WHEN IS THE BEST TIME TO VISIT TURKEY
Straddling two continents, Turkey is the perfect example of east meets west. With a fusion of vibrant, age-old cultures, incredible architecture, a host of natural wonders and an enchanting union of the old and new, Turkey has been wowing travellers for ages. But, when is the best time to go?
The grand capital of Istanbul is like no other – with imposing mosques, palaces and hippodromes, colourful bazaars, cave churches, and mouth-watering culinary delights, it is a city that will leave an impact on you long after you leave.
Inland, a visit to Cappadocia is like stepping back in time. With ancient rock formations and early Christian cave chapels, Cappadocia is one of the most unique places on the planet.
Along the coast, you can sail the Aegean Sea on board a traditional wooden gulet boat, and explore the famous ancient ruins of Ephesus and Troy – sites that will truly make you pinch yourself.
The four seasons are felt in Turkey, and summer is very hot – perfect for soaking up the sun on the Turquoise Coast. Pack a hat and sunscreen for exploring the heritage sights, and take a break from the sun by exploring the grand bazaars.
Cappadocia can be a little more comfortable at this time of the year and is blanketed in beautiful wildflowers. Take in the spectacle with a sunrise hot air balloon journey – a once-in-a-lifetime experience.
Summer temperatures in Istanbul average around 28 degrees, and on the coast further south reach around 35 degree averages in Antalya, 32 degrees in Fethiye, 33 degrees in and around Kusadasi to visit the ancient site of Troy, and 31 degrees in Canakkale and the nearby Gallipoli Peninsula.
In Cappadocia during summer you should experience averages around 28 degrees.
Autumn cools Turkey down a lot and becomes a lot more comfortable for many travellers. The ancient sites are pleasantly explored in warm temperatures and the sea temperatures are still lovely and warm.
Republic Day is held in October around the country with most of the big celebrations in Istanbul and the International Wine Festival is held in Cappadocia also in October with plenty of wine tasting events.
Istanbul is a lovely 20 degrees in the middle of Autumn, Cappadocia 18 degrees. On the south coast, Antalya is still quite warm at 27 degrees and Fethiye 26 degrees – perfect for that gulet cruise. Further north, Kusadasi will be 24 degrees and Canakkale 21 degrees.
Turkey does experience the winter cold and in some regions, can even receive some snow. However as it’s the quietest period of the year, go and you will have many of the sights to yourself.
The interior destination of Cappadocia cools off the most and can drop below zero but destinations on the coast can remain very mild.
Istanbul is usually around 9 degrees in the middle of winter, but Cappadocia will drop to an average of 3 degrees.
Antalya and Fethiye on the south coast will remain a mild 15 degrees, Kusadasi 13 degrees and Canakkale 10 degrees.
Spring is one of the most popular times to visit – the days are longer again, the temperatures warmer but not too hot so the historic sites can be explored in depth and comfort.
The striking natural wonder of Pamukkale is brilliant at this time of year against the bright blue sky.
Of course, for Australians and New Zealanders, a pilgrimage to Gallipoli to commemorate the ANZAC Day landings in World War 1, happens each year in April.
Spring temperatures in Istanbul and Cappadocia average around 16 degrees, and further south, in Antalya and Fethiye are warm in 21 degrees.
The sites around Kusadasi can be discovered in around 20 degrees and Canakkale and the Gallipoli Peninsula will be around 17 degrees.
There are so many treasures packed into Turkey that it will be a true feast for all the senses. When will you go?
Source: Inspiring Vacations and reproduced with permission