January is a popular time to book a holiday, with millions planning for the summer. If you’re eager to add a health kick to your next sunny getaway from Manchester Airport, you’re in luck. With over 200 direct flight destinations, the northern hub offers diverse holiday experiences beyond the traditional sun, sea, and sand. Here are seven exciting ideas to ignite your adventurous spirit.
Climb a Volcano in Italy
Mount Etna is a captivating enigma, standing proudly amidst the serene rolling hills of Sicily, just off the coast of the Italian mainland. This remarkable stratovolcano is not only one of the world’s most active but also a popular tourist destination, situated less than 25 miles from the bustling Mediterranean resort of Catania.
Numerous tour operators offer expeditions to explore the volcano’s slopes, providing the opportunity to circumnavigate the crater (subject to safety conditions) and witness mesmerizing lava flows. Many excursions also include the exploration of volcanic caves and visits to vineyards at the base of Etna, benefiting from the region’s fertile volcanic soils. The return trip generally lasts about 6 hours and requires moderate fitness, though expert hiking skills are unnecessary. Once you’ve experienced the magnificence of Etna, Sicily offers a wealth of picturesque trails and footpaths to explore on foot, meandering through unspoiled countryside.
easyJet and Ryanair both offer convenient flights to Catania from Manchester.
Cycle the Stunning Dalmatian Coast in Croatia and Montenegro
The Dalmatia region in Europe features breathtaking coastlines, with over 1,000 miles of rugged shores, crystal-clear Adriatic waters, and a scattering of picturesque islands. Notable attractions in the area include the UNESCO World Heritage sites of Split and Dubrovnik in Croatia and Kotor in Montenegro.
Direct flights from Manchester to these cities make accessing the stunning Dalmatian coast convenient.
Cycling is a popular way to discover the region. Enjoy its scenic cycle paths, mountain vistas, charming coastal villages, and vineyards.
For the more adventurous, enjoy a two-week break for an ambitious cycling journey along the entire coast. Travelers can fly out from Split and return to Manchester from Tivat near Kotor or vice versa.
Trek Into the Desert in Jordan
Royal Jordanian Airlines has announced an exciting new route from Manchester to Amman, which begins this March. This opens up a world of adventure for many travelers heading to the vibrant Jordanian capital. Jordan promises memorable experiences like soaking in the Dead Sea and wandering through the ancient city of Petra. Explore the mesmerizing desert landscapes of Wadi Rum, famously featured in the 2015 film The Martian.
Walking tours and guided desert treks offer an ideal way to explore. Jordan presents a thrilling option for adventure enthusiasts seeking a holiday that seamlessly blends sightseeing with physical activity. The Jordan Trail is a 400-mile route from the country’s northern reaches to its southern coastline. It encompasses all these wonders and more. Requiring over a month to traverse, this trail is for the truly intrepid!
Traverse the Ski Slopes in France Year-Round
You might think skiing is a winter sport, but the highest Alpine peaks have snow cover year-round. This means you can still enjoy winter sports, even in the summer. Les Deux Alpes is a top choice for summer skiing and snowboarding in Europe. Its glaciers are nearly 12,000 feet above sea level, offering consistently icy slopes and fully operational lifts. The surrounding area is also a popular destination for summer mountain biking.
Take to the Skies in Turkey
You might want to skip this suggestion if you do not like heights! The Babadag mountain, just an hour’s drive from Dalaman on Turkey’s Turquoise Coast, is a top destination for paragliding enthusiasts. While experienced paragliders can soar solo, newcomers can opt for tandem flights. Start at the peak of Babadag and land in the picturesque resort of Oludeniz at the mountain’s base. This adventure offers breathtaking views and thrills. Oludeniz offers a stunning banjo-shaped beach that extends into a lagoon, considered one of Turkey’s finest. The nearby Butterfly Valley nature reserve, accessible only by boat from Oludeniz, is popular among hikers and rock climbers.
With six airlines providing flights from Manchester to Dalaman, getting there is a breeze!
Hike and Kayak Under the Midnight Sun in Iceland
Summer is an ideal time to visit Iceland. The clearing of winter snow offers accessibility to more of the island, including the picturesque Highlands and Westfjords. With long daylight hours, visitors can explore and enjoy more activities. Try dipping in the Blue Lagoon, glacier scaling at Snaefellsjokull National Park, or kayaking in the crystal-clear lakes.
Direct flights to Reykjavik–Keflavik airport are available from Manchester through Icelandair, Jet2.com, TUI, and easyJet.
Scuba Dive in Mexico
The Yucatan peninsula in Mexico features the bustling party hub of Cancun and offers exceptional scuba diving opportunities. The Costa Maya coastline, located south of Cancun, and the nearby Cozumel island boast vibrant tropical reefs with remarkable visibility, making it a popular destination for novice and seasoned divers. The region’s cenotes and expansive limestone sinkholes, which connect to an underground river network, offer a unique diving experience. While there, explore the ancient Mayan city of Chichen Itza, one of the new Seven Wonders of the World.
TUI provides year-round flights from Manchester to Cancun, ensuring convenient access to this captivating destination.