Should You Visit Antalya in Winter? Yes, and Here is Why
If you ask us if you should visit Antalya in winter, our answer is a firm yes. While the smaller coastal resorts scale down from November to April, life in the city centre still carries on. Such is its lure, many Turks and expats living in Turkey travel there to celebrate Christmas and New Year. That is a worthy testament.
However, many more benefits to visiting outside the regular tourism season await you. Antalya is Turkey’s second most popular holiday destination. While some say this is because of its beautiful beaches, some of which rank as Turkey’s best, we say diversity is its core strength. Tourism accommodates everyone regardless of age and such is the range of things to do, it is worth visiting during any month. If you still need more convincing though, here are our reasons to put it on your travel bucket list.
Reasons to Visit Antalya in Winter
1: Fewer Crowds
Think about fewer crowds and queuing everywhere, from the airport to your hotel reception, to catching local buses and eating out. Fewer crowds mean swift, quick, and efficient service no matter where you go. We also like to visit local landmarks and tourist attractions during winter because we enjoy them at our leisure while avoiding the summer hustle and bustle.
2: Save Money
Visit from July to September and hotels charge premium rates because it is the height of the tourism season. But the swing in-season rates benefit you during winter when hotels sell their rooms at bargain prices. This also applies to restaurants and shops who have exclusive deals to attract customers during these months.
3: Antalya’s Gorgeous Weather
Antalya beats places like Istanbul and the Aegean coast during winter because its different climate is a few degrees warmer. What does this mean? Well, there are more days to swim in the sea, enjoy cooler evenings and get out exploring. Think 300 days of sunshine a year.
4: Get There Via the Airport
Antalya Airport is Turkey’s number one touristic air travel hub. Open all year round; it still receives flights from places like Germany, the UK and Russia. Holding many awards for efficiency and passenger traffic, you will still find cheap flight tickets to get there. However, to arrive by road, frequent, and clean bus travel from many places in Turkey head there.
5: Another Face to Its Culture
No matter where you go in Turkey, winter presents another face to its culture, and age-old traditions. Think street sellers peddling roasted chestnuts, and the traditional winter drink of Salep, made from orchids and Boza, both of which are time-honoured drinks of Turkey.
6: Go Skiing in Winter
Antalya’s unique geographical landscape leads weight to a diverse landscape where you can ski in the morning and swim in the afternoon. Saklikent ski resort of Saklikent sits on the northern slope of Bakirlidagi in the Taurus Mountains Beydaglari range. After skiing the slopes, come back down to the coastline for a gorgeous temperature of 15 to 20 degrees, and a dip in the sea.
7: Places to Visit
What everyone wants to know is if there is still an ample range of things to do and places to go. The answer is yes and here are a few suggestions to fill your day.
Kaleici Old Town: Hadrian’s gate reflecting Roman rule marks the entrance to the old town and a delightful collection of old Ottoman houses, harbourside restaurants and mosques.
Ancient Cities: Earning worldwide admiration for what historians say is the best-preserved old theatre, Aspendos is a delightful collection of ancient landmarks, sitting a short distance from the city centre. History lovers should also visit Termessos and Perge, two more famous ancient cities of Turkey. (More about historical places in Antalya.)
Mount Tahtali Cable Car: From the city centre, head to the Kemer district, and ascend in a cable car to Mount Tahtali’s viewing platform for marvellous Taurus mountain range and Mediterranean coastline views.
Antalya Museum: Often called one of Turkey’s best collections, the Museum highlights the historical timeline of the country through artefacts, displays and exhibitions. Many objects were discovered during excavation periods of nearby ancient cities.
Antalya Aquarium: Everyone, regardless of age, loves the Aquarium boasting of Europe’s most prolonged tunnel display. Forty themed aquariums and on-site cafés and restaurants make this a fantastic morning out.
Local Tour Shops: Many local travel shops still sell tours to sites like Manavgat waterfalls, Demre and the Church of Saint Nicholas, Olympus ruins and Chimaera burning flames.
Also of Interest
Antalya Area Guide: This article talks more about the region’s shopping, nightlife, places to visit and coastal towns. This starter guide helps you plan your trip regardless of what time of year you visit.
Winter in Turkey: As well as visiting Antalya, other winter destinations are worth considering for a countrywide tour including Istanbul, and Bursa. Here are our tips of where to go and what to do.