Thursday, December 21, 2017

Turkey, a winter wonderland

Winter is a time when visitors can experience Turkey like most travellers never do as the country offers a different kind of charm, apart form the obvious off-season benefits. 

Travellers can witness the mountains and countryside transform into a winter wonderland. One can visit Turkey’s beautiful lakes that freeze over to form amazing sites. Admire the country's ancient ruins and archeological sites, minus the crowds. And enjoy Istanbul’s winter festivals and Christmas joy from a unique winter perspective, says the Turkish Cultural and Tourism Office in Dubai.

With moderate Mediterranean weather, Turkey’s average temperature in December ranges between 8 and 12 degrees centigrade on the low side, and a conformable 16 to 18 degrees centigrade on the higher side. It’s a perfect weather to investigate Istanbul’s historical and Unesco world heritage buildings located in the Sultanahmet district bursting with colour and art, followed by shopping at the Grand Bazaar.

Visiting the city during the New Year is an extra bonus. Istanbul hosts huge fireworks displays that reflect stunning views reflected by the waters of the Bosphorus. With the city usually covered with a blanket of white snow, the streets come alive with parties, Istanbul style, that spread across neighborhoods and well into the night.

Venturing outside Istanbul during is best suited for travellers who want to visit Turkey’s most ancient Greco-Roman sites on the Mediterranean without the vast loud crowds of tourists witnessed in the summertime. In Antalya, where the climate is warmer than other regions in Turkey, tourists can enjoy its city center which remains active and vibrant with modern shopping malls and renowned nightlife.

As Turkey’s most visited historical site, Ephesus’ magnificent old theater with a capacity of over 25,000 people, can be enjoyed and appreciated to the maximum in December. Get an almost exclusive tour of the Celsus library that in ancient times held over 12,000 scrolls and manuscripts. Finally, end your historical visit by viewing the amazing mosaics of the Roman terraced houses, and the Byzantine homes built for the rich and powerful governors of the time.

Turkey has had as many as a dozen ski resorts that drift down beautifully snow-covered mountains. With more than 100 peaks that reach above 3,000 m, the most famous ski resort, of which there are more than a dozen in Turkey, one of the most popular is located south of the Sea of Marmara, in the alpine village of Uludağ. With an elevation of over 6,500 ft, Uludağin Bursa is the perfect place to combine an active lifestyle, with a relaxed and spiritual feeling of well-being.

And finally, for a genuinely authentic Christmas flavour, winter travellers can venture to visit the place where St. Nicholas lived and preached in the ancient village of Myra, now known as Demre. On St. Nicolas’ Feast Day, which happens on December 6th every year, Greek Orthodox faithful crowd Demre’s ancient basilica to pay tribute to the global icon. - TradeArabia News Service

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