We were very privileged to fly Turkish Airlines for this trip. This is the first time we have flown on Turkish Airlines, and wow what a Turkish DELIGHT! Turkish Airlines far exceeded our expectations, and I can definitely say that they are easily the best airline I have flown in the last 5 years. The service was excellent, food fantastic and all flights exactly on time which makes a big change!
The Turkish Airlines business class cabins are very well designed, especially if you want to travel and work on board. You have plenty of seat and leg room as well as table space with USB ports and power points, and therefore you can plug in your laptop and use it and charge your iPad or phone while travelling. The seats are exceptionally comfortable with the full lie flat bed experience. The chef service on board is exceptional. Your order is taken the night before for breakfast, and presented the next morning to you before arrival. Food is fantastic on board, really exceptional, and one can tell they have Turkish chefs working with the crew here in SA before departure. From the wonderful refreshing cocktails when seated on board till the flight lands, you are truly spoilt.
On arrival in Istanbul, we were connecting onto a domestic flight, so proceed to the internal transfers when arriving (obviously take the other queue if you are connecting onwards onto an international flight). However if like us you are staying in Turkey, proceed past this and past the next “other passports" queue and go onwards towards the passport queue for South African passports (we queue with Iraq, Iran, India and Pakistan passport holders - not sure why). Then it's a quick stamp of a visa in your passport; no other visa prior to travel is needed. Turkey is one of the easiest places for South Africans to travel to.
UPDATE: Visas are required by SA passport holders but are free. Apply for your Turkish e-visa online here - quick and easy!
Please note: Info correct as of August 2015 and is subject to change. Please contact the Turkish embassy for up-to-date visa information.
Then a quick skip past baggage collection as you can book your bags all the way through to your final destination on Turkish Airlines if you are staying on Turkish Airlines. It is a bit of a long walk to domestic departures, so have your comfortable shoes on for this connection. From here it’s a quick flight to anywhere in Turkey. For us it was Bodrum. Gorgeous, beautiful Bodrum!
Turkey truly is amazing and what a beautiful country. I would describe the people as quietly efficient. Not overly friendly but once you engage with them, they really are wonderful people.
One can't properly describe the colour of the water in Turkey; it is such a beautiful crystal clear blue blue blue! We snorkelled every day for a week and never got over how blue the water is.
The scenery, the water, the activities, the history, the exceptional food and hospitality – Turkey is highly recommended for your next trip. Definitely going back, it’s just a matter of time now!
All photos by Abigail Pires: AbsPires40 Flickr
Next up in Part 2: Abigail’s delightful Turkish holiday continues at Club Med…
SURE TRAVEL BLOG CONTRIBUTOR:Abigail absolutely loves to travel and is extremely passionate about the travel industry as well as technology. She loves all things digital and is a definite gadget girl! There is only one continent that she hasn’t been to yet, but her travel list is still very long! Her favourite destinations so far are Croatia, Italy, Portugal, the Azores and the USA (nothing beats the rides at Universal!).