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By Citizen Reporter

Journalist


Hot trips for hot love: Show you Valentine’s the world

Romantics make effort to make Valentine's special. Join them and go beyond a night out at a local restaurant and some hastily-bought flowers.


For many couples, Valentine’s Day is a high point of romance. Perhaps it’s an opportunity to reconnect and break from the routines of work and family life, or perhaps an opportunity to rekindle the spark.

Either way, a lot of romantics go to a lot of effort to make it special. If you’re ready join them and go beyond a night out at a local restaurant and some hastily-bought flowers, read on.

Serving more than 160 destinations worldwide from their Doha hub, Hamad International Airport, Qatar Air ways’ crews go lots of places, often. They share some views about their most romantic destinations.

Zanzibar

The Tanzanian archipelago is known, together with Mafia Island, as “the Spice Islands” and famed for its fragrant cloves, cinnamon, nutmeg and black pep pers.

Its historic centre, Stone Town, reflects its history as a former trading centre, Portuguese colony, and British protectorate, and invites leisurely hand-in-hand strolls, with its markets, alleys and famed, finely decorated wooden doors, of ten carved lotus-flowers, or carved Islamic script, reflecting respectively Indian and Omani tradition.

Magical: The tropical coast with white sandy beach of Zanzibar.

The crews’ tip: Charter a dhow for a day’s cruising that includes snorkelling and a seafood buffet on Kwale Island or return to Forodhani Gardens in the Old Town for supper at its nightly food market Accommodation includes the Kiwengwa Beach Resort: think wide beaches, lushly gardens and cool, inviting interiors.

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Santorini

This island in the Aegean Sea is famed for its white washed, blue-roofed houses that cling to soaring cliffs overlooking the ocean.

Its violent past – it was the site of one of the most violent volcanic eruptions in history – hardly seems imaginable now. The island is a Mecca for holidaymakers, sunseekers and watersport enthusiasts whose playground is the beautiful halfmoon-shaped bay – or more correctly, caldera – created by the explosion.

The crews’ tip: Hire an all-terrain vehicle and tour the island off-road. Then take a cableway down the beach and cool off.

Break the ice: Propose at a waterfall in Iceland.

After enjoying the balmy seas, take a leisurely four-hour walking food tour that includes tasting the famed Greek mezzes: souvlaki, dolmades, pastitsio, papoutsakia and more.

Watch the sunset with sundowners from the cool waters from the infinity-pool at a hotel or suite. For accommodation, consider a room in a cave hotel, like Divine Cave Experience: minimalist, cool, tranquil, atmospheric and private.

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Paris

If it’s not on your bucket list, put in there right now. Since the 17th century, Paris as been an epicentre of diplomacy, business, finance, art, gastronomy, fashion and culture, and lives up to every superlative used to describe it.

Visiting the City of Light is enjoyable enough if you’re travel ling solo, but even more rewarding when the experience is shared as a memory to cherish.

You can follow the tourist crowds and, say, take the elevator up the Eiffel Tower. But one of the easiest ways to see the best of Paris is a rooftop bus tour.

If you like, your package can include a river cruise or a night-time city tour. The crews’ tip: Book a “bistronomic cruise”, which offers fine dining while gliding past the city’s most beautiful landmarks on the Seine River in one of Eiffel Croisiers’ floating restaurants.

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Iceland

Sure, it’s not a tropical paradise, but its dramatic, primal landscapes will make for an un forgettable Valentine’s. Rent a car and drive the 1 300km Ring Road around the coast, past waterfalls, glaciers, and beaches of black sand.

The Northern Lights appear over Iceland between September and April so you and your Valentine have an even chance of seeing them, especially if you’re away from the city lights.

They occur because Iceland straddles two diverging tectonic plates, the North American plate and the Eurasian plate.

No drama: Iceland offers a dramatic landscape to explore.

This means plenty of volcanic activity which heats water but also packs it full beneficial minerals that have many benefits, like treating skin complaints and musculo skeletal pain.

The crews’ tip: Stay at a place like House in Lava, a cosy cottage at the foot of an extinct lava-field in Bifröst.

It’s self-catering and fully equipped, with a barbecue, so you can get your al fresco Valentine’s chef on. The cottage also has a jacuzzi.

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