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BLOG Winter Tourism In Turkey

23 January 2019 / Travel

These days, winter tourism in Turkey is more popular as travellers look to alternatives than time-honoured winter destinations like France, Switzerland, or Austria. Turkey offers excellent ski centres, many spa resorts and history packed cities perfect for winter breaks. From November to April, holidaymakers take advantage of cheaper flights and accommodation offered by Turkish destinations. Winter in Turkey is great to experience 'real' Turkey, but where should you go and what is there to do? Let's look at the best winter destinations.

Winter Tourism in Turkey


1: Vibrant Istanbul – Hub of Turkey

Napoleon Bonaparte once said, "If the Earth were a single state, Istanbul would be its capital". There is no denying that Istanbul fascinates everyone all year round. Of course, you need to wrap up warm from December to March, but accommodation in central districts is cheaper than summer, so holidaymakers grab great bargains. During winter, take advantage of fewer crowds and visit museums and attractions at ease. Drink warm salep or boza (Turkish winter drinks) and learn to play backgammon with locals. Winter is great to indulge in food, shop in bazaars and pamper yourself in traditional Turkish baths. Find out more in our Istanbul area guide.

2: Bursa and Uludag in North-West Turkey

Less than an hour from Istanbul, Bursa, the former capital of the Ottoman empire, boasts historical attractions, parks, shopping malls and amenities. Attractive and unique, Bursa also has Turkey's best thermal spas and the famed regional dishes of Iskender kebabs and pideli kofte. Bursa is also within easy reach of Uludag ski resort, 40 kilometres away. Here you can ski on 20+ slopes that are popular with wealthy Istanbul crowds and foreigners looking for an affordable snowy escape. In addition, Bursa boasts of great hotels, superb restaurants, transport links, and UNESCO attractions making this area popular to visit during winter in Turkey.


3: Erciyes and Cappadcia in Central Turkey

Just an hour from Cappadocia's fairy tale chimneys, Mount Erciyes Ski Centre, one of Turkey's most modern winter resorts, has undergone revamps over recent years with high-tech cable cars, chair lifts and first-class facilities. Erciyes lies within easy reach of the Cappadocia and Kozakli regions, well known for thermal springs and healing waters. For a trip of a lifetime, combine visits to Cappadocia, Mount Erciyes and Kozakli all in one go. All turn into magical winter wonderlands, highlighting an alternative side to Turkey's beaches and water sports.

4: Erzurum and Mount Palandoken

Mix history with snowfall in the Eastern province of Erzurum. This famous walled city dates to 4,000 BC and has been the Persians, Romans, Byzantines, Seljuks and Ottomans stomping ground. The large and modern Erzurum city offers first-class hotels and attractions at affordable prices. Tourists head for Mount Palandoken ski centre during winter, just 5 minutes away. Erzurum is easy, thanks to the airport 15 minutes drive away. This area is Turkey's most popular winter ski destination, with hotel occupancy rates hitting over 90 per cent.


5: Bolu and Kartalkaya

One of Turkey's most captivating winter destinations is north-western Bolu on the Black Sea. During summer, rolling mountains and green valley's offer peace and tranquillity to campers and walkers keen to soak in the fresh air and fabulous views. In winter, the highlands of this area in Turkey become beautifully snow-capped, making them ideal for winter sports and recreation. It is also picturesque and home to superb restaurants and facilities for great holidays. Unfortunately, charming Bolu centre lacks hotel accommodation to contend with growing demand. Still, thankfully, beautiful outskirt chalets, boutique hotels and retreats are within easy reach of ski slopes. For those wanting to ski in Turkey, ideal resorts like Kartalkaya offer accommodation and alpine and tour skiing from late December to March.

6: Winter in Mediterranean Antalya

Not everyone likes snow in winter. Some want fancy hotels with many facilities, so they head to Antalya, Turkey's most popular coastal city, with its international airport running flights year-round. Experience Antalya's best Mediterranean shopping and nightlife scenes alongside world-class hotels and restaurants. But, in Konyaalti, Lara and Belek districts, five stars all-inclusive hotels lure in foreigners looking to spend winter in Turkey. In addition, some hotels offer excellent accommodation deals, making them ideal for winter weekend getaways with some wintertime pampering.


Also About Turkey

Skiing Holidays in Turkey: Turkey offers superb skiing and snowboarding opportunities at high altitudes with excellent snow conditions throughout Anatolia, where enthusiasts will find themselves surrounded by stunning mountain ranges and alpine forests. Turkey's top winter ski resorts range from the Black Sea region to the Mediterranean slopes, and there is something for every adrenalin seeker.

Spring Festivals in Turkey: Winter tourism in Turkey is good fun, but Spring traditionally marks the beginning of another new year as flora and fauna all over the country comes to life. As the cold weather subsides and the warm sun takes over, Spring is ideal for celebrating and enjoying Mother Nature in Turkey.

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