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Welcome to Monalea retreat centre, a unique converted stone barn high on the southern reach of the Wicklow mountains, one hour from Dublin and 15 minutes drive away from the sandy beaches of Ireland’s east coast. The barn stands above our young oak, ash and birch forest and is near beautiful mountain hikes, some with sea views. We host yoga and meditation retreats as well as family get-togethers with accommodation for up to 20 people. You can rent the space for your own retreat or we can organise one with teachers, catering and guided hikes.

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A SPACE TO UNWIND

The barn is a large interior space that can absorb big groups, perfect for indoor entertainment if the weather is wet and windy outside. With hammocks on the mezzanine and sofas around the fireplace there is room for everyone to relax. There are indoor swings for kids at the end of the barn (or adults) and a well equipped kitchen at the other end of the long room for convivial cooking. On sunny days there is a large patio with outdoor furniture, a barbecue, pizza oven and fire pit. There are marked walks through our young forest and two grassy areas for outdoor games or yoga.

YOGA RETREATS
We host many different styles of yoga, Hatha, Vinyasa, Iyengar, Yin and Ashtanga. The huge wood-floored room and high ceilings make an airy space for all types of movement. The big crackling fire takes centre stage in winter. and in summer the windows open south to let the sun in. Hikes up the local hills and good vegetarian meals by the fire complete the escape.
MEDITATION RETREATS
The old stone walls and silent atmosphere of the barn add to the feeling of withdrawal into the self with the crackling fire the only sound. Meditation and Buddhist groups from all over the world have travelled to practice in the barn.
FASTING AND JUICE RETREATS
Fasting and juicing retreats take different forms, some are three days, some five and some up to 10 days.  The aim is to cleanse and rejuvenate the body and mind. Walking is a big part of the process and mindful practices for physical and emotional harmony. Leave feeling lighter in body and mind.
HIKING RETREATS
Groups of hikers love the barn for its proximity to the Wicklow Way and the southern and coastal Wicklow mountains. Arriving back and settling down in front of the big fire after a spell in our sauna and a shower is the perfect way to end a big hike. A bit of yoga thrown in always helps the muscles.

OUR STORY

We found the barn in 2000, high on a south facing slope in a secret valley. We fell in love with the dramatic interior space and the light that poured through. At the time it was filled with happy cows and straw but we knew we could make it something special for humans too. We lovingly restored it over a number of years, maintaining the integrity of the original building,  just adding an extension to the back for extra accommodation. We wanted to create a space for quiet retreats and calm. We cleared a ruin for the walled zen garden and every year we add something new. We planted the forest in 2012 and we are always planting more trees of every variety as well as indginous plants to enhance the grounds and do our bit for the planet.

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