Why to Visit Turkey in the Winter

Why to Visit Turkey in the Winter

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What we found on the internet made traveling Turkey in the winter seem like a horrible idea.  Apparently it was going to be bitterly cold.  It would be wet and snowy.  The buildings wouldn’t be heated.  Proving you can’t believe everything you read on the internet, traveling Turkey in the winter is actually great.

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There was a little snow, there was some cold, but the lack of crowds and massive off-season discounts far outweigh the short spurts of bad weather.  Breaking from our backpacker habits as we traveled with my parents, we were able to stay in four and five star hotels for up to 80% off their high season prices.  We indulged in  hotels that charge $350/night during high season for as little as $60/night.  The service, beds and views didn’t drop like the prices, affording us wonderful nights as we drove along the Aegean and Mediterranean coasts.

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After two years of hostels these beds were hard to get out of in the morning, but the sights to be seen each day got us moving on.

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This gorgeous town was actually named ugly to deter more people from moving there.  Too bad LOCAVORista let the secret out! We also enjoyed living the Book of Revelation by visiting two of the Seven Churches of the Apocolypse (click here to read more).

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The empty streets of Antalya (above) is probably a sight high season tourists can’t imagine.  Even though it was low season, major tourist sights in Istanbul and Ephesus were still packed as seen below.  I can’t imagine what it would be like in high season…

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The reality is that Turkey’s rise to one of the most visited countries in the world is well deserved.  Sadly though this brings crowds to almost everywhere tourists want to go.  Traveling during the winter is a great option for those interested in visiting the coasts and Istanbul, but not interested in the crowds.  The weather is better than most of what we experience in an American winter and the deals to be had make any cold breeze worth it.

WHEN YOU GO:

Bring a water and rainproof jacket. A Gore-Tex shell is a great idea to keep you warm and dry.

Drive yourself. With prices lower and tours less available, driving yourself on the great roads of Turkey is a great option.  We drove over 1500 miles and enjoyed each one.

Don’t expect to swim. The pools may be clean and ready, but visiting Turkey in the winter means giving up the summer life the coast offers.  It’s a small price to pay though.

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Comments

» firoz dharani :
May 3, 2014

me60 and wife50 retired, visiting turkey 26oct-11th nov.from africa, have total budget of $3000
plse help me plan, start me off. send me websites to help me plan.my budget is $200 per day. interested in nature, culture, tradition, foods, history

» Stephen :
Nov 1, 2014

I’ve heard pretty lackluster opinions of Antalya. Did you think it was a worthwhile place to linger, or would those days be better spent elsewhere?
Read Stephen’s awesome post Saving Snow Leopards in Kyrgyzstan: the NABU Rehabilitation Center

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About the Author

thinkCHUA: Photographing and documenting the world on a 3 year round-the-world trip to help future travelers discover new places, travel longer and enjoy the world's great experiences.

About the Author
thinkCHUA: Photographing and documenting the world on a 3 year round-the-world trip to help future travelers discover new places, travel longer and enjoy the world's great experiences.
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