Determining exactly when to go to Turkey is largely dependent on what things to do most interest you, what weather you’re looking for, and what your Turkey vacation budget allows. The country boasts a number of very diverse ecosystems and weather patterns, with the differences between the coast and interior being quite dissimilar. Cool, rainy winters and very hot summers are a hallmark of the Aegean and Mediterranean coast.
If blazing hot sun, sand, and the sea are your main objectives, then travel to Turkey during the heat of the summer. But do be aware that certain areas, especially the resorts on the beaches of the Turquoise Coast, have fairly clearly defined high, low, and shoulder seasons. You will pay the highest peak rates during this time. Many of the hotels on the beaches actually close during the winter. Some of them reopen for the Christmas and New Year period, and they charge high season rates during that time.
Do remember that it can get extremely hot along the coast during this time. Sometimes, it is just too hot to fully enjoy sightseeing in places where there is no air conditioning. This is especially true of the archaeological sites that are close to the coast, like Ephesus. If the prime focus of your Turkey vacation is the sun, warmth, and water, you will be just fine during this period.
If skiing is what you’re looking for, travel to Turkey and its mountain regions during the northern hemisphere winter months. You will find some of the country’s best ski resorts in Bursa, located due south of Istanbul on the Sea of Marmara; in Saklikent, about 35 miles northwest of Antalya; Erzurum in the far east near the borders with Georgia and Azerbaijan; Erzincan, also in the east and where technical mountaineering is also available; and in the Elmadag Mountains near Antalya. When to go to Turkey for the best skiing conditions at these resorts is from December through April.
The city of Istanbul is a special case, as it is one of the most visited places in the world, and the international cruises in the large ocean liners have this city on their itineraries throughout the year. It is generally hot in the summer, with cold winters. When to go to Turkey is pretty much anytime if Istanbul is your primary objective. There is heating in many of the best museums during the coldest months, and air-conditioning in the summer months.
If your budget is as important as weather, then consider travel to Turkey during the shoulder seasons. This time includes the spring months of April and May and into about mid-June, and September and October. The weather is generally pleasant, children are back in school, and the attractions, like museums, archaeological sites, bazaars, and mosques are less crowded. There is great white water rafting in the Cappadocia region during the spring, and the autumn with its colorful foliage is good for hiking, cycling, and camping. When you consider all these different factors, then you can determine the best time to travel to Turkey and enjoy all the different aspects on your Turkey vacation to the fullest.