Climate of Turkey
Where is the country of Turkey located? Turkey is a transcontinental country located mainly on the Anatolian Peninsula in Western Asia, with a small portion on the Balkan Peninsula in Southeast Europe. Turkey has three different climatic zones. Along the coasts there is a Mediterranean or maritime climate (type Cs according to the Köppen system ), with mild winters, warm summers and little precipitation in the summer months. The eastern part of the country has a moderate continental climate (type Df), with precipitation in all seasons, and central Turkey has a steppe climate (Bs), with relatively little precipitation on an annual basis, fairly cool winters and warm summers.
The warm climate, which prevails on the coastal areas, is the main engine behind Turkey’s tourist industry. During the rather long summer season it is almost guaranteed to be warm, sunny and dry in the Turkish resorts. Occasionally a summer shower can cause some precipitation, but in general you will rarely suffer from rainfall during a holiday on the Turkish coast in the period from June to September. The only drawback of summer in Turkey is that it can sometimes be a bit too hot. During the hottest days, the afternoon temperature can rise well above 30 degrees.
The information on this page is general climate information about Turkey. The pages with climate information per city, village or region contain extensive information for that specific place, with the corresponding figures and statistics.
The summer months in Turkey are warm to sometimes very hot. Almost every year there are reports from Turkey about heat waves with temperatures of 40 degrees and higher. The hottest region of Turkey is the east of the coast along the Mediterranean Sea. Cities such as Adana and Mersin are especially hot, with daytime temperatures in July and August reaching an average of 34 to 35 degrees.
It is also hot in summer along the popular coasts along the Gulf of Alanya and the Aegean Sea. The maximum temperatures are almost always above thirty degrees and also at night it remains warm and sultry for a long time. Only in the spring and late autumn it can cool down a bit faster in the evening and a sweater or cardigan may be necessary if you are sitting outside.
Due to the greater chance of heat during the summer months, spring and autumn are seen as the best travel time for Turkey. In particular, the months of June and September are generally experienced as pleasant.
If you think of sun, sea and sand when you think of Turkey, you are right when it comes to the summer months. In winter it can also snow and freeze in Turkey. Especially in the mountain areas it can be quite hit with low temperatures and a lot of snowfall. There are areas where the snow remains for months. This makes it possible in Turkey to strap on your skis and enjoy a winter sports holiday. On some mountain peaks, the snow remains all year round. These mountains are located in the far east of Turkey, close to the border with Armenia. At altitudes of four to more than five kilometers, temperatures rarely rise above freezing. During this period you can also take advantage of the many offers of last minute trips to Turkey.
It can be winter not only in the mountains, even the more conveniently located Istanbul is sometimes paralyzed by snowfall in the winter. The capital Ankara has to deal with this phenomenon almost every winter. Along the Mediterranean coasts, the chance of a white layer is almost negligible.
Most precipitation falls in Turkey in the winter months. In the Lycia Mountains (east of popular seaside resorts such as Antalya, Belek and Side) it is very wet from November to March. In this area about two thousand millimeters of rain falls on an annual basis, of which more than three quarters in that period.
The Central Anatolian Plateau, between the mountain ranges, has a steppe climate and it is considerably drier than in the rest of Turkey, mainly because precipitation areas due to the mountains are almost impossible to reach this part of Asian Turkey. On an annual basis, only about 300 to 450 millimeters of precipitation falls here and the relative humidity is also lower than in other parts of the country. The east and southeast have about 1200 to 1600 mm of precipitation annually, which falls largely in the form of snow in the winter months. These areas therefore belong to the wetter places in Turkey.
Precipitation in the coastal areas
Along the coasts in the south and west, precipitation can be compared with the amounts that fall in our country, about 600 to 800 mm per year. The difference with the Netherlands is that the quantities are fairly distributed over the year and that the Turkish coasts receive the most precipitation in late autumn and winter, while the summers are a lot drier. No rain for weeks in the hot summer months is more the rule than the exception in a number of places.
