Ireland Guide • Grace Abbott

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A conscious guide to Ireland created when our graphic designer Grace @agraceabbott, followed her pings to a magical countryside yoga retreat.

 

Cliffs of Moher Retreat

When I initially decided to go to Ireland, I had just booked a weekend trip with friends to Galway. A week before I was supposed to leave, I had the ping to extend my trip and started searching for retreats. This led me to find the Cliffs of Moher Retreat, which serendipitously had a 5 day program on the exact dates I was looking to travel.

I spontaneously signed up, unsure of what I was getting myself into. I’d never been to Ireland, and I didn’t know anyone else attending. When I finally arrived after a long travel day, it was pure magic and completely affirmed that I was in my right place.

Our days consisted of 2 yin & restorative yoga classes and long walks around the country side and on the Cliffs of Moher. During down time, my favorite thing to do was to wander around the beautiful country roads, eat wild blackberries and listen to the EXPANDED podcast.

Delicious plant based seasonal foods, grown on the property, were the best I’ve ever eaten. The retreat takes such a thoughtful, sustainable approach to food, that they even have food experience weekends.

They also have an outdoor sauna and wood fired hot tub that we sat in under the moon.

 

The Wild Atlantic Way

The best part of Ireland is the incredible scenic landscape, it’s the most beautiful place I’ve ever been! You can drive for hours up the Wild Atlantic Way for stunning views, long walks in nature, and dips in the ocean. Here are some of my favorite things:

Cliffs of Moher: These cliffs are not to be missed. But don’t go in the tourist entrance. Instead park along the country roads and take a 15 minute walk into another entry point. Try to make a sunset here.

Wild Atlantic Seaweed Baths: Seaweed is packed with trace minerals and iodine and a dream to take a bath in. These whiskey barrel seaweed baths are right on the rocks near the ocean and make for a magical night under the stars.

Kylemore Abby: An amazing property with a beautiful lake and mile long walk to the gardens. This is a great way to break up your drive up the WAW and get a taste of history. I didn’t go inside the Abbey, and instead just enjoyed the nature on the property.

Rent a car and explore: This is the best way to experience all the Ireland has to offer on the west side. There are loads of farms, ocean views and hikes to enjoy along the way.

Westport: A colorful little town to stop in for lunch.

 

Galway

I stayed in Galway for 3 days after the retreat. It was a lot of fun, but if I were to go back, I would keep Galway as a day trip and stay on the countryside instead. Here are some of the spots I loved:

Ard Bia at Nimmos: This place was recommended to me by Alexis Smart and was the best food I had in Galway! Everything on the menu looked delicious and there were lots of gluten free and veg options. I went for brunch, but it would amazing for a candle lit dinner as well. If you’re looking for a cute place to stay, check out the Ard Bia Airbnb.

Coffeewerk + Press: On an early morning walk I found this amazing coffee shop and Scandinavian inspired concept store. They have a variety of roasts from all over (in very cute packaging), vegan treats, tea and kombucha. This would also we a great place to bring your laptop to do some work.

Traditional Music: You can find this at a lot of pubs, but we saw some at a place called Taaffes around 6pm. It’s a local spot, so it’s great for people watching too.

Aran Sweater Market: Ireland is known for their high-quality, handmade wool knits. To shop the best assortment, check out the Aran Sweater Market.

Listen: You can’t not sing Galway Girl the whole time you are here.


Packing List: Ireland in Autumn

Ireland is known for expressing all 4 seasons in a day, so be prepared for sudden bursts of rain, wind and sunshine. For an Autumn I recommend packing clothes that you can layer easily. Since I was on the Yoga Retreat, I was less concerned with looking cute, and more with being cozy. I also always pack a pillow case to make wherever I’m staying feel more like home.


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