Yoga Travel Guide: Clare, Ireland.

 

County Clare is just beautiful – walking or driving through the Burren; which has an otherworldly sense to it, or experiencing the breathtaking views along the Coastal drive. On a clear, sunny day I feel like I could be back driving along the Mediterranean coast (on a smaller scale, but equally impressive).

A short drive from Galway (just over an hour along the motorway if you are coming from Tuam, like I was) and it is also filled with vegan eating spots, yoga, the thriving surf scene and just absolutely incredible nature.

Showing Ireland in its true majestic form.

Here are some of the spots of interest in this fine county (and my namesake!).

 

 

Yoga 

 

Doolin Yoga 

I first met Tricia when she joined us in Galway for a workshop I was hosting. Tricia first came to yoga over eighteen years ago, falling in love with the Satyananda style. Going on to spend a month living in an Ashram in Paris, Tricia completed her first yoga teacher training and most recently has completed a Vinyasa Yoga Teacher training course with Green Lotus Yoga.

Tricia runs regular, weekly yoga classes in Doolin and Lahinch as well as hosting different workshops and events from time to time. You can check the schedule here .

Keep an eye on the Facebook page for updates and class/workshop schedules.

Location Doolin / Lahinch            Contact +353 86 207 4335

Tricia, the yogini behind Doolin yoga. Photo: Source

 

 

The Cliffs of Moher Retreat

When I first heard that this space was being created in one of Ireland’s most stunning locations, I was excited to see how it would take form amidst our beloved Cliffs of Moher. It seems to have taken form in a similar vein, pretty magical and equally stunning!

The retreat calendar alone is so impressive, with some excellent events, teachers and unique retreats coming up- something for everyone and the whole year has already got an opportunity available for you to take some time out, rest, yoga it up and hike (maybe even join their yoga and hiking retreats?!) You will also get to eat some local, organic food  from their own organic garden and, of course – get to both see and experience the Cliff’s.

Oh and they have an outdoor hot tub and sauna.

Location    Moher Lodge, Kinielty,Liscannor         Contact +353 86 851 7710 / info@cliffsofmoherretreat.com

Here is an idea:

Taken from The Cliffs of Moher YouTube channel.

 

Burren yoga 

Burren yoga runs regular yoga and meditation retreats with the beautiful surrounds of the Burren. This centre is just outside of Kinvara (So technically it is in county Galway but it is oh so close and I mean when you’re here you must take a trip into deeper Clare county 🙂 )

There are varying styles of yoga retreats on offer and with pretty reasonable prices for a weekend away to rejuvenate in the Irish countryside.

Not only do you get daily yoga, meditation, vegetarian food (vegan and other dietary needs are catered for) and relax time, but there are walking trips around the Burren ( depending on the retreat). You can take a look at the sample daily schedule

This retreat sounds absolutely amazing , sacred women.

There are varying accommodation options depending on sharing and price needs.

Sound divine? A way to not only explore one of Ireland’s most beautiful counties and be surrounded by the stunning karst landscaepe of the Burren, but also enjoy a deeper connection to yourself through the space and practice of yoga.

Location Cappaghmore, Kinvarra       Contact  +353 91 637 680   /  dave@burrenyoga.com

 

Yoga Loft Studio

Paulette Egan, creator of SportsYoga.ie, teaches at her home studio in Clonlara which has been offering yoga classes for ten years. Paulette teaches yoga that helps to prevent injury through sport and training as well as educating students on correct breathing, strengthening and bring balance into your practice as well as into your training through sport. Paulette teaches classes to students of all levels as well as constructing training programmes for elite athletes.

Paulette has also recently launched Ireland’s first line of yoga and sports wear , I-SPY clothing. They also came highly recommended by a sport loving friend recently who was wearing them!

You can contact Paulette to inquire about her classes in Clare (Paulette also teaches regular classes in Limerick), or to learn more about her current and upcoming training programmes, private sessions and workshops.

Location Clonara, Clare       Contact +353 (0)86 318 3646   / info@sportsyoga.ie

 

Eating

 

Peckish Vegan Cafe

A 100% plant based cafe, in Ennis. Yep, 100% vegan folks. Peckish cafe also has an adjoining  Zero Waste (single-use plastic free) store (with packaging free items such as lentils, beans, nuts, dried fruit, grains and organic vegetables and fruit.  Also opposite there is the excellently stocked bio market health store opposite, Meanwell Wholefoods
health store which had loads of goods and natural products that I have never seen before. . So cool!!!

So the cafe – everything is Vegan, amazing!

This, my friend is the burrito with vegan chorizo. Feed me!

The whole lunch menu had me trying to make up my mind for about twenty minutes (I came back for a second trip here as my first was a cake and coffee trip!). I went for the black bean and vegan chorizo burrito and it was awesome. Served with homemade potato wedges, chutney and I asked for some alioli. My dining companions went for the black bean and sweet potato burger served with quinoa and the avocado bagel – both were non vegans but left very happy and satisfied.

The cakes, the cakes. I tried the raspberry and chocolate filled sponge and a strawberry and soy cream sponge (I had two, but was the size of a profiterole and I don’t regret a bite of either!). I’m always a happy lady to have some vegan friendly cake options and these satisfied my sweet tooth delightfully, paired with my Oatly cappuccino – you can’t go wrong.

I love to see and support plant based cafes – especially Irish ones that are helping in such a huge way to make eating out (especially outside of cities and in rural places) so much easier for those with dietary choices that are still considered a bit against the ‘norm’. So thanks Peckish!

