Ireland Trail Running + Wellness Retreat

A women’s trail running and wellness retreat on the Emerald Isle

Castles | Cliffs | Guided Trail Runs | Irish Pubs | Wellness Workshops | Natural Running Clinics | Charming Hotels

While Ireland isn’t that far from North America, this magical land can feel a world away. Our friends at Trail Running Ireland advised us on where to find the Emerald Isle’s hidden trail-running gems, which is where we’ll take you on this seven-day adventure. From the rolling, heather-covered hills of the Wicklow Mountains to soaring Cliffs of Moher to Killarney’s majestic waterfalls, this retreat immerses you in Irish running culture, history and beauty.

Soon after you arrive in Dublin, we leave the city far behind in our private charter motorcoach and escape to Glendalough, steeped in history, evident through every turn at the charming inns, cozy pubs and castle ruins dating back millennia. Our daily runs, which vary in length from one to 3+ hours, take us along boardwalks, over rolling hills, along serene lakeshores and along breathtaking clifftops. Each day offers up something different: a lively lunch at an historic Irish pub, live traditional music, hearty meals and scenic drives through the Irish countryside. 

And of course, to balance out all fun and adventure, we’ve also left time free for shopping, quiet contemplation or a relaxing spa treatment. Let this country’s warm hospitality, natural beauty and tonifying salty air fill your heart and invigorate your spirit. As with any retreat we offer, you never know what spontaneous moments may take place; once our Irish running guide, upon encountering a hiker who happened to be from her same home town, broke out into “sean nós” (traditional Irish song) in acknowledgement of their kinship. 

You’re in for a special treat when you run with us on the Emerald Isle’s most stunning and famous trails like The Wicklow Way, Valley of Glendalough, Cliffs of Moher and Killarney National Park. Even if you’re new to trail running or don’t usually run consecutive days in a row, you’ll surprise yourself with how you feel when you employ the mindful running techniques offered by your retreat leader.

This fully guided running retreat will take you through Ireland’s most stunning natural landscapes, fascinating historic sites and off-the-beaten path trails and hidden gems that only our locally based guides know about. Freed from the burden of having to think about navigating, planning meals or taking care of others, you are able to focus fully on your self and your well-being.

Participant Photos + Testimonials

Exceeded Expectations

“This retreat far exceeded my expectations! It gave me an opportunity to learn where I can go with my running and I love connecting with all the awesome, inspiring women!”

–Maude B, Rochester, NY

Learned to Listen

“This retreat gave me a chance to escape from the daily pressures of life, and focus on me, what I want from my running practice and connecting with other women who love running. I learned how to use perceived exertion as a measure to guide me in my runs. It’s so easy to override what my body is telling me, and let numbers and data suck the joy out of running. Now I know how to get more satisfaction from how I feel than I ‘perform.’”

Joanne T., Spokane, WA

Retreat was a Dream

“This last week has been a dream. Run Wild Retreats put together a fantastic trail-running trip that improved my form and solidified a lot of what I’ve been thinking about running more mindfully.”
–Tracey S., Atlanta, GA

Organic and Relaxed

“I was concerned about going on a ‘scheduled’ vacation, but it didn’t feel scheduled at all. Everything was so well planned and coordinated, one experience just rolled into the next and I didn’t have to think about anything except having fun. I actually didn’t even realize anything was scheduled or coordinated, it just felt so organic, relaxed and fun!”
–Patricia J.

Refreshing and Rejuvenating

“This retreat was the perfect means to explore a beautiful country and share it with some phenomenal women. The time spent in Ireland was refreshing and rejuvenating both physically and mentally.”

–Peggy P., Denver, Co

Be in the Moment

“I learned to give myself grace on the run, be in the moment by setting an intention. Not every run has to be extreme to be incredibly rewarding.”

–Belinda E., Florence, SC

Renewed Love for Running

“Ireland was a wonderful retreat that I will treasure for a long time. I gained perspective, confidence in myself and a renewed love for running.”

–Caitlin S., Dublin, CA

Bringing Home a Positive Attitude

“I’m most proud of putting my best, most positive self forward at the retreat. Some might say ‘being on your best behavior’ around a bunch of strangers is fake, but I found that being positive and showing the best of myself was actually quite authentic. I’m taking from the retreat this attitude of positivity.”

