Turkey: The Perks of Traveling in Winter

Part 1

Off We Go to Turkey! … in Winter

I have always wanted to visit Turkey. That one picture from National Geographic showcasing hot air balloons soaring above the lunar landscape of Cappadocia was enough to put Turkey on my bucket list. Well, that was Cappadocia, but honestly I was not sure what Istanbul or any other part of Turkey had to offer. I went on the trip and it was just magical that every single destinations in my Turkish itinerary equally deliver unforgettable experience in their own way. My only regret from this trip: IT WAS TOO SHORT! 🙂

I purchased the ticket on January 2nd 2015 (yep remember the date by heart!), only 40 days before the departure. I was so lucky to find out that a major gulf airlines were having what so called a “New Year Sale” at that time. Seizing the moment, I checked on the ticket and there it was: a half-price round ticket from Kuala Lumpur to Istanbul! Kuala Lumpur airport is my home-base for almost all of my trips rather than Jakarta despite the fact that I am Indonesian. Getting to KL is always cheaper than getting to JKT from where I live: Pekanbaru, Riau.

The Geek Tip: the New Year can be the right time to purchase tickets! Go check on the airlines website for possible promo especially on that time. Good Luck!

I planned this trip with my 2 girl friends. Here is the situation: we are a party of three about to have 7 days to explore Turkey… in winter time! Off course I have heard that the best time to visit is in Spring/ Summer… but hey, I got the cheap ticket in Winter, so why don’t I just give it a try! I crossed my finger only for one thing: the hot air balloon ride in Cappadocia! I read that the chance of having a hot air balloon flight will be thinner in winter time. Well, that’s the only one thing uncertain and only a tiny part of our trip so… I took the chance.

The Geek Tip: visiting Turkey in Winter can be a great deal! The perks of traveling in winter time including lower prices in accommodation and less crowded tourist attraction. I savored the last so very much! It was quite easy to take empty picture of the beautiful buildings and ruins. I’ll show you one example later on!

The itinerary for the trip was what I like to call a Turkish highlight. 7 days with 3 cities as our pit-stops: Göreme, Selçuk and last but not least Istanbul. Göreme was all about the lunar landscape of Cappadocia, as a geoscientist this will be an exciting place to discuss geology! Selçuk was the gate to Ephesus and Pamukkale. Visiting Pamukkale, which is literally meaning the cotton-castle, would need a 3 hours drive to Denizli from Selçuk. 3 hours would just pass by as the scenery was just magnificent! And finally in Istanbul the plan was just to hang around Sultanahmet area and hop-on a cruise along the Bosphorus Strait plus… shopping in Grand Bazaar! The plan was to spend 1.5 days in every destinations as we had  the evening of the second day to get to the next city.

The Geek Tip: I am a sucker for road-trip, believe me! But, if you have only 7 days to explore a country as big as Turkey, flying from one city to another is highly recommended. There are options for budget airlines to choose for and they do have that low price!

Here are the highlight of the trip in photos!

The Fairy Chimneys of Cappadocia covered in Snow
The Fairy Chimneys of Cappadocia covered in Snow
Visiting Ephesus in the beautiful city of present day Selçuk
Visiting Ephesus in the beautiful city of present day Selçuk
Cruising the Bosphorus Strait in a warm sunny day!
Cruising the Bosphorus Strait in a warm sunny day!

3 Comments Add yours

  1. ropi says:

    Hi, thanks for sharing your nice post. I plan to visit the same cities you visited in next spring around 7-8 days. Any recommendation on original cave experience in goreme?



    1. chekaharmen says:

      Hi Ropi! I assume what you meant by “cave experience” is the experience of staying in the cave house. I found the place where I stayed: The Dorm Cave gave us the experience we wanted in our price range. It’s owned by this group http://www.travellerscave.com/ try to check out their web as they listed various types of cave house! Have a great time planning! I believe you will enjoy Turkey! Cheers, Che.


    2. ropi says:

      Hi Che,

      thanks for your quick reply. Your assumption is right. when I looked at some hotel booking sites I wondered which one is original cave and which one is stone (man-made) room. Some room mentioned a cave type room but from the picture it seems like stone room. Some has clear vision as original caves but unfortunately the price is beyond my budget.

      I made booking through a**** and Boo****, so far had canceled 2 times and still not convinced yet.

      other thing. I have no plan to visit Konya, found ticket for attending whirling dervishes ceremony in Goreme is bit more expensive than in istanbul. what do you think?

      salam dari condet (jkt).


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