Valentine getaways for Indian tourists

Travel firms match rising demands with romantic holiday packages
2022-02-10
/
/ New Delhi
Valentine getaways for Indian tourists

Thomas Cook has reported a surge in demand for Valentine’s Day (Photo: Pixabay/kenailuj)

With Valentine’s Day just around the corner, couples are looking for escapes from the toils of daily life. As pandemic-linked restrictions disappear, in India and overseas, it is an ideal moment to get out of the country for the weekend and rejuvenate under the beach sun or amidst greenery.
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This year as Valentine’s Day falls on a Monday, it presents a rare opportunity for couples to prolong their romantic day into a long romantic weekend, preferably spent exploring different destinations around the world. And as this year most of the restrictions around Covid-19 have been eased or are being lifted altogether, various options for romantic breaks have sprung up all over the world.

Leading travel firm Thomas Cook has reported a surge in demand for Valentine’s Day and says it has tried to meet the demand with holiday packages to countries like Maldives, Switzerland, Turkey, Egypt, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Abu Dhabi and Dubai. Thomas Cook’s packages offer private dining, couple spas and wellness, wine tasting; fun/adventure experiences like yachting, water/winter sports, camping, trekking, safari drives and jungle experiences. One can choose their accommodation from tree-top stays, cave hotels and igloos to private villas, havelis/palaces and uber luxury resorts. Some popular destinations around India from these packages are the perfect destination for a Valentine’s getaway.

Maldives offers many beach resorts for couples to stay at (Photo: Pixabay/romaneu)

Maldives

The number of Indians flocking to the archipelagic islands of Maldives has been rising every year. This land of sunny beaches offers a variety of staying options, from club like resorts to boutique hotels to homestays. Couples can enjoy floating breakfasts, long walks on the beach, snorkelling, dates in an underwater restaurant, spas and candlelit dinners. Drown out the noise of the world in the laughs of loved ones and ambient sounds of the ocean in Maldives. 

As of October 2021, Maldives received 292,000 Indian visitors, about 22 pc of the total arrivals of all tourists, making India the largest source market for tourists to the country for the second consecutive year. Maldives offers Visa on Arrival to Indian citizens, so one can travel without worrying about the tedious documentation processes. Direct flights connect numerous cities across India like Mumbai, New Delhi, Hyderabad, Bengaluru, Chennai and Thirvananthapuram to Male.

Switzerland is a tranquil sight in the winters (Photo: Pixabay/WikilImages)

Switzerland

The pristine mountains of Switzerland are a favoured destination among Indians, especially for honeymoons. The glistening white peaks of Switzerland in February are a sight to behold. One can take cruises on Lake Geneva or enjoy aromatherapies and different spas at the Abbey Resort in Geneva, Switzerland. Switzerland also offers various winter adventure activities including skiing, snowboarding and snow hiking. Celebrate love while relaxing in an AirBnB amidst the hills or indulge in the multiple activities offered at resorts here. To travel to Switzerland, one requires a Schengen Visa. One can board a direct flight from Mumbai or take flights from Delhi, Hyderabad, Bengaluru and Kochi. 

Istanbul is a fairytale dreamland for couples (Photo: Pixabay/Rizelli)

Turkey

The mid-winter weather in Turkey is perfect for romance. Turkey makes for a beautiful romantic escapade as it is dotted with spas, saunas and thermal pools. Couples can walk in the fairy tale land of Alacati. Take a dip in history, culture and exquisite architecture at Istanbul or take a hot air balloon ride over Cappadocia. Apart from this, Turkey’s cuisine draws from Ottoman cuisine and Mediterranean cuisine and is renowned for the variety of scrumptious dishes it offers. Share a cup of tea or bond over a plate of Iskender Kebabs (strips of lamb meat).

In 2019, Turkey had seen a 55 pc rise in the number of Indian tourists that visited the country. Indians can travel to Turkey via Dubai or Qatar and can also avail the e-Visa facility. E Visas are also easily available for Indians who hold a UK, US or Schengen Visa. To reach Turkey, one can take a direct flight from Mumbai or one stop flights from New Delhi, Bangalore, Hyderabad or Chennai. 

