Coliving Spain 2022: #2 iSlow – Family-friendly coliving on the beautiful Costa da Morte

Family-friendly coliving Galicia

Nothing can make you understand the importance of slow living more than living in a big, busy metropolitan.

With all the possibilities and the opportunities around us today, life sometimes seems too short to achieve all that we’re meant to. Because of this, society makes you think that you have to push harder every day so you wouldn’t find yourself behind your peers, colleagues, and neighbors.

And rushing into the day to achieve the maximum we can in those 24 hours we’re granted, we often forget to observe the moment. The truth is that we definitely cannot achieve everything in life. Chasing to accomplish it all will only make us lose the moments that truly count.

Taking your time to do things right and enjoying the process is definite to bring results that will last longer, have better quality, and be more stable. Living slowly doesn’t mean not trying hard and putting your time and heart into something. Living slowly only means acknowledging every step of the process as an important one, even taking a break.

Enjoying nature and slow living in Laxe

Life doesn’t have a goal, there’s no finish line, so there is no reason to rush with anything. Taking your time to choose your path is what will secure the most wholesome path for you.

Slow living means taking the time to prepare your food and taking the time to eat it. It means taking the time to play with your kids and taking a walk on the beach, and knowing how to enjoy just sitting and chatting with your friends.

Ines and Julio, the founders of iSlow coliving, have embraced this philosophy and decided to share it with the world by making a coliving that will celebrate it. The name – iSlow – sparks interest on its own, and since they’re just at the beginning of their coliving journey, we decided to visit them and share their ideas with you.

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From living fast to iSlow

Ines and Julio lived several years in the UK and most of that time in London. Even though they loved London and still speak fondly about it, they moved back to Galicia in 2021. Rural Galicia might not have London’s lively atmosphere, but it has something very valuable – the tranquility and the philosophy of slow living.

iSlow - Family-friendly coliving
Julio, Ines, and their friend Laura preparing some yummy slow food

This atmosphere is definitely better for kids, so having 5-year-old twins was another reason for Julio and Ines to choose Galicia over London.

Now, after Ines’s childhood house is renovated, and the traditional farmhouse from the area received a modern makeover, the whole family can enjoy and open its doors to all the traveling families out there.

By opening the doors of its coliving, the family is also opening the doors of Laxe to the world, and letting people learn about the beauty of this small town on beautiful Costa da Morte.

Laxe – a village for all tastes

Laxe is a municipality and a town in northern-west Galicia, on the Costa da Morte. It’s a small village with no more than 3000 people that becomes a popular local-tourism destination in the summer.

With its moderate climate and impeccable beaches in the area, Laxe is a destination that madrileños gladly choose to spend the summers in. The Bay of Corme and Laxe shelters Laxe’s beaches and the exit to the ocean from harsh oceanic winds which makes the beaches great for families and kids.

The beaches are ample and have nooks all over. They are the perfect amount of urban and wild. Besides the beaches, the village is surrounded by greenery and hills and has some great hiking spots. That’s why we say it has something for everyone.

Laxe Galicia
Laxe – areal view of the village and its coast

If you’re not particularly fond of the rural charisma or prefer city vibes, iSlow provides you with a modern shelter a bit outside the village. If that is your cup of tea, coming during summer can be a great option because the town becomes more lively, the restaurants open, and nightlife wakes up.

Laxe is truly a gem and definitely worth a visit, especially when your home for the time is the iSlow house.

How to get to iSlow?

Speaking of bigger cities, you can come to iSlow from Santiago and La Coruna. La Coruna is closer, but it’s more or less the same where you come from.

Santiago’s airport has a bit better connection than the one in La Coruna, so you might find a flight to Santiago before La Coruna.

When in Galicia, it’s best to have or rent a car because the public transportation connections are not the best, especially in small villages.

From Santiago to Laxe

A bus from Santiago to Laxe and vice versa goes only on Mondays, so if you miss that day, you’ll need to find other options.

Our option was to ride a bus to Baio, a town 10-15 minutes away from Laxe where Julio picked us up in his car. The trip from Santiago to Baio cost us 4.5 euros per person.

From La Coruna to Laxe

Buses from La Coruna to Laxe are a bit better connected and go every day.

The iSlow neighborhood

The iSlow house is located about a kilometer outside the town of Laxe. In our personal opinion, the positioning is great. It is close enough to the village to go by foot but not in the center of the village which makes it very private and silent.

