Holiday in Turkey
Turkey is on the Mediterranean, in the Anatolian region of West Asia, with a small section in Southeastern Europe separated by the Turkish Straits (Bosphorus, Sea of Marmara, and Dardanelles). With the Black Sea to the north and the Aegean Sea in the west and Mediterranean Sea to the southwest, Turkey is surrounded by Bulgaria and Greece to the west, Armenia, Azerbaijan and Georgia to the northeast, Syria, Iraq and Iran to the southeast.
Turkey offers a wealth of destination varieties to travellers: from dome-and-minaret filled skyline of Istanbul to Roman ruins along the western and southern coasts, from heavily indendated coastline against a mountainous backdrop of Lycia and wide and sunny beaches of Antalya Province to cold and snowy mountains of the East, from crazy "foam parties" of Bodrum to Middle Eastern-flavoured cities of Southeastern Anatolia, from verdant misty mountains of Eastern Black Sea to wide steppe landscapes of Central Anatolia, there is something for everyone's taste—whether they be travelling on an extreme budget by hitchhiking or by a multi-million yacht.
The climate in Turkey has a vast diversity depending on the diverse topography and latitude.
Aegean and Mediterranean coastal areas enjoy the typical Mediterranean climate. There is hardly a drop of rain during the sunny and hot summer (May to October). Winters are mild and rainy in these regions, and it very rarely snows at coastal areas, with the exception of mountainous areas higher than 2000 metres of these regions, which are very snowy and are frequently not passable. The water temperature in the Aegean and Mediterranean Seas is warm during the long summer season (May to October) which constitutes the swimming season and fluctuates between 23° and 28°C from north to south.
The region around the Sea of Marmara, including Istanbul, has a transitional climate between an oceanic climate and a semi-Mediterranean climate, but it does rain, albeit not a lot, during the very warm summer (as showers which tend to last for 15-30 minutes). Its winters are colder than those of the western and southern coasts. Snow is common at coastal areas, although it doesn’t stay on the ground for long and is limited to only a few days every winter. The water temperature in the Sea of Marmara is also colder than the Aegean and Mediterranean Seas, with the water temperature reaching only between 20° and 24°C during the summer (June, July and August) and the swimming season is restricted to those summer months.
The Black Sea region has an oceanic climate (thanks to the protective shield effect of Caucasus mountains) with the greatest amount of precipitation and is the only region of Turkey that receives high precipitation throughout the year. The eastern part of that coast averages 2,500 millimeters annually which is the highest precipitation in the country. Summers are warm and humid while the winters are cool and damp. Snow is common at coastal areas, although it doesn’t stay on the ground for long and is limited to only a few days every winter, though mountains are very snowy as it is expected to be and are frequently not passable, there are glaciers around the year in the highest zones. The water temperature in the whole Turkish Black Sea coast is always cool and fluctuates between 10° and 20°C throughout the year, and is even less suitable for swimming during the summer than in the Sea of Marmara.
Most of the coastal areas have a high level of relative humidity during most of the year which makes hot weather feel hotter and cold weather feel colder than it actually is.
Interior areas like Ankara, generally have hot summers (though the nights are cool enough to make someone who is wearing only a thin t-shirt uncomfortable outdoors) and cold and snowy winters. The more easterly the location is, the colder the winters are and the heavier the snow is. The northeastern part (around Erzurum and Kars) is the only inland area which has cool and rainy summers.
The southeastern region near the Syrian border has a desert-like climate, temperature is frequently above 40°C during summers with no rain. Snowfall is occasional in winter.
Greek and Roman ruins between azure sea on one side and silvery olive grooves on the other
Black Sea Turkey
Heavily forested mountains offering great outdoor sports such as trekking and rafting
Tree-poor central steppes with the national capital, Hittite and Phrygian ruins, and moon-like Cappadocia
High and mountainous eastern part with harsh winters
The most urbanized region with Byzantine and Ottoman monuments in some of the country's greatest cities
Mountains clad with pine woods ascending right from the heavily-indented coastline of the crystal clear sea
Semi-desert Middle-Easternmost part of the country
Ankara — the capital of Turkey and its second largest city.
Antalya — the fastest growing city, hub to an array of beach resorts.
