Soul & Surf Journal

Turtle swimming in sea

World Ocean – Ocean Wave | Biodiversity

In this journal article, we’re delving into the wonderful world of biodiversity – the way that nature uses variety to maintain balance and help life on Earth thrive. What is Biodiversity? Everything in the biological world interacts with each other on some sort of level, whether it’s animals, plants, fungi, or even microorganisms like bacteria. […]

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Sky showing through trees

Mossy Earth x Soul & Surf

Restoring wild ecosystems, supporting wildlife and biodiversity and helping fight climate change. Personally I began paying to offset the carbon emissions on my flights pretty early on – until I read so many bad reports about corrupt or inept offsetting tree planting projects which were doing more harm than good that I lost my way. […]

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The Soul of Surfing Revolution

A new approach to teaching surf At Soul & Surf we believe it’s high time for a surfing revolution. A Soul of Surfing revolution that we’ll be rolling out throughout 2021. We’ve learnt a lot about surfing over the last twenty years practising it – even more so during the last ten teaching it – […]

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Woman smiling at camera in Soul & Surf's therapy room

Soul People – Becca

Becca is one of the best therapists we’ve ever met (and we’ve met a few) as well as being a yoga teacher and all-round brilliant human being. You can find her and her healing hands wandering around the Portuguese coastline, or amongst our orange grove here at Soul & Surf. Hi Becca. How are you? […]

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What is Yoga to us?

Our Hayley has been knocking around Soul & Surf for a while, so we thought she’d be the best person to describe our Yoga offering, and why it means more to us than just something to tag onto the surf.  Words by Hayley Kably I wasn’t present the day that Sofie and Ed decided to […]

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We Declare a Climate Emergency

As a company, never mind a travel company, aiming to become actually ‘sustainable’ is impossibly difficult. At times that has made us feel like we are failing which then led to dithering and inaction.  But doing something, becoming better, improving, reducing, measuring and compensating – in that order – is what we all need to […]

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Woman in busy street

Soul People – Lizzie Brown

Soul People: What if you could replace your shouty alarm tone with a beautiful, guided audio meditation or yoga class? In bed. Sounds dreamy, right? THANKFULLY this actually exists. We chat to our friend Lizzie, co-founder of Yoga Wake Up, the more holistic alternative to blindly stabbing at the snooze button 6,435 times every morning. […]

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Soul People – Pip Roberts

Soul People: Pip is the founder of Now Studio, a gorgeous yoga and photography space in Bristol that celebrates community, expression and sustainability, as well as having some bloody good teachers. If you ever get a chance to do one of Pip’s yin workshops – for the love of god, go. Here’s a little more […]

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The Best Way To Do A Lockdown

2020. It’s been a tricksy old year, eh? Sourdough was invented, we learned a new term – ‘furlough’ (which I honestly thought was something to do with farming,) and all of us overused the word ‘unprecedented.’ What a time to be alive.   And then there is the good old L-word.  Lockdown.  A precious opportunity to […]

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World Oceans Day – Taking Action

The 2020 World Oceans Day on 8th June is uniting conservation action to grow the global movement calling on world leaders to protect 30% of our blue planet by 2030. This critical need is called 30×30. By safeguarding at least 30% of our ocean through a network of highly protected areas we can help ensure […]

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Soul People – Mike Wakefield

The first time we met Mike – the photographer behind Pura Vida Cornwall – he took some seriously beautiful shots of our home and surrounding neighbourhood in Sri Lanka. We couldn’t resist getting him back out to the jungle to shoot some more for us, and luckily for us he agreed to share some words […]

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Portugal Winter Sessions

It might still be peak season over in Portugal, at our new home in the Algarve, but we’ve been busy behind the scenes making plans for how we’ll be spending our first winter in Europe. Officially, our season ends in November – but we’re firm believers that a little cold water never hurt no one! […]

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Why we love…Lombok

And why we are going back this October Words: Rachel Lingham I have the enviable position of working on some of Soul & Surf’s Pop-Ups.  These mini versions of our main hotels in Portugal, India and Sri Lanka can be, within reason, anywhere in the world.  There have been pop-ups in Banda Aceh, The Andaman […]

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Therapies pop-up: Shiatsu at Soul & Surf India

We’re really excited to have Becca Spooner popping up with us for the month of January. As a Zen Shiatsu practitioner, Becca incorporates knowledge from each of her practices into Holistic treatments that empower her clients’ innate ability to heal themselves, restoring balance, energy and a sense of calm in their lives. Here’s a bit of […]

