Many people know that the best time for a beach holiday in Antalya is from May to October. April and November are also wonderful months for a relaxing vacation as the water and air temperatures are quite high. But what about visiting Antalya in winter?
Is it a good idea to travel to Antalya in December, January, or February?
I am answering this question below in this post together with many others including a quick Antalya winter weather guide and things to do for couples and families with kids.
I lived in Antalya throughout winter and believe it is a great season for those who look for winter sun in Europe and want to have a good time in Turkey. With last year’s increase in the number of flights in winter to Antalya Airport from different European cities, it is also easy to reach Antalya city on any occasion. Would you like to learn more about this cheap winter destination? Then scroll down and find out!
Quick Main Tips for a Winter Trip to Antalya
Planning your trip to Antalya in winter last minute? If yes, here are some top tours, hotels, and tips!
Great Tours & Excursions in Antalya to Join from December to February
- Small Group Electric Bike Tour – for first-time visitors to Antalya & off the beaten path
- Ancient Cities Day Tour – explore the routes followed by Alexander the Great
- Antalya City Tour – comprehensive tour of historical & cultural sights with cable car
- Land of Legends Theme Park – all-day access. Great for families and couples on a longer visit
Good Hotels in Antalya for Winter Holidays
- Rixos Downtown – all-inclusive in the center of Antalya with the Land of Legends Access
- Swandor Hotel & Resort – all-inclusive hotel in Lara that resembles Topkapi Palace
- Lara Barut Collection – ultra all-inclusive in Lara
- Casa Sur – boutique hotel near Antalya Old Town (perfect for sightseeing and tours!)
Other Useful Resources
What Does Antalya Look Like in Winter
If you ever visited Antalya from April to October, when you return in winter you will not recognize the city. Starting in November, the flow of tourists to the region decreases and noisy Antalya becomes very quiet, acquiring a somewhat lazy, pleasant semi-sleep state.
Locals sit in cafes and chat while slowly enjoying fragrant Turkish coffee or hot, warming saleb, a sweetish tapioca drink that looks like thick custard. It is a very popular traditional drink to have in Antalya and entire Turkey in winter.
And yet, life never stops completely in this city. Antalya is not like Fethiye, Dalyan, or even Bodrum where things get very quiet. Antalya is a large city where the pace of life stays the same, although the flow of tourists is declining.
Shops stay open as in summer, it is as easy to rent a car or bike (however, to rent a car in Antalya is even easier in winter), tour guides will gladly organize fishing trips, a shopping tour to the leather factory, or any excursion you may think of.
Nightlife from late autumn to the beginning of spring is not that vibrant, but you can easily find a club, disco bar, or lounge which will be open after midnight.
So if I could summarize and make it short, I’d say that visiting Antalya in winter is pretty much the same as in summer with that difference that the sea is colder and when you go sightseeing, you don’t have to stand in long lines and suffer from the scorching heat.
Antalya Winter Weather Quick Info
Antalya Weather in December
Is Antalya warm in December?
Yes, Antalya is relatively warm in December, in fact on some days (especially in the first week of the month) it can even get somewhat hot. Not as hot as in summer but as for winter, it gets hot.
One day the outside temperature may jump up to +20C degrees or even higher, then the next day it can drop down to +10C. Although more often, of course, the temperature during the day is about +15+20C degrees, and at night it drops to +6C+8C.
On average the sun shines often in Antalya in December. Statistically, you might get up to 21 clear days in a month, but the weather is unpredictable. Sometimes the winter monsoon may bring heavy rain that can last 3-4 days. The average air humidity is 73%.
Even though Antalya is surrounded by mountains from all sides that protect the city from most cold winds, they still blow quite frequently in December. And because of the winds, you may suddenly feel chilly when being out in a t-shirt on a very warm day.
