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About attire for Best of Turkey

I have a few questions as I start purchasing a few things for our Turkey.

How cold is the balloon ride? We are going in early September and it seems the rest of the tour will be stinking hot. I don't want to drag around heavier clothes just for that. But then I got to thinking maybe I want a good sweater for the long bus days. Maybe the a/c on the bus will be freezing?

What size/shape scarf should I have for mosques? Chris says buy there, but I don't want to spend time with a "must buy" on my mind right off the bat.

Turkish bath attire. What do women wear? A bathing suit? And if so should it be two piece so that the scrubbing of the back is easy?

Thanks for any input you can offer!

Posted by
7049 posts

I haven't taken a balloon ride in Turkey, but have in New Mexico. The liftoffs are very early in the AM and it's always much, much colder than later in the day (think of what a desert may feel like - very cool in the early mornings and hotter during the day). I would bring something warmer, although it doesn't have to be a bulky sweater. My lightweight Marmot rain jacket does the trick, even when layered on something thin (plus, it does a decent job of protecting from wind).

Any scarf that covers your hair will do, so I would try out any scraves you have at home already. You will also want to cover any exposed shoulders. Basically, something modest. When I went in June, it was blazing hot but I still wore a long-sleeve linen blouse and pants.

My Turkish baths consisted only of underwear/swimsuit bottoms.

Posted by
2267 posts

I did the tour in mid/late September. The mornings in all of the inland parts were chilly, but warmed up quickly enough—I was OK with a hoodie over my short sleeves shirts. The AM of the balloon ride was certainly the coldest, but only because it was the earliest—it was warming up by the time we were lifting off.

A scarf that is a gauzy fabric but quite large can serve as both a light covering shawl and, bunched up, a warming scarf.

Re: the heat- I ended up taking a cue from groups of Asian tourists and carried my umbrella as a parasol. The bit of shade offered welcome relief when touring in the blazing sun. Maybe I looked silly, but it was SO worth it.

Posted by
690 posts

How cold is the balloon ride? We are going in early September and it
seems the rest of the tour will be stinking hot. I don't want to drag
around heavier clothes just for that. But then I got to thinking maybe
I want a good sweater for the long bus days. Maybe the a/c on the bus
will be freezing?

I did a balloon ride on October 11, and I just looked at my pictures. Everyone was wearing a hoodie or a windbreaker. A few folks were wearing scarves, too.

What size/shape scarf should I have for mosques? Chris says buy there,
but I don't want to spend time with a "must buy" on my mind right off
the bat.

Any scarf that covers your head. I have used everything from cheap pashminas to large square scarves. For whatever it's worth, I inadvertently left my scarf in the hotel room when we visited the Hagia Sophia last year, and there was a little kiosk just outside where you could buy a semi-disposable (re-usable grocery bag material) scarf for about 50 cents.

Turkish bath attire. What do women wear? A bathing suit? And if so
should it be two piece so that the scrubbing of the back is easy?

Less is better. I have done Turkish baths twice. The first time (at our hotel in Antalya) I wore underwear bottoms. The second time (Cagloglu in Istanbul) they provided a disposable thong. Most of the time you will be covered in a towel, and the rest of the time you will be covered in bubbles. It's okay if you are more comfortable in a swimsuit, but you don't really need it.

Posted by
1543 posts

Thank you all for your good advice.

Agnes, I think my lightweight Columbia jacket might suffice for the balloon, and its not too heavy to carry. Now to decide if I want a sweater too.

Scudder, I used my umbrella as a sun parasol in Cinque Terre, and nobody batted an eye. Well, maybe a jealous eye, because it was ridiculously hot when we were there. Funny we worry so much about our clothes but when you have sore feet, get too hot, or too cold, suddenly what you look like becomes very, very secondary.

Marie, I think I'll make sure I have decent underwear for the bath. I could take a tankini, I suppose, since I plan to do some swimming both during and after the tour. The disposable thong sounds like an interesting option too. I just think I'd like more coverage than that. There's a lot to cover, lol.

Posted by
4565 posts

I've been finalizing my gear for Best of Turkey later this month, so I appreciate this post. I hadn't thought of using my raincoat as a windbreaker for the balloon ride, great suggestion! That makes me more comfortable with not bringing the long sleeve sweater whose only purpose would have been the balloon ride. I will have long sleeve tops and a packable vest for layers.