SEASIDE & MARVELOUS SAND DUNES OF QATAR; PRISTINE BEACHES & DRAMATIC ROCKS OF THE SEYCHELLES; QATAR & SEYCHELLES
Day 1 – Arrive Doha, Qatar
There are direct flights to/from Doha, Qatar from Middle Eastern International Airport Hub of Dubai (United Arab Emirates). There are non-stop international flights from number of cities in USA and Europe to Dubai (United Arab Emirates). At the Hamad International Airport in Doha, our hotel’s transfer services offer a scenic 30-minute drive to our resort. An afternoon arrival at the hotel enables a bit of relaxation on the beach.
Day 2 – Doha, Khor Al Udaid
The Arabic architecture along Doha’s picturesque waterfront boulevard and expansive desert topography present the contrasting beauty of Qatar. Our morning journey leads to the Museum of the Islamic Art displaying impressive collection of ancient artifacts. A short drive to architectural landmark of the State Grand Mosque educates us about the Islamic religion. The nearby Doha’s Old Town exhibits the 19th century Souq Waqif, a vibrant bazaar full of colorful souvenirs and aromatic Arabic cuisine. An afternoon tour lead us to Qatar’s south eastern desert terrain at Khor Al Udaid to discover the cream colored sand dunes and Inland Sea scenery. A caravan of four-wheel drive trucks leads us along the magnificent sand dunes, distant mountain views and sunset in the horizon. An evening cruise along Doha’s waterfront reveals the colorful landscape of the city.
Day 3 – North Qatar, West Coast
Sleepy fishing villages and a historic fort of the North and dramatic desert rock formations of the West symbolize the cultural and natural treasures of Qatar. In the morning, we take a 40 minutes’ route to Al Khor City to explore the picturesque coastal scenery, fishing villages, protected Dhakhira Mangroves and Ruined Ancient Village overlooking the sea. We continue our excursion with an hour drive to the historic Zubarah Fort and Al Zubarah Archeological Site. After a lunch pause at a local restaurant, we drive an hour and a half to Qatar’s west coast to explore the majestic limestone hills along the desert terrain and the Zekreet Peninsula. The route back to our resort follows Qatar’s west coast landscape revealing its expansive oil fields.
Day 4 – Depart Doha, Qatar; Arrive Seychelles, Mahé Island
Today, we depart Qatar and take the flight to the Seychelles. There are direct flights to/from Doha, Qatar to the Middle Eastern Hub of Dubai, United Arab Emirates. At Dubai’s International Airport, we take a direct flight to Mahé Island, Seychelles. Upon arrival at the Seychelles Airport, our resort’s private transfer services provide an efficient 30 minutes’ transfer to our resort.
Day 5 – La Digue, Praslin, Cocos and Curieuse Islands
The landscape of granite boulders, colorful underwater world, unique endemic creatures and pristine beaches describes the islands of Seychelles. Our excursion begins with a morning transfer to the Inner Island Quay to take a high speed Cat Cocos Ferry to Praslin Island. At Praslin’s Ste Anne Jetty, we take a private speed boat for a 10 minutes’ crossing to La Digue Island. At La Digue, we rent bikes and visit La Digue Veuve Reserve, L’Union Estate and the beautiful Anse Source d’Argent Beach. Next, we take a private boat to the Cocos Islet to indulge in snorkeling, swimming and sunbathing. A quick boat transfer to nearby Curieuse Island enables us to observe the free-ranging Aldabra Giant Tortoises and the turtle nesting beaches. In the afternoon, our organized private taxi tour guides us along the beautiful white sand beaches and leads us to the Vallée de Mai Nature Reserve to observe the ancient palms and its seed of Coco de Mer. An early evening ferry to Mahé Island and taxi transfer to our resort completes our excursion.