You will find considerably less warm coastal towns along the Black Sea. Here the thermometers in the summer months average about 25 to 30 degrees and it is also slightly cooler in the evenings than in the places along the Mediterranean Sea. If you want to book a sun holiday to a place along the Black Sea, you should take into account that the sun season is shorter here (mid-June to mid-September) than on the coasts in the south and that the amount of sunshine on an annual basis is also considerably less., especially on the eastern side of the Black Sea coast.
The figures below are based on long-term average climate statistics. The temperatures are displayed in degrees Celsius (°C).
|Maximum temperature||Minimum temperature||Hours of sunshine per day||Days of rainfall per month||Water temperature|
Best time to visit Turkey
Do you want to know when is the best time to travel to Turkey? You can determine the best time to travel to a destination based on the weather and climate. In addition, there are other factors that are not directly related to the weather and that can influence the best travel periods for a travel destination. Think, for example, of holidays or festive periods, which makes traveling more interesting or not, because daily life comes to a standstill as a result. The Republic of Turkey is one of the absolute top destinations when it comes to flying holidays to the sun. The beautiful beaches, the many hotels and the warm climate ensure that every year hundreds of thousands of Dutch people board a plane to Turkey. The main goal for many is to celebrate a well-maintained sun holiday. In the case of Turkey, it is especially the all-inclusive holidays that are very popular. This proven concept has put Turkey on the map as a tourist destination. However, Turkey is much more than all-inclusive tourism. It is a fascinating country with an ancient culture, making Turkey bursting with interesting cities, places and sights. More and more tourists are also discovering that side of this special country.
Best travel periods
If you want to travel to Turkey, you will not only end up at a crossroads of cultures and continents, you will also have to deal with a great diversity of landscapes and climates. The best time to travel to Turkey depends mainly on where you want to go and what your travel purpose is. In general you can say that the winter months are the least good travel period, with the exception of those who come to Turkey for winter sports. Summers are the warmest and sunniest, but too hot for some travel destinations. The best time to travel to Turkey is therefore late spring and early autumn. In particular, the months of May, June, September and on the southern coast also the first half of October are excellent for a holiday in Turkey.
Beach holiday in Turkey
If you belong to the large group of people who fly to Turkey for a holiday in the sun, it is best to do so in the summer season. The months of June to September are the best travel time for a beach holiday on the Turkish coast. It depends a bit on where you spend your holiday. On the west coast, where Kusadasi, Izmir, Marmaris and Bodrum are located, it is warm and sunny all summer long. With average maximum temperatures of about 30 to 33 degrees, it is generally fine there, even in the hottest months of July and August.
It is slightly warmer on the south coast, where popular seaside resorts such as Antalya, Alanya, Side and Belek are located. Therefore, the months of June and September are actually the best months for the Turkish Riviera and other areas along the southern Turkish coast. July and August are a bit warmer with an average of 32 to 36 degrees, which can make it too hot for some on days when the mercury rises further.
Rain can occur anywhere along the coast in the summer. However, the chance is so small that most holidays in this season will be completely dry.
Culture trips, tours and active holidays in Turkey
If you don’t come for the beach, but mainly want to see and experience things in Turkey, spring and autumn are the best travel periods. This allows you to avoid the cooler and wetter winters, but also the hot summers in Turkey. Rain can be a bummer from November through March, making April, May, September and October clearly the better options. On the Black Sea coast, it can be rainy in the autumn, especially in the northeast of Turkey. If you want to travel to that part, spring is preferred.
Winter Sports in Turkey
In winter there is enough snow in the mountains of Turkey to be able to do winter sports. The ski areas of Turkey are located at altitudes of up to 3000 meters. As a result, it can get cold enough to enjoy winter sports here for a longer period of time. The best time to travel for a winter sports holiday in Turkey is from January to early March. Many slopes are then snow-sure and otherwise snow cannons provide sufficient artificial snow.