5 Great adventure-filled destinations to visit from Dubai in under a 5-hour flight
This year is a first for us as the Holy Month of Ramadan will now be celebrated during the school year, meaning Eid Al Fitr (“the breaking of the fast’) – usually a 3-day public holiday – will be happening in June 2018.
For our overseas readers, this is like getting a bonus bank holiday weekend before the summer starts in earnest! Now the downside to a public holiday weekend in June – well, Dubai is hot! I mean like scorch your toes on the sand hot!!!!
Most of UAE life has already moved indoors by this point, so the next best alternative to enjoy a cheeky long weekend is to search for a last-minute flight deal. We find the cheapest flights on Wego.ae. It’s a really comprehensive search engine from either desktop or even more conveniently through a mobile app.
Ok, so this may have just happened this weekend… If you’re last-minute planners like us, here are 5 of the best adventurous locations we could find all under 5 hours flying with a direct from Dubai. All these destinations offer a bit more action and culture than your average staycation weekend – and all pretty much 5-10 degrees celsius cooler than Dubai in June!!!
Flight time & airlines: 3 hours 15 minutes (multiple direct flights from DXB and DWC to AMM with flyDubai, Emirates and Royal Jordanian)
Average June Temperature: Expect lows of 18c and highs of 31c What better way to escape the heat, and so conveniently close!
However, if you want to use Amman as your base, a long weekend is an ideal length of time. You can make easy day trips from Amman to the Dead Sea and enjoy a day spa and dip in the salty waters, or head south on a road trip through Madaba, Mount Nebo and Bethany.
Our favourite is to day trip north to see the ancient Roman ruins at Jerash and Umm Qais. Of course, Amman itself is not to be overlooked. The summer days are not stifling making sightseeing still perfectly easy this time of year. Enjoy visiting the ancient Citadel on the city’s tallest peak, the Roman amphitheatre and the Jordan Archaeological Museum are well worth a visit for history buffs.
Flight time & airlines: 1 hour 15 minutes (Daily direct flight from DXB to SYZ on Iran Air)
Average June Temperature: Expect lows of 18c and highs of 36c One of the quickest and cheapest flights from Dubai is to the beautiful eastern Irani city of Shiraz.
Once the capital of the Persian Empire, it is one of the countries most beautiful and history-filled destinations. It’s the best place to base yourself for visiting the ancient city of Persepolis and home to the famous Tomb of Hafez.
In town, explore the shopping hub at Vakil Bazaar, the Eram Gardens and the unmissable “Pink Mosque” – Nasir al-Mulk Mosque (opening times may vary over the religious holidays). The only thing stopping us, current visa concerns for hubby so we cannot go immediately, but watch this space…. I see a cheeky girls trip coming up to enjoy this one!!
(Update September 2019 – we would not recommend this trip at present due to international conflict)
North-East Sri Lanka
Flight time & airlines: 4 hours 30 Minutes (Daily direct flights from DXB to Colombo on FlyDubai, Emirates, SriLankan Airlines)
Average June Temperature: Expect lows of 26c and highs of 34c Flying to Colombo is a classic easy hop from the UAE.
Now many people will probably tell you “don’t visit Sri Lanka in June, it’s too wet”. Whilst it’s true you can catch the monsoon season in the south and east of the Bay of Bengal, you should have no issue at this time of year heading to the more remote northern beaches.
Why not try Passenkudah Bay or Trincomalee for a beach break with a relaxed vibe. The only downside – driving from Colombo to anywhere else in the country can be a bit of a trek making it challenging for a long weekend!
Might be a good idea to think about this one for the August Eid al-Adha break where you can also see some of the northern National Parks at their best including Yala, Uda Walawe, Wilpattu and Sinharaja. August is also the best season for whale spotting near Trincomalee (pictured).
Republic of Cyprus
Flight time & airlines: 4 hours 15 minutes (Daily direct flights from DXB to LCA on Emirates)
Average June Temperature: Expect highs of 28c to 31c This eastern Mediterranean island is known for its laid-back approach to life, amazing fresh food and beautiful beaches.
Summertime in Cyprus brings exceptionally perfect day time temperatures, not too hot for exploring but warm enough you will enjoy a refreshing dip too.
It’s a fabulous family destination with everything from history, shipwrecks, fairytale castles and wide beaches in Kyrenia in the north – or head to Larnaca in the East for underwater activities and exploring sea caves in the Protaras area.
Paphos in the southwest is known for its UNESCO-listed city and also offers beautiful beaches and an ideal position for exploring the rest of the island.
So where are the Globetrotters actually heading this Eid?
Our winner and the best flight deal we could for a family of 5 using Wego.ae:
Flight time & airlines: Under 4 hours (multiple direct flights from DXB and DWC with Emirates, FlyDubai, MEA).
Average June Temperatures: Lows of 21c to highs of 28c.
This stunning oceanside city on the Mediterranean could be one of the regions most overlooked gems. The country of Lebanon is small, arguably you could drive the whole country in a day and go from ski slopes in the mountains to beaches!
A long weekend is perfect timing for visiting “the Pearl of the Middle East”. More to come on all the exciting things to do in Lebanon and Beirut later this year, but I’m pretty sure a visit to the historic seaside town of Byblos – the oldest occupied city in the world – will feature, along with Jeita Grotto and the underground caves, a cable car over the Bay of Jounieh and a visit to the ancient Roman town of Baalbek.
Let us know in the comments if you’ve grabbed yourself a great short hop flight this Eid and where you’re off to.
If this all seems too hard so close to Ramadan and summer starting, our next instalment we will be sharing with you our favourite UAE Staycation ideas, no need for flying, just an air-conditioned car and some sunscreen!!