Sun, sea and sand are the obvious drawcards, but this is backed up by a full hand of cultural riches: ruins from ancient empires; forts and castles forged by sultans and crusaders; basilicas and mosques; plus, medieval bazaars and caravanserais. Throw in the exquisite cuisine, stunning beaches and crystal clear waters and Turkey offers travellers a truly mesmerising mix of the east and west. Explore the eclectic metropolis of Istanbul, Turkey’s largest city, which is home to the famous Topkapi Palace, or discover the rock formations in the stunning Cappadocia region. Along the rugged south coast, resorts such as Bodrum, Dalaman, Marmaris and Antalya boast ancient cities for the urban explorer and sublime beaches for those seeking ultimate relaxation.

Top Recommendations

  • Wander among the ‘fairy chimneys’ and rocky outcrops of Cappadocia, or float over them in a hot-air balloon at dawn
  • Get pummelled, soaped and rinsed on the marble in a hammam (Turkish bath)
  • Explore the wonders of Instanbul such as the interior domes of Aya Sofya and the Blue Mosque. Or haggle to your heart’s content in the city’s Grand Bazaar
  • Island hop along the Gulf of Gocek, sampling the stunning beaches here
  • The glassy blue waters of Oludeniz Lagoon and the nearby Butterfly Valley

When to Visit

The best time to visit Turkey is any time between April and October. Spring and autumn are pleasantly warm so perfect for exploring Turkey’s collection of ancient sites. The months of June to September are very hot with temperatures reaching the mid-thirties; ideal for those wanting to relax by basking in the sun by the beach or pool.

Average monthly high and low temperatures, plus average monthly rainfall and days with rain can be seen below for Istanbul & Antalya.