Day 6 – Mahé Island
Tropical forests, picturesque mountains, turquoise ocean waters and moon shaped bays elucidate the beauty of Mahé Island, Seychelles’ largest island. Our morning excursion follows a scenic route along Mahé Island’s coast to the Morne Seychellois National Park. We spend several hours exploring the park’s picturesque trails, mountain and forest scenery, and coastal landscape. A visit to nearby Port Launay Marine National Park provides us with an idyllic setting for swimming, snorkeling and sunbathing. The drive to Victoria, the capital city of the Seychelles, educates us about Seychelles’ colonial history through its distinct architecture and colorful traditions.
Day 7 – Beach Day on Mahé Island
We spend a blissful day along the pristine beaches, tropical forests, blooming flowers and crystal clear ocean waters. Our resort on Mahé Island provides a perfect setting for swimming, snorkeling, sunbathing and water sports. We enjoy a delicious lunch of fresh seafood a la Seychelloise. In the evening, we admire the fleeting sun on the Indian Ocean horizon.
Day 8 – Mahé Island, Seychelles Departure
We enjoy a relaxing breakfast and half-day at the beach. At noon, we transfer to the Seychelles International Airport for our international flight.
Note: Our Qatar and Seychelles Itinerary may also be divided into two separate itineraries. Both destinations offer interesting and bountiful activities for a 7-day itinerary. The exotic country of Qatar offers seaside setting, desert adventures and cultural sites. Seychelles, beautiful islands in the Indian Ocean, offer pristine beaches with giant granite rocks, vibrant underwater treasures, rare wildlife and unique flora.
Qatar – The State of Qatar is a peninsula that extends around 160 kilometers north from the Arabian Peninsula into the Persian Gulf. Qatar borders with Saudi Arabia in the southwest. When oil reserves were discovered in 1939, Qatar became a wealthy country. Qatar’s idyllic setting along the Persian Gulf attracts each year an influx of tourist. Pretty beaches, sleepy fishing villages and magical desert terrain describe the landscape of Qatar. Regency Travel and Tours organized our excursions in Qatar.
Doha and Khor Al Udaid – An ancient culture, Islamic artifacts, picturesque waterfront boulevard, desert terrain and modern architecture reflect the contrasting scenery of Qatar. Doha, the capital city of Qatar, represents Qatar’s cultural and political center. The Old Town of Doha hosts the military fortress of Al Koot Fort and the famous 19th century Souq Waqif with its preserved ancient architecture, colorful bazaar and lively outdoor restaurants. A visit to the Museum of the Islamic Art exhibits a stunning architecture and comprehensive collection of ancient artifacts. In the Jubailat District, the State Grand Mosque represents an architectural landmark and an important religious symbol. Doha Corniche, stretched along the Doha Bay, is a seven kilometer waterfront boulevard lined with tall palm trees and bustling restaurants and cafés. The traditional wooden Dhow cruise offers an authentic Arabic experience and spectacular evening scenery along Doha’s waterfront. An excursion to the south east of Qatar shows a beautiful desert topography of cream colored sand dunes and picturesque Inland Sea. Khor Al Udaid serves as a natural desert playground that offers thrilling sand dunes bushing adventure, best explored with four wheel drive vehicles. At sunset, we drive to the lookout point and admire Qatar’s stunning sand dunes and the distant mountainous landscape of Saudi Arabia.
North Qatar and West Coast – Quiet beaches, fishing village, historic fort and desert terrain define the landscape of northern Qatar. Al Khor City, a historic pearl village, has a picturesque harbor showcasing colorful dhows (traditional boats) and hosts the Al Khor Fort. The nearby small town of Al Dhakhira displays protected Dhakhira Mangroves that may be explored through kayaking excursions. Next, our scenic coastal route passes by a Ruined Ancient Village and continues to the national heritage site of Zubarah Fort, presently a regional museum that until 1980s served as military center. The recently discovered Al Zubarah Archeological Site reflects the excavation ruins of the walled city of Al Zubarah, a historic pearl and trading center. The exploration of Qatar’s west coast takes us to a desert terrain with majestic limestone hills and rock formations along the Zekreet Peninsula. The coastal scenery creates an idyllic setting to admire the natural wonders of limestone rocks and its symbol, the Umbrella Rock. On the way to the peninsula, the Film City and Fort serves as a mock up village, created for a movie set to reflect the life of an ancient village. Qatar’s west coast landscape displays Qatar’s oil wealth and its expansive oil fields.
