Yoga, Hiking and Experiences

Remember what really matters:

A Journey of Self-Discovery

Through the Five Elements

Sao Miguel island
Azores, Portugal
16-20 September 2024

Sao Miguel island
Azores, Portugal
16-20 September 2024

Yoga, Hiking and Experiences

Remember what really matters:
A Journey of Self-Discovery
Through the Five Elements

If you are longing for a meaningful vacation in an exotic destination which is not at the end of the world, but you think that you have ‘seen it all’, then join us for this fun and relaxing retreat in the magical Azores with a thought-through program, where you will live through unforgettable experiences and have time to reflect and remember what really matters.

imagine connecting with
YourSelf, nature and the like-minded people

Imagine starting your day with an energising morning yoga and finishing your day with a restorative evening yoga, taking care of your body.  Imagine meditating, practising mindfulness and drawing your attention inwards in the beautiful nature spots.

 Imagine enjoying nourishing me-time on the terrace overlooking the ocean: reading a book, marvelling at the view, letting yourself just be.  In the evening, you head off to sleep, happy, fulfilled and rested, in your cosy bed in your home away from home, in anticipation of the next fabulous day.

Imagine hiking in incredible landscapes of the untouched Azorean nature.  I will bring you to the most epic locations of Sao Miguel island!  Dramatic volcanic landscape, lush forests, greenest fields, spectacular waterfalls, stunning rainbows – this is what you experience when hiking in the Azores.

Imagine nourishing your body with healthy meals from delicious local Azorean cuisine prepared by our private chef.  You are savouring each piece, marvelling at the ocean view and feeling excited about the adventures to come and in awe about the adventures experienced.

Imagine soaking in the hot springs directly under the sky, surrounded by beautiful plants and flowers.  Imagine being nurtured by nature: letting the warm water with minerals to soothe and nourish your skin, relax your body after hiking, bring you peace of mind.

Imagine setting off on a boat adventure to witness and admire elegant creatures - whales and dolphins.  Imagine being in awe when you see  the whale tail (called fluke) slowly going down into the water as the gentle giant dives deep into the ocean to come back to us in all its beauty later.

Imagine your incredible experiences: hiking with gorgeous views, admiring whales and dolphins, swimming in the natural swimming pool directly in the ocean, letting go of the past at the fire ceremony, soaking in the hot springs, savouring delicious pineapples at the plantation, relaxing to the sound of Tibetan singing bowls.

Imagine being together with like-minded people from all over the world, making new friends and lasting meaningful connections.  Imagine sharing the moments of being amazed by the incredible landscapes, breathing in the fresh ocean air, feeling free and connected to nature and yourself.

Enjoy and deepen your yoga and meditation practice
Soak in unique
and diverse Azorean
Live through unforgettable experiences with like-minded people
How exciting would it be truly impressed even though you think you have seen it all?

Prepare yourself to keep on uttering ‘wow’, stopping to take a zillion of pictures, and even crying at the sight of the Azorean beauty (I do!).  Azores is like nothing you have seen before, they will literally take your breath away - and you will keep on coming back to your memories and share them with all your friends.

Have you ever felt that your vacation should be more than an all-inclusive hotel or beach during the day/disco at night?

While we are together, through a variety of exciting activities such as hiking in the forest and along the volcano rim, swimming in a waterfall, whale- and dolphin-watching, fire ceremony, soaking in hot springs, sound journey with magical music instruments, visit of the delicious Azorean pineapple plantation, you will amp up your life and create meaningful memories that will always have a special place in your heart.

Wouldn’t you just love to stop spending so much time indoors and seated, watching different screens?

On this retreat, during our hikes and other activities, you will soak in the beauty of the ocean and volcanoes, breathe in the fresh air, marvel at the gorgeous sunsets so that you feel truly re-connected to nature.

What a relief it would be to have your dream vacation fully organised and thought-through?

On this retreat, you will enjoy the combination of unforgettable adventures and activities, with plenty of nourishing yoga, meditation, and me-time you need - so that you don’t have to plan anything or worry about having enough of the free time.


