May 19, 2024

Adventure Chronicles Forum

Navigating Travel Tales

From a city stay and a family getaway to a budget holiday

10 min read

The UAE’s next public holiday is just around the corner as the country gets ready to celebrate Eid Al Fitr.

Marking the end of the holy month, the first day of Eid Al Fitr is expected to fall on April 10 with most people enjoying either a four or five-day holiday. And with many schools taking a break in March, some families could have several weeks off to travel.

If you’ve not yet made plans for the holidays, don’t worry. We’ve got you covered with some fantastic escapes that are still available to book for Eid Al Fitr. From a wildlife-filled safari in Sri Lanka to a Maldivian escape that’s perfect for solo travellers or an epic adventure in Ethiopia, these 10 holidays are well worth considering.

Best for adventure: Ethiopia

For an adventure-laden escape this Eid Al Fitr, head to Ethiopia. A land of contrasts, from the peaks of the Simien Mountains to the Danakil Depression, one of the lowest dry points on earth, this African country is a fascinating place to explore, and TrekkUp Dubai’s adventure-filled five day discovery is one of the best ways to see it.

Only a four-hour flight from the UAE, land in Addis Ababa, and then take an internal flight to the Omo region in the country’s south. Stop in Jinka, the main city of the region where you can wander markets and explore the hills north of the Tama Plains. In Kara, meet local tribes that paint their bodies in chalk. Wander along the Omo River to spot eagles and crocodiles.

In Bena, hike through the bushes, keeping an eye out for antelopes and zebras before heading to Mursi to meet and stay with the region’s eponymous tribe, famous for having ceramic discs inserted into their lower lips. This African experience will see you waking up in local villages, sharing experiences with indigenous people and exploring stunning landscapes, but also comes with limited facilities and basic accommodation.

From Dh4,200, excluding international flights and visas;

Best for a city break: Prague, Czech Republic

A playground for history lovers, Prague is home to one of Europe’s best-preserved historic centres and offers culture by the bucket load, but is also renowned for its fantastic nightlife. Only a seven-hour flight from the UAE, the city is easy to navigate thanks to efficient tram and metro systems, but it’s also compact enough to be entirely walkable. Enjoy the pleasant spring weather by heading to the top of Letna hill for awe-inspiring views of the “city of a thousand spires” and don’t miss the Staromestske namesti, Prague’s prettiest and most important town square.

Stay at Andaz Prague, located in the heart of the Old Town, where guests will be within walking distance of many of the city’s historical landmarks. The five-star hotel has a beautifully boho modern vibe, interspersed with Czech influences, and regional food and ingredients are celebrated in its restaurants. GCC travellers can get 10 per cent off the best rates, plus complimentary daily breakfast for two on stays before April 30.

Rates start from Dh1,700 per night. Use code “Spring” for the GCC rate.

Best for families: Cyprus

Located four hours from the UAE, Cyprus is a great pick for families looking to get away this Eid Al Fitr. The island destination enjoys beautiful sunshine-filled days in April, but it’s not quite tourist season, meaning travellers will be able to explore without the crowds.

On the country’s southern coast, Limassol is a fascinating city filled with history, including the ancient Limassol Castle. Right on the seafront is Prokymea Sculpture Park – where visitors can see huge artworks by international artists while enjoying the Mediterranean breeze. Tuck into delicious Cypriot cuisine, which includes dishes featuring freshly caught fish, delicious cheeses and Koupepia (traditional stuffed vine leaves), and spend a day exploring Lady’s Mile Beach with its unspoilt grey sand and calm waters. About 1.5km from here is the Akrotiri Salt Lake, a wetland that attracts hordes of migrating birds, including pink flamingos and herons.

Stay at the City of Dreams, a sprawling destination with plenty of choice for families, including eight restaurants and one of Europe’s largest swimming pool complexes with waterslides, a wave-rider and fountains. There’s also a fantastic adventure park where little ones can tackle rope courses, climbing walls, ziplines and more. Even better, children staying at the resort have free access. While the youngsters have a blast, mums and dads can unwind in the tranquil Renue Spa.

Rates start from $327 per night over Eid. GCC residents can get 15 per cent off the best rates and complimentary breakfast for two when booking stays of four nights or more during Eid Al Fitr.

Best for solo trips: The Maldives

Perhaps not the first place that springs to mind when it comes to solo travel, The Maldives is one of the world’s most coveted destinations with its postcard-perfect beaches, overwater villas and crystal-clear ocean. It’s long had a reputation as being a popular destination with honeymooners and couples, and has recently upped its offerings for family holidays. But it’s also a great place for solo travellers, so long as you choose your resort carefully.

Enter Nova by Pulse Hotels. Launched in 2022, this resort in the South Ari Atoll offers a modern-take on the classic all-inclusive island stay with a vibrant community concept. That translates to community sharing tables and weekly welcome socials, plus a number of complimentary activities where like-minded travellers can mingle. There are sunrise yoga sessions, water polo matches, painting lessons and bachata dance classes, plus football and volleyball tournaments. You can also learn more about Maldivian culture at a weekly Holhuashi event, where guests can mingle with locals.

Eskape Spa offers holistic therapies and workshops, designed to help guests reconnect with their senses, including meditation, reiki, and sound healing. There is also the option to unwind at one of the many breathtaking beachside locations at the property.

This Eid, dnata Travel’s GCC offer includes a VIP arrival experience, airport lounge access and a Sunset Cruise excursion. Rates start from $1,075 per person on an all-inclusive basis;

Best for wildlife: Sri Lanka

Embrace the wilds of Sri Lanka this Eid Al Fitr with a seven-day tour of the teardrop island’s nature, wildlife and culture. Curated by dnata Travel, this fascinating trip takes in some of the country’s best destinations starting with a stay in the greenery of Kandy.

