Sinead O’Carroll chooses her favourite Wellness Retreats in Ireland

When does a holiday, not feel like a holiday?

When you come back twice as tired as when you went! 🙂

Don’t get me wrong, I love a week in the sun, soaking up the rays, eating too many carbs and indulging in a few too many of the local fabulous wines. You’re up later than normal every night, but you don’t feel like taking the nap you swear you will take every day. Oh and you definitely don’t drink enough water!

But what if your holiday incorporates all those good things that makes sure you come back rested, relaxed and re-energised?Ireland has a great selection of fabulous retreats and I have selected a few of my favourites.

1. The Courtyard Yoga Retreats, Coolattin, Wicklow

Most of you will know by now how much I love my yoga. The beautiful location of Coolattin Lodge makes this a truly special destination for a retreat. The accommodation is a little rustic, but that’s all part of it’s charm. It is the perfect place to unwind and an ideal backdrop for daily yoga. The Courtyard has a spring Equinox Retreat – a yoga an mindfulness weekend, that promises to be infused with positivity and good energy. Who could say no to that. It’s a little pricey at €430 for the weekend, but its jam packed with yoga classes, great food and accommodation.

2. Delphi Resort, Galway

We love Galway :). But mostly we associate it with bars that don’t close and great food. But heading out of town, you will find a retreat almost in the middle of nowhere. This March, they have a Gentle Yoga and Meditation weekend with Sabina Cox. It includes a weekend of yoga and promises great food. Only for my commitment to DWTS, I would be there! Oh, and Delphi has a great spa too!

3. The Burren Retreat, Co Clare. I’ve been meaning to go here for the past few years, but still haven’t quite got there. It was one of the original weekend retreat destinations in Ireland. They promise that their weekends are not ‘just yoga’ with plenty of other outdoor activities to get involved in across the weekend. I have heard great things about the food too, which is mainly vegan, or at least vegetarian. They run couple of retreats each month and they cost roughly €320 for a weekend. They have also won the Tripadvisor Award of Excellence for the past eight years in a row.

4.  Ways to Wellness Workshop, Linann Yoga, Co. Offaly

Simple Steps to allow you to do more, boost your energy and be able to look forward to each and every day. Well, doesn’t that sound right up my street! Sarah Breslin is hosting the one day workshop in February, which focuses on our digestive systems and maintaining a healthy gut. It will include breathing exercises and juicing demos. Sounds like alot of good stuff for a cost of just €45.

5. Dzogchen Bear Yoga Retreat, West Cork

Dzogchen Beara is a Buddhist meditation centre in Cork that we have heard so much about. They hold retreats right throughout the year and we have been told that it is one of the most spiritual and healing places you are likely to visit in Ireland. Their weekend retreats are supposed to be pretty special with meals prepared on site at their cafe. This one is on the list for sure.

6. Ard Nahoo, Leitrim

This is the ideal setting for the perfect detox. The Eco retreat is set into the Leitrim hills and is a family run business. Accommodation is provided in your eco cabin, and the food is vegetarian. Fancy a dip in the hot tub? You can indulge in an ‘Uisce Hour’ as part of your Ultimate Escape weekend. The weekend costs €210 pps for 2 nights accommodation. And should you fancy a little more indulgence, there are massages and yoga classes available on a daily basis.

So, there you have it. A small selection of what I suspect is a growing number of venues inviting us to slow down in 2020 and find some time for meditation, wellness and well being.

Let us all find a little ‘me time’ this year.

Look after yourself!

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