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Spring vs fall in Turkey

Looking at an RS tour of Turkey in 2019. Wondering about pros and cons of the shoulder seasons. Is one warmer? Are there interesting cultural or religious celebrations at certain times, etc...? Plus, interested in any advice from others who have done this tour.

Thanks for answering my relatively vague question!!
Kaye

Posted by
1013 posts

We went in April and they had a tulip festival in Istanbul-there were tulips in every park and road divide. The weather varied, upon arrival we needed our spring coats and gloves, a week later we walked around with no coats. I'd go for the springtime.

Posted by
6746 posts

Assuming you'll be by the coast and want to swim, the water may actually be warmer in fall. I went in mid-late October (on the Village Turkey tour, which no longer exists and which covered the southwestern coastline) and the water was perfect for swimming. As far as celebrations, a huge one is Ramadan but dates vary. There are also other celebrations that are more region-specific, so you may want to consult a travel guide for Turkey and see what's going on in the places the tour will be going to.

I've heard wonderful things about all the tulips in the Spring (April). I would love to go at that time of the year, but have only been to Turkey in summer (June) and fall (October).

Posted by
6742 posts

We were there in mid September and the weather was beautiful; friends went in October and had a lot of rain.

Posted by
16866 posts

In early spring, Cappadocia can have occasional overnight freezing temperatures and snowfall, or can have afternoon highs up to 80 degrees F. That was my experience one year (I believe in April), as well as historic info from wunderground.com. I would generally expect coastal swimming to be warmer through October than in spring, but I know I've done some in both seasons in both Greece and Turkey.

Posted by
14404 posts

Next year Ramadan is from early May to early June. I would not expect Ramadan itself to affect the tour. At the end of Ramadan, there is a huge 3-day holiday which would be June 4-7. Here's a list of the Turkish holidays in 2019. My tour included Republic Day in Ankara. It meant a slight adjustment in that day's schedule but was very interesting to see. I was there from late October to early November, and I thought the weather was perfect. Sometimes I needed a jacket, usually in the early mornings and sometimes in the evenings. I wore summer clothes most of the time. I would have worn sandals more but sturdy walking/hiking shoes are best for most days.

My advice - there's practically no time in Istanbul. Plan to spend at least a couple days there pre-tour, especially if you're coming off a long-haul flight, and/or 2-3 days post-tour. Get in good shape for lots of walking (well, that's pretty much any tour :-). The balloon ride in Cappadocia was wonderful, well worth losing half a night's sleep and a lot of $$$. If you need coffee in the morning to get you started, bring some with you. At least in Cappadocia (3N) coffee was unavailable at breakfast, but I'm sure you can get hot water if you have your own. BTW it's easier to get beer than coffee in Muslim Turkey! The typical Turk has a tiny cup of Turkish coffee once or twice a day; the ubiquitous drink is tea, very strong and sweet.

Posted by
13 posts

Thank you Chani for the info on the coffee. I had learned that Turks really drink tea, but did not know coffee could be unavailable. I'll be bringing some instant coffee packets with me to Turkey.

Posted by
14404 posts

Yes, I think that surprised a lot of the tour members :-) I have a strange sensitivity to coffee, so I never drink it. I think it was available at breakfast everywhere else.

Posted by
24 posts

We took those little packets from Starbucks. Took good care of our caffeine addictions!

Posted by
223 posts

Thanks so much for all these replies. I'm getting excited. And, I am happy to hear that hot-air balloons are available to tour members even though not a scheduled part of the tour. I will also be bringing some Starbucks Via!!!

Kaye