The Best Places to Visit in Turkey During Autumn

Discover the rocky landscape of Cappadocia, Turkey
Discover the rocky landscape of Cappadocia, Turkey | © Sadik Yalcin / Alamy Stock Photo
Photo of Feride Yalav-Heckeroth
13 September 2021

September to November is the perfect time to visit Turkey because the high season has come to an end, yet swimming is still possible until mid-October. From serene beaches to beautiful forests where the leaves are turning yellow, check out these best spots for a relaxing vacation.

Want to explore Turkey’s vibrant bazaars and rocky valleys? Book TRIPS by Culture Trip’s 12-day group tour where you’ll stop at key historical sights and glide across the landscape in a hot-air balloon.


The sand dunes of Patara Beach, Turkey, are a great sight in autumn | © Ali Kabas / Alamy Stock Photo

Usually a tourist hotspot, Fethiye becomes a more laidback destination in autumn, with more locals than tourists. Hire a car, and take a road trip from Göcek to Kaş to discover all the beautiful Aegean coves and historic sights, such as Kalkan, Kabak, Patara, Xanthos, Letoon, Dalyan and Kaunos. If you’re more on the active side, hike the famous Lycian Way during the moderate autumn temperatures.


The Zinciriye Medresesi in Mardin is an impressive landmark to visit | © Sadik Yalcin / Alamy Stock Photo

You’ll feel like you’ve been transported to another world when you spend a few days among the ancient stone houses of Mardin’s old town. In autumn, you won’t likely come across any tourists and can really take in the culture, including the amazing local cuisine.


Stroll through the serene streets of Bozcaada | © agefotostock / Alamy Stock Photo

September is the perfect time to visit Bozcaada because of grape harvesting at the famous vineyards on the island. The island is also devoid of its usual summer energy and becomes a serene destination in autumn, where you can dine on excellent Aegean cuisine.


Enjoy the sunrise over Maiden’s Castle in Mersin | © Daphnusia / Alamy Stock Photo

Much overlooked, Mersin is actually surrounded by more than 108km (67mi) of natural beaches, which means there are plenty of remote beaches to discover. Mersin is also famous for its many historic sights, including the Alahan Monastery, Maiden Castle, Caves of Heaven and Hell, Soli Pompeipolis, Adamkayalar, Kanlıdivane, Anemurium Ancient City and Cleopatra’s Gate.


Explore the Doric columns of the Athena Temple in Assos | © imageBROKER / Alamy Stock Photo

A definite stop for history enthusiasts, the old village of Behramkale and the 3,000-year-old town of Assos transport visitors back to another time. Enjoy the local Aegean cuisine, and explore the historic ruins.


The traditional houses in the town centre of Cunda have balconies overlooking the streets | © Cem Canbay / Alamy Stock Photo

The beautiful island of Cunda is exceptionally calm come September and is a great place for couples to enjoy some alone time. Check into one of the many boutique hotels set within renovated historic stone houses, and enjoy amazing Aegean cuisine made with the famous local olive oil.


Fly over the fairy chimneys in Cappadocia in a hot-air balloon | © Sadik Yalcin / Alamy Stock Photo

Cappadocia, one of the most popular tourists destinations in Turkey, becomes very serene in autumn, especially when the season’s colours really highlight the mystical fairy chimneys. Make sure to book a hot-air balloon ride to really take in the view before you explore the area with a rewarding hike or bike tour.


Hike the natural landscape of the Kaçkar Mountains | © Isa Özdere / Alamy Stock Photo

Turkey’s Black Sea region is known for its stunning natural landscapes, and, in autumn, it’s exceptionally beautiful. Gaze at the Kaçkar Mountains from one of the many mountain villages in Artvin, and make sure to get active and hike around the province.


Datça is an unspoilt part of the coast | © Murat An / Alamy Stock Photo

One of the most untouched areas in the Muğla Province, Datça is a great destination for nature lovers, and, in autumn, it is especially calm. Go swimming at one of the many remote beaches, wander through Datça’s beautiful old town, and find your inner peace.


The largest island in Turkey is one of the best places to really get away from it all, especially in autumn, when the tourists are gone. Get lost among the historic villages, go swimming at one of the many beaches, and enjoy some exceptional food while you take in the last days of warm weather.

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