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Coastline in Fethiye

When is the best time to visit Turkey?

Although typically seen as a summer destination, you can visit Turkey all year round depending on where your interests lie. April, May, September and October are pleasantly warm so are typically the best times to visit Turkey's grand array of ancient sites.

The summer months from June through to September are very hot, with temperatures reaching the mid-30°Cs on the south coast. This is perfect for lounging by the sea or a pool, although visiting the sites can be quite uncomfortable.

The weather begins to cool off from late October. November through to March can get quite cold, especially in the interior such as Cappadocia. Here, the temperature can drop below 0°C, although the snowy landscape is lovely to behold from the comfort of an armchair in front of your hotel's fireplace. Many hotels in coastal areas close during these months. However, despite the cool temperatures these winter months can be the best time to explore the sites, as they're far less busy during this time.

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Audley Travel specialist Jennifer

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My favourite time to visit Turkey is May, when it is warm but not too hot. This is perfect for exploring sites such as Aphrodisias, Ephesus and Termessos, which involve quite a lot of walking and don’t have much shade. Flowers are in full bloom across the landscape and in the parks and gardens of Istanbul, and it is cool enough to do some hiking. It is also an excellent month for fresh fruit and vegetables; although Turkey's climate provides multiple harvests throughout the year.

John, Russia, Central Asia, & The Silk Route Specialist

Turkey Climate Guide

Destination Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Ankara 4°C 42mm 7°C 36mm 12°C 36mm 17°C 42mm 22°C 52mm 26°C 33mm 30°C 14mm 30°C 11mm 26°C 18mm 20°C 26mm 13°C 30mm 7°C 47mm
Antalya 14°C 216mm 14°C 156mm 17°C 101mm 21°C 46mm 25°C 29mm 30°C 9mm 33°C 3mm 33°C 5mm 30°C 11mm 25°C 73mm 20°C 130mm 15°C 246mm
Bodrum 14°C 168mm 14°C 117mm 16°C 79mm 20°C 38mm 25°C 23mm 30°C 11mm 33°C 3mm 32°C 7mm 29°C 18mm 24°C 53mm 19°C 94mm 15°C 165mm
Cappadocia 3°C 40mm 6°C 34mm 10°C 40mm 16°C 53mm 20°C 54mm 24°C 35mm 28°C 9mm 28°C 5mm 24°C 13mm 18°C 28mm 12°C 35mm 6°C 44mm
Istanbul 9°C 102mm 9°C 70mm 11°C 69mm 16°C 50mm 21°C 33mm 25°C 30mm 28°C 23mm 28°C 32mm 24°C 46mm 20°C 73mm 15°C 91mm 11°C 123mm
Pamukkale 10°C 97mm 12°C 80mm 15°C 62mm 20°C 47mm 25°C 36mm 30°C 20mm 33°C 14mm 33°C 9mm 29°C 17mm 23°C 40mm 17°C 62mm 12°C 105mm

Month-by-month guide to travelling in Turkey

Blue Mosque

Visiting Turkey in January - March

January, February and March are fairly cold months in Turkey, although temperatures do warm up by March. Snow is not uncommon in January and even February, especially in the interior around Cappadocia. Because of the low temperatures this is a quiet time to visit Turkey, so you are likely to have the sites more or less to yourself.

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Trip ideas and travel guides to exploring Turkey