If you arrive by car, you’ll only need 2-3 minutes to get down to the town and grab a drink or go to the supermarket. It took us around 15 minutes by foot. The only downside is that the whole way down (and back up) you’ll be walking right next to the main road, but there’s plenty of space to go by.

When you reach the village, you will have two supermarkets available. The bigger one, Eroski, will have everything you need. It’s very well equipped for a small town.

There are also quite a few bars and restaurants to choose from in Laxe, so it shouldn’t be a problem to find a spot to sit down and have a drink or grab a bite. What was interesting to us is that we found Wifi access in some bars, which is not typical for Spain. Well, maybe it is for this region, but it’s definitely useful for foreigners.

The town beach is in the town center, so also about a 15-20 minutes walk from the house to it, and only a few minutes by car.

The house also has a huge backyard that they’re still working on but has huge potential.

The iSlow house

Traditional 20th century farmhouse getting a makeover and a new purpose

The house is a renovated traditional house from Laxe. The complete renovation took a few years but mostly because of the slow living philosophy of life. The time spent for the house to be what it is today is noticeable in every corner. That only proves that the slow living philosophy gives valuable results.

The history of the house

The first papers of the house indicate the year 1915, but it is probably even older than that.

It is a house Ines spent a good portion of her childhood living with her family and her great grandfather. She has some dear memories about the place and her family’s history with it, and she tries to incorporate them into the coliving experience.

For instance, the rooms carry special names telling their past stories, like this room called A vaca (the cow) which was Ines’ room when she was a child living in the house. Back in that time, a part of the house’s ground floor was a place where the stables for cows were and sleeping in a room a floor up, Ines could see the cows from the small crack in the floor.

Ines and Julio decided to renovate the house in such a way that they kept the traditional characteristics of the area that tell a story, and paired it with a modern natural design.

With such a proud history of the area, they thought it would be wrong not to keep the history in the concept of their coliving. And we couldn’t agree more with that.

The house (coliving) today

Today, the house carries a magazine-worthy look. The design combines the traditional yellow stone walls and old pillars, wooden doors, and antique farmhouse decor with the industrial elements and modern elements.

Kids corner in iSlow
A modern kids’ corner in the living room and some antique decoration in the back

The coliving space currently has six common areas (kitchen, living room, common toilet, coworking area, a terrace, and a laundry room), and six private rooms. Both the number of common and private rooms will probably go up soon. Ines and Julio are preparing the huge piece of land behind the house for a few more spaces.

The kitchen

The kitchen is one of the most important parts of a long-term rental, and especially a coliving. For long-term stays, it’s important to have a good enough space to eat as you would at your home. So, having all the necessary amenities to cook and store food. For a coliving, similar to a hostel, it’s crucial to have a space where multiple people can eat and prepare food at the same time.

Well, iSlow did crazy well with the kitchen design! I think it might be safe to say that kitchen is one of the best features of the house!

Kitchen in Coliving house
A kitchen island with bar stools overlooking the cooking areas

The space is huge and comes with two cooking areas, two refrigerators, and sitting space for around 15-20 people. The room receives natural light from a window wall that opens to a common terrace.

When it comes to kitchen appliances and amenities, it’s fully equipped. It has loads of cooking equipment (pots and pans), a microwave, a toaster, an electric kettle, tons of utensils, plates, glasses, mugs, etc. There are also two sinks and a dishwasher.

The size of the space and number of basics make the kitchen convenient for multiple people to prepare the food and/or eat at the same time.

And above all, the size of the space and the beautiful design make the kitchen one of the best areas to hang out with other colivers.

Workspace/Coworking area

Workspace is another common area that can be very interesting to visitors. It has four big desks and provides working space for 6-7 people, but other than that, it is an office like you have never seen before!

Divided from the rest of the house with a glass wall, this space is a working oasis. The room receives a lot of natural light during the day because of two side exits to a patio and the backyard.

Corowking in iSlow
Colivers getting things done in the luminous iSlow coworking space

The industrial design mixed with the rustic and traditional stone makes this place tranquil and inspiring, but the best feature is a completely natural wall. This part of the house is leaned on the massive green rock that the owners decided to keep as an accent wall.

Its raw and completely natural state gives undescriptive energy to the space. It’s so natural that there’s even a plant growing from the rock inside the office. For the past two weeks, my favorite thing was to check on how the plant is growing. It’s beautiful.

The space feels like the outdoors, but you’re completely sheltered. Do you know that energy you feel when you’re deep down in the woods close to a small natural waterfall? This wall gives that energy to the office. It feels very natural, inspiring, and healthy for the soul and the mind.