From here, travellers head to Nuwara Eliya – a densely forested city in the tea country hills. Excursions include a visit to the stunning Rawana Waterfall and a Madu Ganga river cruise. Yala National Park is next on the itinerary, here you can see a wealth of wildlife including leopards, elephants, wild water buffalo and the Sri Lankan sloth bear. Finally, travellers will head to Bentota, for beachside lounging and a city tour of nearby Galle.

The package includes international flights, private transfers in Sri Lanka and six nights accommodation in four and five-star hotels. Rates over Eid start from Dh5,300 per person;

Best for a short break: Bahrain

If you don’t have too much time to play with, but still fancy getting away this Eid, hop over to Bahrain. Only an hour’s flight from the UAE, it’s the only island nation in the Middle East, which means you’ll have your pick of brilliant beaches.

As well as a change of scenery and the laid-back Bahraini way of life, there’s plenty to do, including taking a yacht trip in the Gulf of Bahrain, tackling the Pearling Path – a 3.5km trail through the old alleyways of Muharraq – or visiting Al Dar Island with its golden shoreline and tiki-style beach huts.

Stay at the Four Seasons Bahrain Bay in Manama this Eid and you can get 15 per cent off the best rates when booking two nights or more. With a stunning infinity pool and two Wolfgang Puck restaurants, it’s also great for families as has its own mini-water park, private beach and complimentary kayaking and paddle boarding. The Beach Club has gaming facilities for teenagers, while little ones will love the Kids Club where special Eid activities include a magic show, henna painting and a talent contest.

Rates start from Dh1,514 per night;

Best for foodies: Amsterdam

Tulip season has sprung in the Netherlands, making it a good time to visit the European destination. Known for its art galleries and museums, from the Rijksmuseum to the Anne Frank House, Amsterdam also has an innovative food scene. Reachable via a seven-hour flight from the UAE, foodies who want to explore the destination’s culinary delights can check in at the luxurious Anantara Grand Hotel Krasnapolsky in the heart of the city.

The hotel’s Eid package includes a chef’s lunch or dinner at Grand Cafe Krasnapolsky, where you can enjoy simultaneous views over Dam Square. There is also a Dutch Heritage Gastronomy Experience to enjoy, which involves a three-hour tour taking in the history, culture and local cuisine of the city.

Eid packages at Anantara Grand Hotel Krasnapolsky include a three-night stay in a Grand Premium room and return airport transfers. Rates start from €2,106 ($2,290) for two people, for stay until May;

Best for a budget break: Zanzibar

A tropical archipelago anchored about 32km off the coast of Tanzania, Zanzibar is famed for its blissful beaches, azure waters and breathtaking sunsets. While April marks the start of the region’s long rainy season, it doesn’t rain every day and temperatures are pleasant with the sunshine still breaking through. Reachable via a five-and-a-half-hour flight from the UAE, Zanzibar can be on your travel radar this Eid, even if you’re on a budget, thanks to Holiday Factory’s latest offer.

At Azao Resort and Spa, travellers will be housed in red-roofed cottages surrounded by lots of greenery, a pristine beach and an outdoor pool. Visitors can explore the north-eastern coast of Zanzibar island, famed for its epic snorkelling and diving. It’s also about an hour outside of the Unesco World Heritage site of Stone Town, worth visiting for its museums, cafes and markets.

It costs Dh4,484 per person for three nights over Eid, including flights and transfers;

Best for a relaxing escape: Rishikesh, India

North India’s magnificent Himalayan mountains are a fabulous place to retreat to this Eid Al Fitr for a relaxing stay at Ananda in the Himalayas.

Located in the birthplace of meditation, yoga and Ayurveda – Ananda is a world-class wellness facility overlooking the North Indian city of Rishikesh and the Ganga river. Its reachable via a 3.5 hour flight from the UAE to Delhi, and then a quick 55 minute local flight to Dehradun, where guests are collected and whisked into the hills.

Housed in a palace that used to belong to a maharaja, Ananda in the Himalayas has 40 hectares of lush gardens and grounds for guests to explore plus endless fresh mountain air.

Wellness is the order of the day here with programmes designed to promote emotional healing and relieve stress, aid detox and weight management, or guide guests in the pursuit of higher consciousness. Clean eating and healthy organic cuisine are on the menu and rooms have every luxury you might need from hot tubs to free Wi-Fi. The resort offers floor-to-ceiling windows looking down to the Ganges Valley and over the open forest, making it the ideal place to retreat for a truly restful Eid Al Fitr escape.

Rates from $1,000 per night (single occupancy);

Best for couples: Mauritius

Nestled in the Indian Ocean, about six and a half hours from the UAE, the islands of Mauritius are idyllic with white sandy beaches, Jurassic-like landscapes and some of the world’s best luxury resorts. The island’s tropical climate means Eid visitors will perhaps see April showers, but these are usually balanced by plenty of sunshine-filled days.

Tropical vistas and beachside views make for a romantic getaway for couples, but there’s also plenty to see and do in Mauritius including kitesurfing and hiking at Le Morne, and scuba diving in the surrounding waters, which are almost completely surrounded by a barrier reef.

One&Only Le Saint Geran has been welcoming guests for about 50 years and the luxury resort is a good pick for a short break. Having had a refresh in 2017 to bring it up to date, it’s a tropical paradise that perfect for couples seeking paradisiacal views, perfect sundowner spots, first-class relaxation and a picture-perfect private shoreline.

Dh3,114 per night for two adults;

Updated: March 26, 2024, 9:14 AM


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