Among coastal areas, İstanbul and the Sea of Marmara shores have a relatively damp, Balkan climate, with muggy summers and cool, rainy (though seldom snowy) winters. These areas get crowded between late June and early September. Also busy in summer are the popular Aegean and Mediterranean coasts which can be uncomfortably hot during July and August, especially between İzmir and Antakya, where the heat is tempered only slightly by offshore breezes. Perhaps the best time to visit these regions is spring or autumn, when the weather is gentler and the crowds thinner. Late October and early November feature the pastırma yazı or “Indian summer”, an idyllic time here. Indeed, even during winter, the Turquoise and Mediterranean coasts are – except for rainy periods in January and February – still fairly pleasant, and beyond Alanya up to the Hatay, winters can be positively balmy, though you may not be able to brave the water. The Black Sea is something of an anomaly, with exceptionally mild winters for so far north, and rain likely during the nine coolest months of the year, lingering as mist and subtropical humidity during summer.
Cut off from the coast by mountains, Central Anatolia is mostly semi-arid steppe, with a bracing climate – warm but not unpleasant in summer, cool and fairly dry in winter, which lasts approximately from late November to late March. Cappadocia in particular makes a colourful, quiet treat during spring and autumn – or even in December, when its rock formations dusted with snow are especially beautiful. As you travel east, into Northeast Anatolia and around Lake Van, the altitude increases and conditions become deeply snowy between October and April, making late spring and summer by far the best (in some cases the only practical) time to visit. In the lower Euphrates and Tigris Basin, a more pronounced Middle Eastern influence exerts itself, with winters no worse than in central Anatolia but torrid summers – and without the compensation of a nearby beach.Read More