Turkey really has so much to offer from enchanting Istanbul, to the beautiful Mediterranean shores which make for a perfect and cheap beach holiday, there’s something for everyone. Party groups can be entertained at one of the music festivals in Bodrum, whilst the more traditional folks can enjoy the countries rich history and culture, or jump aboard a cruise for easy access to the Aegean coastline.
Gaz and I were lucky enough to be invited on a traditional Turksish Gulet courtesy of MedSea Yachts a couple of years ago and throughly enjoyed cruising the glistening waters in the Med. Now we’ve teamed up with Dealchecker to discover the the top things to do in Turkey in 2018…
Turkey experiences hot summers and cold winters with snow being a common feature. Spring and autumn, are the ideal times to visit Istanbul and the inland regions when temperatures are pleasant and the skies are clear. Istanbul’s location near the sea means it can be quite a windy city, especially in the winter. Whilst, the Aegean and Mediterranean coasts both enjoy a typical Mediterranean climate characterised by mild winters and hot summers, which makes the beach resorts of Marmaris and Kusadasi popular year-round destinations. The majority of rainfall occurs in winter along the coast so the summer months remain hot and dry, perfect for topping up that tan.
Festivals and Events
As Turkey’s cultural capital the cosmopolitan city of Istanbul is host to a number of arts festivals throughout the year while the coastal resorts are home to fun events including sand sculpture competitions and kite contests. Here’s our selection of the best.
Istanbul Film Festival
Originating in 1982 this 10-day-long event celebrates the best of national and international film with awards given to documentaries made in Turkey amongst others. It’s the largest film event held in Turkey with over 200 titles appearing in the programme. The festival takes place in April each year.
Sun Splash Festival
This music festival started in 2009 and is held in Bodrum showcasing international jazz, soul, funk and bossa music artists and DJs. Previous artists include Gilles Peterson and the festival’s location in Bodrum means it can easily be combined with a beach break. For details on more festivals like this click here.
International Sand Sculpture Festival
Beginning in 2006 this annual festival sees hundreds of sand sculptures created by sculptors from across the globe. Occupying a large area at Lara Beach in Antalya the exhibition is one of the largest sand events in the world. The theme changes each year with previous themes including wonders of the world and Hollywood films.
The Side Culture and Art Festival
Showcasing a number of world famous orchestras, musicians and dancers, this summer festival takes place in the city of Side with free, open-air concerts performed in the ruined amphitheatre and temple of Apollo.
As a predominantly Muslim country Turkey observes the Islamic holy month of Ramadan with 30 days of fasting during daylight hours and a carnival atmosphere in the evenings when people are able to eat and drink again.
Boasting two UNESCO World Heritage sites, Istanbul is situated on a peninsula surrounded by the Sea of Marmara, and is the country’s economic, cultural and historical centre.
Istanbul is the only city situated on two continents in the world. The Historic Areas of Istanbul are represented by four main areas: Sultanahmet Archaeological Park, Süleymaniye Conservation Area, Zeyrek Conservation Area and Land Walls Conservation Area. These areas differ from each other in terms of the periods and characteristics of the cultural properties that they house, and they display the urban history of Istanbul. To find out more about the specific sites to visit including Göreme National Park, the Great Mosque, The Ancient City of Troy and many more, visit the Official Travel Guide of Turkey.
Green pine tree-covered mountains, deep blue waters, miles of sandy beaches, and burning orange sunsets, are what makes Turkey one of the perfect beach destinations for 2018.
Some, like those around Marmaris, are well-known to foreign visitors and come with all the amenities a holiday-maker could ask for. Less developed options also abound, like those on the Datça Peninsula, while some, like those on the islands of Bozcaada and Gökçeada, are hugely popular with nationals but are only just getting discovered by holiday-makers from overseas.
Visit this guide from Culture Trip to the 6 Most Beautiful Beaches in Turkey and take your pick!