Travel: Exotic locations like Turkey and Maldives are finally off the red list

The travel traffic light system is changing from today, which means goodbye to the amber list and hello to a whole load of holidays.

Globetrotter favourites like Turkey, Oman and Sri Lanka are once again on the fly list, and we’ve already hunted down some great travel deals.

From the wildlife-filled savannahs of Kenya to the incredible architecture of Istanbul, here are the best destinations that are once again open to UK travellers.

A big slice of Turkey

We might not be getting any on our plates this Christmas but, happily, the country is open again and perfect for a winter warmer holiday.

Vibrant, diverse Istanbul is Turkey’s largest city with must-see sights including the Blue Mosque, Hagia Sophia and Topkapi Palace, while the hip beach town of Bodrum boasts clubs and bars to rival Ibiza.

If chilling is your thing, head to the sleek boutique hotel D-Resort in Göcek, where you will find hidden coves, tiny islets and forest-covered mountains.

How to do it: Rooms at D-Resort Göcek on the shores of the Mediterranean start at £158pn,dresortgocek.com/en

Go wild(life) in Kenya

Catch the Big Five (on camera, obvs) and spend the night with the Masaai on an unforgettable eight-day safari in Kenya.

You’ll seek out elephants, hippos, lions and more against the spectacular backdrop of the Great Rift Valley and Lake Naivasha, and experience life with tribal warriors in the Loita Hills, spending time with the elders and learning how to throw a spear.

Game drives will take place in the incredible Masaai Mara National Reserve and Lake Nakuru National Park, home to both black and white rhinos. You’ll also take a cooking class and eat your Kenyan dishes under the stars.

How to do it: The Lonely Planet Kenya Wildlife Safari starts at £990pp, intrepidtravel.com, including meals. Flights from London to Nairobi start at £177 one-way, klm.co.uk

O-man, what a country!

With a traditional vibe far removed from its glitzy Middle Eastern neighbours, Oman is good for nature lovers.

Capital Muscat is full of heritage sites from mosques to souks but it’s the wadis (valleys) and wide open spaces that will really impress. Deserts and sand dunes abound, which are even more fun if you tackle them at full speed in a 4×4.

Wadi Nakhr is known as Oman’s Grand Canyon, while you can observe endangered species at the Ras al Jinz Turtle Reserve.

How to do it: G Ad G Adventures’ eight-day Highlights Of Oman tour starts at £1,799pp, gadventures.com. Flights from London to Oman start at £362 return, etihad.com

Maldives magic

Crystal-clear water? Check. Talcum powder-soft sand? Check. Swaying palm trees? You get the picture.

The Maldives are on most people’s bucket list for a reason and the good news is that you don’t have to spend a honeymooner’s ransom to enjoy this ludicrously gorgeous part of the world.

The stylish Kandima Maldives, in the Dhaalu atoll, consists of 246 studios and villas sitting on a sublime stretch of sand.

Sip a sundowner to beatific beats at the Beach Club and work up an appetite with surfing, skydiving, kayaking or wakeboarding.

How to do it: Seven nights in a Sky Studio at Kandima Maldives, including return flights, start at £1,786pp, firstchoice.co.uk

Be seduced by Sri Lanka

Whether you want to spot leopards in the jungle, stroll among tea plantations or explore cave temples, Sri Lanka will show you its treasures.

Must-see regions include Kandy, home to the ancient fortress of Lion’s Rock; the picturesque coastal town of Galle, known for its surfing and whale watching; and the captivating capital, Colombo, with its ‘floating’ Gangaramaya temple, Dutch colonial buildings and colourful Pettah market.

Base yourself just south of Colombo in Kalutara at the cool, contemporary Anantara resort by the river.

How to do it: Seven nights Seven nights at the Anantara Kalutara Resort and Spa start at £1,299pp, including return flights, tropicalsky.co.uk

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