Desk in iSlow coworking area
A working desk right in front of the natural wall in the coworking area

If you are working long hours on your computer, I think this is the perfect place to do it because nature’s presence in the office will give you a healthy balance.

Other than that, the space comes with good wifi and plenty of office gadgets like a monitor, a kneeling chair, and a projector. So it’s like a fully equipped office space in the middle of the woods.

The rooms

The private rooms have that modern farmhouse design. They come with very comfortable beds, great storage for your things, a desk and a chair, an AC, and the best of all – super nice private bathrooms. Every room has its own bathroom with a rainfall shower.

iSlow coliving private room
One of the private rooms offered at iSlow coliving

On top of that, the rooms have electronic locking systems for extra security. So, if you like the idea of coliving, but also want to have your privacy, these rooms give you that for sure.

Coliving activities you can expect in iSlow

Many colivings offer special activities to their colivers to connect with the community. Coliving is not only living with others but also making a valuable community and sharing interests.

iSlow only opened a few weeks ago, so they’re still planning their activities and testing the options. We were lucky to be part of some and hear their ideas for the upcoming ones.

So, here’s what you can expect from iSlow in the upcoming period.

Language exchange

Based on the experience Ines and Julio had while living in London, they find that language exchange sessions can have a valuable impact on community bonding as well as long-term personal growth value.

As a family-friendly coliving, they want to provide these sessions for adults and kids. They know how beneficial it can be for young children to learn foreign languages, and they want to embrace that.

Language exchange is not only good for learning languages but is also a great way to introduce one’s culture and personality.

For more information about the idea, check this article where we covered it in detail.

Yoga classes

Yoga classes are a very popular coliving activity, so it’s good that Julio’s sister Sandra is a yoga teacher. Even though they have not yet decided how they’ll organize these classes and whether they will be free for the colivers or not, we had a trial session – and it was so good!

Yoga session in iSlow coliving
Yoga session in the coworking area at iSlow

These classes also might be open for the local women to join. This is another way of supporting the local community and connecting colivers with it.

In the future, the backyard space could become a yoga spot during summer, but until then, the coworking office is amazing for small group yoga sessions. Its natural energy flows through the room so it has that meditative effect.

Camiño dos faros

There is a popular lighthouse hiking route in the area with eight stages that go through multiple villages. One of the stages is in Laxe and is a great activity to hike the stage. Nature is beautiful, and the hike is easy and accessible.

Faro Laxe, Costa de Morte
Laxe’s lighthouse – one of the stages of the lighthouse hiking route

Being one of the things that visitors should do while in Laxe, this hike will definitely be one of the activities that iSlow will organize during warm days.

iSlow wrote about the Camino dos Faros as well as the stage in Laxe on their website. Be sure to check the blogs out!

Traditional Galician parties

Behind the house, there’s a barbecue place that Ines and Julio are still working on but once that is complete, a plan is to organize traditional Galician parties there.

These parties will gather colivers and the local people and be something like jamming sessions. Whoever wants to join and play something, sing, or dance, can. And those who want to chill out and enjoy the music can also do that.

We experienced something like this when Anceu coliving with 15 of its folks came to visit iSlow. It was truly a fun community experience.

The philosophy behind iSlow

iSlow grows its coliving on three main pillarsfamily, slow living, and the local community.

Family-friendly coliving

As a family themselves, Julio, Ines, and their 5-year-old twins want to make a safe and supportive place for traveling families.

Childrean area in family-friendly coliving
Little colivers making connections in the first family-friendly coliving in the area 🙂

Not many colivings and places for digital nomads are for families, and many are generally not kid-friendly. iSlow wants to change that and provide a comfortable place for parents with kids to come and enjoy the perks of nomadism and remote work. The house has many corners for kids but also spaces like coworking where adults can be alone and in peace.

Slow living

When it comes to slow living, iSlow wants to encourage colivers to embrace slow life and enjoy the moment. The house itself has that tranquil energy and provides a relaxing environment to do it all at your own pace. Less rushing, less stress, and more living here and right now.

Local community support

The third pillar is the support they want to provide to the locals of Laxe and the area. Laxe gets quite popular in the summers, but during the colder days, locals don’t have many options for leisure and fun. iSlow wants to provide this through events and connections with colivers. The locals have so much to offer to travelers but also have so much to receive from them.

iSlow is only at the beginning of its journey but they have so many things planned and we’re super excited to see where it will take them. We spent two weeks with them and met so many nice adults and kids and we’ll definitely come back!

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