Ireland·September 3 - 9 2023
Get back to nature (and yourself) on the breathtaking coast of Ireland alongside the world famous Cliffs of Moher.
If you've always wanted to see the green rolling hills and dramatic cliffs of the Ireland for yourself but don't know where to start the planning - this retreat is for you! Start your day with an invigorating practice in our a state-of-the-art yoga studio with stunning views of the sea and countryside. Experience several excursions, guided hikes and other activities to fully immerse yourself in the natural beauty of the Emerald Isle, its charming towns and the welcoming culture of the Irish people.
During down time, rest and relax in our modern farmhouse accommodations set on 10 acres, looking out over Liscannor Bay and radiant green farmlands. Soak in the hot tub, journal by the cozy fireplace or enjoy a massage. By the end of our time together you'll feel refreshed, renewed and ready to step back into your life with joyful memories and new life-long connections.
*Please note we are requiring proof of COVID vaccination (including a booster shot) and a pre-retreat test for all 2023 retreat guests *
- Group Size: 18 - 24 guests
- Luxury Score: 3 (out of 5)
- Activity Score: 3.5 (out of 5) - Active Tours + Hiking
- Cuisine: Vegetarian, (*No alcohol at retreat center)
Enjoy a guided hike along a backdrop of the mighty Atlantic Ocean crashing on the shore and the ancient Cliffs of Moher rising from the depths. You'll learn some local history, geography and enjoy stunning views as you get your heart pumping.
You'll have the option to flow through daily curated yoga classes with our team of friendly and experienced instructors. Enjoy class formats like vinyasa, yin, slow flow and gentle in our glass-front practice space with stunning views of the Irish countryside and ocean. Mats and props are provided.
The entire retreat center is catered to an environment of relaxation. Take a dip in the Canadian hot tub, relax your hiking muscles in the sauna or sweat out your muscles in the steam room. Or grab a mug of loose leaf tea and journal in a comfy lounge. You'll also have a chance to book a massage on-site.
From our retreat center home base, you are spoiled for choice on quiet roads to walk on your own. Whether you're looking for epic views, a swim in the brisk Atlantic, or new friendships with the nearby sheep, donkeys or cows - there's plenty of open space, quiet and lush countryside to clear the mind.
Enjoy nourishing, warm family-style vegetarian meals. Much of what's served comes from the retreat center's greenhouse or other local sources. Think salads, soups, filling grain + veggie bowls and homemade Irish soda bread. Vegan and gluten free or diets can be accommodated.
Be transported back in time as we jump on a ferry over to the mystical Aran Islands for a day trip. Enjoy the island of Inisheer on our guided group hike, or grab a bike or a ride in a horse drawn carriage to explore on your own. We'll visit the ruins of a famous shipwreck and have time to check out the local pub.
On our free day there are so many ways to enhance your trip. On our last retreat some guests went surfing (yes, in Ireland), many played golf at the nearby championship courses and others went horseback riding!
You'll have multiple opportunities to explore several quaint local Irish towns in County Clare, including Doolin - the home of traditional Irish music and Lahinch - a popular surfing, seaside village. Shop, sip a tea or grab a Guinness in your new favorite pub.
Every Above Yoga Retreat has multiple certified yoga teachers on-site who will each lead a portion of the classes and support students in their practice. We find that an opportunity to participate in a variety of classes with various teaching styles adds to our guests’ overall retreat experience. We also love to highlight our long-term partnerships with our local guides who will be an essential part of your week!
Anna is the Owner + Chief Zen Officer of Above Yoga Retreats. She handles all the pre-planning and on-site logistics of retreats. Anna loves to teach classes that feel inclusive and welcoming such as slow flows, gentle yoga, yin, restorative and moderately paced vinyasa classes. She believes that yoga retreats are for EVERYONE who is open to new experiences. This will be her 4th time to Ireland and her 3rd time leading this retreat, so you are in the best hands!
Loretta Jo has been practicing yoga and guiding students for almost two decades. She created Yoga-Mojo and later, the Cary Yoga Collective, so all students can experience the uplifting magic that occurs within practice – the unified mental, physical, and spiritual “mojo” that moved her to begin her own personal yoga journey. Her holistic classes incorporate storytelling, Sanskrit language, mantras, mudras and yoga mythology; and are sprinkled with humor and joy.
