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26 May 2017Last updated
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5 of the best long weekend getaways

If you’re not heading home for summer, a long weekend away is the next best thing. Belle Yates finds out what’s doable…

By Belle Yates
10 Apr 2016 | 03:08 pm
  • Source:iStock

The adventure: Kenya

When going to Kenya, it would be unthinkable not to head to one of the many wildlife reserves and parks, go on a safari to see some of the incredible animals that roam the plains, from majestic elephants to regal lions – it definitely beats seeing them at a zoo. Another must is visiting the Maasai people in their villages, learning more about their culture by joining them as they go about their daily routines and watching one of their singing and dancing ceremonies. Stay at The Ark Lodge in Aberdare National Park (from Dh587 a night) for a once-in-a-lifetime experience – there’s a watering hole located next to the lodge, and a special alarm rings when the animals drink. The reserve is known for its torrential waterfalls and there’s even a chance to go trout fishing.


NEED TO KNOW Return flights from Dh1,540 on Qatar Airways (via Doha) from Dubai to Nairobi.

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The rejuvenating retreat: Sri Lanka

When it comes to relaxation, it really doesn’t matter where you head in Sri Lanka, there will be more spas and wellness centres than you can count, not forgetting the numerous yoga retreats that lie along the white sandy beaches. The Sri Lankan Ayurveda experience has been perfected over more than 5,000 years, using herbs, oils and a multitude of natural infusions to treat and cure illnesses. Stay at the Heritance Ayurveda MahaGedara for a rejuvenating experience – it borders the rolling oceans and lies amid tropical gardens, from Dh237 per night for a deluxe room.

NEED TO KNOW Return flights from Dh860 on Oman Air (via Muscat) from Dubai to Colombo.

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The journey through time: Cyprus

If looking around ruins and ancient buildings is your thing, make a beeline for the Tombs of the Kings, Paphos Harbour Castle and St Hilarion Castle – all rated highly as the best places to visit in Cyprus. There are also monasteries, as well as many churches and temples, so you can fully explore the history of the beautiful island. Not forgetting the scenic villages seemingly forgotten in time, and the numerous bays of the island, leading down to picturesque beaches. Stay at The King Jason hotel – from Dh574 per night – for a great balance of old and new.

NEED TO KNOW Return flights from Dh1,420 on Gulf Air (via Bahrain) from Dubai to Larnaca.

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The soul-healing trip: Nepal

From the mountain ranges to the temples, and the views to the gardens, there aren’t many places in Nepal that won’t help to quiet your mind and replenish your soul. Take a trip to Peace Temple, the Garden of Dreams or the Annapurna Mountain Range, perhaps even visit a monastery. Stay at the Dalai-La Boutique Hotel in Kathmandu, from Dh396 per night. In the area, there are plenty of beautiful temples to take a look around in.

NEED TO KNOW Return flights from Dh1,400 on Oman Air (via Muscat) from Dubai to Kathmandu.

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The romantic escape: the Seychelles

Frequent visitors to the Seychelles consider Mahé, North Island, Denis, Desroches and the private Frégate as the top-five most romantic islands. Take in the enchanting blue waters and picture-perfect beaches of each, enjoy the idyllic views with your loved one and just be in the moment with each other. Perfect for celebrating an anniversary, or even a honeymoon, there are special deals for island hopping (see www.seychelles.org for more details) if you don’t fancy staying on the same island for too long.

NEED TO KNOW Return flights from Dh4,200 on Emirates from Dubai to Seychelles International Airport.

By Belle Yates

By Belle Yates