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When to Go
Posted 17 June 2008 - 19:41
Spring and autumn are the best times to visit, since the climate will be perfect in İstanbul and on the Aegean and Mediterranean coasts. It will be cool in central Anatolia, but not unpleasantly so. Visiting before mid-June or after August may also help you avoid mosquitoes. The Black Sea coast is best visited between April and September; there will still be rain but not so much of it. With the exception of İstanbul, Turkey doesn't really have a winter tourism season. Places catering to backpackers usually see Anzac Day as the official start of the season; those catering to package holiday-makers get going in early May. Peak season is from July to mid-September, when most Turks take their holidays. The best time to visit eastern Turkey is from late June to September. Don't plan to venture east before May or after mid-October unless you're prepared for snow. Try to avoid travelling during Kurban Bayramı, Turkey's most popular public holiday.
The Aegean and Mediterranean coasts have mild, rainy winters and hot, dry summers. In İstanbul, summer temperatures average around 28-30°C (82-86°F); the winters are chilly but usually above freezing, with moderate rain and perhaps a dusting of snow. The Anatolian plateau is hotter in summer and very cold in winter. The Black Sea coast is mild and rainy in summer, and chilly and rainy in winter. Mountainous eastern Turkey is very cold and snowy in winter and only pleasantly warm in high summer. The southeast is dry and mild in winter and very hot in summer, with temperatures above 45° C (113° F) not unusual.