Is it worth to go to Turkey in winter 2021 and what to do there for Russians during the pandemic: the best hotels
We will tell you what interesting things to do in Turkey in winter for all tourists, except for live communication with the locals.
Go to Turkey and twist a lively conversation with a stranger, taste delicious sweets, as well as swim in the warm, as fresh milk Mediterranean Sea – so many tourists imagine an interesting summer vacation in the hot country of Turkey.
But it may be no less rich in winter in the off-season. Let us tell you what interesting things to do in Turkey in winter for all tourists, with the exception of live communication with the locals.
Beach holidays in Turkey in winter, of course, and the sea is so cold that it can swim just walruses. Even they will not be able to swim in the cold water, because most beaches in the resorts are closed until May.
But in winter in Turkey you can go to natural pools – the thermal springs of Pamukkale. Unseen beauty scenery in a natural reserve fascinates the eye: pools with clear, enriched with minerals, warm water spectacularly look at the white limestone natural skeletons. The temperature of the water in the pools varies from 35 degrees to a hundred. Allow tourists only to certain pools, as the Turkish authorities are interested in preserving the natural treasures of the country.
A little about treatment in Pamukkale: thermal waters and mud here are enriched with minerals. Many tourists without any acute forms of diseases can take recovery and treatment courses here, as the range of treatment is high. Treatment through drinking, wraps, swimming, massage, etc. Disease treatment profile: nervous system dysfunctions, skin diseases, joint diseases, gastrointestinal diseases, respiratory system, musculoskeletal system, etc.
If you are interested in Pamukkale thermal springs treatment, see Pamukkale health resort packages on our website.
Excursions to the springs of Pamukkale in winter are also possible.
Why go on holiday to Turkey in winter and it is not a bad idea?
In a short two-week vacation it is impossible to see the most beautiful sights of the country, as well as acquainted with the ruins, natural monuments, etc. Also interesting program awaits tourists in Turkey almost at every step: the country has many museums that preserve the memory of the Great Ottoman Empire.
If you want to see Turkey from a different angle, you can go to Istanbul in winter, rent a hotel and follow the traces of the filming of “The Magnificent Century”: visit the Topkapi Palace, mosques, the Pashas’ estates, etc.
The weather in Turkey in the coastal zone in winter is warm, +12 degrees on average.
Where in Turkey is better to rent an apartment in winter?
Most hotels in Turkey close with the off-season. But there are resorts that host tourists all year round and have adapted to the needs of tourists in winter. You can rent a hotel in winter in Antalya, the closest popular resort to the airport, Belek in Istanbul. You can also look at other cities in central Turkey or distant ones, such as Cappadocia.
Hotels in the coastal zone, where you can vacation in winter
Rixos Premium Belek 5*. The hotel is next to the sea, has its own beach, its own street with boutiques, restaurants, spa, free catamaran ride, tennis court, etc.
Note that in winter it is much more profitable to rest in luxury hotels than in summer.
Maxx Royal Belek. Here you will live in a villa. There are water park, bars and restaurants, cinema, spa, fitness room, as well as wellness rooms.
In hotels in Turkey in winter, you should wear masks and keep a social distance during the pandemic.
How to have a good rest in Turkey in winter
Do you think that Turkey is only a summer destination? But it is not! Many people go to Turkey in winter – to rest in a great hotel for not much money, to breathe in the fresh sea air and catch the salty spray, bask in the spa and thermae, play sports and go on excursions without crowds of tourists. Find out what the weather is like in Turkey in winter, where to go and what to do on vacation.
Where to go in Turkey in winter
Sea resorts . Favorites of our tourists – Kemer, Antalya, Side, Belek, Alanya – are also not idle in winter. It’s usually warm and rainy there in winter, but dry days are not uncommon either. Our tourists wear T-shirts, escaping from winter and enjoying the unusual warmth. Bathing in the sea is cold, unless you can swim in a heated pool at the hotel or soak in the hammam. When the weather holds out, go shopping, sightseeing, and visiting museums and ancient ruins. Hit the quays and marinas, see the yachts and soak up the salty sea air. Find out where to stay in Turkey.