Seychelles – An African state, the islands of Seychelles represent a 115-island archipelago spread out in the middle of the Indian Ocean, including its far away coral jewel of Aldabra Atoll. Seychelles is a tropical heaven with amazing white sand beaches, majestic granite boulders along its coast, vibrant coral reefs, unique wildlife and the endemic Coco de Mer palms. The Cocos Ferry system offers efficient inner island connection to the largest islands: Mahé, Praslin and La Digue. Our excursions, organized through the Four Seasons Resort Seychelles, guide us to the most beautiful beaches, tropical forests, marine national parks and nature reserves.
Mahé Island – Moon shaped bays with white sand beaches, vibrant ocean life and mountainous terrain covered with lush vegetation describe the largest island of the Seychelles, Mahé Island. Victoria, the capital city of Seychelles and the Seychelles International Airport are located on Mahé Island. Victoria retains its British colonial style, especially with the architecture of the Vauxhall Clock Tower. A visit to the Victoria Market reveals a colorful display of fruits, vegetables, spices and fish. Morne Seychellois National Park with its tallest peak of Morne Seychellois deserves hours of exploration of its mountainous terrain, tropical forests and picturesque trails. A boat excursion to Baie Ternay Marine National Park reveals a beautiful setting to explore a colorful marine life. Port Launay Marine National Park accessible by sea and land, has perfect beaches for swimming, snorkeling and sunbathing. The six small islands create the Ste Anne Marine National Park, an idyllic destination for snorkeling and scuba diving.
La Digue Island – A visit to La Digue Island reveals magnificent granite rocks, pristine beaches and beautiful secluded bays. At La Passe Jetty (La Digue Island), we observe the rocky inlets and fishing boats along the bay. Scenic biking routes guides us to La Digue Veuve Reserve where we observe Black Paradise Flycatcher, a rare bird species. We continue cycling to L’Union Estate to explore the beautiful Anse Source D’Argent Beach. L’Union Estate, a plantation estate, exhibits large granite rocks, natural habitat for giant tortoises, copra mill extracting coconut oil and a historical cemetery of first settlers. A walk to the Anse Source D’Argent Beach reveals the giant granite boulders on the white sand beach. This incredibly beautiful beach charms all nature and scenery lovers.
Cocos Islet and Curieuse Island – Dramatic white colored boulders, crystal clear waters and pristine beach are the allures of Cocos Islet. This tiny island creates a wonderful feeling of being faraway on a secluded island. We explore the vibrant underwater life filled with colorful schools of fish and turtles. A visit to Curieuse Island, Seychelles’ fifth largest island, enables us to observe the free-ranging Aldabra Giant Tortoises in their natural habitat. The Curieuse National Marine Park preserves the natural habitat of the marine life, ancient palms of Coco de Mer, mangrove forests and turtle nesting beaches.
Praslin Island – Praslin is a unique island with spectacular white sand beaches, vibrant coral reefs, turquoise waters and tropical forests. In the heart of Praslin, the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Vallée de Mai Nature Reserve serves as a fertile habitat to the ancient palms that produce the largest seed in the world, Coco de Mer. A walk through the nature reserve reveals vibrant forest and a natural habitat for the endemic black parrot, only found on the Praslin Island. A visit to Anse Lazio Beach illustrates Praslin’s coastal beauty: white sand beach, turquoise waters, rocky shore and palm trees decorating the landscape.
