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

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.

Bargain of the week: Asia via Germany

The German national airline, Lufthansa, has launched another short-term, big-discount offers. This time the focus is on Asia, with spectacular bargains from airports outside London: Edinburgh to Singapore is on sale for as little as £429 return, while Manchester-Shanghai is £489 and Birmingham-Nanjing £339. Best of all, London-Beijing (pictured) is £349 return. Book at lufthansa.co.uk, travel 15 May to 30 June.

Tip of the week: Eclipse 2012

What promises to be an outstanding total solar eclipse in the Southern Hemisphere will take place on 13 November 2012 – but very little of the path of totality will pass over land. It begins at sunrise several hundreds of miles off the coast of Chile, and sweeps across the South Pacific. Shortly before sunset, though, it will cross far north Queensland, plunging the city of Cairns and the resort of Port Douglas into temporary darkness. Experience suggests that booking early is the best policy. Exodus (0845 863 9660; exodus.co.uk) has a 15-day trip departing 8 November 2012, and taking in Uluru, below, Sydney and the Great Barrier Reef, for £3,099 including flights.

Warning of the week: Mexico

According to a US State Department bulletin released this week, deaths from drug-related violence in Mexico over the past four years are running at an average of one an hour. "To reduce risk, you are strongly urged to travel only during daylight hours throughout Mexico, to avoid isolated roads, and to use toll roads whenever possible." In Tijuana, the main point of entry for travellers crossing from California, "Shooting incidents, in which innocent bystanders have been injured, have occurred during in daylight throughout the city".

Voices
Homeless Veterans charity auction: Cook with Angela Hartnett and Neil Borthwick at Merchants Tavern
charity appeal
Sport
Amir Khan is engaged in a broader battle than attempting to win a fight with Floyd Mayweather
boxing Exclusive: Amir Khan reveals plans to travel to Pakistan
Arts and Entertainment
Strictly finalists Simon Webbe, Caroline Flack, Mark Wright and Frankie Bridge
tvLive: Simon Webbe, Caroline Flack, Mark Wright and Frankie Bridge face-off in the final
Sport
Ched Evans in action for Sheffield United in 2012
footballRonnie Moore says 'he's served his time and the boy wants to play football'
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Travel
ebookHow to enjoy the perfect short break in 20 great cities
Independent Travel Videos
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in Amsterdam
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in Giverny
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in St John's
Independent Travel Videos
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Travel

    Investigo: Finance Analyst

    £240 - £275 per day: Investigo: Support the global business through in-depth a...

    Ashdown Group: Data Manager - £Market Rate

    Negotiable: Ashdown Group: Data Manager - MySQL, Shell Scripts, Java, VB Scrip...

    Ashdown Group: Application Support Analyst - Bedfordshire/Cambs border - £32k

    £27000 - £32000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Application Support Analyst - near S...

    Recruitment Genius: Class 1 HGV Driver

    £23000 - £27000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This successful group of compan...

    Day In a Page

    Amir Khan: 'The Taliban can threaten me but I must speak out... innocent kids, killed over nothing. It’s sick in the mind'

    Amir Khan attacks the Taliban

    'They can threaten me but I must speak out... innocent kids, killed over nothing. It’s sick in the mind'
    Homeless Veterans appeal: 'You look for someone who's an inspiration and try to be like them'

    Homeless Veterans appeal

    In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
    Could cannabis oil reverse the effects of cancer?

    Could cannabis oil reverse effects of cancer?

    As a film following six patients receiving the controversial treatment is released, Kate Hilpern uncovers a very slippery issue
    The Interview movie review: You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here

    The Interview movie review

    You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here
    Serial mania has propelled podcasts into the cultural mainstream

    How podcasts became mainstream

    People have consumed gripping armchair investigation Serial with a relish typically reserved for box-set binges
    Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up for hipster marketing companies

    Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up

    Kevin Lee Light, aka "Jesus", is the newest client of creative agency Mother while rival agency Anomaly has launched Sexy Jesus, depicting the Messiah in a series of Athena-style poses
    Rosetta space mission voted most important scientific breakthrough of 2014

    A memorable year for science – if not for mice

    The most important scientific breakthroughs of 2014
    Christmas cocktails to make you merry: From eggnog to Brown Betty and Rum Bumpo

    Christmas cocktails to make you merry

    Mulled wine is an essential seasonal treat. But now drinkers are rediscovering other traditional festive tipples. Angela Clutton raises a glass to Christmas cocktails
    5 best activity trackers

    Fitness technology: 5 best activity trackers

    Up the ante in your regimen and change the habits of a lifetime with this wearable tech
    Paul Scholes column: It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves

    Paul Scholes column

    It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves
    Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

    Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

    Club World Cup kicked into the long grass by the continued farce surrounding Blatter, Garcia, Russia and Qatar
    Frank Warren column: 2014 – boxing is back and winning new fans

    Frank Warren: Boxing is back and winning new fans

    2014 proves it's now one of sport's biggest hitters again
    Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton: The power dynamics of the two first families

    Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton

    Karen Tumulty explores the power dynamics of the two first families
    Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley with a hotbed of technology start-ups

    Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley

    The Swedish capital is home to two of the most popular video games in the world, as well as thousands of technology start-ups worth hundreds of millions of pounds – and it's all happened since 2009
    Did Japanese workers really get their symbols mixed up and display Santa on a crucifix?

    Crucified Santa: Urban myth refuses to die

    The story goes that Japanese store workers created a life-size effigy of a smiling "Father Kurisumasu" attached to a facsimile of Our Lord's final instrument of torture