December – It's the holidays, of course. But it's also cold, and ice underfoot, and the end of the year at work, and school lessons are already sitting in the liver. A proven remedy, from which problems will be removed as if by hand, – flight ticket. In Turkey in winter, everything is inexpensive, the hotels are quiet, you don’t need to push through to the sights. The situation changes on the eve of the new year, but before that you will find almost a whole month of complete rest.
The Kid Passage review will tell you about the weather, family routes and prices in Turkey in December.
Vacations in Turkey in December: pros and cons
At first glance, Antalya, Alanya and even Istanbul – unpopular winter destinations. But look for reviews of holidays in Turkey in December: there are surprisingly many of them, and you can easily find stories about a great time.
Reasons to come hereseveral at once. Firstly, palaces and museums are good in any weather. You can spend a week in Istanbul and not have time to go around all the interesting places.
Secondly, sea air has a beneficial effect on health even in winter. You are unlikely to swim, but walk by the sea – pleasure, especially when zama is more like the middle of spring.
Thirdly, from the sea, where sometimes they even sunbathe, it is not far from the mountains covered with snow. Since the second half of December, ski resorts have been operating at full capacity, and you can combine skiing, visiting thermal springs and relaxing on the coast.
Fourthly, prices are much lower than in summer. This is a gift for active travelers who seek to see something new or look at familiar resorts with a fresh look.
Cons Turkey in December – it's the weather and crowds during the holiday period. More precisely, these factors can be called a minus only if you do not think about them in advance.
Yes, it is rainy in the resorts in winter, and the air temperature will definitely not reach +30°C. However, you will agree that +16-19°C is also not bad when it is -10-15°C in your hometown.
Yes, at the end of December – At the beginning of January, hotels are filled with people wishing to celebrate Christmas and New Year away from home. This is the best for lovers of noisy companies, and if you are not one of them, then you can relax in a small resort.
And where to relax in Turkey in December, if noisy companies are very much to your liking? And where to go to stay in peace and comfort? More about all this – in the following sections.
Weather in Turkey in December
The main feature of the weather in December-January on the Mediterranean coast of Turkey – heavy rain, sometimes with a thunderstorm. At no other time is there such heavy rainfall. There may be only five or six bad days, but it can rain for several hours in a row.
Nevertheless, in the resorts, the weather in early December is more sunny than gloomy. And the air temperature is conducive to walks and excursions, and not to sitting in a room. Sunbathing at this time is not always comfortable, but breathing the sea air is pleasant and healthy.
In Istanbul, December is cloudy, although the sky periodically clears up. Getting caught in the rain is quite real, but the snow – the phenomenon is infrequent, and the city is not very ready for it. As soon as snow falls, transport collapse immediately sets in.
The weather in Turkey at the end of December is favorable for skiing. There is snow in Uludag, the temperature on the slopes is close to zero, and a slight comfortable frost is possible.
Since the weather is so diverse and unpredictable, what should you take with you to Turkey in December with a child? Useful clothes, from which you can make a two-three-layer set. In Istanbul, you definitely need a demi-season jacket that will protect you from the wind, you may need a hat, scarf, thin gloves. At the resorts, jackets will also serve well, since the days are cool, and after sunset it gets quite noticeably cold.
Air and water temperature
The climate of Turkey is interesting because winter and spring come at the same time and summer. When skiing in the mountains, in the Mediterranean Sea (with some luck) sunbathing and even swimming.
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The average air temperature in Turkey in December ranges from +9-17°C during the day and +4-15°C at night. The most comfortable is in the Mediterranean resorts, where, if there is no summer heat, then you will be pleased with spring in its prime. Winter is felt only in the mountains, but in Uludag, where most tourists go, there are no severe frosts.
The water temperature in Turkey in December is often higher than the air temperature. The water in the Mediterranean Sea maintains a temperature of +19-22°C.
Is it possible to swim
Fact: There are people who are ready to swim in Turkey in December. There are few of them, because you don’t really want to go to the beach when the thermometers are only + 16-18 ° С. Nevertheless, you can swim, and the water does not even seem cold.
Where most vacationers swim in December, it is in the pools of hotels – indoor and outdoor. However, please note that not all pools are heated, so you should ask about this before booking.
Will it be possible to sunbathe in the Turkish resorts – question. But many tourists still go to the sea, and this is quite reasonable. On the southern coast of Turkey in December it is warm, maybe you can seize a day or two for sunbathing. And if not, then the program will always be supplemented by excursions and entertainment.
We have selected several options for where to go in Turkey in December so that you can adapt your leisure time to any weather.
There is an international airport near Antalya: some hour after landing – and you are already on the seashore. Add to this a large selection of family hotels, a beautiful city, a lot of entertainment, and you get the perfect resort for a winter holiday.
In early December, the air temperature in Antalya is +16-19°C during the day and +10-15°C at night. Closer to January, it sometimes gets colder to + 10 ° C during the day and + 4-6 ° C at night, but more often the indicators stay at about the same level throughout the month. More than half of the days are clear, the rains are very plentiful, 5-7 days fall. The average wind speed is 3.2 m/s. The water temperature in the sea is +19-21°C.
