What would you say to a retreat that feeds your body and your soul, resets your personal goals and takes you away from the stresses of everyday life?

More and more people are calling it a godsend for balance. And get this, you are surrounded by ocean views, horses strolling the grounds, and fed food you help grow. It’s all at Macalla Farm, on Clare Island, just a 20-minute ferry ride from Westport, in Mayo.

Ciara Cullen and her partner Christophe Mouze, have built a life that celebrates everything they so strongly believe in a mindful life, sustainable food, feeding your soul through yoga, and horses.

Ciara Cullen at Macalla Farm

Ciara Cullen at Macalla Farm

“We use the horses for some of the heavy work on the farm but mostly they are just here and we’ve found that people relate to them in different ways, but everyone seems to enjoy them, just like we do,” says Ciara as she points out the different areas on the farm.

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Flowers everywhere you look.

Flowers everywhere you look.

There are gardens growing heirloom vegetables, hoop houses full of blooming fruits and vegetables eaten on the farm and tons of colorful flowers that seem to just appear year round.

The retreats are centered around the daily yoga sessions held, the food is mostly grown on the grounds with the help of all who are staying there. The views are stunning, no matter the weather. And mindfulness is a cornerstone of their community.

Ciara began the journey of turning that land into Macalla Farm in 2001.

“It’s been a bit at a time,” she says.

“When we got here we didn’t have power or running water, now we have the comforts of modern life, but we rely on the environment, nature and ourselves, too. I love it here. I’ve enjoyed building this into just what we dreamed of for our life. And now I am so proud to share it with those interested in mindfulness and sustainable living and yoga.”

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Clare Island has so much to offer for those who appreciate getting away from the stress of everyday life. There are only about 160 permanent residents there. Ciara is one of the few not from there, and yet never leaving.

“I knew when I got here that this was exactly where I needed to be,” she says.

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You can hear the story of Macalla Farm from Ciarra herself here.

And you can find information on their retreats at macallafarm.ie.

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