Shauna's goal with yoga is to use principles that invite a full mind-body experience which allows the mind to quiet, the wisdom of the body to be cultivated, and the nervous system to heal. She loves to teach slow flows that are accessible as well as restorative, yin yoga and chair yoga. Shauna has taken additional trainings with the Veteran's Yoga Project and Yoga for Traumatic Brain Injuries. When she's not leading classes for veterans, she's also teaching yoga at the Wisconsin Athletic Club.
Patrick was born and raised in Ireland. He's incredibly passionate about Irish history, its unique geography and welcoming newcomers to this special place. Patrick will guide us on our hike on the Cliffs of Moher as well as one on the Aran Island of Inisheer. With him at the helm, you can expect to laugh just as much as you learn. This is our third retreat in partnership with Patrick as our local guide, his incredible knowledge and passion bring so much to everyone's experience.
Most guests will arrive into the Shannon Airport in the morning after their overnight flights from the States. Our private transportation will make multiple runs from the airport to the nearby town of Ennis. Depending on when you land, you'll have several hours in the charming town of Ennis to explore, dine or shop before meeting up about 3:00 pm and heading to the retreat center for check in. Tonight enjoy a welcome dinner and get settled in.
Free Time in Ennis
We'll start our morning with a sunrise vinyasa flow class and then enjoy a nourishing breakfast. Choose to relax at the retreat center, or join for an optional walk/hike to explore the countryside and familiarize yourself with your new surroundings. Enjoy lunch, a free afternoon, a grounding evening yoga class and delicious dinner. Great day to take a swim in the nearby Atlantic or hop in the on-site hot tub - or both!
Walk/Hike Distance: Option for 3 miles or 6 miles (Elevation change: 500 ft)
Guided Area Intro Hike
Rise with the sun in our invigorating morning yoga class (geared specifically to warm up our hiking muscles!) and then enjoy a hearty breakfast. We'll depart after breakfast for our vigorous hike along the Cliffs of Moher with our local guide to view incredible vistas. After our hike, we'll return to the retreat center for lunch and a relaxing afternoon. Our suggestion - hop in the on-site sauna! Before dinner we'll relax and unwind with a deep stretch evening yoga class.
Walk/Hike Distance: 5 miles (Elevation change: 800 ft)
Sleep in or join your fellow retreat guests for a yin + yang yoga class and our usual delicious breakfast. Today you're free to find your own kind of fun in the stunning Irish countryside. We can help you book a round of championship golf, surfing lessons in nearby Lahinch, a horseback riding tour, or maybe just a massage on-site at the retreat center!
We'll have lunch on-site and a special yoga offering for those who would like to join. In the evening we'll head out to the charming town of Doolin to have a dinner out (fish + chips anyone?) and enjoy listening to live local "trad" - traditional Irish music!
Excursion to Doolin
You know the drill for our mornings together - sunrise yoga and breakfast. After breakfast we will head to Doolin to board the ferry over to the Aran Islands (it's a 20 min ride). Spend the day on the island of Inisheer (known locally as Inis Oirr). We'll enjoy a guided walk / hike on the island and you'll feel like you've been transported back in time. Large stone walls criss-cross this island that's known for having an incredible shipwreck and has a year round population of just 250 residents. You can also choose to explore own your own by foot, horse-drawn carriage or rent a bike.
Before we board the ferry back, you'll have time to grab a pint in a quaint pub if you wish. We'll be back at the retreat center for an evening yoga offering, dinner and a relaxing evening together.
Walk/Hike Distance: 4 miles (Elevation change: 200 ft)
Ferry Ride to Aran Islands
Guided Walk / Hike
After a morning flow class, enjoy breakfast and a hot cup of coffee before we head out to explore local towns. We'll venture to Ennistymon, known for its colorful and quaint main street, art galleries, coffee shops and small waterfalls or Lahinch, popular for its oceanfront location and quintessentially Irish pubs - or both if there's time. Today's the perfect chance to soak up the joy of being off the beaten tourist path. Or you can choose to stay back and soak up a leisurely morning at the retreat center. In the evening, enjoy an optional journaling workshop and restorative yoga offering before our final group dinner.
