Turkey Guide

Cappadocia fairy chimneys, Turkey

A few of Cappadocia‘s ‘fairy chimneys’

Visiting Turkey

Turkey as a whole and Istanbul in particular is lively, cheerful, full of friendly faces and cold beer, with lots to see and a well-developed tourist infrastructure.
The main downside is the busloads of package tourists disgorging in front of every worthwhile sight. In larger areas such as Istanbul and Cappadocia this doesn’t matter so much, there is space to breathe, but places like Ephesus and Pamukkale are hard to appreciate with shuffling herds endlessly circling key hotspots.

If you go as an individual, try getting to main sights very early or late (which are the best time to take pictures anyway), or consider giving these worn attractions a miss and spending more time in the best Turkish places – Istanbul, Cappadocia, Bodrum, Kas, or further afield if you have a lot of time – there are plenty more ancient sites and interesting places that are not yet on the package itinerary.

The German Foutain in Istanbul, Turkey

The German Foutain in Istanbul.

Dalyan mud baths, Turkey

Dalyan mud baths.

Mount Nemrut ancient heads, Turkey

Mount Nemrut (Nemrut daghi). Photo by Christian Koehn.

Turkey Weather

Best: May – October. For beaches June – September.
Temperatures in east Turkey near Syria have a desert climate with extreme heat in the summer and extreme cold in the winter.
The Black Sea coast, on the other hand, is generally mild and wet.
Worst: December-March when it’s cold and wet in the west and freezing in the east.

Beware Ramadan

During Ramadan many if not most Muslims will neither eat nor drink during the daytime and consequently many cafes, restaurants and even shops will open only after sunset; public eating, drinking and smoking by tourists may upset the locals. In one Muslim country the only alcohol served to us during our visit was from a teapot  into tea cups in a first class hotel.

Furthermore service personnel may be missing, careless or irritable during the daytime.
The last day of Ramadan, known as Idd al Fitr, can be a wild time with much celebrating, depending on location.

Dates depend on the full moon rising in your location so they may differ by one day depending on where you plan to be.

In 2017 Ramadan will start on the 27 May and will continue for 30 days until the 25 of June.
In 2018 Ramadan will start on the 16 May and will continue for 30 days until the 14 of June.
In 2019 Ramadan will start on the 6 May and will continue for 30 days until the 4 of June.

Olu Deniz beach, Turkey

Olu Deniz beach.