On the retreat, we will practise yoga in a progressive way, and you will learn something new about yoga postures and their variations, so that you know how to position and move your body consciously to match your unique body needs.

Wouldn’t it be just great to not think about what to cook and what groceries to buy?

On this retreat, delicious vegetarian breakfasts, lunches and dinners will be prepared for you from local products by private chefs. so that you can savour local cuisine and be sure that your dietary requirements are taken care of

How wonderful would it be to share this experience with someone special and also make new friends?

No matter if you travel by yourself or with your partner/friend, you will meet like-minded people with similar interests.  This is a great opportunity to connect more deeply by sharing your challenges and blessings with people who understand you.

Are you excited about stepping away from the hussle of everyday life and finally having some dedicated time to re-connect to yourself?

Through the signature methodology of this retreat, where each day is planned around 1 of the 5 elements (Fire, Earth, Metal, Water, Wood), your inner work is supported and reflected by the nature spots we will visit and the adventures we will experience, which will ultimately help you better to re-connect to yourself and remember what really matters.

yogashape reviews

The biggest benefit from coming to the retreat was disconnecting from everything else happening in the world and focusing on 'here and now'. The retreat has everything - a beautiful villa with an ocean view, a really professional yoga teacher who can adapt the classes to everybody, amazing hikes in the beautiful nature, like-minded people to whom you can connect on a deep level, and you will even visit some unique secret places in Azores.

Sounds amazing! Tell me the tuition and sign me up!
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Our home for 5 days/4 nights is the family-owned cottage in the north of Sao Miguel island.  It has magnificent views of the ocean and natural landscapes of the coast.  The natural swimming pool directly in the ocean is at a walking distance from the cottage.

The cottage can accommodate up to 11 guests in a single, double/twin or triple setting.  It is perfectly located in a small and peaceful village to make sure you have the most relaxing retreat experience away from the noises of the big city life.

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Experience a culinary heaven on earth!  You will be served with 3 daily delicious, nutritious and simply beautiful vegetarian meals.  

Most importantly, our healthy and nourishing meals are freshly prepared with lots of love and attention to details from our talented and experienced private chef.  They will craft each dish from regional and seasonal products for you to indulge.  Your dietary requirements will be thoughtfully taken care of throughout the retreat.

Yogashape participants

I feel that the retreat really changed me, it really helped me to connect with myself, to connect with nature, to be in contact with my body and my real feelings that we don’t have the time to listen to every day. Irina makes every single moment special, you can tell that she really puts her heart when she is choosing what to do. I would recommend this to every single person, I know they would love it. We will come for the next one!

I can’t wait for this holiday! Let’s go!

Why Azores?

The Portuguese Azores are unknown to the regular tourists.  I had to google where they are when I first heard of them!  It is literally a treasure for landscape variety and hikes.  They sparkle like vibrant emerald island gems in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean.

Dramatic volcanic landscape, incredible ocean views, greenest fields, stunning rainbows – this is what you experience in the Azores. Walk along the fairytale-like paths, marvelling at the fascinating vegetation, stopping in awe at the amazing views, soaking in the beauty and wisdom of nature.

Pico and Faial are two islands in the central group of the Azores archipelago.  Good news: the Azores, even though located in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean, are still part of Portugal, the EU, and are very well connected flight-wise to the EU, the USA and Canada.


Our time together will be unforgettable and full of fun!  I have organised and planned your retreat to make sure it nourishes your heart, mind and soul

I have carefully selected your experiences to take you away from the routine and into a dream holiday.  These are the best experiences you could ever live through when staying in the Azores!  Besides, I will surprise you with some unexpected details that will add on to the spectrum of your emotions.

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Yoga and meditation practice

We will practise yoga and meditation twice a day: energising yoga flow in the morning and restorative yoga flow in the evening.  Classes are adjusted right on the spot to your body needs and movement experience.  We will meditate and practise mindfulness after our yoga practice or in nature.

Each yoga and meditation session has a specific theme depending on our program for the day which is inspired by the energy of 5 elements.  This will give you a sense of integration and living each day with a thought-through intention.

