12 October 2021
With two-week school holidays creating ample opportunities for a getaway, and the unpredictable weather of home forcing us to look elsewhere, the Christmas and Easter Holidays are an ideal time for a long-haul escape. These are the places that we recommend feature on your wish list for this Christmas and next Easter.
Following its full opening on 1st October this year, from when fully vaccinated travellers will be free to roam the island, we’re expecting Mauritius to be the hot ticket in long haul travel this winter.
Book yourself a stay at Shangri-La’s Le Touessrok Resort & Spa for an indulgent stay that’s sure to banish away any of the winter blues. The resort has its own cast away private island retreat known as “Ilot Mangénie”, which is exclusively reserved for Shangri-La's guests. This idyllic paradise hideaway features 3.5 kilometres of pristine white sandy beach, elegant beach cabanas with dedicated butler service, and an island spa. There’s also a beach restaurant and bar, where you can delve into succulent seafood platters, freshly caught fish, wood-fired pizzas, tailor-made cocktails and local speciality rum.
Oozing laidback Caribbean charm, Barbados is a delightful combination of spectacular coastlines for sun-worshippers, brilliant green landscapes for the adventurous, and heritage spots for those hungry for culture.
While you’re there, make your way to Carlisle Bay. Arguably one of the most picturesque beaches in Barbados, Carlisle Bay is a paradise for many scuba-divers and sun-seekers alike. With crystal-clear waters, enchanting shipwrecks and a bounty of marine life, this beach offers access to some of the most spectacular diving experiences in the Caribbean.
Take a swim or a snorkel within this marine reserve, where you can see everything from hawksbill turtles and seahorses to moray eels and manta rays. This bay takes its name from James Hay, 1st Earl of Carlisle and is home to the Needham's Point Lighthouse, one of Barbados most historic lighthouses.
The quintessential castaway island destination, the idyllic islands that make up the Maldivian archipelago feel a million miles from the wintery chill of home, with their toes-in-the-sand luxury resorts and powder-white sands.
Eagle rays, turtles, giant frogfish and a colourful assortment of reef fish. The coral in the warm waters of the South Malé Atoll are home to abundant marine life, making them a veritable wonderland of adventure for both skilled and novice divers. Cocoa Thila is one of the Indian Ocean’s most renowned dive sites thanks to its wide channel, patrolled by grey reef sharks, and steep drop-offs which serve as excellent locations to spot Manta Rays.
Around Easter time, a number of local foodie favourites come out in Saint Lucia. Accra is a fish cake that’s traditionally eaten on Good Friday while Penepis is a ginger biscuit that’s enjoyed as dessert and has become a favourite amongst the children of the island.
Around Easter, you’ll likely notice the island’s cloudless skies filled with a rainbow of kites as the locals head out for the traditional kite flying for this time of year. You’ll find plenty of vendors on the island selling handmade kites so that you can join in the fun.
For some cooling respite from the Caribbean sun, head into the jungle interiors of the island on a guided tour, in which a local nature expert will lead you through the island’s native flora and fauna, or explore the forest floor by bike. To get up amongst the forest canopy, embark on a thrilling zipline excursion or rope bridge walk.
While Easter may not be widely celebrated in the UAE, its reliably warm weather and myriad of attractions make it a strong contender for our favourite spot to visit around that time of year.
If you’re travelling as a family try the treetop adventure course at Aventura, roller skating to some disco favourites at Rolldxb, exploring some of Banksy’s most famous works of art at the Mall of the Emirates and escaping from the heat at city’s huge indoor theme park ‘Motiongate’, where thrilling rides and character meet and greets are there to keep everyone entertained.
If you’re ready to book your Christmas or Easter getaway, contact your Travel Counsellor today and enjoy exclusive access to benefits such as financial protection and a 24-hour duty office ready to assist you before, during and after your stay.