When to go to Turkey: climate, best time and months to avoid

Who I am
Joel Fulleda
@joelfulleda
SOURCES CONSULTED:

wikipedia.org, lonelyplanet.com

Author and references

Turkey is a fascinating destination, rich in history and culture. It acts as a bridge between Europe and the Middle East, between the West and the East. Its territory is very vast and includes large cities, such as Istanbul and Ankara, wonderful seaside resorts with their beautiful beaches, especially along the Turquoise Coast, and natural landscapes to take your breath away, such as Cappadocia, in the center of the country.
Thus, there are many different types of landscape, due to its great extension here you will also find many different climates. Understanding the exact period to visit a particular part of the country therefore becomes necessary.
To better organize your trip, here is all the information on when to go to Turkey: climate, best time and months to avoid.



Index

  1. Best time
  2. Period to avoid
  3. Climate and seasons
  4. User questions and comments

Best time

Covering a large surface, in Turkey you will find more climates, sometimes in turn divided into microclimates. This is because we go from the sea, to the plains and to the mountains.
In fact, there is a difference in climate between the northern coast, which faces the Black Sea, and the southern coast, which instead faces the Mediterranean Sea. Inland, however, a substantial difference in climate can be noted between the Anatolian plateau, where Ankara is located, and the south-east area, near the borders with Syria and Iraq, where there is an almost desert climate. Let's see specifically the various climates:

  1. East Thrace (Edirne): near the border with Greece and Bulgaria; slightly continental climate, with cold winters (possible snowfalls) and very hot summers; the best periods are from May to October, with temperatures between 12 ° and 27 °
  2. North Coast (Istanbul): northern area overlooking the Black Sea; climate defined as transitional Mediterranean, with cold winters and hot summers; the best time is summer, with temperatures between 18 ° and 28 ° and practically no rains, especially the months of May, June and September
  3. South Coast (Antalya, Side): western and southern area overlooking the Mediterranean Sea; Mediterranean climate, with mild winters and hot summers; the best times are spring and autumn, with temperatures from 15 ° to 27 ° and scarce rains, especially the months of May and the end of September
  4. Anatolia and Cappadocia (Ankara, Goreme): central area where the plateau is present; continental climate, with cold winters and hot summers and with a strong temperature range between night and day; the best times are late spring and early autumn, with temperatures from 15 ° to 30 ° and low rainfall, especially the months of May, June and September
  5. Arid Southeast (Diyarbakir): south-eastern area, towards the border with Syria and Iraq; almost desert climate, with quite cold winters and torrid summers, with temperatures reaching 45 °; the best times are autumn and spring, with temperatures that are not as excessive as summer ones, especially the months of April, May and the first half of October

In general, the best times are spring and autumn.
Each area has a particular climate, but in general the months of May-June and September-October are perfect to visit most of the country. These periods also correspond to the approach of the high season, but nevertheless it is possible to save money especially by booking flights and hotels in advance and avoiding bridges and holidays.

For a beach-only holiday, the best time is summer: along the north and north-east coast you will have to choose July and August, even if this is an area often subjected to western currents and rainfall throughout the year; along the west coast (Izmir, Bodrum) the best time is from June to September: along the south coast the summer is really too hot, the best months are those of June and September. Obviously, this period also corresponds to the high season.



Period to avoid

Across Turkey, the worst season is winter: in areas such as Eastern Thrace and the Anatolian Plateau the temperatures are really cold, reaching 1 ° or 2 ° or even going below zero, even snowfalls are possible; in an area with a milder climate, such as the Mediterranean type on the west coast, winter corresponds to the rainiest season.

Climate and seasons

It is not possible to speak of a single climate, each zone has different temperatures and characteristics. On the southern coasts, for example, there is a Mediterranean-type climate, while in the southeast of the country there is an almost desert climate.
In each area, however, despite the different climates, 4 different seasons are distinguishable, with different temperatures and precipitation concentrated in one period rather than another.
Let's see specifically the average temperatures and rainfall of each area.

