April 30, 2011

Something To Declare: Dining out in Istanbul; Asia via Germany; Eclipse 2012

Destination of the week: Dining out in Istanbul

Turkey's largest city, whose heritage hotels are featured on page 6 today, is the subject of a price war between full-service and no-frills airlines this summer. British Airways (0844 493 0787; ba.com) competes with Turkish Airlines (020-7471 6666; turkishairlines.com) from Heathrow to the main airport of Ataturk, while easyJet (0905 821 0905; easyjet.com) at Gatwick rivals the low-cost flights on Pegasus (0845 0848 980; flypgs.com) from Stansted to the second airport, Sabiha Gokcen. Fares start below £200 return.

When you arrive, one of the most intriguing options is a one-day "Home Cooked Istanbul Urban Adventure" through Istanbul's markets, offered by the adventure specialist Intrepid (020-3147 7777; urbanadventures.com). For a price of around £25 you get a four-hour tour that includes a meal with a local family and the chance to play backgammon in a teahouse.

"Urban adventures give people a taste of real life experience without that perceived insecurity of using public transport," says the company's managing director, Geoff Manchester.


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