The deserts of Egypt are perfect for a getaway (Photo: Pixabay/TheDigitalArtist)

Egypt

Spend Valentine’s Day amidst the pyramids in Egypt. The winds have a slight chill in them, which gives the ambience one looks for a romantic evening. Tour the historic cities of Cairo and Sakkara, take a camel ride through the desert or have a candlelit dinner on a Nile cruise. Right out of the Arabian Nights, a trip to this land of Pharaohs and a Thousand Suns will surely add sparks to anyone’s relationship. 

Before the pandemic, about 1 million Indians visited Egypt every year, and the number only increases. Fly from New Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Bangalore or Chennai to the historic city of Cairo. An Egyptian Tourist Visa needs to be obtained from the Egyptian Embassy or Consulate. 

The sunsets and sandy beaches of Sri Lanka make it a calming getaway (Photo: Pixabay/RomanBader)

Sri Lanka

Escaping to the ‘Pearl of the Indian Ocean’ makes for an easy weekend getaway. Walk along the pristine beaches like Turtle Beach to rekindle the flames while sipping on the famous Ceylon tea or sharing a beer. Isolate from the world on a boat ride across the Madu river and forget the world in the greenery of this country. Sri Lanka also offers hot air balloon rides, snorkelling, sailing and other adventure activities to refresh your minds.

Almost half the tourists to Sri Lanka in 2021 were from India. Direct flights fly daily from Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Bangalore and Hyderabad. Sri Lanka offers Visa on Arrival to Indian citizens.

Hideaway from the world at Nepal (Photo: Pixabay/Trilemedia)

Nepal

Right next to India, Nepal is a heaven for people looking for seclusion and a break from the world. Let go of worries at a haven in the middle of hills and snuggle with loved ones in the chilly winter of this Himalayan paradise. For people looking for excitement, contrary to popular belief, Kathmandu has a glitzy nightlife with vibrant casinos that keep the party going. Nepal is a place for connecting with nature and rejuvenating your eyes after constant views of the urban landscapes. Escape to this Himalayan hamlet for a quick cleansing of all the senses.

India has been the largest source of tourists for Nepal, and this is bound to increase with the reopening of borders. One can reach Nepal via direct flights from Delhi or Varanasi and connecting flights from Mumbai, Kolkata and Bangalore. Indian tourists don’t even need a Visa to visit Nepal! Just board a flight and escape into this hilly retreat. 

Abu Dhabi is rich in culture and heritage (Photo: Pixabay/goldbug)

Abu Dhabi

Looking for a romantic but luxury vacation? Plan a trip to Abu Dhabi. There is much to do in this sun-soaked city. Enjoy romantic Emirati dinners at the various fine dining restaurants in the city or just go for a picnic to the Khalifa Park. One can watch the world rush by as they are engrossed in indulging in the best that life has to offer, from feeding tropical birds and relaxing on beaches to visiting Ferrari World and seeing the skyline from the Jumeirah at Etihad Towers. There is something for every kind of couple in this city! 

Indian tourists need to apply for and obtain a Tourist Visa to visit Abu Dhabi. Multiple direct flights go to Abu Dhabi from Delhi, Mumbai, Kochi, Kozhikode and Thiruvananthapuram. 

Dubai’s scenic beauty can make anyone fall in love (Photo: Pixabay/Marucha)

Dubai

Dubai is well known as a luxury destination, but this Valentine’s Day, Dubai is also hosting the Expo 2020. The Expo 2020 has been postponed for two years and is finally being hosted at Dubai. Apart from the usual Burj Khalifa tour, romantic dinners, desert safaris and beach parties, one can also experience the culture of over 190 countries at the country pavilions. The Expo 2020 offers the best in experiential entertainment through thematic pavilions. A day spent here is a memory for life. 

According to Dubai Tourism, India was again the largest source market, with 910,000 visitors from India, accounting for 13 pc of the total 7.28 million total visitors received by the emirate in 2021. Indian tourists need a visa to visit Dubai which can be obtained online. Multiple direct flights go to Dubai from cities like New Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Hyderabad and Bangalore.

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