7 reasons Turkey is becoming a major winter destination

Turkey is a popular summer holiday destination for families, couples and friends from all over the globe. Every year, millions of visitors flock to the country to enjoy the summer weather, golden beaches and the superb scenery. However, many aren’t aware of the appealing attractions that Turkey has in the winter season, too.

When considering a winter holiday destination, a few obvious destinations immediately spring to mind, including New York for its cityscape; the Canary Islands for its warmth and Germany for the markets. However, Turkey has a wealth of perks in the chillier season. that are starting to spark interest amongst holiday goers looking for adventure outside their luxury villas in Turkey.

If you’re thinking about where to travel to for your next winter holiday destination, read on to discover seven things that are turning Turkey into an up and coming winter destination.

Stunning view from the Lycian Way walk

1. It’s far easier to soak up the culture

As sublime as the weather is in the summer months, it means that sunbathing and pure relaxation are often the only things on the cards for a summer holiday in Turkey. In winter, however, temperatures reach more comfortable levels, offering up the perfect opportunity to discover the wealth of incredible culture on offer.

Turkey is bursting with historical sites, natural scenery and local bazaars to explore. The country’s winter temperatures are cool enough to walk around and admire what’s on offer, without being too chilly to stay cooped up indoors.

Top tip: The Lycian Way is a well-known coastal trail from Antalya to Oludeniz, offering up spectacular views from A to B. If you’re a trekking fanatic, a winter trip to Turkey is worth it for this alone.

Experience a more authentic Turkish experience during the winter months

2. There’s a better feel for the local way of life

Winter is a much quieter time in Turkey than in the summer months. When the seasonal crowds of tourists head home for another year, the local culture and way of life becomes much more apparent.

You’ll be able to relax in a local cafe or restaurant and have a conversation with the friendly locals, or even perfect your haggling talents at the bazaar and save yourself a lira or two. Winter trips to Turkey have a much more authentic feel to them and you’ll really begin to appreciate the country for what it is.

3. Travel costs are much cheaper

It all boils down to supply and demand with travel costs - when more people want a certain flight at a certain time, the more likely it is that the cost will increase. Summer flights to Turkey are much more expensive than flights at any other time of year, simply because travellers flock there for the perfect beach weather.

With much fewer people travelling to Turkey in winter, comes much cheaper travel costs. You might even see some additional discounts being promoted, to encourage you to book a flight during the off-peak season.

4. Lower costs whilst you’re there

The discounted costs of winter travel don’t stop at flights - you’ll find that the majority of accommodation, activities and eateries in Turkey have lower costs during winter than they would in the busier, summer months.

While in some cases you might save yourself 10-20 percent, some of the costs are significantly lower. Tours and excursions are often discounted quite dramatically, some by as much as 75 percent. You could find yourself doing plenty more and enjoying much more of your time in Turkey during winter than you would in summer, for the same budget.

Believe it or not, Turkey offers some fantastic ski resorts during the winter months

5. Fantastic ski locations

There are a number of fantastic ski resorts situated throughout Turkey which, when winter arrives, provide some incredible slopes to try out. Turkish ski resorts aren’t as well-known as the more popular resorts in destinations such as France and Austria, however, this is expected to change over the years.

Some ski resorts in Turkey are just a few hours drive away from bustling cities, such as Uludag being in close proximity to Turkey's largest city, a bonus for anyone living in Istanbul. As such, a ski trip to Turkey also offers up the opportunity to explore the capital and enjoy some sight-seeing in the same trip. This is quite a unique offering and something that many other resorts cannot offer; one reason why Turkey’s ski resorts are expected to grow in popularity.

Sahlep is a warm, creamy Turkish drink that locals enjoy during the winter months, often to ward off colds.

6. Try out some different Turkish taste sensations

When temperatures are soaring and there’s nothing more comfortable than lying in your swimwear, chances are a hot beverage is the last thing you’ll want to be sipping on. The summer heat often prevents visitors from trying out some local food and drink, many of which are extremely popular during the winter months.

The locals are big fans of tea and coffee, so much so that large numbers of independent coffee shops have been introduced to the country over recent years. It’s here that you’ll be able to appreciate a soothing cup of Sahlep, a warm creamy drink that locals sip on in the winter months to help cure common colds.

There are many other traditional Turkish drinks and dishes that are much more appreciated in winter than in summer, making it the perfect time of year for gastronomic travellers to visit. Don’t leave without tasting an asure, a traditional porridge-like pudding that has slight differences to its recipe in different areas throughout Turkey.

A popular hamam in Istanbul. The perfect relaxing experience for those cold winter days.

7. Turkish baths are especially relaxing in winter

The Turkish bath experience is something that began many years ago in Turkey after the collapse of the Roman Empire. However, they have become so popular that they are now enjoyed in many locations across the world, but no other destination could beat the more authentic experience in Turkey.

Turkish baths are designed to help cleanse the body and relax the mind and it’s this therapeutic aspect that has helped them to become so popular over the years. Whether it’s the original hamam or one of the more modern takes of Turkish baths, there are plenty to choose from throughout Turkey.

You will now find a number of resorts situated throughout Turkey, that specialise in wellness and relaxation, with Turkish baths being the main attraction. If you’re looking for winter spa break, consider one of the best spa treatments on offer in the world - the Turkish bath.

Now is the perfect time to take a winter trip to Turkey, before its popularity as a winter destination grows and before prices become as costly as summer holidays to this beautiful destination. There’s so much to see and do in this cultural destination that you probably wouldn’t appreciate as much during the summer, so why not take a trip to experience the other half of Turkey this winter.

Read more:

Best places in Turkey for winter sun.

Destinations to visit in Turkey during winter.


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