Istanbul. In winter, people come to the ancient city to do shopping, because the chic sales begin. We were in Istanbul in winter – mostly there are unbearable winds and very dank, so if the weather is bad, I suggest exploring the city. Visit the grandiose Sultanahmet Mosque and the Dolmabahce and Topkapi palaces, see the rich collection of the Archaeological Museum without any rush or queues, and don’t forget the beautiful Ayia Sofia and the mysterious Basilica Cistern. Check out the local restaurants and cafes periodically to warm up. See what’s worth seeing in Istanbul.
Ski resorts. Tourists eagerly come to the winter resorts of Uludag, Palandoken and Erciyes. The most popular is Uludag. Of course, it’s not an alpine resort, but the prices are nice and there is “all inclusive”! Most of the tracks are designed for non-professionals, so there are a lot of families with children. Almost every hotel has its own elevator, and the ski pass is usually included in the price. Apres-ski is for all tastes.
Swimming in Turkey in winter is unlikely, but you can walk by the sea and catch the gentle rays of the sun! Photo: Mert Kahveci / unplash.com.
9 ideas for your winter activities in Turkey
Get ready for the New Year. The most colorful celebrations are held in Istanbul and Ankara, while in the resorts the New Year is celebrated in hotels, restaurants or nightclubs. The cities sparkle with illuminations, hotels put up fir trees and prepare show programs for guests. A great substitute for the boring Olivier, President’s speech and chimes!
Go skiing. Surprised? Turkey has good resorts and slopes, especially for beginners.
Go shopping. In Turkey, it’s a sin not to buy souvenirs with an oriental flavor, good textiles, leather and fur, spices and sweets. Moreover, usually from mid-January to March there are huge sales. Even we, quite cool about shopping, bought a suitcase of beautiful things! See what to bring from Turkey as a gift for yourself and your family.
Visit festivals and celebrations . In the ancient town of Konya there is a festival of religious dervish dance. The dancing of the monks in dresses is an unusual spectacle! And after the New Year in Selcuk (near Izmir) there are camel fights. This is an ancient tradition dating back to the Turkic tribes.
Relax. In large hotels you will definitely find heated indoor swimming pool, gym, restaurant, Turkish bath (hammam) and SPA-salon. And all this for reasonable money!
Walk in the fresh air and go on excursions. It’s nice just to walk by the sea and catch the soft rays of the sun! It is comfortable to go on excursions: few people, cool, prices are lower.
Explore the Turkish cuisine. Turkey is a gastronomic paradise. Try char-grilled hamsu fish, meze, iskander kebab, kefte, pastries, sweets, and of course, the thick Turkish coffee. Find out what to try in Turkey.
Get healthy at the mineral springs. The best health resorts are considered Yalova, Pamukkale and Kangal.
Explore the country . If you decide to rent a car and explore undiscovered, untouristy Turkey, the face of the country will be different. Learn where and how to rent a car in Turkey.
There are big sales in Turkey in winter. It is impossible to leave without a suitcase of gifts! Photo: @omar_dc / unplash.com.
The beginning of winter in Turkey
December is the warmest winter month. There are no slush and severe frosts at popular Mediterranean resorts. If the sun shines, you can walk around easily dressed. However, it’s easy to catch a cold in the cold wind! In the morning and evening it’s cold, windy and damp, so you’ll need a hat, a warm jacket and a scarf in any case.
Most tourists choose for a holiday in Turkey in December warm resorts on the Turkish Riviera – Antalya, Kemer, Alanya and Side. The weather varies from resort to resort, but mainly by day it’s +13. +18°С. But in Istanbul it is windy, damp and quite rainy, +10. +12 ° C during the day.
Green and sunshine instead of winter slush and cracking frosts – this is about Turkey in the middle of winter. The climate in the region is very mild, and the temperature in January at the seaside resorts is usually +10. +14°С. True, the weather is capricious.
Sea water, heated during the summer cools down slowly, so its temperature is always higher than the air temperature. The warmest sea in January is the Mediterranean, the water temperature is about +18 ° C. In general in January in Turkey to bathe is cold, but the Siberians and Scandinavians go in the water, the Turks are surprised.
The end of winter in Turkey.
The weather is less capricious than in the early months of winter. For Russians who are used to strong February frosts and piercing winds, vacation in February – almost a paradise. The precipitation is less, because gradually spring comes. However, it is still worth wearing a jacket and boots.
At the resorts of the Turkish Riviera on the Mediterranean coast it is about +14. +16°С. Because of the greenery and warmth, the weather resembles the second half of April in the middle belt of Russia.
