Southwest Portugal

9 of September to 6 of October, 2023 -FULL

8 October to 3 November, 2023

We have added a second session to Portugal this Autumn. The weather will be starting to cool in October, the pace will be slowing and the swell picking up. It’s a beautiful time of year to be in Portugal.

Pop-Up Life is a chance to slow down, to reconnect with your kids, your partner, yourself. The pace is gentle. Inspiration comes from all around, from the beauty of nature, the cliffs and the powerful swell of the sea, and from the community we build together.

More than a holiday, this is an introduction to the deep sweetness of family life in the Costa Vicentina. And for the curious, it’s a chance to sample mobile family life, alongside us and our kids, in a place we truly love.

Imagine one of our Family Gatherings stretched over one month, with a learning program for the kids, space for the adults to work and enough time to build a lifelong connection to the community in this beautiful region. This event is the result of years of visits to southwest Portugal, and the deep relationship we’ve made to an amazing community here.


A series of learning experiences each week, working with local educators, artists and experts in a variety of disciplines. The Costa Vicentina is rich with inspiring humans, and we are so happy to be connected to many of them.

Explorations with a local natural wine-maker.

Two Long-table meals.

Sandcastle Day, a guided beach day with a professional sand sculptor.

Our assistance finding lodging, including recommendations from our list of preferred properties at QC’s discount rate.

Our guides to Lisbon and Southern Portugal.

A month in a new place can brings many new questions, and we are here to assist you before and during your travel.

Special discounts with our rental car and campervan partners.

NOT INCLUDED: lodging, meals except where noted, transport and extras like surf lessons and gear rental.

THE AREA A two hour drive south of Lisbon along the Atlantic coast lies the Costa Vicentina. If you know a creative family who’s moved to Portugal in the last five years there’s a good chance you’ll meet them here at the organic farmer’s market. You’ll find red-earth hills covered in cork trees and eucalyptus, dusty backroads through sandy soil, long wooden staircases that take you down the cliff to the beach, and sleepy town squares where adults drink coffee and kids play under the ringing bells. While Portugal has become a destination for global families, this region still feels raw, a bit rough around the edges, and deeply interesting. In the wild and rugged hillsides, the cliffs and dunes we find the reason Portugal has been called Europe’s last frontier. We love this part of Portugal, and we know you will too.

LEARNING This part of Portugal has drawn free-thinking and adventurous families for the last decade or so. We have curated a series of events alongside local educators and a community of artists and craftspeople. While the schedule will change from week to week, you can expect four days of organized activity, led by inspiring friends and experts, plus a half-day beach day where we explore together as families. Our approach is about inspired learning, the natural world and digging deep into local connection. Primarily outdoors, collaborative and compassionate with a focus on developing whole, happy humans. Our learning program is for children from six to 15 years. If you need childcare for younger ones we can help coordinate that.

WORK We expect many parents (like us) will need to work during this month. Internet speeds in the area are fast enough to support streaming and video calls, and cellular is generally strong enough to tether if you want to take that call from the beach. We do not have a dedicated coworking space at this moment, though this is in the works. There are a handful of great local spots, including our favourite local coffee roaster, where internet is fast and working is encouraged. Portugal is on GMT, convenient for calls in timezones in Europe and the Americas. For those who like collaborative energy we can organize a weekly work sprint, a distraction-free half-day where you can focus on your projects and take advantage of the creative energy of your counterparts.

COMMUNITY We’ve arranged a handful of unique gathering moments throughout the month. These may include a beach day with a professional sand sculptor, a natural dye workshop with a local artisan, long evenings at a table under the stars with friends, sipping medronho and strumming Portuguese guitars… Portugal is a lodestone for creative, curious families and this month will provide a window into how these unique families are building community and exploring family life in new ways.

SALTWATER Our most productive and inspiring days include time in the sea. Thankfully, a number of incredible beaches lie within a few minutes’ drive of where we’ll stay. Craggy bluffs and big tides make for great exploration. Autumn here is sunny and warm, and the beach is a perfect place to hang out. Surfing in this region is legendary, and by September the swells are some of the best all year. If you’re looking to set a new big wave record Nazare is a few hours to the north, but here in the southwest there are surf breaks suitable for all levels. We can introduce you to the local surfing community, help you get the gear you need and lessons if you want them.

LODGING Finding housing in the area can be tricky, but we are here to help! We’ve curated a selection of great houses from trusted owners. Tell us your needs and your budget and we’ll guide you to the best options for your family. Lodging is paid directly by you to the owner.

TRANSPORT A car is a must in this part of rural Portugal. If you can’t drive your own vehicle to Portugal, we are happy to connect you to our local rental partner to secure the best vehicle at the best price. Transport is paid directly by you to the rental company.

LOCAL TIPS We’ll include guides for Lisbon and the South, plus suggestions for side trips in other regions.

COST €2500 per child, €900 per adult. *Like all our Gatherings, we are committed to making sure we get the “right” families to this event. If this is you, but the cost is prohibitive, please contact us and we will see what we can work out!

WHO IS THIS FOR? If you’re curious about Portugal, new learning models or global family life, this is for you. If you want to experience something new with your family and to capture more meaningful time with your kids, this is for you. If you appreciate quality over quantity and balance, this is for you. If you’re a humble traveller and a life-long learner, this is for you.

It was a surprisingly diverse group that joined us for our Spring and Fall sessions. They came from literally all over the world, had very different jobs and interests, different levels of travel experience, but we were amazed to learn that each family was feeling a similar prickly feeling, each family could see cracks in the walls of “normal” life. We spent the month exploring this beautiful question, that maybe learning and growing together could be more important than keeping things safe. This month helped all of us cross the threshold into a more open and limitless version of family life. Whether a family arrived with a sense of frustration about traditional education or a desire to be more mobile, our month together provided the space to sink deeply into these questions and to make plans of change.