After two years of uncertainty, the world appears to be opening up its doors once more to welcome international travellers, so it’s little wonder that many of us have begun to think once more about adventure and travel.
What can interrupt daydreams of sunnier climes, white beaches and exciting new cultures however is often residual worries of new rules that could have been introduced since the last time you boarded a plane; frequently shared concerns around travelling often still centre around the new documentation needed, such as passenger locator forms, Covid-19 PCR tests, and vaccine passports.
Any hesitation over the complications this extra paperwork can bring has been quickly alleviated by Pegasus Airlines, Turkey’s leading low-cost carrier, whose ethos has always been ‘everyone has the right to fly’.
The airline operates daily flights between Manchester Airport and Istanbul’s Sabiha Gökçen, with fares starting from £99.99.
The network connects Manchester Airport to 32 destinations across Turkey, including Antalya, Bodrum, Dalaman and Izmir, and 39 international destinations, including Beirut, Dubai, Hurghada, Karachi, Muscat, North Cyprus, Tbilisi and Tel Aviv.
After signing an agreement with the International Air Transport Association (IATA) to be the first airline in Turkey to trial IATA’s Travel Pass, Pegasus Airlines is amongst the first airlines in the world to go live with the launch of the app on international routes.
IATA’s Travel Pass, which can be downloaded for free, will allow guests to digitally store and manage their health-related documents required for international travel and can be used while travelling to many countries on Pegasus’ international flight network.
Pegasus may be one of Europe’s youngest fleets, but it has quickly gained a reputation for striving to provide excellent hospitality, sought-after destinations and seamless connections to even further afield, such as Asia, the Middle East or Northern Africa.
They are also currently offering flexible booking options on any flights booked before March 31 2022, so travellers who book before that time can have peace of mind that there is no cost to amend if plans have to change.
If this ease of travel wasn’t reason enough to consider Turkey as a holiday destination, there are plenty of others that should persuade you to make such a culturally rich, diverse and beautiful country your destination of choice this year.
Walk the colourful streets of Balat in Istanbul
Formerly Istanbul’s Greek Orthodox, Armenian and Jewish neighbourhoods, Balat and Fener are today known for fostering Istanbul’s artistic community, as well as being one of the diverse areas of the city with its mix of religious buildings, museums, cafes and live music venues.
The mix of history and contemporary pushes up against each other; it may be one of the oldest neighbourhoods, but it’s also now known as the most ‘Instagrammable’.
One of the iconic places is Kiremit Street, a narrowed cobbled street lined with houses painted in mismatched, bright colours, the oldest of which is more than 200 years old.
Visit the ancient city of Ephesus
Turkey can trace its roots back through centuries of Roman, Christian, Ottoman, Hellenistic and Greek history, which means it has plenty of impressive monuments and archaeological sites to explore, none more grand than the ancient ruined city of Ephesus.
Once home to the Temple of Artemis, which was considered one of the original wonders of the world, the UNESCO World Heritage site is now a popular destination for tourists visiting from the nearby towns of Selƈuk and Kuşadası.
It still boasts impressive many structures included the Library of Celsus and an amphitheatre capable of holding 24,000 spectators.
Chase an adrenaline high paragliding at Ölüdeniz
If you’re a thrill-seeker looking to combine an adrenaline rush with some spectacular scenery, look no further than Ölüdeniz, a world-famous paragliding spot.
Launching from the side of Babadag Mountain-one of the highest zones in the world in which to take off from- and at around 2000 metres above sea level, it’s definitely not for the faint of heart.
Those brave enough to take the leap of faith are rewarded with a bird’s eye view across the picture-perfect coastline, including the beautiful azure oasis of the Blue Lagoon, before landing right on Ölüdeniz beach.
Ölüdeniz is about an hour’s drive from Dalaman airport, which is one of the destinations that Pegasus Airlines flies to from Manchester airport in summer, and paragliding is just one of plenty of other amazing sights to see once you’ve touched down in the region.
Watch the sun set on the Bodrum Peninsula
Bodrum has become an enduringly popular destination for tourists seeking lush resorts, extensive beaches and a vibrant cultural scene and while it certainly ticks all those boxes and more, there’s even more to discover about the formerly sleepy fishing village.
From the Castle of St. Peter to the Bodrum Amphitheatre, history buffs will find plenty to explore, and there’s a lively restaurant and nightlife scene for those looking to live it up by the beach.
One of the best ways to explore the little villages and hamlets that still dot the coastline is by boat, of which Gümüşlük is one of the best spots in Bodrum to dine by the water and watch the sun set.
Soaking up the best sunsets in Turkey is made even simpler as Pegasus Airlines operates daily connecting flights from Manchester to Bodrum via Istanbul Sabiha Gökçen in the summer.
Fly high over the city of Cappadocia
Set on the desert plains of Anatolia, the breathtaking and mind-boggling landscape of Cappadocia almost defies explanation. The geological marvel of narrow rocky hills, otherwise called ‘fairy chimneys’ could be straight out of a fantasy novel, not least because of the humans who carved churches and other architecture into the rocks, dating as far back as the Bronze Age.
Highlights include the Göreme Open-Air Museum and the subterranean cities of Derinkuyu and Kaymaklı, as well as staying in one of the many cave hotels so you have time to explore the area fully.
The skyline is often filled with hot air balloons, one of the preferred ways of watching the sunrise over the otherworldly landscape, lending Cappadocia even more of a magical quality.
Sunbathe on Turkey’s best beaches, in the Antalya region
Boasting hot summers and mild winters, Antalya can have up to 300 days of sunshine a year, so it’s little wonder that the region is one of the most popular destinations in Turkey.
Sweeping 600 kilometres of coastline with beautiful stretches of sand and coves to be explored, Lara, Kaputas, Patara and Konyaalti,often rank in the top ten beaches in the country, and the coastal villages and towns range from quaint to classy.
For the adventurers, Antalya is the start of the famous Lycian Way, Turkey’s longest trekking trail. Following the entire coastline, it includes ancient sites and historical sites dating from the Lycian empire. Most people complete it in sections, but for the dedicated hikers it can be made into a continuous journey, booking campsites along the way.
Pegasus Airlines operates direct flights to the bustling metropolis of Antalya city from Manchester airport in the summer, meaning seeking the heat has never been easier.
Pegasus Airlines operates from Manchester Airport.
The Pegasus Airlines app can be downloaded from the Google Play store, the App store or the App Gallery depending on your mobile device, and is the go-to place for exclusive offers, as well as managing a journey with online check ins, e-tickets and more.
To find out more, including booking flights and onward journeys from Istanbul, visit their website www.flypgs.com/en, or follow them on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and Youtube.