Excursion to Local Towns
We'll have a final breakfast together before saying our final goodbyes - to our Irish hosts, to the cows in the pastures, to our warm farmhouse home, and to each other. But knowing we will see each other again soon across the globe. It's just an hour back to the Shannon Airport to board your flights back home.
Accommodations at our modern farmhouse retreat center
Roundtrip transportation from the Shannon Airport
Vegetarian breakfast, lunch and dinner daily
Unlimited filtered water, coffee and tea
2x daily yoga classes taught by experienced instructors
Journaling, meditation and other mindfulness workshops
Access to the on-site hot tub, sauna and steam room
Guided intro walk of the local area
Guided hiking tour of the Cliffs of Moher
Excursion to Doolin for traditional Irish music
Excursion to Aran Islands (ferry ride + guided walk)
Excursions to local towns (Ennis, Lahinch, etc.)
Private Facebook group for participants
Pre-retreat Zoom meeting
Access to web-based private mobile app while on retreat
Airfare to Ireland (Shannon airport recommended)
Comprehensive travel insurance (highly recommended)
Optional activities (massage, surfing, horseback riding)
One dinner at a local pub, any alcoholic beverages
If you fly in to the Shannon Airport (SNN), then round trip ground transportation is included. You will need to land before 2:00 pm on Sept. 3. You'll spend the morning exploring the nearby town of Ennis, as we are not able to check in to the retreat center until the late afternoon.
If you'd rather fly in and out of Dublin, we recommend you fly in at least a day early. Getting yourself to Ennis (or direct to the retreat center) will be at your own expense if coming from Dublin.
More information will be included in your welcome email after booking. Plan to depart after 12:00 pm on Sept 9.
As with all Above Yoga Retreats, everything on this experience is optional. You are free to choose to participate in as much or as little as you want. Attend all offered yoga classes, just a few, or none at all. If you choose to come to yoga, you are welcome to take your practice at your own pace and modifications will be offered.
If you'd like to skip any hike, activity or excursion and choose to have more free time, you are encouraged to do so. No forced fun here!
If you want to participate in walks or hikes but are worried about your ability to keep up, one of our hosts will walk slower with you and/or we can give you alternative and shortcut routes.
Average weather for early September: high 65 / low 54. Expect periods of sunshine, but likely many days with some rain (as is common all year long in Ireland) and breezes as we are by the coast.
A light rain jacket / windbreaker and a few warmer layers are a must in the Emerald Isle as the weather can change quickly (which is part of the reason they have so many spectacular rainbows). Some days you may be in a t-shirt, others you may be bundled up against the wind. It's part of the Irish fun!
Several excursions and walks will be done alongside our local guide, Patrick. We've worked with Patrick for several years and he's often named as one of our guests' favorite parts of this retreat. His passion for Ireland and Irish history is unparalleled, but also infused with a good bit of Irish humor and "craic" (aka good times).
If you'd like to explore more of Ireland on your own during free time, we can connect you with Patrick for additional guided hikes or tours at an extra cost if he's available.
*Please note this is an alcohol-free retreat center, but you can enjoy a Guinness (or a Jameson) while in town or on excursions if you'd like and at your own expense.
There will be the chance to visit local pubs when we are on excursions as desired. In addition, one night we will go into the famous small town of Doolin for a night of local traditional Irish music at the pub.
However, if access to alcohol is vital to your vacation fun, this is not the best retreat for you. This is a wellness-focused environment and you are not allowed to bring alcohol back to the retreat center (the venue's rule).
While at the retreat center, we are in the spectacular and quiet countryside of Ireland. There are a few small shops just a mile or so from us, but the focus is more on tranquility and disconnecting.
However, we will visit many small towns for shopping, culture and exploring during our time together - including Doolin, Ennis, Lahinch, Ennistymon and a quaint village on one of the Aran Islands.
*Please note: the provided WiFi works in one lounge, but does not extend to most of the guest rooms. If you need to be in constant connection back home you will need to get a SIM card or use your data.
All guests must be fully vaccinated against COVID and have had at least one booster ahead of this retreat. We also reserve the right to require a pre-retreat PCR COVID test.
