Turkey has many different regions that have different climate and weather conditions. If you are planning on visiting Turkey, the best months to visit really depends on which activities and regions you want to go to. Usually, the spring and fall months are the perfect time to visit Turkey to go on tours, the temperature is nice, and the sceneries are beautiful. During the spring many trees, flowers, and tulips start to bloom while in the fall many leaves start to turn red, orange, and yellow.
What can you do in Turkey on each month?
January and February
January and February are the coldest months in Turkey. The daily average in most regions are 5C in the morning and -4C at night. However, in cities like Antalya where they have a warmer sea breeze the daily average temperature is around 14C. Some regions are cooler or warmer so make sure to check the weather forecast before packing.
These two months aren’t just the coldest months, but a lot of rainfall happens during this time. Some areas see a lot of snowfall too.
There are some advantages for visiting Turkey during the winter months like:
Less crowded – Some cities like Antalya, Izmir, Istanbul, Cappadocia, and Trabzon can be super crowded during the warmer months as they are popular tourist destinations. So, if you want to enjoy your vacation with less noise, wait time, and crowdedness, visiting Turkey in the winter may be a better option for you.
More affordable – Hotels, resorts, and maybe even plane tickets are cheaper during the winter months as traveling is less common. If you are looking to save some money but still enjoy a fun trip, you should definitely try booking a vacation during the winter.
Winter activities – If you are bored of going swimming or want to try something new, visiting Turkey in winter could be a great option for you. You can go skiing, sightseeing, go on a hot air balloon tour, visit historical places, or you could even visit the warm thermal pools in Pamukkale.
Just make sure to bring some warm clothes, a wind breaker, heavy coat, and some good winter shoes.
March and April
In March and April, the weather starts to become warmer, and in the end of March or beginning of September tulips begin to blossom so do many other trees and plants. The average temperatures are between 10-18 C depending on which city you go to. In Istanbul the temperatures are around 7C and 10C while Antalya is warmer with temperatures ranging from 8C to 18C.
The average daylight also increases making it a total of 12 hours a day, giving you more time to go sightseeing or to do other activities.
So, what can you do in Turkey in the months of March and April?
Attend festivals – In March there is the Nevruz festival (New year festival for Turks, Persians, and Kurds) and the Istanbul dance festival where performers come from different countries and regions to perform dances. In April there are tulip festivals where you can enjoy the various colors of tulips, and different designs made by the tulips as they are aligned in certain ways.
Might be more affordable – since many people travel during the summer break, coming to Turkey in March or April still may be more affordable than coming in the summer months.
Might be less crowded – as stated before, many people wait for the summer break to start before traveling, so you might be able to enjoy better weather than in the winter, but still be surrounded by less crowds than the summer.
Sometimes the weather may be unpredictable during these months, so make sure to bring warmer and cooler clothes and carry an umbrella to shield you from any sudden rainfall.
May and June
May and June is when the weather starts becoming even warmer. The Southern and coastal regions like Antalya and Bodrum are pretty hot at this point with temperatures reaching 30C. However, Istanbul and Cappadocia are cooler with temperatures between 24 C and 26 C.
What can you do during these periods?
Sightseeing – May and early June have some good temperatures, making it ideal to go walking around in the city or going sightseeing in historical places like Ephesus. It may also be less crowded than in July and August and of course much cooler.
Island-hopping – You can go island hopping or take boat rides since the weather is nice. You may even be able to swim!
Events in Cappadocia – Many events take place in mid-June in Cappadocia. So you can deep dive in these cultural events understanding more about the culture and history of the country.
With the temperatures starting to rise in June, people start going to beaches, sailing, and becoming lively. With less crowds than the peak season in July and August, but an enthusiastic environment, this time may be ideal for people who want to sightsee, enjoy a calm and relaxing vacation with less crowds, and go to the beaches in Antalya or Bodrum.
July and August
The summer months in Turkey can be pretty hot. Many people like to visit beaches and take a dip in the water to cool down and enjoy the warm waters and the hot sun. So, if you want to enjoy beautiful turquoise waters, sunbathe, and do water activities like scuba diving, snorkeling, and more, this is the time for you to visit.
