MONARCH Airlines’ love affair with Manchester Airport shows no signs of cooling. A busy summer of flights to a variety of European destinations bears witness to that.
New flights to Paphos in Cyprus and Bodrum in Turkey take the eye, but just as significant are the increases in service frequency to Malaga, Majorca and Faro, giving the punter a huge amount of choice across the Mediterranean.
That’s all boosted by Monarch’s current offer of £10 off all their return flights from Manchester. You can travel:
- Manchester to Paphos: £72, up to 4 per week
- Manchester to Bodrum: £72, 2 per week
- Manchester to Antalya: £72, 3 per week
- Manchester to Malaga: £39, up to 14 per week
- Manchester to Faro: £39, up to 142 per week
- Manchester to Gibraltar: £39, 5 per week
- Manchester to Larnaca: £72, up to 9 per week
- Manchester to Majorca: £39, up to 15 per week
- Manchester to Almeria: £39, up to 4 per week
Monarch's new cheap flights to Paphos will operate twice per week from Manchester on Wednesdays and Sundays, starting from May 4, 2011. You can avoid the queues by taking advantage of Monarch's online-check in, available between 18 days and 4.5 hours before departure. To book or learn more about Monarch’s services visit www.monarch.co.uk.
Here are our top tips for a place to visit at each Monarch destination
Drive up to the unspoilt Akamas Peninsula, home to several turtle habitats. In the Lara Bay Marine Reserve, a protected turtle habitat area, the endangered green loggerhead turtles come ashore to lay their eggs. We recommend a fresh sardine or swordfish lunch in the picturesque fishing village of Latchi, which has some of the best fish restaurants Cyprus has to offer.
This popular destination’s major attraction is its formidable harbour castle, built by the Knights of St John, which now houses a world-class shipwreck museum filled with the relics from several millennia found in inshore waters. Oh, and Bodrum’s nightlife is pretty memorable, too.
Only 11 miles north-east of this popularTurkish resort lies the remains of ancient Perge (Pergai or Pergae, first mentioned in the fourth century B.C.) a Pamphylian city of particular importance in Roman times. It occupies a steep-sided hill on the northwestern edge of the alluvial plain of the AksuÇayi (the ancient Kestros). Like most of the Greek colonies on the west and south coasts of Asia Minor, Perge found itself deprived of one of the main pillars of its existence as its harbour gradually silted up, leading to its final decline in Byzantine times.
Check out the seafront fish restaurants after you have visited the striking “shrine” devoted to the Andalucian city’s favourite son, Picasso. The Museo Picasso has opened in Malaga's old quarter at the foot of Gibralfaro hill, in the shadow of the Moorish castle and Alcazaba fortress and beside a Roman Theater. Picasso's birthplace is five minutes away. It houses 204 Picasso works in its permanent collection and hosts special exhibitions of his work.
Gateway to the Algarve but if you can restrain yourself from marching straight out onto the first green, Faro has much to offer. Overlooking the harbour is the characterful Old City (Centro Historico), where the majority of Faro's most historic buildings are located. The 17th-century Igreja do Carmo Church is one such attraction and is rather unusual, since it actually incorporates the skeletons of more than 1,000 monks within its walls.
You can’t fail to be impressed by your first sight of Gibraltar – a 1,396ft-high boulder sheer on one side, a city of 30,000 folk clinging to the bottom third of the other. And its most famous inhabitants? Its famous Apes. There are 200 of them in five packs living free on the Upper Nature Reserve (£8 entry), munching wild roots and berries while awaiting their latest photo-opportunity. Barbary Apes are in fact a tail-less breed of monkey (Macaca Silvanus), whose natural habitat is in the mountains of Morocco and Algeria. The British imported them in the early 18th century. Legend has it, if they disappear, Britain will lose Gibraltar.
St Lazarus Church (ÁyiosLázaros), the city’s most important religious institution, was built in the 9th century A.D. Devoted to St. Lazarus, he is said to have lived in nearby Kition for about 30 years after his resurrection by Christ. It is believed that the church is erected upon the empty grave of the saint, who is actually buried in France. Eight days before Easter, the icon of Saint Lazarus is carried in a procession through the streets of Larnaca.
The island’s capital Palma is one of Spain’s most distinctive cities. When you have had your fill of its architecture test out its abundant nightlife! Call into Puro Hotel for drinks at one of the city's coolest venues. Or if your Cuban heels are twitching, try La Belle Epoque, a laid-back salsa bar, open until the very early hours. Finish up at the opulent Abaco, a bar like no other, spawning many imitators. Fresh rose petals strew the floors and huge baskets of ripe fruit spill out over the bar...The signature drink is the AbacoEspecialle; whisky, rum, Grand Marnier and mixed fruits….
In this south-eastern corner of Spain lies the only European desert 'Tabernas', where Sergio Leone built the Western Towns, used in his spaghetti westerns with Clint Eastwood. However, in fact the entire province is one huge movie filming location (Lawrence of Arabia, Cleopatra, Indiana Jones, King of the Kings are only a few of the movies filmed here). If you’d prefer to stick to the sand on the coast, visit the volcanic unspoilt 'black' beaches at Cabo de Gata.
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