Turkey in December
Replies: 7 - Last Post: May 14, 2013 6:16 AM Last Post By: kobrien456
Oct 8, 2012 2:29 PM
Turkey in DecemberMy boyfriend and I (in our mid 20s) are going to Turkey mid-December until early January. We understand winter isn't the best time to travel but we can brave the potential cold and rain.
We're just wondering what the "must see's" and "must do's" are, especially around Christmas (understand it's not celebrated) and New Year’s. We prefer smaller, less touristy places rather than larger cities filled with tourists. We are on a backpacker’s budget so we will not be renting a car, or staying in nice hotels. We plan to spend our money on activities.
Any advice you can give is much appreciated.
Thanks in advance!
Oct 8, 2012 3:55 PM
1Christmas is not celebrated but New Years is and in many places with fireworks and music.
One thing to watch for with accommodation at this time of year is hot water and heating. Many of the smaller places are only open during the season but some open for the mini tourist rush that happens at this time and as they often rely on solar can be very cold and a bit damp. Some areas can get snow (Istanbul sometimes, Cappodoccia often) so be prepared, although the markets often have cheap and cheeful clothing suitable for short term usage. What sort of activities are you interested in? History, trekking, paragliding?
Oct 8, 2012 10:42 PM
2Welcome to the forum :) Please give us a bit more info on your interests so we can make better suggestions to help you.It seems you'll have around 16-17 days,is that correct?If so you can cover quite a few places in that time,but what do you enjoy doing and seeing?
At that time Cappadocia will most likely have some snow,but not knee deep blizzards and it is a dry crisp cold so it it not unpleasant provided you're wrapped up warmly.I have often said that under a sprinkle of snow this unique area looks even more amazing.
I also echo Ohwell's comment about ensuring the hotel you choose has a proper heating system and not just solar power!
For milder weather consider the Aegean coastal area or the south coast.Both of these will still have reasonable weather most of the time,maybe the odd rain shower but also high chance of sunshine too.
In both area's you can find smaller towns which are true working towns but cater to tourism too,i.e.you'll still find open accomodation available and things to do .Some of the smaller villages which cater soley to summer visitors will be pretty much closed up for the winter.So consider Eceabat on the Gallipolli peninsula or Çanakkale,Selçuk,Bodrum,Fethiye,Kaş,Side.The latter has a 12 month tourism season but naturally winter time is much quieter than high season.Each of these would make a nice base to stay with plenty to do in the local area.
Give us a few more clues and maybe we can suggest even better idea's :)
BTW,don't worry about not having a car,the bus systems here are fantastic;safe,cheap and go literally everywhere.
Oct 9, 2012 3:06 AM
3We Hobbits live near Kaş on the Lycian/Turquoise/Mediterranean Coast of Turkey.
We would echo the advice of our colleagues given previously. What do you like to do and see and what do you not like to do and see?? Some people just want to relax and others want extreme adventure, some want to have bar and dance time, others want to visit ancient sites. Also, If you state your "home" country on your profile, that might help an advisor give you a more appropriate answer.
Winter can be a delightful time to visit all along the Mediterranean Coast from Antalya to Fethiye (Kaş is nearly equidistant between them). Bodrum is usually very windy and can be a bit more troublesome regarding the weather in the winter.
As long as your heed the advice about accommodation (hot water and adequate heating) you should be fine. Layered clothing and rain weather gear are essential. Days in Kaş can be in the 20's (60's F) in the sun and nearly to freezing on some nights. Winter storms can be fierce but seldom last more than a day or two. After storms, in our area, local folks and expats congregate at the few open-air cafes for backgammon (tavla) or a coffee, tea, or beer and conversation. Nice...
If you have not visited Istanbul you should attempt to put it on your list, certainly with the time you have to be here you should take some time for this ancient capital city of many empires. Look at this blog page about Istanbul to get you started for your time there.
Oct 9, 2012 8:40 AM
4Awesome, thanks so much for all the advice!
We will be there from December 12th-January 6th which should be plenty of time!
We fly in and out of Istanbul and plan to spend about 5 days there either at the beginning or the end, it doesn’t matter to us!
We are very adventurous people so trekking is something we’re definitely interested in. We are interested in history but prefer discovering on our own rather than taking tours. We are social, so we will be going out but prefer interesting local bars rather than busy clubs.
Oct 9, 2012 9:00 AM
5So discounting your arrival and departure days you'll have 24 days ,less say,5 for Istanbul so that gives you 3 weeks....you can do plenty in that time.
Allow 3 or 4 days for Cappadocia as this is a large area covering some 800sq.kms with some great walking/hiking terrain.
The south coast is home to the Lycan Way which stretches from Fethiye to Antalya so you could also fit in some sections of that too-walk a bit bus a bit etc.
Istanbul beginning or end...depending on your arrival time it is worth trying to move on immediately to another town rather than start off there.I don't know where you are coming from but if it is long haul I do realise you'll have some jet lag but Istanbul is not a city to meet for the first time jet lagged :) Starting your trip in a smaller quieter place will give you time to relax and get used to everything so that by the time you finally reach Istanbul you'll be wide awake and ready for it!
If you haven't already done so take a look at the trip review sticky at the top of the page to get some idea's of what there is to see and do in various places.There are now reviews covering virtually the whole country and they contain excellent detailed genuine info.
Once you have a sort of itinery put together bring it back to the forum for us to take a look at and see if needs tweaking up a bit :)
Oct 10, 2012 1:42 PM
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