Average Temperatures and Precipitation - East Thrace (Edirne)

The climate of Eastern Thrace, or the area near the border with Greece and Bulgaria, is continental: winters are very cold, with temperatures that can even drop below zero, and maximums that reach 13 ° in March, while summers are warm, but tempered by the wind, temperatures fluctuate on average between 15 ° in the evening and 30 ° during the day.
Spring and autumn are two intermediate seasons.
As for rainfall, these are distributed fairly evenly throughout the year, in which a total of 830 mm falls with an average of 105 days of rain.

Recommended period: from May to September, with pleasant temperatures, warmer in summer, and on average 8 to 10 rainy days per month



Average Temperatures and Precipitation - North Coast (Istanbul)

On the northern coast, the one overlooking the Black Sea, the climate it is of a transitional Mediterranean type, that is with relatively cold winters as opposed to hot and sultry summers. In winter, in January, the average temperature is 6 °, with lows of 3 ° caused by currents coming from Russia or the Balkan peninsula. In summer, temperatures are between 18 ° and 29 °.
As for rainfall, about 830 mm fall and rainy days are on average 105 in a year, autumn and winter are the wettest periods.
Furthermore, the only time to swim in the sea is summer, when temperatures are above 20 °, while in the rest of the year they are much lower.

Recommended period: summer, season with less rainfall and with temperatures between 18 ° and 29 °; the sea has an average temperature of 22 °

Average Temperatures and Precipitation - South Coast (Antalya, Side)

Along the southern coast, overlooking the Mediterranean Sea, however, the climate it is of the Mediterranean type, with mild winters, where the maximums are around 15 °, and definitely hotter summers, with temperatures that easily reach 35 °. On average, this coast is 5 ° more than the temperatures found on the northern coast overlooking the Black Sea. In autumn and spring the temperatures are, on the other hand, milder and more pleasant than in summer.
The rains are abundant and are mainly concentrated from the months of mid-October to mid-April.
The sea is also warmer than on the north coast, and the perfect time for swimming is from June to September.

Recommended period: from May to the first half of October, when temperatures are mild and pleasant and rainfall is low



Average Temperatures and Precipitation - Anatolia and Cappadocia (Ankara, Goreme)

In the vast Anatolian Plateau and in Cappadocia, the climate is mainly continental, with a strong temperature range between day and night and between summer and winter.
Winters, in fact, are cold and snowy, in January the average temperature is 1 °, but it can also drop below 0. Summer is hot and dry and, on the hottest days, the maximums can reach 38 / 40 °. The nights, however, are still cool, thanks to the strong temperature range already mentioned.
Rainfall, on the other hand, is very scarce, in fact it falls between 300 and 500 mm of rain per year, mainly concentrated in the winter season.

Recommended period: late spring and early autumn (May-October), with temperatures from 15 ° to 30 ° and low rainfall, especially the months of May, June and September

Average Temperatures and Precipitation - Arid Southeast (Diyarbakir)

In the south-eastern province, therefore the whole area that extends towards the border with Syria and Iraq, the climate it is almost desert type: almost because winters are still very cold, with temperatures that are around 0 and possible frosts and snow, but really hot and torrid summers, with temperatures that can reach up to 45 °! In fact, the temperature record recorded in Diyarbakir is -20 ° in winter and 47 ° in summer.
As for rainfall, these are scarce, about 480 mm distributed over 99 days a year, and are mainly concentrated in the cold months, while in summer they are rare.

Recommended period: autumn and spring, with temperatures not yet excessive like summer ones, especially the months of April, May and the first half of October

What to bring in your suitcase

Info

  • Capital: Ankara
  • Population: 77.695.904
  • Area: 779.452 sq. Km
  • Languages: Turkish and English
  • Currency: Turkish Lira (TRY) / Exchange rate: € 1,00 = TRY 6,50
  • Documents: for those who enter Turkey by air and sea or from the Greek and Turkish border by rail or land, you need an identity card valid for expatriation, paper or electronic, in conditions of perfect integrity and with residual validity of at least 5 months; those who enter the country by rail or by land from the borders with Georgia, Azerbaijan, the exclave of Nakhicevan, Iran, Iraq and Syria are required to have a passport with a residual validity of at least 5 months; visa not required for tourist travel for a period of less than 90 days
  • Time zone: + 1h compared to Italy
  • vaccinations: no vaccination required
  • Safety info: visit the Turkey section on the Farnesina website

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