10 Valentine's Destinations (That Won't Break The Bank)
Valentine’s Day is just around the corner, folks. And instead of getting your loved one a gift this year, why not treat them to a romantic getaway instead? Fortunately, there are some decent flight deals still available. Even if you don’t have a superstar budget, there’s no reason to not feel like a celebrity couple on the day of love. And if you’re single, fear not. Plenty of our finds are perfect for solo adventures, too. Who knows? You might even fall in love on your travels.
The Caribbean is famous for its tropical weather and perfect beaches, but sadly it’s about an 18-hour flight from the UAE. If you’re looking for something similar but much closer to home, the beaches of Oman are a good alternative. Capital Muscat has a string of stunning five-star resorts dotted all along its picturesque coast, so you can’t go wrong.
From Dhs479 on SalamAir
Since it was first hailed as a hippy capital in the 60s, party peeps have been flocking to Goa, western India, to sample its famed all-night parties and beautiful unspoilt beaches, caressed by the warm Arabian Sea. Boasting a temperate climate and a free-spirited joie de vivre, Goa’s love of food , music and dance has been translated into a flamboyant modern-day party scene, that still attracts hoards of young holiday fun-seekers. Whether you’re after drinks at a beach shack bar, romantic dinners on the beach, live music or all-night parties, Goa has it all. Perfect for a young couple.
From Dhs686 on Oman Air
COLOMBO, SRI LANKA
Much of Sri Lanka and its surrounding islands lay untouched by tourism, so it's the perfect alternative to well-trodden routes through other nearby Asian destinations. It’s also pretty romantic. The capital city Colombo has some of the trendiest venues around, offering a beachy vibe with a sophisticated twist. A trek through the rainforest is well worth the effort and allows you to get up close with Sri Lankan nature, from ancient trees to incredible wildlife, for an all-natural experience you’ll never forget. And, after a day of adventure, relax with a traditional Ayurvedic massage and a relaxing cup of Sri Lankan Ceylon tea. Bliss!
From Dhs1,071 on SriLankan Airlines
Knock off one of the bucket list destinations this Valentine’s and tackle the trek of all treks to Mount Everest base camp. As the highest mountain on Earth, you can guarantee a V-Day unlike any other. Not keen to climb? No problem! Set amongst the towering heights of the Himalayas, Nepal’s colourful capital city is a myriad of sensory sights, sounds and smells, and worth a visit on its own. Home to a melting pot of dozens of different cultures, it’s easy to see why travellers instantly fall in love with this awe-inspiring city.
From Dhs1,038 on FlyDubai
Kenya is full of seductive landscapes, world-class wildlife and some of friendliest, warmest welcomes on the planet. Head to Masai Mara, Kenya’s most famous game reserve (that’s only a couple of hours’ drive from the capital), to spot lions, cheetahs and wildebeests in their natural habitat on a mud-splattered game drive. After sunset, enjoy delicious food washed down with the local tipple around the campfire back at your canvas-tented base. What’s more romantic than that?
From Dhs1,318 on Kenya Airways
Istanbul is overflowing with culture, with people, with traffic and with attitude. There is a European district, an Asian side, the Old Town and the predictably intense tourist traps. Split in two by the fast-flowing Bosphorus, Istanbul rises and falls with a complex topography. From almost every restaurant and bar there is a view, usually of colonial houses, minarets, grand mansions, the sprawl of souks, Roman ruins and the solid line of traffic that snakes around them. Unmissable sights are the Blue Mosque, the Agia Sofia, Topkapi Palace and the Roman Basilica. Take a romantic cruise on the Bosphorus with your other half to get a potted history of the capital.
From Dhs1,086 on FlyDubai and Pegasus Airlines
Bangkok might not be your stereotypical romance destination. We agree. But the Thai capital is always oodles of fun, all year round. From its busy markets and shopping districts to its 24-hour restaurants, there’s never a dull moment. If you want to experience the real Bangkok, head over to Nana where you will ﬁnd countless affordable Thai restaurants, bars, nightclubs, markets and, of course, street food stalls. Thanks to its vibrant city scenery combined with rich cultural heritage, beautiful Bangkok is unlike any city you’ll ever visit.
From Dhs1,313 on Jet Airways
Being based in the UAE means that we’re just a stone’s throw away from some of the best holiday destinations in the world. And if you’ve entertained fantasies about being marooned on a desert island, the Maldives is the Valentine’s escape for you. Hundreds of the islands that make up the Maldives have been converted into resorts, and each one offers a heady mix of water sports, fine food, endless ocean and deluxe spa treatments. At all Maldivian resorts, the surrounding waters form a playground for holidaymakers. Diving, snorkelling, jet-skiing, wakeboarding, canoeing and even kneeboarding are all on offer, so take your pick.
From Dhs1,887 on SriLankan Airways
From Prince William and the Duchess of Cambridge to Brad Pitt and Jennifer Aniston, some of the most famous couples in Celebdom have chosen to get romantic in the Seychelles. In this blessed part of the world it would seem rude not to snorkel, dive or kayak through its famously azure waters with your other half, and what could be more romantic than that? The two main islands in this 115-strong archipelago are Mahé and Praslin – and each has an airport. You’ll fly into Mahé, where the hottest date is a hike in Morne Seychellois National Park and a later stroll through the colonial splendour of the capital, Victoria. La Plage is the go-to restaurant for romance.
From Dhs1,715 on Ethiopian Airlines
No Valentine’s list is complete without mentioning the original City of Love. And fortunately, there are some great deals this time of the year. The formal French lawns of the Jardin des Tuileries are a good place to start – share a seat for two and enjoy the view before heading to the Louvre, one of the world’s most famous museums. It also brings you to the neighbouring Carrousel du Louvre, the swanky underground shopping mall where Paris Fashion Week is hosted – shop like a supermodel and then head to dinner. L’Arpège on the Rue de Varenne is currently one of Paris’ best restaurants, according to the San Pellegrino list. Alain Passard’s Michelin-starred haute cuisine haven stopped serving red meat over a decade ago to focus on veg, yet it continues to wow palates the world over. Book/beg for a table for two for either lunch or dinner on 14 February.
From Dhs1,649 on Ukraine International
INFO: Flights are quoted for travel between 13-17 Feb from Dubai. For these deals and more, visit skyscanner.ae