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Jaw-dropping hikes in the dazzling nature

On this retreat, you will experience three diverse hikes in incredibly different landscapes.  Same as each yoga and meditation session, each hike has been chosen to fit a specific theme depending on our program for the day which is inspired by the energy of 5 elements.

We will hike in the lush forest to meditate under the trees listening to the sound of the springs.  We will hike along the grandiose volcano rim with spectacular views of green and blue lakes in the volcano crater.  We will hike to admire and swim in a magical waterfall.  All those landscapes and experiences on one island, during one retreat!


Whale and dolphin watching
Embark on an amazing marine wildlife eco-expedition trip to see and learn more about whales, dolphins, and marine biodiversity of the Azores. Admire spotting beautiful and gentle creatures that call this island of unspoiled beauty their home
Hot springs visit
After hiking, it is an absolute delight to soak in hot springs. Imagine floating in the warm water in the middle of nature, letting go of any tension. Let in peace and relaxation.
Sound journey
Experience a fascinating combination of meditative healing sounds created by our private sound journey guide. Allow to energetically cleanse your physical and subtle body and harmonise your energy centres.
Fire ceremony
Experience the magic of letting go and invite the cleansing energy of the fire to release everything that does not serve you.
Celebration dinner with spectacular view
Celebrate with an exclusive culinary experience with a dazzling ocean view. Your dinner is paired with Portuguese wine, served in a beautiful location overlooking the ocean.
Visit to the pineapple plantation:
Did you know that it takes two years to grow a pineapple? Satisfy your curiosity and taste buds at a guided visit to the Azorean pineapple plantation followed by a delicious treat!
Massages on request
Why not indulge in additional relaxation during your free time? Choose from a variety of different options (5 senses, energy healing, acupressure, wellness, sport) and enjoy.
Private photography and unique memories
Make a new lifetime memory every day! Our private professional photographer will take incredible shots for you to boast about your unforgettable experience in the Azores and retrieve your warm memories upon your return.
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Yogashape participants

Irina does it with her heart - and even if we knew what we will be doing, it has been full of surprises all the time. You have yoga, great hiking, great food, talks with people but you also have these special moments - they invite you to think, to go deeper, so it is a full experience. Thank you again, looking forward to the next one.

Sounds exciting! I’m ready to join!


All the retreat activities are guided by the energy of the 5 elements: Fire, Earth, Metal, Water, Wood.  The signature program of our retreat, structured with the Yoga Shape methodology, will take you on the journey to yourself: from releasing whatever does not serve you to feeling relaxed, restored, and full of amazing memories of your Azorean adventures.

Every day of your retreat starts with setting an intention followed by an energetic Vinyasa-style yoga class.  After that, a healthy breakfast awaits you to nourish your body.  Each day we embark on a unique adventure: during the day (hiking), or in the morning (whale and dolphin watching), or in the evening (sound journey).  Coming back to the accommodation, you will have time for some relaxation and me-time.  We will finish the day with restorative yoga practice before a beautiful and healthy 3-course dinner.

Day 1 - 16 September - Fire element - Start

Initiation with letting go and setting your intention.

Transfer to the accommodation, welcome, tea/coffee and snacks, opening information session, free time, opening ceremony, yoga, dinner, fire ceremony.

Day 2 - 17 September - Earth element - Honesty

Grounding and understanding where you are.

Yoga, breakfast, hike in the forest, picnic lunch, stop at the volcanic site, free time, yoga, dinner.

Day 3 - 18 September - Metal element - Awareness

Getting clarity about where you want to go.

Yoga, breakfast, hike along the volcano crater, picnic, free time, yoga, dinner, sound journey.

Day 4 - 19 September - Water element - Practice

Embracing the fluidity and choosing your path.

Yoga, breakfast, whale watching, hike to see and swim in the waterfall, hot springs, free time, yoga, dinner.

Day 5 - 20 September - Wood element - Evolution

Growth to the next step of your journey.

Yoga, breakfast, visit of the pineapple plantation, closing circle.

Yogashape participants

Irina knows the Azores very well so she chose the best places to visit with amazing views, with amazing hikes through the jungle, through the fields, along the volcano craters, along the ocean side. I haven't been to any retreats before. This one took my heart away.

