Ireland captured Barbara Robitaille and Craig Stewart’s hearts many years ago. Experiencing the power of this magical country, they became determined to share it with others.
Barbara and Craig founded Eire Retour to provide a deeper travel experience in Ireland. The perfect blend of travel and retreat, guests practice the art of slowing down and living fully engaged while being inspired by the beautiful Irish countryside.
Eire Retour offers ten days for small, intimate groups to explore County Mayo, immersing themselves into Irish culture. Located in the heart of Ireland, County Mayo is an undiscovered paradise and the perfect destination for this rich journey. Each day brings new lessons and opportunity to discover the landscape, the people, the stories and song.
Achill Island : the largest of Ireland’s islands lies off the western shore of County Mayo. Achill Island features striking natural beauty from Blue Flag beaches to cliffs rising out of the sea.
Cong : home to Ashford Castle, built by the Guinness family, and setting for the acclaimed movie, The Quiet Man. Cong sits on the borders of Counties Mayo and Galway, and is surrounded by water and waterways.
Croagh Patrick : considered the holiest mountain in Ireland, Croagh Patrick rises prominently on the shore of Clew Bay, a few miles west of Westport.
Downpatrick Head : a few miles north of Ballycastle is the dramatic and historically significant limestone outcropping, just offshore on a remote section of the Wild Atlantic Way. Downpatrick Head ranks high on the top ten list of “must see” places to visit in Ireland.
Moyne Abbey : a designated Irish National Monument located north of Ballina on Killala Bay. Moyne Abbey remains one of the most notable medieval monastic ruins in Mayo.
Westport : named the “Best Place to Live in Ireland” by the Irish Times, Westport sits on the southeast corner of Clew Bay, beneath towering Croagh Patrick. It features tree‐lined roads, shops, pubs, churches, and natural setting.
Guests explore a variety of practices throughout their journey with Eire Retour. Cultivating presence is at the heart of it all. Practices includes:
● Mindfulness techniques
● Guided meditation
● Music and song
● Quiet reflection
Special guests also join Eire Retour bringing new thoughts and perspectives to the group.
● Kathleen Duffy, author and dream therapist
● Stephen Dunford, author, historian, and award‐winning radio and TV producer
● Denis Quinn, naturalist and guide
Barbara Robitaille, Founder
During her first trip to Ireland in 1999, Barbara felt the deep connection of being called home.
She’s gone back regularly ever since coordinating and facilitating nine successful tours to the West of Ireland.
As a life strategist and transition coach, Barbara is deeply committed to guiding her clients on a life‐changing journey of self‐discovery and empowerment. She supports people in accepting their choices and taking back creative control of their lives—seeing change as a gift and an opportunity to create a life of meaning and purpose. She draws from a deep reservoir of understanding, intuition and experience.
Eire Retour is another extension of Barbara’s passion for love and life. On the Retour, she leads exercises and delivers talks designed to take participants closer to living a fully engaged life. Her humor, positive energy and calm presence are contagious. With her experience in guiding others on an inner journey, she shares with guests her love of the Irish landscape, people and history.
Craig Stewart, Founder
Craig’s incurable curiosity and love for people and this world have led him on travels throughout the United States, Sudan, Kenya, Europe, Guatemala, Mexico, India and the United Kingdom.
Through his adventures, Craig discovered his deep love for Ireland.
Having worked with Barbara on multiple trips to the Emerald Isle, he takes great pleasure in sharing with others the magnificent landscapes, wealth of culture and breadth of history.
On the Retour, Craig handles logistics, ensuring guests are comfortable and relaxed. He also brings the beauty of Irish culture through music.
From beginning each day with song to guiding folks to traditional music sessions in Killala, Craig helps others experience the Irish music that moves heart and soul. He was surrounded by music as a child and it’s remained a powerful part of his life ever since.
Craig was an elementary school educator for over two decades before building another fulfilling career in health and wellness. For four years, Craig has worked as a personal trainer, where he leads people to have fun, find solace and thrive within their physicality.
“Both of you have an extraordinary ability to lead groups in a spiritual way.”
~ Mark Slegers
“Working with Barbara was one the best decisions I made for my spiritual growth and well‐being. She’s like a guardian angel to me, I know she always has my back.”
~ Paula Austin
“Craig is an incredible person. His humor, undying positivity, and enthusiasm for all things and people make him a serious asset.”
~ Stacey Sowder
“Working with Barbara is an absolute joy. She has helped me to examine what is true in my life and what simple, everyday techniques I can use to live from these truths.”
~ Reece Marshburn
“Working with Craig for just a short time had a huge impact on my future outlook.”
~ Jim Redbird
Founders : Barbara Robitaille and Craig Stewart
Home base : Portland, OR
Destination : County Mayo, Ireland
Year launched : 2015
Trip length : 10 days
Group size : 15 guests
Number of times guests unpack : 1
Surprising fact : Barbara and Craig, both native to the Pacific Northwest, first met in Ireland and were surprised to learn they lived only a few hours apart.
Collectively, Barbara and Craig have :
● Traveled to 20 countries
● Made 16 trips to Ireland
● Guided 9 tours
● Led 8 retreats
Favorite Irish quotes :
“May you have the hindsight to know where you’ve been, The foresight to know where you’re going, And the insight to know when you have gone too far.” ~ Irish blessing
“May those who love us, love us.
And those that don’t love us,
May God turn their hearts.
And if He doesn’t turn their hearts,
May He turn their ankles.
So we’ll know them by their limping.” ~ Irish saying
A Day with Eire Retour: Sample Itinerary
Eire Retour offers daily excursions in County Mayo along with time for guided reflection and conversation. Each day is unique with special surprises and flexibility built in for guests to follow the thread of connection.
Starting the Day
Guests are greeted each day with a loaf of fresh brown bread and a smile. There’s plenty of time to enjoy the morning, taking a stroll through the village or out along the pier; or perhaps a bit of reading or writing in front of the fire with that first cup of tea or coffee.
10:00am: Morning Session
Craig opens morning session, greeting guests with his mandolin. A centering meditation led by Barbara allows for a transition into the morning talk, featuring Kathleen Duffy, Dream Therapist and author of Awaken to Your Dreams . Kathleen talks about dreams, their meanings and significance in our lives.
12:00pm: Free Time
Kathleen joins the group for lunch at the cottages. Afterwards, guests have several hours of free time to do exactly as they desire—a nap, tea and conversation by their cottage fire, writing, allowing the experience of the morning session to settle within.
3:00pm: Afternoon Exploration
A walk along Ross Strand is offered as an optional outing. Guests spend the afternoon on one of the most beautiful beaches in Ireland located in the historic village of Killala. Walking along the white sandy shores, the elements of water, air, earth and hopefully fire if the sun shines surround the group and support guests in connecting to their inner landscape.
6:00: An Evening on the Town
Home again and guests are on their own for the evening for dinner in their cottage or perhaps with friends at a local pub. A post dinner traditional Irish session awaits those interested in hearing local musicians. Craig accompanies guests—and perhaps joins in the session.
Closing the Day
Barbara closes the evening with an announcement on the next day’s adventure—‐‐which may lead to sweet dreams and visions of tea and scones, castles, holy wells, smiling saints, hiking the hills of Achill Isle, or buying finery from a world‐renowned artisan.