• 26 March 2020

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…

Pamukkale (“Cotton Castle”), the UNESCO World Heritage Site

Mild & pleasant weather

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.

Shopping at the Grand Bazaar

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.

Cool shoulder-season events

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.

In April 2017 a carpet of tulips was created for the Tulip Festival. The ‘carpet’ lay between the Hagia Sophia Museum and the Blue Mosque.
564 thousand tulips were used for the Tulip carpet!

Did you know? The cultivation of tulips originated in Turkey during the reign of the Ottoman Empire.

Hanging with the locals

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.

The Grand Bazaar becomes filled with people during peak season

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!

Questions & Comments

  1. Interested to go in October 2018,what is the price for four pax???

  2. Hi,
    I am planning to visit Istanbul and Ankara during mid April and May’19. Indian family with one 8 years old kid. Please recommend places and itinerary with your packages if any.
    We intend to continue to Armenia and Azerbaijan for 6 more days.

    Thanks in advance.
    Surya Ram

    • Guest Explorers says:

      Hi Surya,

      How fantastic that you are interested in touring Turkey with us!

      Have a look here at our amazing Turkey tour.

      I would like to notify you before hand that we only allow ages 10 and upwards on our tours.

      We hope to see you on our Turkey tour soon!

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