I’m ready to go to the Azores! Sign me up!

What is included


  • 4 nights, 5 days accommodation in a cottage with ocean views
  • natural outdoor swimming pool 
  • bed linen, towels, pool towels, hygiene products


  • 3 daily meals
  • including picnics during our hikes
  • celebration dinner paired with Portuguese wine

Yoga and Activities

  • 2 daily yoga and meditation sessions tailored for the theme of the day and inspired by the 5 elements
  • 3 organised hikes in the most fabulous locations of the island with the diverse landscapes
  • whale and dolphin watching
  • entrance to the epic hot springs
  • sound journey bath with Tibetan singing bowls and other unique musical instruments
  • visit to the pineapple plantation
  • fire ceremony
  • private professional photographer


  • group transportation from and to the airport
  • group transportation to and from all the hikes
  • group transportation to and from all the activities

What is not included

  • your flights
yogashape reviews

My sleep and mindset improved, I became more positive, some physical complaints are gone, even the atmosphere at home is better. The hike back up to the mountain after the strong meditation at the sea is the one I remember most. The fire helped to burn all the rest of the bad stuff, which I wanted to let go.

I say yes to the adventures! I am joining!

Your bonuses

  • video recording of a 30-minute yoga session based on techniques and practices we will learn at the retreat
  • a print-out of how to best apply the energy of 5 elements throughout your day
  • a surprise gift upon your arrival
  • a surprise gift before your departure
  • attention: pay your retreat in full and receive a private yoga session!

Irina's retreat in the Azores was so thoughtfully planned and well organised. Each day was filled with magical experiences, incredible hikes, delicious food, and always an element of surprise. Attention was paid to sustainable practices and honouring the local community. Everyone that we were introduced to and that Irina collaborates with were kind, conscientious, and creative. Friends were made, fun was had, and I fell in love with this incredible land of natural beauty. 10/10 would recommend!

Bring on something new! Count me in!

This journey is for you if…

  • You are excited to explore a destination which is not a regular tourist attraction
  • You love spending time in the nature and doing outdoor activities
  • You are open-minded to start your yoga journey
  • Or you are curious to continue and deepen your yoga  practice
  • You wholeheartedly want to connect with yourself at meditation and sound journey
  • You are fit to hike for 2-4 hours with stunning landscapes and panoramic views
  • You are happy to stay on a boat for 3-4h whale and dolphin watching experience
  • You long to connect more deeply to the like-minded people
  • You like to balance the time outdoors and other people with quiet time for yourself
  • The idea of this retreat makes you feel excited!

So pleased I seized this golden opportunity to experience Irina’s retreat in beautiful Sao Miguel, Azores! It is a hiker’s paradise that knowledgeable Irina enabled me to explore. The stunning images are still fresh in mind a few months afterwards. I’ll always remember this heavy dose of natural beauty at every turn we got to breathe in.

Sounds like a holiday for me! Looking forward to it!

What you will take home

Yoga and meditation experience

  • understanding how to customise basic yoga postures for your unique body needs
  • progressively developed yoga sequence that you can follow after the retreat
  • knowing how to best position your body during your meditation practice
  • a relaxed, rejuvenated and re-inspired body, mind and spirit

Incredible memories (and pictures)

  • unforgettable experiences: hikes in the amazing landscapes, whale and dolphin watching, epic hot springs, delicious pineapple plantation, sound journey, fire ceremony
  • professional photographs to boast to your friends and retrieve your amazing memories
  • and surprises along the way!


  • a re-found connection to your Self and understanding what truly matters
  • deep connections with a group of like-minded people and new friends
  • a new-found love for the magic of the Azores and its people


  • video recording of a 30-minute yoga session based on techniques and practices we will learn at the retreat
  • a printed out explanation of how to best apply the energy of 5 elements throughout your day
  • surprise gifts upon your arrival and before your departure

My daughter and I went to spend Mother’s Day together at Irina's yoga retreat. We had an amazing experience! Irina thought of everything from our accommodations to the itinerary to all of the beautiful sites we visited. I am a beginner yoga student but I felt comfortable in the company of the other attendees. I would highly recommend this experience to anyone interested in exploring yoga! Hope to do it again!

