Spring into Sunshine: Escape the Cold on an Active Break
Stuck behind a desk all day? Then the idea of laying out by the pool might not sound like the rejuvenating holiday you’re after. If you’re more of an active type, then you’re in luck. There are plenty of holiday options out there to suit every budget. From walking in Spain to open-water swimming in Croatia, here are our top picks for an active holiday in the sun.
Walking Shoes At the Ready – Camino Santiago de Compostela
People have been walking the ancient Santiago de Compostela since the 9th century. Although traditionally a religious pilgrimage, it’s now frequented by believers and non-believers alike. And in typical pilgrimage fashion, this kind of holiday offers you the opportunity to unplug and get back to basics. Just don’t scrimp on your walking shoes! Invest in a good pair and break them in before the trip to prevent blisters - your feet will thank you afterwards. Accommodation takes the form of pilgrim hostels known as albergues. Five-star hotels these are not. However, they are very reasonably priced and a great place to meet fellow walkers. Expect to return fitter, healthier and with a handful of new friends (the kind you only make by sharing blister plasters on a bunk bed).
Yoga and Surf in Portugal
Do you know your downward dog from your mountain pose? Or set waves from swells? Then say ‘Namaste’ to your ideal holiday. Located on the beautiful coastline of the Western Algarve, Tipi Valley is an ecological yoga and surf camp where organic food and twice-daily yoga classes are on the menu. The glamping style accommodation offers a chance to reconnect with nature and recharge. Make the most of the coastal location and punctuate your day with a spot of surfing. Classes are available for all levels - from beginner to advanced. You’ll return rejuvenated, and well and truly Zen.
Sardinia on Horseback
Sardinia has a long association with horses, as it’s one of the few places in Europe where you’ll spot the wild variety roaming the landscape. Better still, countless beaches and the hilly terrain make it a perfect location for a horse-riding holiday. Spend your days trekking across the island inhaling the salty sea air. You’ll need it as the views will leave you breathless! When evening falls, and the sun worshippers retire, take a gallop along one of the island’s many impressive beaches. Then spend your nights recouping your energy and sampling some of Italy’s finest cuisine. If you time your trip right, you can witness some of the most skilful horse-riding in all of Sardinia at the S'Ardia di Sedilo. This spectacular event takes place on July 6 and 7.
A Sporty Getaway in Croatia
If you live for tennis, the Umaq Tennis Academy Croatia will serve up an active holiday you’ll love. Offering expert coaching for everyone from beginners to advanced players, its seaside location also gives you a chance to soak up some beach life if you get bored of working on your backhand. More of a water baby? Then try your hand at some open-water swimming. Strel Swimming Adventures offer guided swimming tours in the clean waters of Croatia’s Dalmatian coast. Highlights include swimming around uninhabited islands and diving into waterfalls. Non-swimmers don’t have to miss out either, you can follow along and take in the sights from the comfort of a kayak.
Funding Your Holiday
Itching to start your travel adventure? Existing AIB customers can apply for a holiday loan and get a decision within just three hours*. You can pick the amount and term that suits you. It is now possible to review and accept your loan documents online, at which stage the funds will be made available to you. This handy loan calculator can help you figure out what your repayments will be.
* 3 hour loan decision applies to fully completed new personal loan applications processed within 3 hours 9am-5pm, Mon-Fri excl. bank holidays. Loans from €1,000-€30,000. Excludes applications; to restructure or clear existing AIB credit facilities, from customers in financial difficulty, for Student and First Job loans, applications through Business Centres, or where total borrowings exceed €100,000 (excluding Home Loan debt up to €600,000).
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