Moscow for under £50 return? Morocco for £55? No way!
In our relentless pursuit of cheap flights on Skyscanner, there are certain destinations that always seem to crop up and stun us out our bargain-hunting minds for how damn cheap they are to fly to.
Yes, the flights are operated by budget airlines; you may have to book a couple of months in advance; travel is mid-week blah blah, but these days you know the score with finding the cheapest prices when you are booking travel. There isn’t a science to this – we haven’t calculated kilometres per pound – it’s just that these flights look like an unbelievably good deal. So, here are six of our best value flights from the UK to distant-ish shores this autumn.
1. Moscow, Russia from £46 return
Moscow for under £50? Yes, really - at the time of writing we found a return flight for £46. To paraphrase the famous Kiss song, it's a crazy, crazy, crazy, crazy price. You could spend as much on a night out down the pub, but instead you could go to Russia. With a journey duration of roughly five hours, that’s just £5 an hour there and back. The flight goes to Moscow Domodedovo, which you might think is one of those misleadingly-named airports and it’s actually located in downtown Vladivostok, but you’re wrong. While at 26 miles from the city centre, it’s not exactly walking distance from Red Square, it is one of Moscow’s three main international airports, and the busiest in Russia. Once there, you can continue to keep your transport costs to a minimum by getting around by bike thanks to Moscow’s new Boris bike-alike hire scheme (you might need to translate this page!).
2. Donetsk, Ukraine from £48
Perhaps you went to Donetsk to see a match at Euro 2012? Maybe you’ve heard of Shaktar Donetsk, winners of the UEFA Cup in 2009? Or maybe you’re not a football fan, in which case you might not even have heard of the place. In any case, it’s a long way away, even just in terms of Ukraine, out in the east of the country. It gets good and hot in the summer, and while Donetsk is not famed for its beaches, who needs ‘em when there’s Aqua Sferra, the largest free-standing aluminium-domed waterpark in the world, complete with retractable roof. The other Donetsk must-see is the monument to John Hughes. No, not that John Hughes, and not that John Hughes either, but the city’s Welsh founder.
3. Marrakech, Morocco from £55
That's a deal and a half to take you to the full-on craziness of Marrakech. While some may be overawed by sights such as Djemaa el-Fna, you can at least take a break from the constant hustle, bustle (and heat for much of the year) by staying in a secluded riad – ‘a traditional Moroccan house or palace with an interior garden or courtyard’. Many riad owners will pick up from the airport, to ease you into your visit before you hit up the souks and snake charmers.
4. Fes, Morocco from £60
While we’re here, in Morocco, we’ll take a look beyond Marrakech to the once-overshadowed city of Fes. While Marrakech is many people’s first touchdown in Africa, new direct flights to Fes in the last few years have put it on the slightly more adventurous breaker’s map. Fes el Bali, the city’s ‘old town’ to put it in ridiculously basic terms, is a world away from Europe, a dusty vortex of souks, alleys, street food stalls and mint tea stops.
5. Istanbul, Turkey from £65
Warning: cheesy line coming. With flights this cheap, you can save your cash for shopping. No, not Milan, nor Paris, but a mere 60 squid takes you on a retailers’ busman’s holiday of a lifetime in Istanbul. The Grand Bazaar is one of the hardest places in the world to resist a good salesman, but give some back and get haggling. You’ll need a map to get round it, you are bound to get lost anyway, and you may not be able to get that 20 square foot carpet back home, but it’s many times more atmospheric than your average out-of-town shopping centre.
and a bonus one to break the budget (but it's stil a great deal):
6. Sharm El Sheikh, Egpyt from £129
While visiting Cairo (and most of Egypt in fact) is not recommended by the FCO, Red Sea resorts like Sharm El Sheik are perfectly safe if you need to jet off for a much-needed dose of winter sun; or autumn sun.. and then some - at the time of writing, maximum temperatures are forecast to be between 38 and 44°C for the next 10 days. And while snorkelling with tropical fish in the Red Sea seems like a long-haul dream, you can get there (and back) for just £129.
Prices correct at time of going to press - 16 September 2013. Prices can go down as well as up! Keep tabs on the price of the routes you're looking at with Skyscanner Price Alerts.