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When to Travel in Turkey

What's the best time for a trip to Turkey? Although there is different weather in each of the regions of Turkey, spring is the best time to visit Turkey, autumn is next, then summer, last of all, winter.  

Spring

Spring (March through mid-June) is prime because the weather is moderate throughout the country and the days are long. April can be rainy. This is high season for Istanbul and Cappadocia, with many boutique hotels fully booked, and prices at their highest. However, it's the off-season for Aegean and Mediterranean beach resorts. It’s also a great time to visit the Southeast as the weather is mild.

Autumn

Autumn (mid-September through October) is second best with mostly mild weather, but the days are shorter, and rain may begin again in October. This, too, is high season for Istanbul and Cappadocia, with many boutique hotels heavily booked at their highest prices. At beach resorts, the water is still warm, crowds are smaller, and prices lower.

Summer

Summer (mid-June through mid-September) is hot in five of Turkey's seven distinct climatic regions, though usually rainless, and cool inland in the evenings. Seaside resorts are crowded and prices are at their peak, but the cities are less crowded—Istanbul is a bargain, with smaller crowds and shorter lines for admission to sights. Cappadocia is cheaper and more comfortable as well.

Winter

Winter (November, through February) can be chilly and rainy, with occasional cold but sunny days, everywhere except the southeast, which remains temperate, but lower prices and fewer tourists are compensations. I often travel to Turkey in March and November to benefit from the lower prices, better availability of hotel rooms, and smaller crowds. However, beach resorts in the Mediterranean regions may be closed during the winter. Many of the tourist shops and restaurants in seaside towns will be closed during the off-season.

Summer in Antalya, Turkey

Winter in Istanbul, Turkey

Weather & Climatic Regions

Turkey has seven distinct weather and climate zones. You need to know a bit about them in order to pack the right clothes

Tom's Turkish Almanac

Each month of the Turkish year, month by month, with climate, holidays and special events. 

Official National Holidays

Here are the official holidays of Turkey.

Islamic Holidays

Islamic holidays are 11 days earlier every year, and they will change travel patterns, so you need to know about them. 

Special Events

Football finals, rock concerts, and film festivals can fill hotels and make travel difficult (if not impossible) for short periods.

Other Things to Consider:

Airfares & Flight Times

Check the flights you might want to take.  

What to Wear & Pack

What you wear and pack depends on the season, itinerary, and which of Turkey's climatic regions you'll be traveling to.  

Turkish Time Zone

Read more about Turkey’s time zone (+3 GMT) and comparative times in other cities and countries of the world. 

 

—by Tom Brosnahan

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