Bodrum — a trendy coastal town in Southern Aegean which turns into a crowded city in season when it serves as a playground for Turkish and international holidaymakers alike, featuring a citadel, Roman ruins, trendy clubs and a number of villages surrounding the peninsula eack with a different character from classy to rustic
Edirne — the second capital of the Ottoman Empire.
Istanbul — Turkey's largest city, the former capital of both the Ottoman and Byzantine Empires, and the only city in the world to straddle two continents.
Izmir — Turkey's third largest city.
Konya — a Central Anatolian city, former home to Rumi, and the site of his tomb.
Sinop — an ancient fortress and port city on the northernmost tip of Anatolia.
Trabzon — the wonderful Sumela Monastery is just outside the city and it is a great gateway to exploring the Turkish Northeast.
Ani — impressive ruins of medieval Armenian capital in the far east of the country.
Cappadocia — an area in central highlands best known for its unique moon-like landscape (the "fairy chimneys"), underground cities, cave churches and houses carved in the rocks.
Ephesus — well-preserved ruins of the Roman city on the west coast.
Gallipoli — site of 1915 Anzac landing and many WWI memorials.
Mount Nemrut — a UNESCO World Heritage site with head statues dedicated to ancient Gods on its summit.
Ölüdeniz — imcomparable postcard beauty of "Blue Lagoon", perhaps the most famous beach of Turkey which you will see on any tourism brochure.
Pamukkale — "the Cotton Castle", white world of travertines surrounding cascading shallow pools filled with thermal waters.
Sümela — stunning monestary on the cliffs of a mountain, a must-see on any trip to the northeast coast.
Uludağ — a national park featuring school textbook belts of different types of forests varying with altitude, and the major wintersports resort of the country.
You may rent a car to get around Turkey from an international or local car rental agent. If you are traveling by plane you may find car rental desks in arrival terminals of all airports such as IST Ataturk Airport, Istanbul.
While Turkey is rightly renowned for its warm Mediterranean beaches, wintersports, especially skiing, is very much a possibility—and indeed a popular activity—in the mountainous interior of the country between October and April, with a guaranteed stable snowcower and constant below freezing temparatures between December and March. Some more eastern resorts have longer periods of snowcover.
Most popular wintersports resorts include Uludağ near Bursa, Kartepe near Izmit, Kartalkaya near Bolu, and Ilgaz near Kastamonu in the northwest of the country, and Palandöken near Erzurum, and Sarıkamış near Kars in the northeast of the country. Saklıkent near Antalya is touted to be one of the places where you can ski in the morning and swim in the warm waters of Mediterranean down the coast in Antalya in the afternoon, though snowcover period in Saklıkent is desperately short as not to let this happen every year.
Bargaining – In Turkey, bargaining is a must. One can bargain everywhere that doesn’t look too luxurious: shops, hotels, bus company offices, and so on. During your bargaining, don’t look so impressed and interested, and be patient. Since foreigners (especially Western people) aren’t expected to be good at bargaining, sellers are quick to reject any bargaining attempt (or are at least quick to look like so), but be patient and wait, the price will fall! (Don’t forget, even if you are successful at your bargaining attempt, when you get your credit card out of your wallet, rather than cash, the agreed price may rise again, though probably to a lower level than the original one).
Accommodation in Turkey varies from 5-star hotels to a simple tent pitched in a vast plateau. So the prices hugely vary as well.
All major cities and tourist spots have 5-star hotels, many of them are owned by international hotel chains like Hilton, Sheraton, Ritz-Carlton, Conrad to name a few. Many of them are concrete blocks, however some, especially the ones out of cities, are bungalows with private gardens and private swimming pools.
If you are into holiday package kind of thing in a Mediterranean resort, you’d for sure have better rates when booking back at home rather than in Turkey itself. Difference is considerable, compared with what you’d pay when booking at home, you may end up paying twice as much if you simply walk in the resort.
It is possible to rent a whole house with two rooms, a kitchen, a bathroom, and necessary furnitures such as beds, chairs, a table, a cooker, pots, pans, usually a refrigerator and sometimes even a TV. Four or more people can easily fit in these houses which are called apart hotels and can be found mainly in coastal towns of Marmara and Northern Aegean regions, which are more frequented by Turkish families rather than foreigners. They are generally flats in a low-story apartment building.
Vacation Rentals Turkey