Open your active account early in the cosmopolitan capital, Doha, by leveraging the cooler morning air with a sunrise walk or run along the four-mile Corniche. Job done, refuel with a hearty breakfast at one of the healthy local eateries en route such as recent opening Thalatheen, with its nutritious, plant-based menu.
Suitably recharged, it’s time to hotfoot it to Qatar’s northwest coast to Bir Zekreet, also known as Brouq Nature Reserve. Here you can hike or bike in the shadow of mushroom-shaped rock formations and escarpments while keeping an eye out for old forts, abandoned film sets and artist Richard Serra’s monumental East-West/West-East installation.
Alternatively, trace the eastern coast north from Doha to reach Al Thakira Mangroves, near Al Khor. Guided kayaking tours among the mangrove forests are a great bet for families with children of any age. All will enjoy learning about this important fragile ecosystem from the experienced guides as they navigate the narrow waterways, pointing out local wildlife such as indigenous and migratory birds. Top it all with a stroll along the walkway leading to Purple Island and a relaxing break, or picnic, on Al Thakhira Beach.
Later, back in Doha, return to the Corniche for a sunset dinner dhow cruise, or take the family on a fun Middle Eastern taste tour at Souq Waqif. In the case of the latter, you could cap the experience with yet more classic local dishes at a restaurant such as Al Sufra, at the Marsa Malaz Kempinski. That is if anyone is still hungry after grazing on all the tasty nibbles on offer at the stalls, from stews and regag pancakes to ice creams and sweet dumplings.