The temperatures can range from 28C to 38C depending on which regions you go to. So make sure to bring hats, cool cotton clothes, and sunscreen!
So, what can you do?
Tour boats – Many travel agencies provide affordable tour boat rides which you can take. Some iconic tours include the pirate boat cruise where you spend a few hours on the boat enjoying the sun and beautiful scenery. The boat also makes 2 to 3 stops in different areas in the sea so you can jump in the water and enjoy a swim. You can also dance and have fun on the boat with friends and family.
You can also rent a private yacht and enjoy a luxurious tour in the sparkling water.
Water activities – You can do many activities during the summer months like going rafting, scuba diving, snorkeling, going on a fishing tour, going to waterparks, and visiting the Suluada island where you can enjoy the amazingly unique sceneries and go swimming. There are also a few canyons you can see and swim at, taking the opportunity to relax, unwind, and enjoy nature’s beauty.
Meeting new people – Although July and August are the most crowded months to visit Turkey making it a bit time consuming to get to places, it does make a more energetic full of life environment. You can also socialize with different people from different countries making new friends and connections around the world.
Summer can be a great time to visit Turkey if you want a lively fun atmosphere and want to do a bunch of different activities particularly water-based ones. However, it is more expensive visiting during the peak season.
September and October
Pumpkin spice season! In September and October, the weather starts to cool down after the hot summer. In coastal regions the weather is pleasant for tourists. If you don’t like walking under the hot summer sun, then exploring historical sights can be done during these months. You can also enjoy the changing colors of the nature as leaves turn different vibrant colors.
What can you do in the Autumn?
Enjoy the scenery – If you are a nature lover and love seeing the leaves turn in color, you should visit Turkey during the fall. Turkey has many different and unique landscapes which come alive with the beautiful autumn colors, giving the place a picturesque view.
Outdoor activities – since the weather is cooler you can do more vigorous activities like hiking since you won’t feel too hot making it more comfortable to enjoy these types of activities. Also, you can do other activities like going on a hot air balloon ride since it’s a little less crowded than in the summer, cutting the wait time.
Visit Wineries – A lot of farms start harvesting their grapes in late August and in September, making it the ideal time to take a wine tour and see the art of how wine is made. You can also go to some fun festivals where you can taste the wines and buy the ones you like from locals!
Just like in March and April, the weather can be all over the place. So make sure you bring clothes that suit cooler and warmer weather. Also make sure you have a windbreaker and umbrella or raincoat in case it starts raining suddenly.
November and December
If you love the winter or colder weather, November and December may be the perfect months for you to visit Turkey. The central part of Turkey is pretty cold in December. However, the coastal areas may be a little warmer. Eastern regions like the cities of Trabzon and Erzurum have more snowfall making it perfect for those looking to do some exciting winter sports.
So, what can you do in Turkey in the months of November and December?
Winter sports – Bursa, Trabzon, and a few other cities offer a variety of winter sport activities you can choose from. One of Turkey’s most famous ski resorts is in Uludag mountains. You can also snowboard or go on a snow safari to enjoy the magical winter landscapes.
selfcare – If you don’t like outdoor activities or have been very active the last few months and just want to relax, going to a Turkish Hamam or Spa can be the ideal choice for you. Turkish Hamams and Spas offer people a magnificently relaxing experience, where you can unwind, take things slow, and enjoy the king or queen like treatment.
Soul Refreshing – Rize is full of mountains and greenery, it’s the perfect place for those looking for a refreshing and relaxing vacation. The air in the mountains are super fresh, and the food there is more traditional and may be fresher than busier cities. If you want to enjoy a soul refreshing winter vacation in the forest with pearly white views, then Rize – Ayder plateau can be the perfect place for you!
Whether your visiting Turkey in the winter, summer, fall, or spring months, there is always something to do. The best months to visit depends on which activities you want to do, when you’re free, and what budget you have. So, choose the month that suits you best! And just be prepared for the weather and pack the right stuff.