Practical course work

Nearest beach

Summer kitchen

In the Venus flower

Karmela Kiš

Sabine Engelhardt

Mosaic dragon

Canvas room in glamping tent

Camping area

Strawbale cabin

Geodesic dome


Delicious food




72-hour Permaculture Design course, 30th May-10th June 2018 at the permaculture retreat camp Gea Viva on the Croatian island Brac

Learn sustainable living skills and earn an internationally recognised certificate for sustainability consulting! Discover how to construct natural buildings, plan organic gardens and food forests, grow your own food, revitalize ecosystems, to design renewable energy systems and much more. This Permaculture Design Course teaches how to design and implement sustainable living systems that are in balance with natural ecosystems and make the world a greener place. Upon completion of the course graduates receive a Permaculture Design Certificate, an internationally-recognized credential for sustainability consulting. This course is classroom-based with some outdoor hands-on projects. It will be held in English.

What is permaculture?
Permaculture (permanent agriculture) is a set of design tools, methodologies and principles that allow us to enrich and diversify landscapes, our communities, towns and villages to be in harmony with nature and to provide an abundance of everything we humans truly require. Guided by ethics, permaculture aims at creating a permanent culture - lifestyles our planet Earth and its rescources can sustain for generations to come. The design principles of permaculture are very versatile and can be applied to any design task ranging from ethical business development, house design, gardens, creating lifely communities and creative solutions to generate energy, catch water and to minimize waste, to name a few.

The Venue
Gea Viva is an eco retreat camp in a tranquil olive grove, 15 minutes’ walk from the sea and the harbour village Milna on the beautiful Croatian island Brač. Giving people the opportunity to experience living in harmony with nature, it offers retreats, events and seminars around the themes of ecological construction, permaculture, geomancy, healthy living, arts and crafts. Being completely off-grid, Its design is based on permaculture principles featuring a stone circle, a beautiful pavilion which serves as a teaching space, a permaculture garden, compost toilets, solar showers, a geodesic dome, a straw bale eco cabin, a giant mosaic dragon and a cosy Summer kitchen. The course will take place in our outdoor pavilion and around the Gea Viva site.
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PDC Course Syllabus
Having discussed the challenges we face as a society, permaculture ethics and the basics of permaculture, we will cover a wide range of themes and teach the patterns and concepts of permacutture. In a practical design project as well as hand-on work at the Gea Viva site, you will be able to apply and deepen your learning,

The syllabus will cover the following areas
- Permaculture ethics and approach to challenges
- Principles of Natural Systems - Sustainable Design Methodologies
- Patterns in Nature, Culture and Society
- Reading the Land & Understanding Natural Processes
- Large Scale Land Restoration Techniques
- Water Harvesting Techniques
- Design Principles of Sustainable Human Settlements
- Grey Water Recycling
- Natural Building Strategies
- Cultivated & Productive Ecologies
- Food Forests, Plant Guilds, Gardens for Self-Sufficiency
- Energy Conservation Technologies
- Appropriate Technologies and Renewable Energies
- Urban Environment Permaculture
- Wildlife Management and Biological Pest Control
- Invisible Structures: People, Community, Economics, EcoVillages
- Community Supported Agriculture

The lead instructor Karmela Kiš, a renowned permaculture designer, has long-standing experience in permaculture, organic gardening and ecological garden design. Being completely immersed in permaculture for almost twenty years, Karmela has created and sustained a number of Permaculture gardens, grown a wide range of rare plants, published a book on conserving fruit and vegetables and has, together with her deseased husband Miroslav, written the first book on Permaculture in Croatian. An inspiring teacher with in-depth knowledge of applied Permaculture, Karmela truly walks her talk.


An experienced workshop leader, Sabine Engelhardt is an eco architect, joiner and geomancer, who is the innitiator of the Gea Viva project. She has designed the site according to permaculture principles and has built most structures on site, with friends and volunteers. Having lived close to nature for the last six years, Sabine has also designed and constructed her own tiny eco strawbale house, which you can see on site. Sabine has been cultivating the connection with the unseen layers of the Earth for many years, known as sacred permaculture and will lead the optional morning meditations as well as some modules on the course.
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Course Structure
This 72-hour workshop starts on Wednesday, 30th May at 18.00 hrs, and ends on Monday, 9th June with an evening of celebration, with one afternoon off in-between. Sunday, 10th June is the leaving day.
The course will run every day from 9.00 - 13.00 and from 16.00 - 19.30 hrs, with short interim breaks as required. Optional morning meditations/Yoga sessions are from 7.45-8.15 hrs. The long lunch breaks allow a rest or time to go swimming during the hot hours of the day.

The course language is English. Do not hesitate to ask, if you do not unterstand something, we can take it slowly. If you need, we can translate into German and Croatian.


One person in glamping tent or own camper van 895 Euros One person
in own tent

850 Euros

Price includes

The glamping tent has twin and single canvas rooms, camping beds. Bedding and bed linen are provided. Please bring your own towels.

If you like additional days to relax here, you are welcome to arrive before or leave after the course. Additional nights are 13.50 Euros in the glamping tent/own camper van/ individual hire tent and 9.50 Euros in own tent.

To secure your place on the course, please pay the deposit of 200 Euros at the time of your registration. Payments are by bank transfer in Croatian Kunas (HRK) or in Euros, by Paypal or in cash. The deadline for registrations is the 21st May.

For cancellations up to two months in advance of the event, we will deduct a handling fee of 50 Euros, and return the remainder of the deposit to you. For cancellations later than two months before the event, the deposit is non-returnable and for cancellations later than one month before the event, the entire fee is due.


Food and practicalities
We have a fully equipped kitchen on site, and will prepare vegetarian meals jointly. If you have special dietary requirements, please let us know in the registration form.
Please note that alcohol and drugs are not allowed on site.

The village Milna has grocery shops, restaurants, bars, cash points, a currency exchange, a doctor and a post office.

Getting there
The nearest city is Split, which can be reached by plane, ferry, rail, coach and car. From there you can catch a passenger ferry directly to Milna on Brac or travel via Supetar with the car ferry (more frequent). Milna is also serviced by a ferry from Dubrovnik, Mljet, Korcula and Hvar.
Detailed directions

What to bring
Please bring coloured pens, a notebook, drawing paper, working clothes, a sun hat, sunscreen and a towel.

Register here, if you have questions, please contact Sabine Engelhardt, , tel + 385 99 749 3711.

Gea Viva is a beautiful place where you can learn to live with nature! People I met there were very kind :) I learnt so many things thanks to Sabine. We built an eco-cabin with straw bales and it was very interesting. Moroever, Brac island is such a nice spot to camp!
Jerome, France

I had a great time a Gea Viva. Sabine was a terrific host. Brac is unlike any landscape I have ever seen and there were plenty of beaches within walking distance from camp. I would definitely recommend Gea Viva.
Garrett, US

The Gea Viva camp and Sabine hosted us for a week and we had a great time! The food was excellent: freash fish, fruits and vegetables, good coffee, awesome! Sabine is also a really good host, we had great discussions about everything, she is really a wonderful woman, full of spirit and talent. The camp has a really good way of thinking, in harmony with nature and soul. It is perfect to relax and have a break from the stressful city life. The beach is only at 20 mins walk from the camp, really peaceful. You have another one a bit more far away (40 min), really beautiful. We really appreciated our stay! Thanks again Sabine!
Marie-Philippe, Canada