Weather Conditions in Turkey
Whether you’re looking for sun, sand and sea or spectacular slopes to ski, you can find it in Turkey. With over 7,000 km of coastline, many lakes, spectacular mountain ranges and arid inlands, the climatic conditions are quite varied across the seven different regions of the country. With so many micro-climates at play and weather-based experiences a possibility, it’s advisable to figure out the best time to travel to Turkey before you choose your package.
Aside from the weather, the other factor to consider is your activity preferences. You don’t want to be by the beach when it’s too cold to swim or stuck in long queues while out sightseeing in the sweltering heat. Nonetheless, this is one of the world’s year-round destinations. That’s why we’ve put together a handy guide to the best time to visit Turkey, based on the experiences that come with each.
If you’re wondering about the best time to go to Turkey for a stay in Istanbul, you’re in luck. This populous city and cultural capital of the country is accessible any time of the year. But there are certain benefits of visiting during spring or autumn. Under the warm skies, the city flourishes, rooftop venues are at their lively best and there’s festivals and events to look forward to as well. The Istanbul Tulip Festival turns city gardens into a floral carpet and wondrous site. While film enthusiasts can check out the Istanbul Film Festival.
Summers are peak tourist season in Istanbul, meaning an increase in prices and the queues at all the main attractions. The heat doesn’t help either, though there are some things to look forward to like the Istanbul Music and Jazz Festivals. So why not make the most of the great weather and atmosphere to plan a trip to Istanbul between March to May or September to mid-November.
From the end of May until about October is the best time to go to Turkey for a blissful coastal stay in the Aegean and Mediterranean regions. Under the summer sun, every seaside town comes alive and the beaches glisten in invitation. There’s a whole gamut of water activities you can partake in from diving to wind surfing, found along the Dalyan Coast, and Fethiye. Kas is a centre for diving in the Mediterranean. Bodrum is another popular tourist destination, for its spectacular scenery, contemporary charm and delicious food.
If you visit in September, look out for the Sunsplash Festival, a hip music festival featuring musicians from around the world.
Once again, summer proves to be the best season to go to Turkey, for that is when visiting the picturesque town of Cappadocia is most enjoyable. This is one of those places where you want to spend your time outdoors, although you will at times be flying high in the hot air balloon and going underground into the old Christian bunkers still intact from the Byzantine era. That’s not to say you can’t visit in the winters, in fact, some would really enjoy the lack of crowd, the stark snowy landscapes and the much-needed change of pace that makes travel the joy that it is. And there’s skiing opportunities nearby if you’d like to give it a try.
It’s fun to shop in such an eclectic country and your retail adventures can take you from a 500-year old marketplace to a swanky new mall. But the best time to visit Turkey for the shopping is surely during the Istanbul Shopping Festival held in the summers. For over a month, you can find super deals for almost anything imaginable. The Grand Bazaar is the historic and must-visit destination to go to during the festival, but there are other venues across the city that you can easily find.
For other shopping destinations like Kaleici in Antalya or Hamamonu in Ankara don’t have any grand event as such, but if you visit any of these places during winter or off-season, shopkeepers are way more open to bargaining.
The best time to visit Turkey if you enjoy trekking and outdoor adventure, is between April to June. October is also regarded as great climbing weather. You’d ideally want to avoid peak summers as the heat can quite often be unbearable. Some of the best spring and autumn treks you can do are the Independence trail or Yenice Forest Trail. While the St. Paul and Kaçkar Trails can be enjoyed as far into the year as November.
At the end, no matter what you pick as the best time to visit Turkey, what you’ll get is an unforgettable experience. The best advice is to plan a tour around the things you love to do for that’s when discrepancies in weather won’t seem to matter, if at all they occur. Also remember to carry appropriate clothing and accessories — sunscreen, hats, sunglasses the whole lot for the summers, enough and more layers for the unpredictably cold and wet winters.
When it comes to packing your itinerary, just tell SOTC what you’re looking for in your Turkey holiday package and it’ll all be taken care of for you.