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Best Time To Visit Turkey

MAY- SEP 24oC
DEC- FEB 6oC

Best Time to visit Turkey

Turkey can easily be called the capital country of the world owing to its charismatic beauty, location and cultural mix of Asia and Europe. Although Turkey is typically a late summer destination given how cold it can get, Turkey can be visited all through the year depending on your interests. Turkey is the 37th largest country in the entire world and because of its’ size, the weather is extremely diverse throughout the country. While one part of the country might feel extremely cold at a specific time, another part might be enjoying a glorious summer by the beach. 

 

Travel Seasons

Min-Max Temperatures

Season

March - May

10-26°C

Pleasant

June - August

24-48°C

Warm to scorching

September- November

12-29°C

Pleasant

December - February

3-16°C

Cool to freezing

 

Turkey experiences extreme climates and can thus be extremely cold during winters and can got excessively hot during peak summers. Thus, end of summer, spring and Autumn have the best climate to visit Turkey that allow you to freely roam without the weather becoming a hurdle. 

Turkey In Spring (March to May) 

 

Temperature – 10°C and 25°C.

Weather – April and May are the major months when spring starts showing around you. Istanbul streets are always a place where one wants to just aimlessly stroll and absorb the beauty in. Weather in spring in Turkey is truly one of the best times to visit Turkey and see these ancient sites. Apart from the temperature, April and May are also peak seasons for Tulips. All the gardens around Turkey are packed with multi coloured flowers and gorgeous spreads of tulips. Being the most excellent time of the year to visit the country, hotels get full quickly and are also expensive. However, if you plan to be in the southern parts, the weather starts to open up and is perfect for hikers and cyclists alike. 

Significance – March generally starts with a combination temperature with relatively colder mornings which then melt away giving way to warmer days. Spring brings with its moderate temperatures and a full bloom. The country covers itself with a sheet of flowers and you feel transported to a fairyland. 

Why you should visit now – Canakkale Victory and Martyrs’ Day is celebrated on March 18 in Turkey to commemorate the heroes of Canakkale who fought against all odds to protect their country. It is an extremely important day in the history of Turkey. Mesir Macunu Festival is an ancient festival celebrated in Aegean province. A special sweet paste used to cure illnesses back then became extremely famous and thus was distributed in the entire kingdom as goodwill. This festival is being celebrated from then on 21st March. Turkey starts experiencing complete full blooms in April. Hence, one of the biggest Tulip Festivals in the world is held in Istanbul during the month of April and also the entire month of May. The leading international film festival is held in Istanbul in April. This event attracts writers, directors and actors from all over the world. Ephesus Festival of Colour and Art is an annual held during the first week of May. It is a beautiful and vibrant festival with dances and folk shows held for an entire week.

Things to know before the visit – The first week of the month of March can have a little unpredictable weather post which things settle down and the climate becomes pleasant and is great for tourists. 

Tips – In Turkey, ensure that you have your best haggling skills on. The locals might try to over charge you given it being the peak period. Hence ensure that you haggle before you decide to even take a local taxi

 

Turkey In Summer (June to August) 

Temperature – The air temperature during the season of summer fluctuates between 24°C and 48°C.

Weather – June, July and August are typically hot months in Turkey. The weather in Summer in Turkey gets extremely dry and scorching. However, the weather is ideal for enjoying the Mediterranean coastline. The higher temperatures may make exploring the ancient ruins a tad difficult given the heat. The summers are generally considered a down period and hence there are not many tourists. 

Significance – May and June are considered auspicious periods owing to Ramadan. Since Turkey is a Muslim dominated country, it is essential to take this into consideration as during the prayer hours some services might get unavailable

Why you should visit now – Cappadox Festival is held every year in the moneth of June and is the biggest festival in Cappadocia which is truly unmissable. Over 140 events are hosted that focus on food, music and culture. Bozcaada Island hosts an annual wine tasting festival which offer wine tasting, tours of vineyards and live music. Chill-Out Festival is held every summer at Istanbul, Bodrum and Cesme. It showcases lounges, music, workshops and other activities. Bosporus Cross-Continental Swim is a thrilling competition where over 2000 global competitors swim across the continent. It is a very fascinating sight as there are many past Olympic Champions who participate in the same too. August 30 is a public holiday across the country to celebrate the win of 1922 over the invading Greek armies!