Turks wear down jackets in winter, but our tourists can flaunt in t-shirts at the resorts. Photo: Farhad Eidi / unplash.com.
Prices for holidays in Turkey in winter
Tours. For the New Year and Christmas, the prices of trips to Turkey are the same as in summer, but at other times you can rest much cheaper. For example, a week of rest in Turkey in the winter 2021-2022 on “all inclusive” in a good hotel 5 * is only 40000 rubles for two people flying from Moscow. Generally, more affordable trips to Side, Alanya and Kemer, a little more expensive – in Belek and Antalya. Read about all-inclusive holidays in Turkey.
Search for last minute tours on Travelata and Level.Travel services – they will find the best deals among all tour operators. Learn how to choose a good trip to Turkey. See also 7 ways to buy tours cheaper.
Hotels. Prices in Turkey in winter for hotels are lower than in summer – sometimes you can get a room in 5 * for half the price. The exception is the New Year holidays, when prices spike, so book a few months before your trip. A double room in a 3* hotel in Antalya starts at $28, a 4* hotel starts at $40 and a 5* hotel starts at $60. In Istanbul, a room at a hotel in the historic center can be rented from $14 per night, in 4* – from $40. Look for hotels with discounts on Hotellook.
Turkey’s best winter resort hotels:
5* in Antalya 5* in Alanya 5* in Belek 5* in Side 5* in Beldibi (Kemer)
Best hotels for ski holidays:
4* in Uludag – All Inclusive 5* in Uludag – All Inclusive 5* in Palandoken – All Inclusive 3* in Erciyas – buffet breakfasts
Is it worth to go to Turkey in winter: tourist reviews
Tourists are not unanimous in their reviews: some say, what have you forgotten in Turkey in the winter, it’s windy and rainy there. But others believe that it is worth going, because a holiday in Turkey in winter is a completely different experience and emotions. Seaside resorts are quite different from the summer resorts. It seems the same greenery and sun, but everything is a bit frozen. Deserted promenades, pleasant sea air, no noise and bustle, besides the prices are very nice and good discounts in the stores. Add to this a quick flight and visa-free regime. And to the changeable weather, judging by the reviews, holidaymakers take it easy.
Nutrija001: “The weather in mid-February is different. It was drizzling rain and hot to 25 degrees. We were sunbathing by the pool, I went for a swim to the sea on a hot day, the water was 17 degrees. But it’s not cold to go out.”
You’d think that in winter in Turkey, you can get bored, but tourists in the reviews write that this is not true. There is always something to do! Holidaymakers are advised to choose good hotels with a large area, indoor pools, sauna and sports complex, to get from vacation to get maximum pleasure.
We never get bored in winter Turkey – walks along the sea, trips to Side or to Manavgat bazaar (where we buy halva, oil, spices), in the evening hammam and swimming pool. In the evening we play board games in the lobby, drink hot tea with pastries and Turkish delight. In terms of price = quality – think excellent for the New Year. The cost for three people for 9 days in a 5 * hotel with service, delicious food with fruits, lamb, etc., pool, sea and sun – almost the same as in the Moscow region for 3-5 days (without the sea, not always the pool, food in general is not comparable).
Nutrija001: “Walked by the sea, shopped, magic prices at discounts in Waikiki, De Facto. Barely closed my suitcase. I liked the rest, winter in Turkey is wonderful. As our summer, even better. The climate is mild, the food is fresh and delicious, the prices are affordable. I will definitely come again.
As for ski resorts, then opinions are mixed. Tourists who have visited Uludag are generally satisfied. However, in winter there is not always snow or the thickness of the cover is insufficient, sometimes the insidious sun thaws the top layer, and overnight it froze crust. Also, some tourists were surprised by the prices of rental equipment ($ 100 for 1 hour of snowmobiling), plus expensive SPA and coaching, so that “packless” has a hard time.
Vladimir: “Old elevators, short trails, no snow guns, no skiing culture among local people. Skipasses are paper and you have to put your card into validator each time to enter the elevator. Often Turks run over your snowboard with their skis while waiting in line at the elevator, scratching it and not apologizing!”
MariSky: “The ski business is decent. I have been visiting the resort for 4 years. Lots of hotels, restaurants and cafes, clean areas, fresh air, ski rentals and uniforms. Low prices. A lot of coaches.