The usual beach infrastructure is closed in December, but people still come to take a walk or sit by the sea.
If the weather does not seem too friendly for a promenade along the coast, you can go for a walk around Antalya – see the sights of the old city, try traditional dishes or visit the museum.
A separate joy for children will be that Aktur Park rides do not stop working in winter. Moreover, there is always a special program for the new year.
The Sandland sand sculpture complex is also open all year round. Sand compositions are so inspiring that children start sculpting something of their own on the spot.
The choice of hotels and apartments is usually not a problem, although some are closed in winter for repairs and renovations. It won't be difficult to find a hotel with an indoor pool and playground. Animation is also present, although more modest than in summer.
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A lower class resort than Antalya and away from a major airport has other advantages. The main ones – good opportunities for budget holidays, interesting places right in the city and pretty steady heat in December.
For almost the entire month, thermometers in Alanya show + 16-19 ° C during the day and + 15-18 ° C at night. At the same time, in the middle or at the end of December, a short cooling down to +12-15°C during the day and +10-12°C at night is possible. There is more sun in the resort than in Antalya, but a few rains with thunderstorms are very likely. The wind is getting stronger compared to summer, its average speed is 3.2 m/s. The water temperature drops from +21-22°C to +19-20°C during the month.
On the beaches of the resort in winter you can not find sunbeds and umbrellas. But the reason to come, for example, to Cleopatra Beach can be an excursion to the Damlatas cave.
If you don’t even want to walk by the sea, there is something to see in Alanya. Directly from the beach you will take a cable car up to the Seljuk fortress: this medieval building holds a lot of interesting things.
The all-inclusive system, popular in Turkey, is slightly less inherent in Alanya. However, there are also good hotels aimed at tourists with children. Many travelers prefer to rent an apartment, it is inexpensive, especially since in December it is not necessary to settle close to the sea.
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In winter, Side is quiet and empty. Maybe you are trying to choose a resort on this basis? If yes, then in this small town you will definitely take a break from the hustle and bustle, avoid noisy festivities and enjoy peaceful walks.
The daytime temperature in the resort in December is kept at +16-19°С, at night +13-15°С. A noticeable, albeit short-lived, cooling down to + 10-12 ° C during the day and up to + 4-7 ° C at night happens more often in the second half of the month. More than half of the clear days are rainy for about a week. The average wind speed is +3.1°C. The water temperature gradually drops from +21-22°C to +19-20°C.
The central beaches of the resort in summer are not among the top places for recreation, but in winter it is nice to spend time in silence. A walk around the city with a visit to the ruins of ancient Side will also seem interesting.
There is practically no entertainment here, but Belek is located very close with golf courses and The Land of Legends amusement park.
There are many family four- and five-star hotels in Side and neighboring villages where it is not boring and comfortable to relax with children in winter. There are also apart-hotels: it is easier to establish the usual daily routine in them.
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When it is warm and green on the Mediterranean coast, the mountains of Turkey are covered with snow, and skiing is in full swing there. In Uludag, the season opens in mid-December, snow falls almost every day, dry and fine – what you need for skiing.
The daytime temperature in the resort ranges from +2°C to +19°C, at night it ranges from -2°C to +10°C. But it's downstairs, and it's always colder on the slopes. Cloudy days alternate with sunny ones, the average wind speed is 2.4 m/s.
The skiing area on Uludag is equipped at altitudes of 1750-2543 m. The length of the slopes is 28 km, a third of them are reserved for beginner skiers. There are also two snowparks – in one, beginners try their hand, in the other, experienced snowboarders can show their class.
Those who are about to start skiing for the first time can enroll in a ski school or hire instructors who work individually and with groups. And those who are indifferent to mountain skiing can master cross-country skiing or go on a snowmobile safari.
Treatment at the thermal resorts in the neighborhood will be a nice bonus to a winter holiday. For example, Yalova Thermal waters are indicated for diseases of the musculoskeletal system and disorders of the nervous system. Those who suffer from rheumatism go to the hot springs of Kaplidzha.
As for the excursion program, we recommend a trip to Bursa. On a sightseeing tour you can see the famous Green Mausoleum of Mehmed I, the mosques of Orhan Gazi and Ulu Jami, the burial complex of Muradiye. If you have time, you should go to museums to learn more about the history of Turkey and the life of ordinary people in different eras.
There are few hotels in Uludag. The old development area is located near the lower stations of most ski lifts, but the new area has more respectable modern hotels.
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Winter Istanbul leaves special memories. It is cool and windy there, overcast (and sometimes sunny), but this does not detract from the beauty of the city. And most importantly – queues near the Topkapi Palace and other attractions are much smaller than in summer. Crowds of tourists appear only towards the end of December.
If preschoolers are traveling with you, then first of all you can go with them to the Miniaturk Museum. and see small replicas of the country's most important structures. There is even a model of the Temple of Artemis, one of the wonders of the world that has not survived to this day.
But older children should be shown the Topkapi palace complex – luxurious residence of the sultans of the Ottoman Empire. In terms of area, it is one and a half times larger than the Vatican, and the number of exhibits in its museums exceeds 65 thousand.
