Could a low lira make Turkey the summer's best destination?

Antalya, Turkey

Holidays on the Turkish Mediterranean are more affordable than ever before.

A depleted lira, alongside low demand, has created a once-in-a-blue-moon situation of rock-bottom holiday prices - especially for holidaymakers travelling on the pound.

A couple of years ago, £1 would buy 6.1 lira. Today's exchange rate means Brits can now buy 9.56 lira for a pound - making Turkish holidays a seriously affordable summer holiday option.

Travel agent Cigden Sari told Sun Online Travel that there were few tourists in favourite destinations, and the only option to try and regain the season was to slash prices. “Most of the hotels are closed, until now we have considered the season lost - here in Bodrum there are very few tourists.”

Almost 2.5 million Brits travel to Turkey each year, heading to resort towns like Bodrum, Fethiye, Side, Kas and Kalkan. 

Like everywhere else, tourism paused in Turkey this year as coronavirus restrictions hit. 

Now, Turkey has relaxed its border measures, while keeping strict hygiene and testing to control the spread of coronavirus. Travellers' temperatures are checked at the border, and some hotels are implementing coronavirus testing.

Rock-bottom prices

  • Jet2 are offering a seven-night self catering holiday starting from £277
  • TUI have prices starting from from £263 for seven-night half-board holidays
  • easyJet are offering deals from £191 for seven nights, and all-inclusive from £285.

Ever-popular tourist destination

Last week, more than 23,000 Russian tourists flew into Antalya in less than 24 hours. It's a sign not only of the southern city's enduring popularity, but also the measures that the hub has taken to ensure tourists feel secure on holiday.

Antalya was one of the first destinations in the country to sign up to Turkey's Safe Tourism Certificate Program, which involves meeting a series of hygiene and safety criteria. 

Head of the Professional Hotel Managers Association Ulkau Atmaca said the increased bookings were positive. “In the last ten days we have seen a jump in the number of bookings, which makes us happy."

Bodrum castle, Turkey

No quarantine for Brits

The past weeks have not been good for Brits holidaying in Spain or France. Last-minute quarantine announcements mean that returning Brits will now have to stay at home for two weeks until they are deemed "safe". 

That's not so for returnees from Turkey, who, thanks to Turkey's low infection rates, are not required to isolate when they get home.

Turkey's relations with Germany, also a significant source of tourists for Turkey, also improved when Germany lifted its travel warning against four Turkish seaside spots with low coronavirus infection rates.

Read more: The Turkish "detectives" tackling coronavirus


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