January Weather in Antalya
Weather in Antalya in January is in some ways similar to December weather but much more unpredictable. Overall, January is an unstable winter month and one of the rainiest and wettest months of the year. Strong cold winds often descend from the mountains sometimes turning into storms.
Clear days are followed by cloudy and rainy days. You may be having a clear sunny morning, enjoying the warmth outside and a nice cocktail, then all of a sudden you get clouds and rain. And this goes both ways.
Daytime air temperature ranges from +10C to +20C degrees, at nighttime between +9C to +17C. Water temperature is +18C degrees. There are no frosts in January as no stable snow cover. The last time it was snowing in Antalya was in January 1993 but that was more of an anomaly rather than the norm.
Weather in Antalya in February
How hot is Antalya in February? Well, it is not hot at all. Many days, especially those in the second part of the month, are warm and sunny but never hot really.
In the first half of February, winter weather is not very different than in January. It is often cloudy, humid, and rather windy. The air temperature during the day stays around the same +13C+15C degrees.
But in the second half of February, you start getting the breath of spring. With the second part of the month, the number of rainy days reduces and warmth comes. The air temperature during the day is increasing up to +20C degrees and locals start putting on light outfits.
However, don’t be fooled by such a nice picture, because the weather is still unstable and your wardrobe should include relatively warm clothes, especially since the evenings and nights are still cool (+5+10C degrees). The water temperature in the Mediterranean Sea in February is only +16C and few people swim at this time.
Common Questions About Winter Travel in Antalya
Is winter a good time to visit Antalya?
Depending on the goal, of course, and what you look to get from vacation.
If you are looking for a solely hot country to travel to in winter, Antalya even though one of the warmest winter destinations in Turkey, is not a good choice for you. The weather for the most part is sunny but it is not hot.
The city and its province offer excellent high-quality service, wonderfully well-thought-out tourist infrastructure, relaxing atmosphere, and the widest excursion program. But you should remember that the weather will be more like in autumn (until about the end of January) and then more like spring.
Overall, the mildness of the climate and excellent weather of Antalya make this beautiful Turkish city a wonderful destination for winter travel. While small coastal towns become very quiet from November to April, life in Antalya has the same pace.
Because the city itself is not only a beach destination as many mistakenly believe. Antalya is surrounded by beautiful nature, offers many different things to do together with scenic routes in all directions, and has many benefits of visiting it outside the tourist season.
Even if you can’t hit the beach, you can still go on one of the fabulous day trips in the region, visit ancient towns, do shopping (which Turkey is famous for), learn the history on walking tours in the old town, spend time in local amusement parks, and have an adventure hiking the Lycian trail. In winter, boat tours are also available for tourists, so you can cruise around just without swimming in the sea.
I am personally convinced that winter is the best season for any type of travel to Antalya besides the beach vacation. But even then, you can choose a hotel with a heated pool to splash around a bit.
How many days to spend in Antalya during a winter trip?
Are you coming to stay in the all-inclusive hotel or to tour the city? Is Antalya your main destination or do you want to add it to your winter itinerary in Turkey while visiting many cities?
If you are touring the country, I’d recommend you devote 3 – 4 days in wintertime to Antalya. This is enough time to spend in the old town, see the beautiful areas of the city and visit museums of your interest.
If you are flying to Antalya city to explore the Antalya province, definitely plan more time. 3-4 days is not enough. 1st and last day will be set for arrival and departure, so you’ll have full 2 days for travel which is definitely not enough, especially if you want to go to Turkish villages in the area, possibly travel to Pamukkale, Cappadocia, or one of the hot springs nearby.
For independent travel with tours and road trips, you’d want to book at least a week in Antalya in winter. It will be enough time to combine city explorations with time at the hotel (if all-inclusive) and other towns in Antalya province.
Can You Swim in Antalya in December?
By December, the sea in Antalya cools down. At this time the water temperature is usually not higher than +19С, but sometimes it can drop to +11С due to unexpected sea storms that bring cold currents. Considering the air temperature and strong wind, few dare to swim in the sea.
