We’re mad about the magic of shoulder season. What is shoulder season? It’s that magical time between the peak (busiest) and low (quietest) time of the year for tourism. It’s synonymous with quieter, more affordable and less, well, touristy. What’s not to love? Turkey in particular really brings it in spring and autumn. Here are a few of the reasons why we love adventuring here during shoulder season…
We bet you thought Turkey, and Istanbul in particular, was strictly a summer destination, right? You’re not too far off, of course, Turkey is fantatsic in summer. However, it becomes very hot. Sweltering more like. Which is not great if you’re standing in queues waiting to see sights like the Hagia Sophia.
In spring and autumn, this is not a problem. The months of April, May, September and October are still pleasantly warm. As such, it’s the ideal time to visit Turkey’s vast array of ancient sites like the Temple of Artemis, Mount Nemrut and more. Up until March, it can be quite nippy, especially towards the interior around Cappadocia. Happily, the snowy landscapes are gorgeous and the accommodation venues in the vicinity geared for cold weather. But from April onward, it’s all about the thaw and blossom, with spring festivals in abundance.
Speaking of spring festivals, there’s a bunch of fun stuff going on in Turkey during the shoulder season months. In springtime, this includes the International Istanbul Tulip Festival, as well as the International Film Festival. The film festival is a showcase for the region’s art-house filmmakers. As for the tulip show, it’s just utterly mesmerizing.
Did you know? The cultivation of tulips originated in Turkey during the reign of the Ottoman Empire.
The truth of the matter is that a lot of tourists in one go can be taxing. But during the shoulder season months of April, May, September and October, the locals feel comfortable to come out of their shells and enjoy the cities (without the bustling tourists). You could have your fortune read in the famous coffee dregs in Turkish, learn to cook traditional foods at home with local cooks, as well as other fun stuff like weaving, pottery and more.
In short, with the pleasant weather and fewer crowds, travelling to Turkey during the shoulder season will give you the opportunity to have a truly Turkish experience!