–Katherine G., Tampa, FL

7-Day, 4-Night Retreat Itinerary

Day 1   |   Glendalough

Our retreat begins in Dublin City, where we’ll pick you up at a central location at 1 p.m. and drive 75 minutes south to County Wicklow, where our retreat program begins. Upon arrival, we’ll check into our rooms at a family owned hotel nestled in the wooded valley of Glendalough. You’ll have some time to change your clothes before we gather for our Official Retreat Opening Meet + Greet, after which we’ll head outside for a relaxed, refreshing, short shake-out run. We will run past the famous round tower and the ruins of a 12th-century cathedral, then along the boardwalk leading to Upper Glendalough Lake. After our run, you’ll have some free time to freshen up before dinner.
Time on Trail: 90 minutes  including stops and breaks

Day 2   |   The Wicklow Way

After breakfast, we’ll drive about 25 minutes to the trail head at Crones, where we’ll have our first Natural Running Form Clinic to warm up before starting our point-to-point run along a spectacular and scenic stretch of The Wicklow Way that contours around the lower slopes of Djouce Mountain. Starting on a wooded trail, we’ll gradually ascend through fields of vibrant purple heather bushes to the high country, where we’ll enjoy views of the Irish Sea and Lough Dan. We’ll warm up with a hot traditional Irish carvery lunch, then have some free time before our first of three Wellness Workshops, followed by dinner at the renowned Wicklow Heather restaurant.
Time on Trail: 2 – 3 hours  including stops and breaks

Day 3   |  The Wild Atlantic Way

After enjoying an breakfast, we’ll begin our morning run along the Spinc Trail (“spinc” being Irish for “pointed hill”) which, after passing Poulnass waterfall, involves a long uphill in the early miles that rewards us with views over Upper Glendalough Lake. Today’s trail features long stretches of boardwalk that save our feet from the shoe-sucking mud bogs prevalent in this area. Later in the run, we follow wooden bridges over creeks and stone paths laid my miners way back when mining was taking place here. We’ll even see remnants of old stone buildings in which they lived.  After a late checkout, we leave Wicklow and start working our way to the west coast, stopping at one of Ireland’s most famous pubs for lunch. We arrive in Ennistymon this evening and stay as an historic inn (with spa) for a relaxing evening.
Time on trail: 2 – 3 hours  including stops and breaks

Day 3 Vik black sand beach

Day 4  |   The Cliffs of Moher

After breakfast, we’ll check out of the hotel take a 20-minute drive to the starting point of today’s run along the section of coast known as The Wild Atlantic Way. This point-to-point run along a grassy and gravel coastal path that takes us to the breathtaking Cliffs of Moher, one of Ireland’s most visited and iconic natural features. Weather permitting, today’s run is an out-and-back along a section of trail leading to the Cliffs of Moher visitor’s center and the nearby O’Brien’s Tower. You’ll have plenty of opportunity to take photos of this spectacular landscape before you resume running south. Back at the trailhead in Liscannor, you may choose to end your run here, or get in some path and road miles by adding another hour or more of running to the seaside town of Lahinch, where we all meet up for lunch. After lunch, it’s a 3.5-hour drive south to County Kerry, where we’ll check into The Lake Hotel, where we’ll stay for the next three nights.
Time on Trail: 2 – 4 hours  including stops and breaks (depending on the option you choose)

Day 5  |  Gap of Dunloe

After breakfast, we have a 25-minute drive to Kate Kearney’s Cottage at the mouth of the Gap of Dunloe, a narrow mountain pass forged between the MacGillycuddy Reeks and Purple Mountain. Today’s run is a relatively easy and relaxed run on an historic road that we’ll share with hikers and horse-drawn carriages (colloquially called “jaunting cars”), through the Black Valley all the way to Lord Brandon’s Cottage on a serene lake. From here, we leave the road behind and enter a magical trail thick with lush ferns and moss-covered trees. At the run’s end, our driver meets us (with lunches packed) and we’ll drive to a nearby scenic viewpoint for a picnic lunch. After lunch, it’s a short drive back to our hotel, where you can enjoy some time this afternoon to explore the historic village. Enhance your retreat package with a spa massage at the Spa at Muckross (for an additional fee), followed by dinner at one of Killarney’s best restaurants.
Time on trail: 3 – 4 hours  including stops and breaks