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Feeding the soul in Portugal

Words: Mhairi MacLeod Portugal is generally known for its peri-peri chicken, fresh seafood and pastel da nata. All considered to be ‘soul food’ of the country – and for good reason. If you find the right chicken shop, seafood restaurant or local bakery you can experience local chefs and bakers putting their passion into their […]

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After the floods: an update from Kerala

Earlier this year, Kerala was hit with the worst flooding the state has seen in almost a century. We’re lucky here in Varkala to have been largely unaffected, but many areas further inland have been completely devastated by the disaster. We’re open for business, as are most other businesses locally – but there’s still a […]

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Soul People: exploring Portugal with Katie Rae

If you’ve been following our antics this year, you might have seen that we’ve been bouncing in and out of Portugal a fair amount this summer, popping-up for a series of week-long retreats. It’s been fun! (So much so, that we’ve decided it’s time to go a little more permanent…) On our most recent trip, […]

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Video: Thread the Needle with Jessamin

Jumping over from Kerala to Sri Lanka for our next yoga tutorial – y’know, just to keep you on your toes. Jessamin explores ‘thread the needle,’ which is all about creating greater mobility and rotation in the torso, shoulders and neck. Surfers, this can help us out in the water with our turns…handy! YOGA – […]

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Reflections on Peru

Earlier this year we took a small team of people out to surf one of South America’s most iconic destinations: Chicama. It was pretty great – really great, in fact, and so we’re going back! Interested in joining us?! Here’s Min, one of our hosts, telling you what you’re in for…

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Surfers hold hands sitting on surfboards

Quiet Time – Why Portugal In The Autumn

This summer we’ve been busy popping-up on the South Coast of Portugal’s Algarve, hosting a series of surf and yoga weeks. And we’re pretty stoked to say we’re not done yet – we’ve still got a week in October to come, and another in November (spaces available on both – get in touch…) Rachel, our […]

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Find Your Love

You know that dream you carry around with you each day? It’s kinda important. Wasn’t it what you were put on planet earth to do? Find Your Love from Soul&Surf on Vimeo. We’re open in Kerala from the start of October through until May. Come and play!

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The Soul of Surfing – Part 4

In the final instalment of four articles for Soul & Surf, Sam Bleakley explores The Soul of Surfing alongside the stunning photography of Katie Rae. You can read part one here, where Sam discusses the cultural context of the term ‘soul surfer’ and the often overlooked role of the wipeout. In part two Sam tracks […]

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The Soul of Surfing

In the first instalment of four articles, Sam Bleakley explores The Soul of Surfing alongside the stunning photography of Katie Rae. Immersed in Water Today there are over 30 million surfers in the world, a rainbow spectrum of ages and nations, all seeking fulfilment from riding waves. You can surf reefs, points, beach breaks, river […]

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Lola Bleakley: Extracts from my diary in India

Earlier this season, we hosted our good friend, the pro-longboarder Sam Bleakley here at Soul & Surf in Varkala for a special month-long residency. Sam joined to share his knowledge and love for the ocean through special one-to-one long boarding workshops plus screenings from his Brilliant Corners series of surf travel documentaries. Best of all, […]

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Soul & Surf Sessions – Mindfulness Week

Soul & Surf present a week of Mindfulness and Meditation, in collaboration with Joey Hulin from Horizon Inspired. We have a varied programme of sessions across two locations – from practical, no-nonsense workshops, deeply blissful guided visualisations to film screenings – all designed to support your own journey into Mindfulness and Meditation – however practiced, […]

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Soul People – Sam Bleakley

For three seasons now, Sam Bleakley – champion longboarder, writer, journalist and documentary maker – has done a month-long residency at Soul & Surf in Varkala, offering longboard workshops to both locals, guests and non-guests, giving them the chance to dance on waves. Sam spent some time with us in Sri Lanka before jetting off […]

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Soul People – Lush Palm

Next in our Soul People series is 2 inspiring individuals who stayed with us in Sri Lanka, Tara and Eric from Lush Palm.   Where’s home for you guys? Tara: Sunny Encinitas, California… and we absolutely love it! Encinitas is a beautiful mellow surf town in north San Diego so it’s an easy place to […]

