It’s 5pm on New Year’s Day and you’ve already broken half of your new year’s resolutions. “I’ll start tomorrow”, “New Year’s Day doesn’t count”; we’ve heard (and used) them all before. So, this year, why not make a resolution you can stick to? One that perhaps you may even enjoy?
Fitness and health retreats are becoming more and more popular as people strive to improve their physical and mental health and have fun while doing so. We checked out some of the most popular retreats out there that will have you feeling like a new you in no time, ready to take on the new year!
And don’t forget about AA Travel Insurance for the peace of mind that you need before you head off.
Photo: Álvaro Aguilera, courtesy of Barcelona Boot Camp
Not for the faint-hearted, this week-long fitness boot camp will dust off all those Christmas cobwebs in no time! Set in the beautiful town of Sitges, just a few minutes south of Barcelona, you can expect to be put in your stretch zone as you take part in kettlebell training, TRX and boxing classes, as well as a one-on-one consultation with your very own personal trainer.
You will be staying in a gorgeous villa that boasts its very own infinity pool. Breakfast, lunch and dinner are provided as part of your stay, with all meals prepared with home grown produce from the camp’s garden. And as a reward for all your hard work, enjoy a special gourmet dinner on the last night of camp.
Essential info: Packages start from €1950 with accommodation, meals and activities included. The boot camp itself is just a 25-minute drive from Barcelona Airport, with direct flights daily from Cork, Shannon and Dublin airports.
With promises to “reshape your body and mind”, this two-day retreat just outside Deganwy in north Wales is perfect for those who prefer a chilled, relaxing fitness retreat. Your morning schedule will include yoga and meditation sessions, followed by pilates, running sessions across open beaches and coastal walks throughout the day.
You can then unwind and reward yourself for all your hard work with a full body massage to ease away those aches and pains. Finish off the weekend by relaxing with a book by a large wood-burning stove in the country house in the Plas Cadnant estate. New year’s resolutions have never looked so good.
Essential info: Prices start from £430, which includes accommodation, classes, a massage and meals. The retreat itself is about a 35-minute drive from Holyhead, with ferry sailings from Dublin daily. Alternatively, you can fly to Manchester Airport, with a direct train service from Manchester to Deganwy.
If adrenaline and adventure-centred getaways hold more appeal, then this watersports retreat in Cascais, Portugal is just for you! Described as a “refuge in paradise”, this week-long getaway includes a stay in an idyllic villa; the only one within walking distance of Guincho beach.
You can improve your current skills or learn a new exhilarating sport by taking lessons in surfing, kitesurfing, stand-up paddle boarding or rock climbing. A healthy and energising breakfast is provided as part of your stay, but you can also wander out to explore the local village of Charneca do Guincho, which boasts traditional Portuguese markets and restaurants.
Essential info: Packages start from €418, which include seven nights’ accommodation, six classes, one guided walk, one massage and one reflexology treatment. Located only 35-minutes from Lisbon International Airport, an airport transfer service is available to the retreat. There are daily flights from Dublin to Lisbon.
Photo: public domain
Perfect for the February mid-term break, this four-night retreat is kid-friendly, with plenty of activities to get you all moving. Set on the shores of Derwent Water in the northern Lake District, you can enjoy up to four guided walks per day as part of the package offered by HF Holidays. These can range from short lakeside strolls for little legs, to more challenging mountain ascents for those who want a bit more of a challenge. As part of this package, you will be staying in a stunning country house with incredible views of the Lakes. What’s not to love?
Essential info: Packages start from £499 per adult, with kids’ places currently free as part of a special offer. A direct train ride from Manchester Airport to Penrith will get you there in two hours, with daily flights from Cork, Shannon and Dublin Airports.