If you are planning on travelling to Turkey soon, here is a short guide to what you can expect to find at different times in the year. Depending on which month you choose to visit, and in which season it is, you will find different activities, food and weather that will determine the best things to do and see. Whether you are travelling in Turkey for a summer tour, or in the winter months, there is always something to do here. From the countless festivals to the gorgeous beaches like Oludeniz, it is always worth putting Turkey on your travel plans no matter what the time of year.
During this time in the middle of winter, most of the streets in Turkey will be empty as people as people stay warm near the fire in their homes. At this time of year, the mountains across Turkey will be covered in snow and will be a treat to see even from afar.
The last month of winter in Turkey is laidback, as the weather starts to lighten and spring is around the corner, people start getting ready for the hotter weather and activity picks up in the cities. During this time you can expect higher than average visits to local historic sites and museums.
As the weather starts to warm, you will notice the streets getting busier with people, the fruits and vegetables sold at local markets change in variety and colour,
and people begin to enjoy the beginning of the hot months.
During April the weather in Turkey is ideal for trying out cabin cruises, however, for some, the temperature is still a little bit too cold to swim. In the middle of the month is the Anzac day commemoration held in Gallipoli
During this time, you can always find windsurfers taking advantage of the changing weather and wind, cruising some of the best windsurfing spots in Turkey, including Alacati and Oludeniz. People will be making the most out of the nice weather and begin taking part in activities such as paragliding, jeep safaris and outdoor jogging.
As the Summer hits home, people start crowding the many beautiful beaches along the southern coast of Turkey. Wealthy families from Istanbul move to their holiday homes in Fethiye or other coastal towns such as Cesme or Datca, where they can enjoy nature and get away from the big city.
This is also the start of the Cherry season in Turkey. You will find them by the kilo in markets all over, selling two varieties; Kiraz, which is the sour variety and Vishne, which is the sweet one. These are truly delicious and you can even find fresh cherry juice served by juice vendors in the streets of Istanbul, delicious.
If you are a student looking for a summer internship in Turkey, this would be around the time that you will be looking to start your experience. There are many great universities offering scholarships so make sure to apply in advance and experience Turkey in its best season.
As the summer season hits its peak, the weather starts to get quite hot, and tourists and beachgoers are advised to avoid the hottest time of the day between 12 and 3 pm. During this time around Turkey, you can find people enjoying music festivals, cooling off in the sea with cabin cruises or yacht charters, or eating traditional Turkish ice cream under a palm tree in the shade. If you are willing to withstand the heat, Oludeniz beach is a good idea, just
August marks the close of summer, and people are getting the most of the last few weeks of sunlight on the beach. The tourist season is almost finished, and the bars and local pubs are starting to look bare. During this time you can take advantage of the last opportunity to book a cabin cruise along the Turquoise coast if the weather still permits it.
Festivals of all types including opera and ballet festivals in Istanbul, food festivals in cities across Turkey and special museum showcasing. Diving is also ideal in this time of year as water temperatures drop to a cool 24-26 degrees celsius.
The Autumn season is amongst us, and the weather starts to cool in the northern parts of Turkey and in the higher altitudes. However, you can still find people living on the coast taking advantage of the sunny days and freshwater that might be too cold for some. In Eastern Anatolia, the weather becomes rainy and cold, but in the rest of Turkey and around the south coast it is a good time to hike in the mountains or try out the Lycian trail.
In Istanbul, you can visit the Jazz festival held in Akbank every year. There you can see local bands as well as international guest performers playing great jazz. The Bursa puppet festival starts for a week in Karagoz, which is an interesting festival. At this time of year, it is quite cold, and you may want to carry around a jumper in case it gets too chilly. In some parts of Turkey, the snow is returning and the mountains start to be snow-capped once more.
During the winter months in Turkey, everything slows down and people stay huddled in the warm glow of their chimneys, sipping hot cocoa and eating winter food. Seasonal vegetables like pumpkin make for some delicious food. If you would like to travel to Turkey soon, you may want to hold off for a few more months, unless you are the type of person that likes misty mornings and cold nights huddled next to the fire. You can still take advantage of Turkey tours in December as you will be able to hike the natural areas without having to worry about the hot sun.