Generally perceived as a summer destination, Turkey has a lot to offer the traveller who is prepared to forgo summer temperatures and Mediterranean resorts for stunning landscapes of snow-capped mountains, iced lakes and fairy chimneys dusted in white. Istanbul begins winding down in October as temperatures start to drop, giving way to winter cuisine of Salep (a cream drink served hot made from the root of wild orchids), mulled wine and steaming bowls of mercimek corba (lentil soup). The famous sites are still there but the crowds are not, so if you're prepared to rug up then this winter discovery is the perfect way to discover Turkey and its fascinating history.

Highlights

Istanbul, arguably one of the most cosmopolitan cities in the world, comes alive in winter with Salep (creamy beverage made from the root of the wild orchid), mulled wine and steaming bowls of Corba. Visit the city minus the crowds: you wont have to queue and you may just get that perfect shot of the Blue Mosque.

Visit the otherworldly landscape of Cappadocia, and maybe, just maybe, the fairy chimneys will be covered in a dust of white, the rock cut churches will be empty and the testi kebab can take the chill from your bones.

Visit Lake Cildir, the second-largest lake in eastern Anatolia. It's frozen for 7 months of the year and is a winter wonderland like no other.

Jump on the Dogu Express, the overnight train from Ankara to Erzurum and squash your nose against the window as you pass through some of the most beautiful destinations in Turkey.