New year, new you
Let 2016 be the year you embrace health, happiness and a better quality of living. Whether it's learning how to bake without sugar, discovering the life-altering qualities of yoga or indulging in a massage treatment with a difference, there are ideas for everyone at www.discoverireland.ie #thisisLIVING
A is for Ashtanga yoga, a wonderfully restorative variant that grew out of classical Indian yoga. Take a workshop at Cork's Yoga Aware and then meander around the city afterwards.
B is for Balinese massage, one of the most relaxing experiences known to man. Acquaint yourself with this massage treatment at Mandala Spa, Dublin then stroll through Stephen's Green.
C is for Candling of the ears, at Limerick's Dargan Health Foods and Therapy Centre, it's said to be a stress-reliever like no other. Visit King John's Castle and the Hunt Museum afterwards.
D is for Detox breaks at the long-running Cloona Health Retreat in Co Mayo. Learn to embrace a life without chocolate and crisps.
E is for Equilibrium, the body revival treatments at Dublin's five-star Marker Hotel. Enjoy a ‘mocktail' in its rooftop bar and see Dublin from eight floors up.
F is for Finding yourself with a stay in a stylish yurt at Donegal Luxury Camping in Portsalon, Donegal, surrounded by beauty and just a short bike ride from Fanad Lighthouse.
G is for Gardens and Ireland is full of magnificently maintained public gardens to soothe and inspire. Dublin's Botanic Gardens provides respite from the bustle of city life while Belvedere House and Gardens in Westmeath is worth a detour off the M4.
H is for Hiking, and there are marked trails for all abilities in every county. Those keen to push themselves on a long hike - and take in some of the most incredible natural beauty while they're at it - should hit the Kerry Way, a jewel in the Iveragh Peninsula.
I is for an Indian head massage at Melt, in the heart of Temple Bar. Afterwards, use your clear head to savour the striking works around the corner in the Gallery of Photography.
J is for Juggling and other circus skills. Impress your friends with a completely different talent, such as trapeze, courtesy of Aerial Cirque in Dublin's Exchequer Street.
K is for Kitesurfing, one of the most exhilarating sports around. Take a beginner's lesson and make sure to catch the Kitesurfing and Music Festival on Achill Island later in the year.
L is for Lomi Lomi massage, which originated in Polynesia, aims to connect body, mind and spirit. Experience it at the Killorglin Studio in Kerry. Then check out the Pauline Bewick art collection.
M is for Making Memories on mini-breaks throughout Ireland - whether it's caravanning in Donegal, foraging for seaweed in Kerry or taking a bogland walk in Offaly.
N is for Newgrange. Get back to your Neolithic roots by exploring this magnificent 5,000-year-old passage tomb in the lush green landscape of Ireland's Ancient East.
O is for Organic food at the Dublin Co-op, operational in the heart of Dublin's Liberties since the early 1980s. Then mosey down to Plant Life – Dublin's only urban based garden centre.
P is for Pedalling. There's no excuse not to saddle up to explore our four biggest cities now that Dublin, Cork, Galway and Limerick all have excellent city bike facilities.
Q is for Quiet time. Get away from it all with a weekend in the Burren and take a stroll on narrow boreens where the sound of birdsong will provide a respite from all the traffic noise we encounter in our day-to-day lives.
R is for Road trips. Leave your worries and work stresses behind as you take to the open road - and what better road than the stunning 2,500km Wild Atlantic Way. Eat, swim and surf your way along it.
S is for Sugar-free baking classes at Kate's Place Cafe and Cookery School in Oranmore, Co Galway. Discover that your favourite desserts can be just as tasty without sugar.
T is for Television-free hotels, such as Monart Destination Spa. The idea is to escape from the outside word. Wi-fi is deliberately not available in the sumptuously appointed rooms either.
U is for Underwater. Take an interest in swimming to another level with diving courses in the west of Ireland. Offshore Watersports in Mullaghmore, Sligo, prides itself on the classes it offers.
V is for Virginia in Cavan, the starting off point for a getting-away-from-it all walk around the beautiful Lough Ramor. Give yourself a whole weekend and get back to nature.
W is for Walking. There is no shortage of mapped-walks to cater for everyone, whether it's a short stroll on Howth Head or a lengthy trek on the Wicklow Way.
X is for Xtreme Sports, the outdoor adventure specialists, who offer jet skiing, buggy racing and power kiting at various locations around the country. Stare fear in the face in 2016.
Y is for Yoga retreats at Burren Yoga, one of the most beautifully located studios in Ireland with its Ocean and hill views. The striking landscape is especially conductive to long, reviving walks.
Z is for Zzzz… a great night's sleep in Inisbofin House Hotel. The island is almost completely devoid of cars so the only sounds you're likely to hear are the crashing waves of the Atlantic.
For more great ideas, visit www.discoverireland.ie #thisisLIVING
Story by entertainment.ie | 14:14 | Monday 21st December 2015 | Escapes