Are you in search of deepening your experience with Permaculture, acquiring new skills, and putting theory and systems design into practice?




Our month-long Permaculture Apprenticeship Program is for anyone looking for an immersive and diverse experience of permaculture and to whom the powerful land and ocean of the Sintra bioregion calls to. There are no prerequisites needed to join though, as the Apprenticeship is experience-based, participants should be eager to farm and be an active part of community living.

For specific roles and jobs that this Apprenticeship would suit, we've made a list below.


Apprentices will be responsible for routine tasks throughout their time here and also work on each of our various projects on rotation. Project leaders, comprising our crew and guest teachers, will facilitate your work on each project. We do not impose a rigid system of course facilitation, instead working together on the level of mentor-mentee.

  • We will have a mix of hands-ons and lectures. See our Apprenticeship topics below.

  • We will have six contact hours per day. On the days that courses aren’t happening, there will be ample time for beach exploration and social interaction.


Through the immersive experience of managing the site on a day-to-day basis, participants will gain a comprehensive grasp of permaculture and be able to confidently move forward in their pursuits, whether it be transitioning into farming or taking on a yet-to-be-discovered role in the Permaculture movement.

We offer certification through our association that can be accredited for university. 




Apprenticeship fee: 800 euros. This includes food and camping. Upon registering you will be asked for your details and a registration fee of 150 euros to secure your spot. This is a deposit and part of the course fee. You just pay the balance when you arrive. We have a refund policy.


All our courses are conducted in English.


Camping with your own tent - free

1-2 person size tent - 75 euros*

Large size tent - 200 euros*

* Total cost for 4 weeks

The campsite is a semi-wild area where we have created level terraces among the trees, mushrooms, and stones for people to pitch their tents out of view from the rest of the garden.


We serve three vegetarian meals per day with ingredients sourced from our gardens or from local organic producers. Students are part of the preparation of meals as this experience is a component of the course. If you are celiac, gluten intolerant, or vegan please inform us in the "Anything we should know?" field of the registration form and we provide a special menu for you.


"Without permanent agriculture, there is no possibility of a stable social order."

Bill Mollison



  • The Principles and Ethics of permaculture

  • Orientation to Terra Alta as home and land resource system

  • Appropriate technology and sustainable energy systems

  • Community and social tools for project design and personal development

  • Regenerative landscape design

  • Composting and earthworks

  • Bio-Intensive techniques for kitchen and market gardening

  • Introduction to biodynamic farming and small scale wine production

  • CSA Community Supported Agriculture and bioregional strategies for food production 

  • Vermicomposting flush toilet system

  • Introduction to beekeeping

  • Zero Waste strategies: natural cosmetics, soaps, and biogas

  • Introduction to multiple natural buildings techniques 

  • Food harvesting, preservation, and fermentation

  • Food Forest design, management, and implementation

  • Herbalism and seed saving

  • Introduction to Earth rights, food sovereignty, and native land rights

  • Essential marketing tools for permaculture businesses

  • Building your personal brand within the field of Permaculture





  • Students looking for practical experience and holistic perspective (we offer certification that can be accredited for university)

  • Project developers

  • Permaculture designers, artists, architects, landscapers

  • Small landholders

  • Ecologists and restoration workers

  • Activists

  • Land developers

  • Farmers

  • Urban gardeners

  • NGO-members

  • Community members

  • People in urban and settlement planning

  • Social workers

  • Educators

  • People looking for nature connection




The time at Terra Alta was incredibly valuable to me. Being a bit insecure in the beginning I opened up to the people and found that they were all wonderful, without exceptions. It felt very good to meet so many people who are open-minded and who deeply care about the Earth. The teachings were great, easy to follow and accessible, regardless of the present level of knowledge you have.

Jan-Hendrik Pfleging


We treat Terra Alta's off-the-grid site as a teacher in its own right as participants get to experience Permaculture daily, learning from our existing projects and being part of our intentional community. This hands-on, holistic learning environment is complemented by the collaborative methods of hosting we use. We employ Open Space Technology as this cooperative, solution-oriented technique effectively demonstrates the design principle "integrate rather than segregate" as students co-create solutions based on in situ challenges they identify together, utilizing everyone's unique knowledge. Facilitators also use the World Cafe (WC) method to host a discussion of course topics. WC helps identify what the collective thought surrounding key issues are by encouraging participants to find patterns and connections among their shared experiences, putting into practice the "observe and interact" principle of Permaculture design. Other learning methods include: action learning, field trips, lectures, walk and talk, games, movies, group work, think and listen, and participatory art.



Terra Alta is an off-the-grid holistic-education host site where students and visitors alike get to see all 12 Principles of Permaculture in action. It’s located in between Almoçageme and Ulgueira, two quaint sea-side villages with easy access to amazing beaches and is relatively simple to reach from Lisbon and Sintra. The following Permaculture elements and functions are on display, amongst others:

  • Small-scale Earthworks to capitalize on impervious surface runoff

  • Extensive Food Forest of subtropical, temperate, and Mediterranean species corresponding with the earthworks

  • Hot & Cold Composting (Vermiculture) systems for boosting soil life, picking up on waste streams, and cycling nutrients

  • Food Preservation and supporting the local economy of food production

  • Small Intentional Community focused on adult education through Permaculture courses but more importantly holistic, Waldorf and Permaculture inspired education for the children of the local area

  • Natural Building techniques utilized for dwellings and outdoor cooking and social spaces

  • Renewable Energy technology featuring solar panels – we provide charging only for mobile phones due to the limited amount of energy

  • Internet available (limited) via Hotspot


©2019 Terra Alta Permaculture Education & Research Centre