Creative retreats, opera and TV holidays to soothe your soul
Check-In: the art behind violin production in Paris and Puccini with Marty Whelan
The D Hotel in Drogheda offers an epic escape, based on the world’s only Game of Thrones experience using boats from the TV show,
Recoup and create
Those who are looking to soothe both body and mind this summer need look no further than the Creativity & Cultural Retreat hosted by artist Liz Nilsson and yoga teacher/creative writing coach Ingrid Banheden-Breisner. This six-day inspiration session in the seaside village of Skåne caters to an intimate group of just six to eight guests. Expect printmaking, storytelling, creative writing, yoga, delicious meals prepared by a local chef and nature walks. The Creativity & Cultural Retreat, June 11th-18th, from €690 including accommodation, half-board, workshops and excursions. liznilsson.com/retreats
Hidden Dublin Tours have launched a brand new experience focused on the Famine. The Perseverance: Fleeing the Famine invites visitors to journey through Ireland in the Famine years as actors weave together a moving journey on board a custom bus which has been transformed into a Famine ship. Using journals, letters, newspaper reports, government speeches, poems, songs and survivors’ stories, the tour is a truly unique day out for small ones and adults alike. fleeingthefamine.ie
Shannon has become Europe’s first airport to host a sensory room tailored especially for passengers with autism. The space has been designed by Irish toy company Adam & Friends with an aim to provide a soothing place away from the activity of a busy airport.
Violin Whisperers in Paris
Go behind the strings with two violin makers and learn everything from its history to the production process and even attend a concert in the city. Hosted as part of the Airbnb Experiences offering, airbnb.ie/experiences
Italian Opera Escape
Spend seven nights in Lake Garda, Venice and Verona including attendance at Puccini’s Madame Butterfly at the Arena di Verona with RTÉ Lyric FM’s Marty Whelan. Half-board, from €1199 per person. traveldepartment.ie
Sea Sessions in Donegal
This is one for fans of the cult television series Game of Thrones. The D Hotel in Drogheda offers an epic escape, based on the world’s only Game of Thrones experience using actual boats from the TV show. Stay at the luxury four-star and take to the river Boyne for a paddling tour in handcrafted traditional Kerry Naomhog currachs. You’ll be guided through 5,000 years of Ireland’s Ancient East, and topped off with stories from the Games of Thrones set. Stay from €85 per person sharing or €220 for a family of four, including the tour, one night’s B&B, welcome refreshments and a packed lunch. thedhotel.com
The members-only airfare tracker charges a small fee each month and in return tracks down the cheapest flights and sends notifications on flash sales and social offers, whatever your destination. Available on iTunes; delray.com
DEALS BY JOAN SCALES
January 2018 explore the Caribbean and Cuba on MSC Armonia, flights from Ireland one week onboard from €1,399 with Cruiseholidays.ie, 01-8173558, ref. 533999.
Spring offers, two nights at the Europe Hotel B&B, one a la carte dinner, horseriding and extensive spa from€300pps, theeurope.com, 064 6671300. Romantic Ard na Sidhe is available for two nights B&B and one dinner from €300pps, ardmasidhe.com, 066 9769105.
Madeira Flower Island:
Indulge a love of gardening with a trip to the floating garden in May. Flights from €329, a week in three-star hotels from €549pps, B&B. sunway.ie, 01-2311800