Sun, sea, sweat

Here are some healthy op­tions worth work­ing up a sweat for, from week- long walk­ing and fit­ness tours to short, sharp detox re­treats, writes San­dra O’Con­nell

The Irish Times Magazine - - NEWS -

San­dra O’Con­nell’s choice of ac­tive hol­i­days

Re­treat to Clare

The Cliffs of Mo­her Re­treat is a pur­pose- de­signed, lux­ury re­treat venue that of­fers week­end and week- long yoga re­treats through­out the year, with the added bonus of cliff- top walks, or­ganic pro­duce and wild At­lantic scenery. An eight- day re­treat costs from ¤ 1,100 for a dou­ble, or ¤ 1,345 for a sin­gle if you fancy a to­tal break and go­ing by your­self. As well as yoga and med­i­ta­tion classes, there’s a sauna and hot tub, plus great swim­ming and surf­ing down the road at Lahinch. cliff­sof­mo­her­re­treat. com

Shed the load in Mayo

If you’re look­ing to de- stress and shed a few pounds at the same time, head to Cloona Health Re­treat just out­side West­port, Co Mayo. A pi­o­neer of well­ness breaks in Ire­land, it has been of­fer­ing them to a loyal and grow­ing au­di­ence since the 1960s and is run to­day by Dhara Kelly, son of its orig­i­nal founders. Check out its week- long detox and weight- loss pro­grammes that in­clude guided walks, rest and re­lax­ation, yoga, sauna and mas­sage, all de­signed to put you back on a health­ier path. A stan­dard five- day re­treat costs ¤ 790 for a sin­gle, or ¤ 640 per per­son for a dou­ble. cloona. ie

Of­faly nice

Clara House is well known as a spa, pam­per treat­ment and weight- loss cen­tre but it’s also home to the Aspire, three- day mind and body fit­ness re­treat, run on site by pro­fes­sional fit­ness trainer Joe Quinn. The aim is to boost en­ergy, lose weight and get the kind of high you only get from a blend of adren­a­line and virtue. Ac­tiv­i­ties in­clude one- to- one gym and fit­ness train­ing ses­sions, a per­son­alised healthy eat­ing plan, cook­ery demos, yoga, aqua aer­o­bics, walks, and archery. There’s also plenty of op­por­tu­nity for spa treat­ments. Three- day day pack­age, in­clud­ing ac­com­mo­da­tion at Clara House, costs ¤ 389 for a sin­gle, or ¤ 349 based on two shar­ing. asp- ire­land. ie

French for fit

If the mind is will­ing, the body weak but the bank bal­ance strong, sign up for Camp Biche in France. For the not too pe­tite sum of ¤ 5,900 a week, it prom­ises a “life- chang­ing ad­ven­ture that leads to a health­ier, per­fected you”. Guests stay in a hill­top man­sion in the me­dieval vil­lage of Lauzerte, half an hour from Ca­hors, and you know it’s posh be­cause the web­site gives di­rec­tions for peo­ple fly­ing in on pri­vate planes. There’s a max­i­mum of six high- fliers at any one time and you all get three gourmet ve­gan meals a day, with cham­pagne and choc- olate mousse on the menu too. Yup, it’s A French para­dox. camp­biche. com

Boot camp de luxe

Kathryn Thomas has made a smooth segue from broad­cast­ing to fit­ness guru, while still giv­ing off the vibe that she’d be a great travel buddy even in a boot camp. Her week- long Pure Re­sults fit­ness re­treat has the added value of com­ing with a two- week af­ter­care pro­gramme to make sure you don’t fall off the fit­ness wagon when you

Clock­wise from main: LifeCleanse has some great short op­tions; Cloona Health Re­treat just out­side West­port, Co Mayo has week- long detox pro­grammes; Foot­falls of­fers guided walk­ing tours in Done­gal and Antrim

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