Best time to visit Istanbul

Sailing in Istanbul 2024

Sailing in the Bosphorus means comfortable yachts, scenic minarets towering afar, and the pleasant company of gulls and dolphins

Best time: June–August | December–February


What a lovely sight to observe an ancient city from a yacht, accompanied by seagulls overhead and by playful dolphins alongside! Historic Istanbul, with its mosques and towering minarets, looks especially beautiful from the Bosphorus.

Sailing in Istanbul is most convenient (in terms of sunny days and winds) during the summer months of June to September. The winds lower down during season changes. However, sometimes the winds are too low in August. The winter season is also quite good for sailing—even though it is rather cold, the winds are much nicer.

Practical info

When is the ideal season to sail in Istanbul?

Summer months, June to August, and December to February are the best times to go sailing in Istanbul. Visitors can expect sunny conditions during the summer with comfortable winds. Winter sees much nicer winds, but it's quite cold with temperatures that range between 5°C-12°C. Visitors can still go sailing in winter with the right gear and equipment. Sailing during season changes might result in lower winds, so visitors should plan accordingly. Show more

What is the temperature like during winter in Istanbul?

In winter, temperatures in Istanbul range between 5°C-12°C, making it quite cold. However, the winds are much gentler, making it an ideal time for those who don't mind the low temperatures. Though it might be too cold to swim, visitors can still go sailing in winter if they have the right gear and equipment. December to February are good months to sail because the crowds are usually lighter, allowing visitors to enjoy the view from the Bosphorus. Show more

Can visitors see dolphins while sailing in Istanbul?

Yes, many visitors have spotted dolphins while sailing the Bosphorus in Istanbul. Some companies even offer expeditions specifically for dolphin watching. Though not guaranteed, if sighted, the dolphins can be seen up close and even jump around the boat. It's a unique and memorable experience that visitors can enjoy while sailing in the Bosphorus in Istanbul. Show more

What mosques can visitors see while sailing in Istanbul?

One can see several beautiful mosques while sailing in Istanbul on the Golden Horn and Bosporus waters. The most iconic ones among them are the Blue Mosque and Mecidiye Mosque. They stand high with their minarets above the shore on the European side. Visitors can also spot stunning landmarks like the Yavuz Sultan Selim Bridge and imperial palaces along the Bosphorus shoreline, like the Topkapi Palace, Dolmabahce Palace, and Beylerbeyi Palace. Show more

Where do visitors rent yachts in Istanbul?

Multiple companies offer yacht rental services in Istanbul, some of which are based in the Kabataş, Üsküdar, and Eminönü ports. Visitors can rent yachts in different sizes ranging from 8 meters to 24 meters. Most companies offer half-day, full-day, or multi-day tours, and rental prices vary according to the size and duration of the rental. Show more

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Last updated:
Authors: Olha Savych