The decor and space itself is fab; a bright, wooden vibe and with a nice cosy area at the back. The staff were also super friendly! .

I saw some nice vegan craft beers and ciders (next time when I’m not the driver 🤗).

Location Merchant’s Square, Ennis      Contact +353 65 684 4879

Cake. Coffee. Delicious. Peckish cafe.

 

The Ivy Cottage

This is where we always end up when in Doolin to sit outside, soak up that sunshine (which has been present most of the times I’ve been here) and watch the people going by and with the views all around.

While there wasn’t a specific vegan option, they were very happy to oblige and made me up a nice salad and other bits. The coffee is good and it is really a lovely spot to chill out for a few hours.

I shall most definitely be back.

Loation Ballyvara, Doolin        Contact +353 85 864 3269

 

Hotel Doolin

This is definitely the hub of Doolin, whether for a tasty beer or cocktail in the pub or for some restaurant dining or pub grub eating. I’ve tried them all!

The food is really delicious and they have some tasty vegan options – sweet potato, chick pea and spinch curry for mains? They even have dessert – Vegan chocolate cherry truffle and hazlenut meringue with avocado ice-cream….what!?! I have to make a trip back soon so I can try this one!

Location Rivervale, Teergonean, Doolin     Contact  +353 65 707 4111

 

 

Hazel Mountain Chocolate

This gorgeous cottage cafe is such a treat. Not only the cafe itself and its decor which has a super cosy feel, but the chocolate!! The hot chocolate is pure cacao bliss , I don’t like my hot chocolate sweet (which is what you get in most of the sugar-laced hot chocs), but this one is just a sit-down-and-close-your-eyes-to-enjoy type of hot chocolate.

They import their own cacao beans and make all of their chocolate in this little Burren chocolate factory. You can pop into their on-site chocolate store and even have a view of the chocolate factory in action. They have some delicious vegan friendly chocolates – with flavors such as cardamon, coffee and lavender, all so damn good.

They host regular, interesting and unique events – from chocolate tasting, handstands and chocolate, chocolate lock-ins and blend your own gluten-free flour workshops (between their Galway and Clare shop).

I’d highly recommend you take a little trip here, whether it be on your way home from a trip to Clare or if you are, like me, from Galway – it is a day out worth taking. The perfect pre or post hike treat to get to take the time to sit in and enjoy a cake, some lunch and pair it with one of the chocolate drinks.

Their Galway city shop is always a joy and by far the best hot chocolate in the city!

Location Oughtmama, Bellharbour       Contact  info@hazelmountainchocolate.com

 

Other things to do

Dromore Nature Reserve

This nature reserve was originally set up as it has such a diverse range of flora and fauna because of the varying habitats across the 400 acre woodland; lakes, turloughs, callows, river, limestone, peat + woodland.

It is so peaceful in there. You can drive in (along the tree lined road) + park up. Then take your pick of which side to start your meandering through the trees and worn trails.
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Sitting on the large rock bed at the edge of the lake, listening to the birds (+ no humans in sight 🙈😍) – was bliss. Pure bliss. Getting into that nature space energy vibration is what I’m all about these days.

Just twenty minutes or so from Ennis, it is the perfect combination with your Peckish meal and zero waste shopping day out.

Location  Ruan, Ennis
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Dromore Reserve

 

Moyhill Community Farm

Moy Hill is a community farm which promotes community, growing local organic food, planting and creating more woodland (their charity HomeTree has planted 14,000 native trees with the aim to be protected eco-system to support plant and animal life).

This space is not just a farm which cultivates a back-to-roots approach to what we have on our plate and put in outr bodies, but it is a space for people – to nourish and heal through this medium of connection, nature and support.

The space is open for visitors and volunteers and you can join in on their weekly workdays in exchange for a box of fresh veg and during April to October you can join in on a yoga session!

Get in touch to volunteer in other ways or with other skills, take a guided tour of the farm on the first Saturday of the month or attend the Moyhill Farm Gathering happening in September. Sounds awesome!!

Everything here is done through hard-work, community, volunteering, donations (they raised over €80,000 in donations to purchase 60 acres of land which will be a support for the community and envrionment).

Take a look at their video to get a sense of what happens here. Source

 

These are the places of the future, these are the spaces and intentions we need for healing and helping the environment and each other. It is very inspiring to see what the power of community, support and a constant motivation for positive change can do.

Location Moy Hill farm, Lackamore    Contact moyhillfarm@gmail.com

 

Burren Nature Sanctuary

Another nature spot to check out, just outside of Kinvara village (I know, it is still Galway but its on the way to the Burren and felt like a nice place to add to the list.

Open daily for July and August (10am – 6pm) and with some great guided walks, maps of nature trails and a chance to hang out some of the farm pets – sounds like a delightful day to me (and I’m sure a great place to bring kids!)

There is the Sanctuary Cafe which is open Wednesday – Sunday if you fancy a tea break.

Location  Cloonasee, Kinvara    Contact +353 91 637 444

 

Fanore Beach

There are many beaches in Clare to enjoy , but we love this one. You can go for a surf, swim, paddle – or do yoga at sunset like we did here. Also the perfect spot for a beach walk.

Sunset magic at Fanore beach, captured by Maura Tilbury Photography

 

So whether it be to surf, get lost in the diversity of the nature and landscapes, practice yoga with ocean views or have some veggie food and watch the village life go by – Clare has it all!

 

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