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Turkey in December

London
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Turkey in December

Has anyone got suggestions for driving trip of Turkey in two weeks in late December?

We have hired a car in Istanbul and have a rough plan to do the main loop of Gallipoli, Pergamum, Ephesus, Cappadocia, Ankara but wondering if it is going to viable going right through the center in the middle of winter.

Also has anyone done any of the Lycian Way in winter? Guess it probably one of the warmer parts of the country in December? Also we are looking to do something a little different - perhaps an overnight hike or maybe even trying to get a little bit more east of cappadocia to get a more "eastern" experience. Worth it or can we get the same experience by just going off the beaten track in Western Turkey?

Any Thoughts/Comments would be greatly appreciated!

ankara
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1. Re: Turkey in December

İn December somtimes there are snow esecially around Ankara and Cappdococia. So you heve to have experinence about driving on ice and snow. ı advise to drive on daytime.

İn december warmer regions ara southern part such that Bodrum,Marmaris,Fethiye Antalya. and as 2nd Ephesus and pergamum.

I advise do not to go more esat of Cappdocia in winter season because of heavy snowing and icing on the roads.But you can go south of Cappadocia . For example if you go to Antakya you can visit some ancinent churcs and world's 2nd biggest mosaic museum. and wheater is good over there in december.

nkt
Ankara, Turkey
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2. Re: Turkey in December

Consider adding Pamukkale (famous thermal travertines and Hierapolis) and Konya (Seljuk capital and home of whirling dervishes) to your itinerary. Both of them are on the rather long way between Ephesus and Cappadoccia (about the same distance as driving from London to Loch Ness).

If, by eastern experience, you mean experiencing Turkish countryside, you could get it around Cappadocia too. Besides you have 2 weeks and many stops planned, so I don't think you'll have time for it. (FYI: If you cut Turkey in half with a N-S line, Cappadocia will still end up on the west half. When you say eastern Turkey, you are talking about huge distances to cover).

Central Anatolia (and Istanbul) might have snow in December, but it shouldn't snow in hindering amounts.

Antioch is a nice suggestion (in the post above) but it is very far too. I could suggest one night in Safranbolu, a town of preserved tradition and Ottoman architecture (maybe you'll find the eastern experience in the northwest). It is only a 90km detour from your Ankara-Istanbul drive.

Well, you have several stops, and more are suggested here, so I guess you'll need to investigate a bit about the suggestions and decide which ones to squeeze into your 2weeks.

Istanbul-Gallipoli battlefields 320km

Gallipoli Battlefields-Pergamum 223km

Pergamum-Ephesus 175km

Ephesus-Pamukkale 190km

Pamukkale-Konya 417km

Konya-Cappadocia 225km

Cappadocia-Ankara 280km

Ankara-Istanbul 453km

other possible legs of trip

Cappadocia-anywhere in Eastern Turkey >500km

Cappadocia-Antioch 478km

Ankara-Safranbolu 220km

Safranbolu-Istanbul 400km

nkt
Ankara, Turkey
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3. Re: Turkey in December

And I don't think you need to go to the coastline. It may be a little warmer, but not enough to go to the beach. It would be a better trip next summer.

London
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4. Re: Turkey in December

Thankyou Nkt and seyyahAnkara for your suggestions, I will definitely try to squeeze as much of the places you highlighted in as possible. Would it be worth spending a night in the Ala Daglar region enroute to Cappadocia?

Also another thought was going to Hattusa on the way to Safranbolu? But you were right, no time to go further east than Cappadocia.

Thanks again for any suggestions and look forward to to giving you an update after the trip as well!

London
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5. Re: Turkey in December

So the trip was a great success! After my bag not turning up on arrival we were forced to stay in Istanbul for two nights instead of going straight to Cappadocia. Apart from Istanbul, in which the roads and traffic were hellish, driving in Turkey was fine with no snow on the road.

Winter in Turkey has its advantages. Cappadocia looked absolutely amazing with the snow contrasting with the rock formations, almost no people at any of the main tourist spots and accommodation and food cheaper.

However, the day seems to go fast with the sun going down before 5pm, and there is little to do in the evenings with the tourist towns being mostly shut up.

Overall, winter in Turkey is a unique experience but I will be going back in the summer to see what the sun feels like!

Surrey, UK
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6. Re: Turkey in December

Glad you had such a good time. Would love to see Cappadocia in the snow!

All my first experiences of Istanbul were in the winter (Dec) but since discovering it in the spring and the autumn, I can't imagine it without sunlight now!!

Having said that, all through the festivities, I was wishing we were in Istanbul!!

Where did you visit?

Caro

nkt
Ankara, Turkey
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7. Re: Turkey in December

I hate Istanbul in winter, only because that's when the traffic becomes hellish.

So which towns did you end up going, which places did you like, etc.? Posts go away very fast in these forums, if I had seen your last post before the trip, I would have double-warned you that Hattushash is neither on the way to Safranbolu, nor a good idea for the winter (it is a big archaeological site over which you need to walk a bit - which might not be enjoyable in snow). It is about 180km east of Ankara, and about 240 km north of Cappadoccia.

8. Re: Turkey in December

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