Wouldn't that be nice? A tent alone between sandy dunes just a few meters from the water, where the sound of the waves lulls you to sleep and in the morning the rustle of the wind in the seaweed. Camping like before, almost like wild camping - but with well-kept sanitary facilities, shared kitchen and other amenities and as sustainable as possible? Yes, that would be nice and there is something like that. On the west coast of Ireland in Connemara on the "Wild Atlantic Way".
An ecological camping site has existed here since the 1960s and its sustainability has been continuously expanded since 2005. In the meantime, Clifden ecoBeach Camping has been certified as the first fully climate-neutral campsite in Ireland. The idea of environmental protection is no accident here. The area is a protected area due to the special flora and fauna that can arise here on the “Machair”, a soil mix type that is very rare worldwide.
Protecting nature and being able to enjoy it to the fullest is the idea of the operators of Clifden ecoCamping. For this reason, the campsite is never staffed with more than 80 guests. There should always be enough distance between the individual stands so that nature is not overused. Visitors can expect crystal clear water, fine white sand and wild rock formations on a private and secured beach.
During the day you can enjoy the sea, go for long walks or take part in geological or ecological tours. If you are lucky, you can watch dolphins, and not far away is a typical village with a local pub and some shops. In the evening you can sit around the campfire next to the tent or camper, enjoy freshly caught fish and feel very close to the stars and the earth. On the other hand, there is no playground or other artificial entertainment options, because the philosophy at Clifden Camping is: “Go back to nature and experience a pure camping adventure!” With the smallest possible ecological footprint.
FoodLocal fishermen have their jetty near the campsite and sell their freshly caught yield directly from the boats. There is also a small selection of fresh organic food to buy from a pick & pay box at the campsite. The drinking water comes from a source in the water protection area in the dunes, which has always been uncontaminated. Sand filtered and very soft, it is made available to guests to refill their drinking water tanks to avoid buying plastic bottles.
Clifden EcoCamping is an active part of the local population. The local fishermen moor their boats in the sheltered harbor of the campsite and the neighbors can also visit the beach and rocks. Guests from abroad and the local population can get in touch, as in the small pubs and shops in the nearby town, and a lively exchange is created. Clifden ecoCamping provides its guests with local small providers who organize untouristic tours and boat tours to the natural sights of the region in different languages. In addition, the operators of the facility are actively involved in various associations, such as the “Irish Wildlife Trust”, which is dedicated to protecting biodiversity and preserving and restoring habitats. Because they cannot plant trees on their premises due to the special properties of the biotope, they obtain the necessary additives for their water treatment system from a company that uses part of their income to plant trees all over the world. And since nothing can be planted on Clifden ecoCamping that does not belong to the special flora, all guests receive a few goodbyes to say goodbye, which they should scatter elsewhere.
EnvironmentClifden ecoCamping is located in the middle of the nature reserve and the guests of the campsite can make their contribution, for example by taking garbage collector walks along the coast, separating their waste properly so that it can be recycled on site and being as climate-neutral as possible. Each visitor receives a detailed introduction to environmentally friendly camping and the special offers on site from the Clifden employees on arrival. We ask you to empty mobile toilets with chemical additives in a suitable landfill before visiting Clifden ecoCamping. Only mobile toilets with biodegradable or possibly no additives can be easily emptied on site at the ecological landfill. Biological liquids for mobile toilets can be purchased at the reception. Wastewater is recycled using a special bio filter system that has been tested in Germany.
... for one of the nicest – and most responsible – beachside barbecue experiences, check out Acton’s Beachside Camping, outside Clifden, Co Galway. Guests at this eco campsite can camp in their own private sand dunes with braziers and wood provided or flame up your own private campfire, perfect for broiling bangers. Just don’t forget the giant tongs.
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From the airport in Dublin it is approx. 3.5 hours by car to the ecoBeach Camping in Clifden (300km). There is also the option of taking the bus from Dublin to Clifden (city) and taking advantage of the free pick-up service.
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