Although some of my friends who are from Scandinavia say that the temperature is perfect enough for swimming as that’s the temperature of the water of the lake by their house where they swim in summer. So I guess it all depends.
If you are coming from the south, swimming in Antalya in December will be too cold for you. And then if you are coming from the north and are used to colder temperatures, the seawater will be refreshing but still comfortable to swim in.
Despite the water temperatures, you will still find people on the beach on a clear day. Not necessarily swimming but sunbathing and playing outside. In December there are no problems with sunbeds as you will always find free ones.
Does Antalya Get Busy in December?
Despite the fact that winter is a low season, December in Antalya can actually get quite busy but only towards the holidays. Until then, the city stays at its normal low-season pace.
Everything is still open but without crowds. And I would say that from around December 23rd Antalya starts to show its own Christmas spirit, although the country doesn’t celebrate this holiday.
Despite the fact that it hasn’t snowed in Antalya since 1993 (which was a unique occurrence on its own), this city still attracts tourists that want to spend Christmas or New Year there. A lot of people from eastern Europe as well as Germany and England flock to Antalya as a winter sun destination in Europe to spend the holiday season there.
So yes, around holidays, it gets pretty busy there.
Also, there is a large expat community in Antalya, especially in the Lara Beach district. With families and/or friends of expats who come to visit around the same time, streets become more crowded.
What to pack for the winter trip to Antalya?
During a winter trip to Antalya, the handiest clothes will be jeans, lightly insulated jackets that protect from the rain, sweaters, T-shirts, caps, boots, or sports shoes. Umbrella may be also useful if you plan to explore on your own.
Also, don’t forget to pack clothes and shoes for the pool area at the hotel (if you choose hotel with a heated pool).
Does it rain a lot from December to February in Antalya?
Antalya is one of the rare regions where you can get on average around 300 sunny days in a year. The majority of precipitation falls during the winter months, leaving some rainy days for spring and fall and almost none for the summertime.
January is usually the wettest month of the year. Although even then it rarely just rains non-stop like let’s say in the Balkans (Montenegro from December to February gets a lot of rain, sometimes so much that you can’t even go outside for days).
Antalya is not like that. Yes, it can pour for a few hours in January but then the rain stops. It is common for gray cloudy skies to be followed by rain, then change to blue and back to gray again.
When thinking to come to Antalya in winter, keep in mind that there are typically more sunny days in winter than rainy ones. So don’t let it stop you from planning a perfect vacation in Antalya.
Where can you find snow in the winter months in Antalya?
Saklikent Ski Resort is probably the first place that comes to mind. Despite the fact that it is only 50 kilometers from the center of Antalya, Saklikent gets covered with snow every winter as it is located on a mountain at an altitude of 2,550 meters above sea level. Only after spending an hour on the road from Antalya, you can plunge into a completely different world.
At this time, Saklikent is a real winter fairy tale. Everything around is white, the snow lies in even layers and the air is frosty. It can snow quite a lot there and provide a thickness of fifty to one hundred centimeters of snow.
Saklikent Ski Resort gives a great opportunity to combine summer and winter time in one day. Just one hour on the bus or in a car and you will find yourself in the center of real winter.
Things to Know Before Booking a Hotel in Winter in Antalya
Many hotels in Antalya are open all year round. In the “low” season which goes from November to March, they somewhat change their “specialization” by going from summer beach holidays to winter packages that concentrate more on relaxation and recovery.
This means that hotels pay more attention to spa and wellness procedures and offer special programs for those who want to get rid of stress, lose weight, and receive rejuvenation and beauty treatments.
Prices for winter stays in Antalya are very affordable. Due to a low number of guests luxurious five-star resorts sell their rooms and all-inclusive packages at the prices of three-star hotels. Moreover, employees often pay more attention to each tourist during this season.
