Want to get more out of your holiday in Turkey? Why not book tickets to the many music, film, and cultural festivals taking place this summer! Since the summer season is almost in full swing, it’s time to plan your holiday season and why not do it around the great music festivals that are held at various holiday destinations. There are summer festivals in Turkey to suit all ages and styles, from rock to pop, jazz to classical, guaranteed to be held under the stars. Turkey presents a number of different festivals and events throughout the year, every year, from art and music to sports and leisure, and these take place across the country. There are so many to choose from, where are you going to go? Well, here are the top summer festivals in Turkey that try to give a taste of the country!
Best Summer Festivals and Events in Turkey
1. Open Door Architecture Festival
If you are visiting Istanbul in May (which is a good time anyway!), you should definitely take advantage of the annual Open Door Architecture Festival. Istanbul is full of the most fabulous architecture, but much of it is usually behind closed doors and inaccessible to the public. However, during the open door festival, some usually closed doors are opened and can be seen inside architecturally and historically important buildings. Open doors include the Ortakoy Mosque, located directly on the Bosphorus and built between 1854 and 1856. This mosque is a great example of Ottoman architecture.
When: May or June
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2. Chill-Out Festival
It takes place in two of the most entertaining places in Turkey; Istanbul and Bodrum, the Chill-Out Festival is a 2-day summer festival, both located next to a beach. Fans of dance, electronics, and house music will love this festival of good energy, and festival-goers will even bring their dogs. The popular summer festival in Turkey welcomed names like Christian Löffler, Nicola Cruz, and Blond: ish last year, but the program hasn’t been announced yet. There are various activities at the festival such as yoga and painting.
Where and When: Istanbul in June and Bodrum in July
3. Istanbul Music Festival
The Istanbul Music Festival is one of the city’s longest-running and most popular festivals, attracting visitors from all over the world. It celebrates its 43rd year in 2016, with a wealth of classical music in addition to opera, ballet, and traditional Turkish music. The famous summer festival in Turkey takes place in many venues in the city and often coincides with other theatrical and musical events, so usually, several things take place at the same time. In fact, the other cultural festivals in Istanbul take place for most of the summer, so even if you visit in July, you can still experience the events.
4. Istanbul Jazz Festival and Bozcaada Jazz Festival
The 26th Istanbul Jazz Festival kicks off on June 29 and runs through July 18, in various locations in Istanbul. Along with the jazz ferry on the Bosphorus and jazz music performances in the city’s parks, concerts are also held at historic Ottoman mansions such as Feriye Palace and Esma Sultan Mansion. The Bozcaada Jazz Festival, which runs from 19 to 21 July, offers a wonderful opportunity to discover this strange Aegean island in Çanakkale. Performances by leading Turkish jazz musicians at Ayazma Monastery, as well as yoga classes in the surrounding park and the picturesque boutique castle, come to life.
Where: Istanbul and Bozcaada
Visit: famous monument in Turkey
5. Kas Lycia Festival
The three-day Kas Lycia Festival is held in Kas, in southern Turkey, on the Mediterranean coast. Kas is a popular tourist destination during the summer anyway, but this most popular summer festival in Turkey is a must-visit for families looking to learn more about Turkey’s culture and heritage towards the start of the bustling summer season. In addition to opera performances, ballet, and art exhibitions around the city, you can see local and international folk dances, and combine this with days at the beach, water park, or shopping for souvenirs.
6. Oil Wrestling Championship
This may be hard to believe, but oil wrestling is actually one of the national sports in Turkey! Every year there are many oil wrestling competitions across the country and each one is very popular, attracting hundreds of competitors and thousands of spectators, but the most famous and recognized competition is in the city of Edirne, right on the Turkish border with Turkey. This particular tournament is called Kirkpinar and is steeped in history, which has been held here since 1346! Oil wrestling is a rash tournament in which men dress in short black leather pants and pour themselves into olive oil. They then wrestle, with the goal of bringing their opponent to the ground and keeping them in position. In addition to wrestling, which is quite spectacular, there are other festivities as well, such as music, dancing, and fabulous food, so this best festival in Turkey is truly a great introduction to Turkish culture!
7. Zeytinli Rock Festival
The Zeytinli Rock Festival offers the most important rock music festival experience in Turkey; camp on the beach and listen to live musical performances from morning to night. In the four days of Zeytinli Beach in Balıkesir’s Akçay, a lesser-known resort town in the Aegean, everyone in the world of rock music performs among dozens of protagonists while thousands cheer in the crowd.
Where: Zeytinli beach in Balıkesir’s Akçay
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Hope you enjoyed the brief list of the top 10 summer festivals in Turkey that offer umpteen beach sports and fabulous scenic views of the city. There are various famous spots at the mentioned Festivals of All Seasons Celebrated in Turkey which delivers many attractions. For more engaging blogs like these head on to our other blogs and ping us in the comment sections below if you hold any queries regarding the travel destinations.