Day 6   |   The Waterfall Run

After breakfast at the hotel, we’ll drive out to Killarney National Park. At the trailhead, we’ll have our third and final Natural Running Clinic, then start today’s run along a section of The Kerry Way known as Old Kenmare Road, one of the most scenic and historic roads along the Ring of Kerry. Even though it’s not long, the views and terrain through which we cross is varied and stunning, starting with Esknamucky Glen, a narrow pass between Cromaglan Mountain and Stumpacommeen high in the mountains, then through rolling hills of purple heather and ending at Torc Waterfall. You can choose to end your run here, or run another few miles back to the hotel. This afternoon, you’ll enjoy some free time to have lunch on your own, explore Killarney before our Wellness Workshop, followed by dinner in downtown Killarney.
Time on trail: 2 – 3.5 hours including stops and breaks

Day 7   |   Muckross Run and Back to Dublin

This morning, you’ll have the option to participate in an early pre-breakfast run from the hotel that takes you through the ominous stone ruins of Muckross Abbey. You’ll return to the hotel in plenty of time to have a hearty breakfast, shower and pack up. We’ll have our Official Retreat Closing Meeting and take a moment to reflect on the week’s experiences. At 11:00 a.m., we’ll check out of our rooms and board the bus one final time for the return trip to Dublin. We’ll arrive in the city at around 4:30 p.m., where we say our final goodbyes before our final departures.
Time on trail: 30 – 45 minutes  including brief stops 

The total run distance for this retreat will be between approximately 35 and 48 miles. Each day’s run in this itinerary is represented by time spent on the trail rather than miles run because the mileage covered will depend largely on your run pace. Faster runners will cover more mileage than slower runners on some days. These run times include breaks to enjoy the views, take photos, eat and drink. The precise route and trails run may change due to changes to trail routes, weather conditions, guide recommendations and other safety considerations.

Note that trail running in Ireland can be challenging at times. Your retreat leader will provide mindful running tips and techniques for managing your pace and navigating the uneven terrain. 

Start Planning Your Retreat

Ireland Trail Running + Wellness Retreat

• Six nights’ accommodation in high-quality hotels
• Daily breakfasts and dinners, some lunches
• Daily guided runs with professional running guide
• Private group motorcoach transportation and luggage transfers
• Pick up and drop off at Dublin International Airport
• Wellness Workshops
• Dedicated Retreat Leader
• Natural Running Form Clinics
• Trail snacks/energy food and drinks
• Run Wild Retreats gift bag

⚠️ Covid Health + Safety Protocols are in place. Read about them here.

Depsit: $500

Balance Payment Deadline: 90 days before retreat begins

Max Group Size: 14 women

Shared Room Package (per person): $4,300
Private Room Package (per person): $4,800

*Shared room packages have two beds. Solo travelers may choose this option and will be paired with another retreat participant.

If traveling with a friend, you may list your friend as your preferred roommate on your Retreat Participant Intake Form.

You may customize your retreat package with various add-on services.

😊 The Flexible Booking Policy is in effect, which you can read about here.

This retreat is rated Level II. This means it’s suitable for you if:

  • You’re comfortable running/hiking six days in a row. Our shortest run is 30 minutes, but most are around 3 to 4 hours (including hiking sections, water breaks and photo ops).
  • You must be able run at least 8 miles on the road.
  • You’re OK with running/hiking on trails with loose dirt, rocks and some muddy sections. These trails feature a variety of surfaces, not all of which are easy to run on, but your retreat leader will provide tips and techniques for navigating the terrain and pacing yourself in this hilly environment.
  • You’re OK with some exposure to cliffs or other high terrain
  • You’re game for running in the rain (don’t worry about what to wear; we provide you with a comprehensive packing list).
  • You have (or are willing to acquire before the retreat) trail running shoes and a hydration pack that holds at least 1 Liter of water.
  • Learn more about how we manage run pacing here: https://runwildretreats.com/about-the-run-wild-retreat-experience/levels/

    The total run distance for this retreat will be between approximately 35 and 48 miles. Each day’s run in this itinerary is represented by time spent on the trail rather than miles run because the mileage covered will depend largely on your run pace. Faster runners will cover more mileage than slower runners on some days. These run times include breaks to enjoy the views, take photos, eat and drink. The precise route and trails run may change due to changes to trail routes, weather conditions, guide recommendations and other safety considerations.

    Note that trail running in Ireland can be challenging at times. Your retreat leader will provide mindful running tips and techniques for managing your pace and navigating the uneven terrain.