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Permaculture design education center and community of people committed to cultural regeneration


We know how important experiences are in engaging people in any movement. That is why we've opened our home, Terra Alta, to empower others seeking alternative ways of life by showing them how the commitment of one community-oriented permaculture center has brought about positive change to the bioregion and beyond. The abundant, healing land is host to various educational events listed below, teaching cultural and land regeneration.


Learn at one of the most established projects in Permaculture in Europe—Terra Alta. With 10 years as a permaculture site-in-development, an education center, and with over 20 Permaculture Design Certificate Courses taught, Terra Alta gives students one of the best well-rounded Permaculture educations.

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Subscribe to our mailing list and you'll be the first to receive announcements for new programs and project updates.


Drop-In Visits

We do not host any non-arranged, drop-in visits. This year, with Covid-19, we will not be hosting any visits at all owing to restrictions with event numbers and to ensure the safety of our students.

If you have an interesting collaboration proposal or would like to volunteer with us in 2021 you can read more on our "Get Involved" page.


A message from us: what Covid-19 means for upcoming courses

[Update: August 13] We have just completed one PDC successfully and are currently running our second PDC - where all is going well. 

Most of our students had no problems travelling within the EU to Portugal by land and air. 

The State of Calamity in the Greater Lisbon area has passed to the more relaxed State of Contingency in early August. 


[Update: July 12] Following the second wave of Covid-19 in Portugal, new travel restrictions have been put in place. If you are from the UK or Belgium in particular, please check with your country's Embassy in Portugal on travel/quarantine requirements.

Please note that the Colares civil parish (where Terra Alta is located) is not a "red zone". There are a few parishes (neighbouring Colares) within the Sintra municipality that are however.



We hope you are all keeping well and doing the best you can in your context to remain safe, healthy, and active at home. We want to take this opportunity to let you know how we intend to proceed with our courses this summer.

In Portugal a lot of the people, at least in our immediate community and surroundings, took their own measures to self-quarantine weeks before a national decree was issued - closing farmers’ markets and cafes and remaining at home with family. That’s what we did at the onset at Terra Alta and continue to do till things stabilise - and that’s what we hope happens before this summer which is why we still have the intent to run all our courses, from 19 July onwards, as scheduled.

That being said, we are realistic and are keeping track of new developments each day (for the Portuguese Government’s latest updates on COVID-19 visit this page and the U.S. Embassy in Portugal also has a good list of updates here). As it stands, foreign nationals will be able to travel to Portugal from 15 June onwards. If it comes to it that travel bans are still enforced in Portugal during our scheduled course dates then we will take the necessary steps at that juncture to do what we have to - and that may very well be cancelling one or more courses.

In the event that borders (Portugal or the country you’re travelling to us from) are closed during the course dates or any other situations out of your control that prevents safe travel to Terra Alta, then be rest assured you will get your deposits back. 

We are actively preparing for any eventuality and adapting to change with you in mind as it’s of our utmost concern that everyone’s health and wellbeing is prioritised and that everyone’s desire to learn about the regenerative and resilient system of Permaculture (more important now than ever) is still met.  

Finally, while this may be a given, if you haven’t already booked flights or transportation, book with cancellation insurance or wait till there’s more definitive information from the country you’re in and the airline/transportation service you’re travelling with.

From our side, we are growing a lot of vegetables in our gardens at the moment, perfecting our bread making, making improvements to our site structures, and planning our summer courses.

We are going to do our best to remain connected with you and our Terra Alta community at large as in these trying times connectedness, in the form of sharing information and support, is a wonderful source of strength.

We will keep you updated.

All the best from us,

- Your Terra Alta crew


In nature we never see anything isolated, but everything in connection with something else which is before it, beside it, under it and over it.

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

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Terra Alta has been developing a model for regenerative culture since the project began almost one decade ago. Guided by the energy of the powerful site, Terra Alta offers experiential life-education programs for both youths and adults, preparing participants to become regenerative agents, creating new ways for the future.

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"Act as if what you do makes a difference. It does."

William James



Q: How do I get there?
A: There will be 2 pick-up times from Ulgueira (the closest village near us) on the Sunday before the PDC starts. Students receive an email a few weeks before the course starts with details on how to get to Ulgueira, the scheduled pick-up times, and other important information.

Q: What should I bring if I'm attending a PDC?
A: This is our recommended packing list: working clothes/shoes, camping gear (tent/sleeping bag/sleeping mat), toiletries, eco-friendly soap, a hat, towel, swim gear, warm clothes (seriously, trust us, it gets cold!), a rain jacket, and a head torch. We have a few tents and mats to rent - you can select when registering.

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©2019 Terra Alta Permaculture Education & Research Centre