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Vesakha – Sri Lanka

On the full moon of May, Buddhists commemorate the birth, enlightenment and the passing away of Gautama Buddha. Simple offerings of flowers, candles and joss-sticks are brought to illuminated and decorated temples, where the celebration is an opportunity to reiterate their determination to lead noble lives, to develop their minds, to practise loving-kindness and to […]

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Soul People – Siona

Next in our Soul People series is our Head of Vibes Siona who has been with us in Varkala for the last year and a half. Today is her last day working for Soul & Surf so we caught up with her to see how the last 16 months have been… What’s your name? Siona […]

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Soul & Surf Sri Lanka Beach Cleans

In February, the United Nations announced its new program, Clean Seas (http://www.cleanseas.org), with the goal of eliminating major sources of pollution that are choking our oceans and waterways across the globe.  We are starting to see the significant impacts our trash problem has on the environment and human health.  We are realizing that this is […]

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Soul People – Serena

It’s that time again, say hello to Serena, the next member of the Soul&Surf family in our Soul People series. Serena first came to Soul&Surf as a guest and is currently our Head of Service in India managing our cafe SoulFood however she will be joining us for our Portugal PopUp this May as our […]

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Soul People – Raff

For the next interview in our Soul People series we caught up with Raff, General Manager, Doer and Thinker of Soul & Surf India. Raff joined the company when it was still in it’s infancy and has seen it blossom and grow over the years. Here’s his story: What’s your name? Raffael Kably aka Raff […]

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Life Lately

A little snippet of life lately according to our wonderful new photographer in India Katie Rae. Dreamy hot days, sky blue seas, rooftop yoga and lovely little nuggets to surf on. This really might be paradise! Save Save

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SoulFood – Arroz Doce

We are currently lucky enough to have Grant Lloyd staying with us in Kerala as our Guest Chef. Having trained and worked closely with Jamie Oliver he has a wealth of knowledge and skill and has been getting in the kitchen every day coming up with new, delicious dishes for us. Inspired by our forthcoming […]

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Soul People – Jack Wells

  What is your name: Jack Wells   Where is home? Currently home is South London   What do you do for a living: Half of my time is spent working as a cinematographer for music videos and commercials. Then the other half of my time is spent painting pictures, a lot majority of my […]

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Soul People – Freddie

Next in our Soul People series is Freddie who has been with us for the last few months working in our reception. Her happy smiley face is the first to welcome guests to Soul & Surf and her yoga lessons get you bending and stretching in all the right ways! We caught up with her […]

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Soul People – Jamie Johnstone

We love hearing our guests stories about what they’re doing in life and consider ourselves super lucky that we get to meet so many amazing people from all over the world! Jamie Johnstone, owner of Dick Pearce & Friends bellyboards and his family stayed with us in Kerala over Christmas and New Year so we […]

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Sam Bleakley – MultiKulti

MULTIKULTI The first in our series of guests posts from pro surfer, explorer and author Sam Bleakley takes us on a history trip of surfing in India and explores the vast coastline and all it’s surf potential. With nearly 1.3 billion people, India is the world’s second most populous nation, has over 7,500km (4,700 miles) […]

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Soul People – Rakhul

What makes Soul&Surf tick? The amazing bunch of people that work with us of course. Soul People will introduce you to some of the incredible people we work in both Sri Lanka and India. Photo: Steve Coombes Name: My name is Rakhul, find me on Facebook Age: 25 Where’s Home? I’m from the Western Ghats What’s your […]

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Stuff We Like – The Tempest

Stephanie Gilmore – The Tempest. from Monster Children on Vimeo. Stephanie Gilmore oozes style and class in this beautiful short from Monster Children.  Kelly Slater put it best: “Stephanie is an original badass. She surfs like people should surf and plays music from her soul. She’s interested in a variety of topics outside of riding waves. […]

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How to Set up a Tropical Business, Surf & Practice Yoga Daily – Part Three

But I don’t know how to do anything else. It’s all very well leaving everything behind, travelling thew world and having a wonderful time but if you don’t actually get around to doing something new and different and just have a few drinks, some lie-ins and a bit of a laugh you’ll end up going back […]

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Guest Reviews

The S&S team were awesome, so warm & friendly to the point that they almost felt like they were guests too!  While still keeping us super organised.  The villa team were wonderful, nothing was too much trouble & they didn’t stop smiling! The surf lessons were great! Adam was so good at explaining everything & […]

Jennifer Russell