Large all-inclusive hotels just before Christmas kit out receptions and lobbies with décor and provide non-stop entertainment while guests can enjoy all the facilities without the queues.
When choosing a hotel for the winter stay, do not limit yourself to the city of Antalya, look for properties throughout the entire province of the same name.
Kemer, Goynuk, Camyuva west of Antalya, Belek and Alanya to the east offer inexpensive all-inclusive packages with enough winter attractions, shops and shopping centers in close proximity. Public transport between each of them and Antalya also runs well.
If you want peace and solitude, take a look at the Gazipasa or Kas districts. While many hotels there close until spring, some bed & breakfasts are open and offer very quiet stays.
Things to Do in Antalya in Winter
Go for a Day Walk Around the City
Winter is a good time for long walks in Antalya. One of the days is worth devoting to walks in the old city Kaleci where you can see the signs of different eras – from the ancient Roman walls, the graceful medieval minaret of the Yivly minaret mosque, the Kale tower built already in modern times and the Mehmet Pasha mosque.
A lot of Antalya attractions are concentrated near the old center, so you can really spend the whole day there. And then in the evening head to the massive round Roman tower of Hıdırlık Kulesi to get the most beautiful view of the sunset sky.
Don’t like walking much? Throughout the entire city of Antalya and beyond, there are flat paths laid along the water’s edge and beaches. They are ideal for running and cycling. Rent a bike (at the city bike station, at your hotel, or private rental shop) and cruise around.
Biking is one of the best things to do in Antalya in winter as it opens up this city from a totally different perspective!
Visit One of the Famous Antalya Waterfalls
Another day on your Antalya vacation is worth devoting to nature. Antalya province boasts a very beautiful nature which includes stunning waterfalls scattered throughout the region.
There are around 10 waterfalls in total, big and small, that create fabulous landscapes and offer a relaxing atmosphere together with freshness. While you won’t be able to see them all, at least visit 2 or 3 which are among the main attractions in Antalya.
In the northeast of the city, there is an Upper Duden Waterfall with a large beautiful park. Reach this wonder of nature along the forest path, go down to the cave at its foot, and admire the marvelous rainbow that appears in sparkling jets.
Lower Duden is another waterfall worth a visit. It is situated in a very convenient location by the sea with the park surrounding it. It is a great starting point where to start exploring Lara neighborhood, where to have a meal with a sea view, and where to take a lot of beautiful photos.
Other iconic waterfalls in Antalya are Kurşunlu, Uçansu, and Kocaçay falls.
Plan a Trip to One of the Ancient Cities in the Region
Antalya is rich in monuments of ancient times and winter is the best time to visit them. Among all the monuments, the most famous ones are ancient cities that are scattered around the entire province.
Only in the vicinity of Antalya, there are more than 30 ancient cities! Get ready for the fact that you won’t be able to see even a third of them in one vacation, so it is better to plan a trip and pick those cities that interest you most, either in the east of Antalya or in the west.
The most interesting ancient cities in Antalya province are Perge, Aspendos, Side, Alanya, Phaselis, Olympos, Myra, Patara, and Xanthos. In the North of Antalya, Termessos and Sagalassos are other cities that deserve attention.
If looking to go with a guide, the most popular tour includes a visit to Perge, Aspendos, and Side ancient cities. But you can also go there on your own and pay for a quick tour on spot.
Include a Couple of Museums in Your Cultural Program
Antalya has a rich historical heritage in cultural terms. Besides ancient cities and monuments, hundreds of years old sites, there are also quite interesting museums which have a unique heritage.
In Ataturk’s museum exposition dedicated to the famous leader is open in an old Ottoman house, where the ruler stayed during his trips along the coast. Visitors can see Mustafa Kemal’s personal belongings, documents and photographs and can hear stories about his life and events of the last century.
Another museum that is definitely worth a visit is Antalya Archeology Museum.
For me personally, Antalya Archeology Museum is my favorite one. It is one of the most important museums in Turkey as a whole and contains the richest collections of Antalya and Turkey.