As of writing this (Oct. 2022), there are no additional requirements to get into Ireland or back into the U.S. but this could change, and will be at your own cost to adhere to any extra requirements as needed.
A 20% deposit is required to secure your booking. The remaining 80% can be paid at your leisure and in any increments, as long as it is paid off at least 90 days before the trip (reminders will be sent).
Please note our Terms & Conditions before booking for more information on cancellation policies and liability waiver, you will be asked to agree to them when checking out.
The Ireland retreat was incredible! Yoga, culture, history, etc. perfectly balanced with rest and relaxation. Not to mention the incredibly fresh and delicious meals on-site and amenities at the retreat center (e.g. sauna, steam room, cozy lounges). Anna is a gift! She takes care of every detail, from the itinerary to the ground transportation. If you're considering going on a retreat, book it now!
Stephanie, Charlotte, NC (Ireland 2022 Retreat
This trip was amazing! I had never been on a yoga retreat or traveled to Europe. From the beginning to end Anna had everything planned out and was extremely organized. She answered all of my questions and made sure all of us were well-prepared for international travel. I could not have asked for a better experience
Jennifer, Blacksburg, VA (Ireland 2018 Retreat)
Above Yoga is the best!!! Excellent, clear and timely pre-trip communication which continues through the duration of the retreat. Laid-back yet still punctual, everything went extremely smoothly and there was zero stress. The balance of activities and relaxation was perfect for me and I especially appreciate the absolutely no-pressure vibe. Honestly I could have used a few more days!
Sarah, Milwaukee, WI (Ireland 2022 Retreat)
I must say that Anna is absolute magic. She manages to create an experience that caters to each individual while bringing us together as a whole. Whether it be a massage, a dip in the freezing (and invigorating) Atlantic, exploring the local towns and sights, taking classes, or opportunities for vulnerability, I felt like I had the perfect trip for me, despite this being a group of 20. Anna provided the perfect amount of guidance and freedom to get the most out of the week.
Heidi, Glenview, IL (Ireland 2022 Retreat)
This retreat well surpassed any expectation I had going into it. Anna's attention to every aspect of the experience is second to none. From the moment you arrive, it is obvious that she has done her homework on the retreat location, activities that appeal to everyone's interests and is well-versed in local culture. Whether you are a yoga instructor or have never practiced, Anna's retreats are for everyone. Going into it I felt that the retreat was a little out of my comfort zone, but the people that Anna surrounds herself with are just as welcoming as she is. Phenomenal all around experience start to finish!
Shannnon, Charlotte, NC (Ireland 2018 Retreat)
Great communicaton, details, and friendly atmosphere. Glad to be close to the water and go down to the shore and enjoy the refreshing water. Hot tub and sauna were nice in the evening. Good, fresh food and plenty of water, coffee and tea! Retreat center was very nice with garden, flowers, great views and the yoga studio was very welcoming!
Pat, Rio, WI (Ireland 2022 Retreat)
Anna was so organized and enthusiastic! Yoga morning and night was a great way to wake up and wind down! Wish I had someone to make all those wonderful meals every day - so creative and tasty! Wasn’t sure how I would do since I’m not totally vegetarian but I loved them!
Carol, Blacksburg, VA (Ireland 2018 Retreat)
Words cannot describe how incredible this trip was! From the moment I signed up, there was steady and clear communication - I didn't have to worry about a thing. This remained consistent throughout the trip, with a number of wonderful activities planned and plenty of suggestions for activities during free time. Anna's coordination and organization throughout the trip allowed for the perfect vacation. (I would also like to add the itinerary provided was excellent)!
Jen, London, UK (Ireland 2018 Retreat)
Anna did a wonderful job from the beginning seeing all details through. I felt that I did not have to worry about a thing and she made the experience easy. I felt as I could do as little or as much as I wanted, just as she had indicated!
Justin, Blacksburg, VA (Ireland 2018 Retreat)
This was my first but won't be my last retreat with Above Yoga. What an amazing experience! Anna was so organized planning and communicating prior. The community of people were warm and friendly. It was an amazing experience in Ireland!
Kate, Charlotte, NC (Ireland 2018 Retreat)
Ireland·September 3 - 9 2023·6 nights
Join the waiting list and we will let you know if a spot becomes available.