I’m packing my bags! Count me in!

Your host

My name is Irina Oshchepkova, I am a certified yoga teacher with 1000+ hours of teaching experience.  I offer the most in-depth and nurturing luxury retreats in unique locations around the world.    

I love the Azores.  I came here for 2 weeks and ended up staying for 6 months.  I cannot wait to show you the most gorgeous places and experiences of these magic islands!

It is a highlight of my career to take a group of like-minded people to breath-taking destinations to go deeper into their practice, really nourish themselves and reconnect to nature.

yogashape reviews

It was just great. I met new people, I had beautiful hikes with an ocean view. I had beautiful meditations and yoga sessions, I got much more flexible. Thank you so much! I would recommend to all my friends to visit this one, such a great experience!

I’m ready for adventures! Let’s go!

Your Investment

The payment is non-refundable but can be fully transferred to another person.  Should travel be blocked due to general COVID restrictions, your payment will be credited to a postponed retreat.  The necessary and appropriate travel insurance is required.

All the payments are made by credit card or by direct bank transfer.  Please contact me at [email protected] for details on bank transfer and invoicing, or if you wish to pay by instalments.

Please check my advice on the best flight option here.



Super early bird prices valid until 22 June
Bonus: private yoga session of 60 euro value

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private double rooms

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The only yoga teacher I keep coming back to. I’ve also been to the retreat she organises in Azores and that was just AMAZING - regular practices, breathtaking places, total peace of mind. Highly recommend!

Imagine how it would feel to:
Move and breathe
Practise relaxing and energising yoga

Connect to yourself through daily meditation practices

Relax during the magical sound journey experience
Imagine how it would feel to:
Explore and DISCOVER
Walk in the mysterious forest and meditate with a magical view

Hike along the volcano crater admiring the spectacular sights

Swim in a gorgeous waterfall with purifying and rejuvenating water
Imagine how it would feel to:
Be amazed and excited to watch whales and dolphins

Swim in the natural swimming pool directly in the ocean

Marvel at the ocean views and fresh breeze, even at your breakfast
Imagine how it would feel to:
Savour and nourish
Enjoy delicious local cuisine prepared by a private cheff

Indulge in delicious celebration dinner with gorgeous ocean views

Explore the Azorean pineapple plantation with surprise tasting in the end
Imagine how it would feel to:
Relax and restore
Let go of the past at the fire ceremony

Recharge when soaking in the hot springs under the skies

Enjoy the precious time for yourself
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This is your unique chance to enjoy a beautiful thought-through high-end retreat in an exotic setting. The Azores destination is like nothing you have ever experienced, it will take your breath away! 

Time for nourishment and healing, time to be nurtured by nature, time to explore and revitalise your energy.

Give yourself a gift of valuable time for your body, mind and soul.

Yes, I am looking forward to joining this retreat!


The weather in the Azores is spring-like most of the time: with days of sun interlaced with low clouds, a shower, a rainbow – and then sun again. They say the Azores can have the four seasons in just one day!  It is a cool to warm subtropical climate, heavily influenced by the ocean and perfect for the outdoors.

Book a flight to Ponta Delgada, the Azores (PDL).  

There are direct flights from Porto and Lisbon.  If you fly from Brussels, book with TAP Air Portugal or Ryanair, both are with a stop in Lisbon or Porto.  There is also an option to go by train to Paris, and then fly directly to Ponta Delgada.

Send me your flight details and I will arrange group transportation to our accommodation at the most common time for all. If the common time does not suit you, take a taxi to Casa do Vale do Sossego: Rua de Cimo da Igreja 8, Santo Antonio, 9500-417 Ponta Delgada, Portugal.  It will take about 20 minutes.

Our opening session is at 16:00 on 16 September 2024.

All levels are welcome, from zero to advanced!  Each class is adapted to the needs of participants.

Make sure to bring comfortable clothes for yoga, hiking and swimming.  Hiking shoes are highly recommended.  I will send you a detailed list when you book your experience.

It is highly recommended to stay longer on the island as there are plenty of places to see and things to do.  Please contact me for details.