This museum shows artifacts from such ancient cities as Lycia, Pamphylia, and Pisidia, exhibits a 2,000-year-old sarcophagus of Hercules, has 14 exhibition halls, open-air galleries, and a green garden. Its halls allow you to get acquainted with various aspects of the history and culture of Turkey and the development of human civilization in general.
Get to Know Local Music
Did you know that Antalya has an opera house where you can see ballets and operas on a regular basis and visit concerts on some days of the week?
Most likely, on summer evenings you will not be really up for it because you’ll want to spend extra time on the beach or do summer activities. But winter is a perfect season to get acquainted with the local musical art.
Besides operas and ballets, you can also go to one of the lounges or restaurants in Antalya in winter that offer live music and various performances. For example, İva Gastrobar & Sushi restaurant offers dishes of Japanese cuisine with mini live concerts from Turkish musicians in the background.
Other places that I like are Famous Kitchen Antalya near Kaleci (bar with live music) and Karaf Bistro-Wine House in Kaleci (where you can sip your wine and enjoy live music in a carefully decorated historical building.
Felicita Restaurant in Muratpasa neighborhood on Friday evenings offers amazing live Jazz music and Simurg Cafe & Bar in the center of Kaleci at weekends plays live music, generally Turkish slow pop, old popular songs, Blues, jazz, and sometimes classic rock.
Another thing that you can do on one winter evening is to watch Aspendos of Anatolian Music & Dance Show. It is very popular among tourists because this is one of the fastest dances in the world on the world’s most spectacular arena.
Hit the Snowy Slopes in Antalya Mountains
If you are visiting Antalya on a short vacation from a country with harsh winters, most likely you won’t be missing cold and snow. But in case you actually do want to see snow or go skiing or snowboarding, just an hour’s drive from the center of Antalya to Saklikent will bring you to an altitude of more than 2000 meters.
Saklikent, a small winter resort in Turkey with a ski center on the slopes of Taurus mountains, has everything you need for an active winter vacation.
You’ll be able to find there ski gear for rent, lifts, 2 medium-level slopes with a total length of about 6 kilometers, restaurants where you can take a break and admire the scenery, and a ski school for beginners and those who want to improve their skills.
But even if you don’t plan to ski, a scenic drive from Antalya to Saklikent will bring you through the area which gets covered with snow in winter. You can really sunbathe in the morning on the beach and in the afternoon drive to snowy mountains and experience real winter. Just don’t forget to put snow chains on your tires.
What to Do in Antalya in Winter With Kids
If you are visiting Antalya in winter with kids, there are also plenty of things to do on a vacation for little travelers.
First of all, let me mention that many all-inclusive hotels have a kid zone and even some entertainment that is available for children during winter months.
But besides the hotel program, you can take your family to see the underwater world at Antalya Aquarium, have fun in the amusement park the Land of Legends on Luna Park, visit the zoo of Antalya or interactive Dinopark, or head to Antalya Toy Museum with 3000 toys.
The zoo is one of the best in Turkey where hundreds of different animals live in spacious aviaries almost in natural conditions, from alligators and tigers to pelicans and flamingos. If you have time, also go for a walk in the nearby picturesque Kent Orman Park. It has very lovely views of Antalya and nice Turkish restaurants.
More Winter Travel Inspiration
Are you looking for more winter travel inspiration around Turkey and beyond? Here are a few more ideas:
- Guide to Turkey in December – weather, activities & my winter travel tips
- Visiting Turkey in January – what is it like & should you visit?
- Cappadocia in winter – how to plan your perfect winter holiday
- Winter travel to Istanbul – everything you need to know before you go
- Madrid in Winter – one of the best cities to visit in Spain in winter
- Visiting Cyprus in Winter – 8 Fabulous Things to Do
- Ukraine in Winter Travel Guide – find out what Ukrainian winters are like