonderful world of yoga.
Earlier this year, my friend, Christine, and I decided to find a yoga retreat to spend our last Spanish hurrah together. Christine has been my oldest and dearest friend since I moved to Spain and now she’s back in California permanently. Joder.
Anyway, after much deliberation, we decided on Casa de Carrasco, a yoga retreat located high in the hills of the Serra de Cardo Natural Park. We choose this retreat because, although we wanted the peacefulness of an isolated place, we also wanted to go to the beach. Casa de Carrasco is about 15 minutes away from one of the many beaches on the Costa Dorada, so we knew it would be perfect for us. And it was.
Surrounded by organic olive groves and operating on solar power, Casa de Carraso is one remote, eco-friendly paradise. Sarah told me that her and her partner did all the restoration work themselves and it shows in the little personal touches visible throughout the site. One of the most serene places I’ve been to, Casa de Carrasco is rustic coolness at its best.
As far as lodging, you have a choice between staying in the African tents or in the refurbished stables. Clearly, your choice should be the tents. Not that I even saw the indoor rooms. I’m sure they’re lovely, but who doesn’t love an African Safari tent? The tents are spacious enough for one or two people and the beds were very comfortable. Linens and towels are provided, but you should bring a flashlight for those pesky midnight trips to the bathrooms.
The daily 1.5 hour Sivananda fusion yoga class started at 8:00 a.m. As you can see from the photos, it’s outdoor yoga and it’s just divine. (Yes, I said divine – what of it?)
The truth is that I really ejoy yoga, but I’ve always been an intermittent student at best. I was a little worried that this place would be over my head (yoga pun alert!), but I felt really comfortable in the classes and wasn’t intimidated at all by some of the more advanced poses. Our group had a variety of levels and everyone seemed to be really happy with the classes.
After the morning yoga class, breakfast is served (cereal, fruit and freshly brewed olive tea!) Breakfast is the only meal included in the price of the retreat. For lunch and dinner, the camp has a little store where you can buy fresh fruits and veggies, pasta, rice, etc. You just choose what you want, write it down and get to cookin’ in the outdoor kitchen. It’s a simple as it gets.
I hate to be so repetitive, but this place really is just so damn relaxing. There’s a pool for the hot summer months, which makes pool-side reading and dozing a must.
And if you’re looking for something a bit more shady, there are some strategically placed hammocks around the camp that allow you to read and nap and nap and read. It’s just an incredibly peaceful environment; you really have no other choice but to really kick back and relax.
When we were there, Sarah’s lovely mom put on a great paella demonstration and we all pretended to pay attention while we guzzled wine. It was our first day there and it helped us get
kind of very drunk to know our camp mates. Christine and I may have started inventing our own country songs at some point, but the other campers managed to politely ignore us at that moment.
However, if you’re there for more than a few days and need a little more action and a little less relaxin’, there are a few activities offered to pass the time. The camp offers massages and various workshops on-site. Also, the beach is just at the base of the mountain and Sarah can get you down there if you let her know in advance. There’s also hiking trails around the camp that are pretty easy for any fitness level. If you want something a little more intensive, you can sign up for a fishing excursion or a kayak tour down the River Ebro.
Never one to miss an opportunity to float on water, I forced Christine to go kayaking with me. Not only was my hesitant friend totally impressed with my kayaking skills, she absolutely loved the experience and is now thinking about becoming a professional kayak instructor in California. (That last statement isn’t quite true, but I’m just testing to see if Christine actually reads this blog.)
Sarah made a reservation for us with a company called Beniemocions. The guide Luis was very friendly and his passion for nature and wildlife was infectious. If you get a chance to go kayaking on this river, please do so – it’s incredibly beautiful. It’s also a good three hour excursion, so plan accordingly.
Anyway, I really loved our time at Casa de Carrasco and would recommend it for anyone who’s looking for a quiet weekend away from the city. The price was reasonable, the yoga was great and you can’t beat a weekend away with a dear friend.
*Full Disclosure : Nobody has paid me or even offered me free beer or brownies to write this review.