Things to know before the visit – Summers in Turkey are dry and blistering. It is important to know the weather of the part of the country you decide to visit. Hence make sure you book in advance and dress accordingly. 

Tips – Apply for the Visa in advance and do not wait till the last minute. Since it is extremely hot, choose light cotton clothes but ensure to be clad respectfully as the culture permits. Stay hydrated; there are a lot of juice and ice cream stalls along the roads to keep you cool. 

 

Turkey In Autumn (September to November) 

Temperature – The air temperature during the season of autumn fluctuates between 12°C and 29°C.

Weather – Autumn in Turkey is breath taking to say the least. It starts getting cooler and the days start getting shorter although the sea temperatures still remain warm.  Autumn is a great time to explore the city as the crowd thins and prices reduce. Though a lot of people do not prefer visiting during this time, it is ideally a great time to visit the ancient city and turquoise coast. 

Significance – Autumn is important as it sees a lot of festivities in the sense of art, music and wine festivals. This period is an enjoyable for the locals as the tourism starts reducing and they have a lot more time to enjoy their culture and ger leisure time.

Why you should visit now –Bozcaada Vintage Festival is a grape festival on the island of Bozcaada. Over four different varieties of grapes are harvested and there is a huge even for picking of grapes and sale of succulent wines. International Istanbul Biennial is one of the most prestigious contemporary art festivals in the world is held in the month of September. The Goreme food festival is held to educated the younger generation about the Cappadocian food culture and organic farming. It is extremely interesting and gives an insight on their heritage. On 29th October, Cumhurivet Bayrami that is the Republic Day is celebrated with great pompous and zeal. It is a public holiday celebrated with speeches, parades and fireworks. Akbank International Jazz Festival is a two-week-long festival celebrating jazz. The festival sees some of the most world-renowned performers who take the stage in some of the most beautiful venues. The only marathon in the world that transcends two continents ends in Turkey. Starting from the Asian shoreline, it ends in Bosporus on 3rd November

Things to know before the visit – The start of Autumn might see warmer days which turn into colder nights and eventually colder days. Ensure you research well on the places you would like to visit and how the weather is in that particular part of Turkey. 

Tips – Carry clothes according to the part you decide to visit. Overall it experiences moderate temperatures hence it would suffice if you carry light jackets and pullovers 

 

Winter (December to February) 

Temperature –  between 3°C and 16°C.

Weather – November and December generally experience very low temperatures in this part of the world. Temperatures in most parts of the country are low and snow is a common phenomenon and thus winter in Turkey is not the most ideal time of the year. Istanbul remains rather quiet and this might be a good time to visit if you are resistant to cold and do not mind occasional showers. Some parts of Turkey even experience temperatures in negatives making them impossible to visit for tourism. The beaches also lack activities due to this. 

Significance – Turkey receives maximum rainfall during this period making it extremely important for the country. It also turns into a snow heaven in winters which is a different beauty in itself. As tourists, you will even have better access to the public places as it is not very crowded during this time. Moreover, restaurants, stay, hotels and tours can be up to 75 % cheaper. 

Why you should visit now – FThe Rumi festival brings with it the opportunities to showcase the dance of whirling devishes which is actually an active form of meditation. These performances are mostly witnessed in the elaborate mosques of Istanbul and also more sporadic ones on the streets of Istanbul. Christmas Eve is not celebrated in Istanbul since most of the population practices Islam however there are Christmas shopping markets held all over the country. New Years eve is celebrated with great fiesta with restaurants hosting special parties with specially designed menus. Most orthodox churches follow the Julian calendar and thus they celebrate Christmas in the month of January. The Istanbul independent film festival is held in February for over ten days. This festival was started in 2002 and sees over 80000 footfall every year. However, it has been cancelled for the year 2019! 

Things to know before the visit – Depending on the part of Turkey you decide to visit, the intensity of cold will vary and sometimes so drastically. It is important to ensure that proper research is done before you decide to visit a place for tourism because a lot of places might actually be shut owing to bad climatic conditions. 

Tips – Ensure you are carrying many layers of clothes as the temperatures can be quite low.  If you want to attend some special events being held, make sure you are booking well in advance especially for New Years and the various festivals!

 

Turkey is a country brimming with food, culture, history and hospitality. The locals are friendly and it is always a great idea to strike up a conversation with them to know more about their life and experiences. Turkey will blow your mind away in more ways than one and is definitely a country that should be visited.

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