Although the conditions of winter intimidate people, there are places in Türkiye that will turn those cold, gloomy conditions into unforgettable experiences. So let’s take a look at Türkiye’s winter routes where you can find a wonderful combo of natural beauty, historical sites, calmness and peace
The European continent entered the winter season as of December, and the cold weather has already started to show its face. Even though the misty weather of winter and the gray color of the sky make people feel melancholy, the flaky snow can revive the childlike spirit of people in some places.
Although traveling in this season is not a good option for some, there is no such thing as seasonal limitations for travel enthusiasts, and there are some places that are much more unique to see in winter. Although it is nice to have a vacation or a touristic trip in Türkiye in every season, some destinations are must-sees during Türkiye’s beautiful winter. So, let’s see where you can experience the serenity of the winter season, rest your soul, and witness the wonderful snowy landscapes that host different beauty in all four seasons.
Kars and Eastern Express
Traveling to Kars with the Eastern Express, which has been very popular lately, is one of the must-do winter routes in Türkiye. Wonderful views will be waiting for you on your 24-hour train journey from the west to east of Türkiye with the Eastern Express. When you reach Kars, you can see the frozen Çıldır Lake and visit the Ani ruins.
Those who are interested in skiing can also do so by adding Sarıkamış to their route.
Speaking of train travel, you can also travel by train with the Van Lake Express as an alternative to the Eastern Express. You can come to Tatvan and cross to Lake Van by this train, which travels on the route from Ankara to Tatvan and back to Ankara. After breakfast on the shore of Lake Van, you can visit Van’s picturesque city and also Akdamar Island. On Akdamar Island, the second largest island of Lake Van, you can see Akdamar Church and the Surp Cross Armenian Church, which has a history of 1,000 years.
Whether you want to go for a relaxing walk or just rest by the warmth of a fire while watching the dazzling snow, a great option for you is Sapanca.
Sapanca and its namesake lake, which have recently become very popular with their different concept lake houses and accommodation options, are one of the best routes in the winter season. In Sapanca, which offers different accommodation options with private, tiny houses with heated pools, bungalow houses or houses in the form of transparent glass spheres, you can embrace winter while immersed in nature, enjoying a swim in the warm pool while watching the snow slowly float down around you.
Uludağ, located in Bursa, which is about three hours away from Istanbul in the Marmara region, is a frequent destination for ski enthusiasts, especially in the winter season. Even if you don’t ski, you can stay in the facilities here, enjoy the view and enjoy the thermal options. You can look out over the unique Uludağ landscape at the summit, which you can access by cable car.
In Uludağ, there are also personalized accommodation options in houses featuring different concepts, an especially popular trend lately. You can also visit the historical city of Bursa before climbing Uludağ and try the famous Iskender kebab and famous Bursa candied chestnuts.
If you want to travel inside a postcard, come to Lake Abant. I recommend you stay a few days by staying in its facilities, where you can capture postcard-like scenes that will always be different, even if you take a thousand photos.
In Abant, besides enjoying nature, you can spend your time on nature walks, horseback riding, cycling or engaging in activities that can be done in the snow. While at Lake Abant, you should also stop by the uniquely beautiful Gölcük National Park, which is a favorite route of this region.
You can reach Lake Abant and Gölcük National Park in approximately three to four hours from Istanbul and 2 1/2 hours from Ankara.
Since these two places are in Bolu, you can kill two birds with one stone. These two destinations will leave you fascinated by their landscapes and are among Türkiye’s favorite routes in winter.
Yedigöller, one of Türkiye’s top national parks, consists of seven lakes, as the name suggests. The lakes, namely Nazlıgöl, Kurugöl, Büyükgöl, Küçükgöl, Sazlıgöl, Seringöl and Incegöl, are all located in a space of 1.5 square kilometers. You can take nature walks here and camp in the campsites depending on the weather conditions. For those who do not want to camp, there are great hotel options and lake houses. Although the name Yedigöller is synonymous with autumn, it also offers wonderful views in the winter season.
Karabük’s Safranbolu, which is especially famous for its houses, is also on the UNESCO World Heritage List. With the same type of dazzling historical wooden houses, cute streets and its beautiful bazaar, this town will offer you wonderful views. If you come to Safranbolu, which takes its name from the precious saffron flower that grows here, you should definitely stay at least one night in one of the mansion-style hotels. Don’t forget to eat the famous Safranbolu Turkish delight along with Turkish coffee.
The Porsuk River runs through Eskişehir, which has been widely modernized in recent years. The river adds a completely different atmosphere to the city when the snow falls in winter months, and the bridges spanning it give the city the atmosphere of a central European town. There are many places to explore in Eskişehir with its museums, lively streets, cafes by the river, Odunpazarı, historical buildings and cobblestone pavements.
Cappadocia, visited by thousands of tourists in all four seasons, invites you to experience fairy tales in winter. In a region with different geography and landforms, it hosts completely unique landscapes when the snow falls. It is quite exciting to see this whole geography blanketed in white via hot air balloon tours you can take in Cappadocia. The one-of-a-kind geography is truly a photographer’s paradise.
You can also stay in historical mansions and houses built into natural cavities and rocks, accompanied by wonderful views. You can enjoy the heated pool while it snows on the terraces of the stone houses built into the rocks.
In Türkiye, which is wonderful in all four seasons, you can witness the most beautiful shades of blue and green in magnificent bays in summer, and you can be the hero of a fairy tale in winter with wonderful snow views and beautiful accommodation options in completely different routes.