Temples can also be visited as museums. Perhaps the most famous is Hagia Sophia, built as a Christian church, but for a long time served as a mosque. The beautiful interiors of the Suleymaniye Mosque and the Eyup Sultan Mosque are also worth attention. And the Blue Mosque seems to change its appearance depending on the weather.
We recommend spending a rainy day in museums. Start with the unusual: the underground Basilica Cistern. You can walk along it for a long time, examining the vaults and trying to find at least two similar columns.
The exposition of the archaeological museum is both traditional and rich. For example, the lions that adorned the entrance to the Mausoleum of Halicarnassus and the bas-reliefs from the Babylonian Ishtar Gate are kept here.
Older children will also be interested in the polytechnic, maritime and military museums. But the kids who do not part with their favorite bear or baby doll will like the toy museum. His collection was collected at auctions, antique dealers and even flea markets.
And another great place for family leisure – any of the two city aquariums. In the TurkuaZoo (Sea Life) aquarium, there are 35 species of sharks alone, and in the Istanbul Aquarium you can “swim” from the Black Sea across the Atlantic to the Pacific.
During the low season, the choice of entertainment for the whole family is reduced, but in order to be bored in Turkey – it's unlikely.
In Istanbul, the situation will always be saved by indoor entertainment centers. The best of them is undoubtedly the city of professions “KidZania”, where the children are ready to spend the whole day.
On a fine day, the whole family will have fun in Vialand Park. There are a lot of attractions for every taste, a rope park, a climbing wall, cafes, shops. In winter, the park closes earlier than in summer, but there is plenty of time to enjoy.
And for those who miss snow and frost even in a warm country, there is a “Snow Town”. What do you like – ice skating, skiing or inflatable cheesecakes?
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Holidays, events and festivals
The calendar of secular holidays in Turkey in December ends on the 31st with preparations for the new year. Local residents pay little attention to this holiday, but hotels usually prepare an evening program for tourists. In Istanbul, you can see decorated Christmas trees and themed decorations in shopping centers, and on the night of January 1, fireworks are launched into the sky.
Actually, the decorations appear on the streets in early December, because the hospitable country is waiting for those who celebrate ChristmasDecember 25th. Even Christmas markets are held here.
On the evening of December 24, festive services are held in the Christian churches of Istanbul.
And here is a special event – this is the Konya Whirling Dervish Festivalwhich lasts 10 days. For its participants, this is a dance meditation, and for the audience – an amazing combination of music, singing and movement.
Needless to say, how prices soar in Turkey in December before the Christmas and New Year holidays. However, before that, you can relax without overpaying.
The price of air tickets remains at the same level as in November, and rises sharply only in the last December week. From the second week of January, prices return to their previous positions.
Already at the end of autumn, hotels significantly reduce room rates. The same situation persists in December, only in the pre-holiday period the price increase can range from 10 to 50%. At the same time, even at the peak of the load on hotels, rest is cheaper than in summer.
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Ready-made tours are usually offered only for two festive weeks, and they are twice or three times more expensive than in early December or late January. On average, the cost of a package holiday in November-February fluctuates slightly.
“All inclusive”, for which Turkey is so loved, does not lose its relevance in December. Moreover, in family hotels you can count on a children's menu, and the usual buffet often includes food suitable for kids.
For those who are going to rent an apartment and eat in cafes and restaurants, we recommend calculating the budget for one person for such reasons. At the food court in the mall you can eat for 30 lira, lunch in a mediocre restaurant will cost 60-70 lira.
Most vegetables and fruits cost from 2 to 10 lira per 1 kg. In winter, citrus fruits, pomegranates, apples, bananas are sold in Turkish markets, there are imported exotic fruits.
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Turkey has long been visited not only for color and “all inclusive”. Here you can buy practical things, and at a good price.
If your goal is – buying furs, jewelry, branded items, go to specialized stores. In the markets you can buy a fake, not even of the best quality.
In December, you won’t be able to get on the sale: it only starts in mid-January.
But in the markets, judging by the reviews about holidays in Turkey in December, sellers significantly reduce prices so that a few visitors do not leave without a purchase. Take a look at cotton, leather clothing and accessories, knitwear.
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< li>Family holidays in Turkey: Kidpass tips
Tips for traveling with children
If you are not deceived in expectations, then a vacation in Turkey in December with children turns out to be very pleasant. A few subtleties still need to be taken into account in order to relax one hundred percent.
- At seaside resorts, it will most likely be hot in a winter jacket. It is worth taking demi-season clothes and waterproof shoes.
- In Istanbul, it is better to dress warmly. It is optimal that clothing protect from the wind.
- Animation may be provided in hotels, but it is usually much more modest than in summer. However, a playroom is often enough for children.
- Not all hotels offer a children's menu in winter. We recommend that you check if this option is available.
- It is worth booking hotel rooms for the holiday period well in advance of the trip. In Istanbul, you can not get attached to the program at the hotel, but go to one of the squares where the Christmas tree is installed.
There really are a lot of questions about housing if you are traveling with children. Kidpassage has put together a collection of the best hotels in Turkey: use it to easily find a place for a truly comfortable family vacation.