Nature’s Wonders – A marvelous union of desert and sea is revealed at Khor Al Udaid. The sand dunes of Khor Al Udaid serve as a beautiful backdrop to the Inland Sea, offering views of the desert, sea and the distant mountains of Saudi Arabia. The limestone hills along the Zekreet Peninsula elucidate the raw beauty of Qatar’s west coast. Umbrella Rock, a uniquely shaped rock, represents a symbol of nature’s wonder. Traveling across the Indian Ocean to the exotic islands of Seychelles, we discover spectacular beaches, magnificent granite rocks and turquoise waters. The Curieuse National Marine Park serves as the natural habitat of marine life, mangrove forests, ancient palm trees and turtle nesting beaches. Aldabra Giant Land Tortoises, endemic creatures that originally evolved on the Aldabra Atoll, enthrall with their unique characteristics: large size and weight, outer hard shell and longevity. The Vallée de Mai Nature Reserve, situated on Praslin Island, shows a unique flora, such as the endemic species of the palm tree Coco de Mer, which produce Male and Female, two kinds of giant seeds. The Coco de Mer has a tall trunk, wide leaves and blooming flowers with separate male and female trees producing the heaviest seeds in the world. Poetic verses describe the erotic shapes and aphrodisiac qualities of Coco de Mer seeds.
Arabic Cuisine – Aromatic herbs, citrus juice and colorful vegetables perfectly complement the charcoal grilled meats in the Middle East. Qatar’s Arabic cuisine offers a culinary journey across Arabia, Persia and India. The soft texture of freshly baked Pita Bread soaks the flavors of traditional Mezze (small dishes) filled with tabbouleh, hummus, baba ghanoush, pickled grape leaves and sautéed vegetables. The Lemon and Mint Drink is a simple, delicious and wonderfully refreshing drink that complements any meal. At the ancient Souq Waqif, the stylish Damasca One Restaurant serves an excellent Arabic cuisine. Along Doha’s Corniche, Al Mourjan Restaurant offers a lovely ambiance and an excellent Lebanese cuisine.
Creole Cuisine – In Seychelles, the cuisine reflects the multi-cultural influences: African, Asian and European. The abundance of fresh seafood and shellfish, flavorful herbs and vegetables, and aromatic spices contributes to the creative and colorful creole cuisine. The Octopus Salad is made of boiled octopus, peeled tomatoes, peppers, lettuce and onions, and is lightly flavored with pepper, salt, olive oil and lemon. This delicious salad was on the menu at the Four Seasons Resort Seychelles’ Kannel Restaurant that serves an excellent creole and international cuisine.
Four Seasons Hotel Doha – Situated alongside the calm sea, pretty beach and scenic harbor, the Four Seasons Hotel Doha is an Arabic oasis of luxury. In the heart of Doha, the Four Seasons Hotel Doha has a lovely beachfront setting, offering relaxation and serenity. The recommended higher floor Premier Room with an Arabian Gulf View, offers luxury, comfort and seaside scenery. We recommend reserving in advance a non-smoking room and noting the request in the reservation. A spacious lobby and stylish Arabic décor create an exotic ambiance. A delicious breakfast buffet surprises with a selection of regional specialties and international dishes. The Four Seasons Hotel Doha serves as a perfect central base to easily explore Qatar’s beautiful landscape and exotic culture.
Four Seasons Resort Seychelles – In the hills of the Baie Lazar, the sparkling Indian Ocean and pristine beaches serves as a beautiful setting for the Four Seasons Resort Seychelles. The secluded resort offers luxurious tree-top villas encircled by tropical forest, protected wildlife and the Indian Ocean. Situated atop the hills, our selected One-Bedroom Ocean View Villa (number 117) has private pool and overlooks the Indian Ocean. The elegant décor, ocean views and romantic setting create an unforgettable atmosphere. The scrumptious buffet breakfast, served at the hillside ZEZ Restaurant, offers a superb collection of international dishes. In the evening, the resort’s dining venues serve diverse selections of creole and western cuisine. The Four Seasons Resort Seychelles is an epitome of a luxurious hideaway along the tropical forest and the Indian Ocean.