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We were looking for a European winter sun destination and after looking at a few countries we decided on Winter in Antalya and to visit Antalya in December as we thought out of everywhere in Europe, the South of Turkey would have some of the best weather.
As we were booking it, I was searching, is December a good time to visit Antalya?, the Antalya weather in December and things to do in Antalya in winter but to be honest, I was still left quite unsure as to what to pack for Antalya in Winter and the Antalya temperature in December.
Of course, each year will change and each month of winter in Antalya will change weather wise, in fact we had 2 totally different experiences of weather in Antalya in December within just 5 days,
But I having been to Antalya in winter, I feel like I can give you some good tips as to what Antalya is like in winter, what to pack for Antalya in winter and some winter activities in Antalya!
Winter in Antalya
Many people are surprised that winter in Turkey is actually cold!
For example, I wrote about the best time to visit Cappadocia (you know, the place with all the hot air balloons!) and in winter it snows there and is freezing! Winter in Istanbul also gets really really cold!
When looking for the warmest place in Turkey in Winter, you have to head to the South coast, but as I explain in this post, as well as winter sun days, it will still be cold and possibly wet and windy… but from my experience visiting Antalya in December, it’s still much better than many other areas in Turkey and Europe and I don’t regret our winter trip there at all!
Hotels in Antalya during Winter
Heated pool in Antalya
Whilst looking into winter sun holidays in Europe, one of our main factors was wanting a heated pool so no matter the weather, we could at least swim.
This actually proved harder that we thought as it wasn’t so easy to find hotels with heated pools in Antalya (or at least, websites weren’t clear as to whether the pool was heated), however after a lot of looking we found and booked Rixos Downtown Antalya.
The Rixos Downtown Antalya has quite a big pool and part of it is heated, and I believe is heated all year round.
It is just a small section of the larger pool which initially was a shame as we thought the whole pool was heated but because it was winter, the pool was never really busy so a small section was ok.
The main pool was absolutely freezing and we only ever saw people go in to do polar style dips so definitely book a hotel with a heated pool in Antalya during winter!
I saw that a common question online is ‘can I swim in Antalya in December?’ and whilst one of the things to do in Antalya posts I read suggested it could be ok to swim in the sea in winter, from my experience I definitely disagree unless you are a keen cold water swimmer.
We couldn’t even cold but comfortably swim in the hotel swimming pool, let alone in the sea!
Rixos Downtown Antalya
The other thing I loved about Rixos Downtown Antalya and that made our winter holiday to Antalya really pleasurable was that it was so warm and cosy inside with plenty of lounge areas with sofas and cushions,
In fact, it was so cosy I couldn’t imagine staying there in the extreme summer heat at all, but for winter and for the off season, it was perfect.
We went all-inclusive which we probably wouldn’t do during the summer as we’d rather check out local restaurants and not be tied to the hotel, but for winter it was so nice not needing to go out to get food and really added to the warm, cosy and hospitable vibe which was really perfect for Antalya in winter and December in Antalya especially!
Antalya weather in December & Winter
Now onto the weather in Antalya in winter!
Of course, I knew Antalya wouldn’t be really hot in winter but I was surprised by how much the temperature really did drop at night and on the days that it rained, it didn’t warm up at all and was not far off the mildly cold temperatures of the UK in December.
Thomas Cook’s website states the highest temperature in Antalya in December is 17c with the lowest being 7c.
We did experience 21c when we landed at 2:00 pm on our first day and about 20c in the middle of the day on our second day but as the rain rolled in on the last 2 days it didn’t get much over 12c.
December in Antalya is apparently the wettest month of the year so whilst winter months like November, January and February in Antalya may not be as wet, I imagine the days will be very similar to December in the fact that the middle of the day does heat up, but the mornings and evenings are definitely still very chilly!
Things to do in Antalya in Winter
We really didn’t plan too many activities in Antalya during our winter holiday and I’m really glad we didn’t as we couldn’t do anything on the last 2 days but enjoy the hotel… which was also totally ok!
In fact, the best thing we did was to keep our expectations low and get out into the pool and on a bike rode when the sun was shining rather than leaving it for ‘tomorrow’, as again, had we done that, we would have been disappointed because it then started raining!
We did spend 1 day at the Land of Legends Hotel and Theme Park which is one of the most popular things to do in Antalya in summer and I would recommend it for places to visit in Antalya in winter because although the Aqua Park seems to not be open in winter, the Theme Park is open with plenty of rides working and food stalls around.
The huge positive to visiting the Land of Legends Theme Park in Winter was that it was really quiet (even during the week between Christmas and New Year) so we barely had to queue for any rides.
Of course, Antalya is home for many people so there are places to go inside in Antalya such as the cinema, bowling and the Antalya Aquarium.
On of of our days we biked 10km down the boardwalk from our hotel and back which was a great winter activity in Antalya and many locals were doing the same and enjoying the quiet beach cafes in winter which I imagine are so busy in summer.
What to pack for Antalya in Winter
What clothes to take to Antalya in December? That’s the question!
In my experience you really need to pack for cool summer weather AND winter weather.
We wore rain coats on the plane as it was cold leaving Manchester and these definitely came in handy on the wet and cooler days.
We packed jeans and a jumper for the kids and us as well as shorts and t-shirts.
However, if I was to pack again, I would definitely take more jumpers for us all than we did as there was no way we wanted to go for dinner in a t-shirt and shorts. We really needed fully covered trousers and 2 layers on top in the evenings, even in the hotel.
Shorts and T-shirts were ok around the pool on the sunny days where we were protected from the wind, but on one of the sunny days as soon as we got to the beach, it was really windy and we had to go back to the hotel to put on warmer layers before doing the bike ride.
We also needed warm clothes at Land of Legends as it turned out to be a much cooler day and we needed to be dressed up warmer for the rides and roller coasters.
FAQ About Antalya in Winter
Is December a good time to visit Antalya?
Yes! You have to accept that the weather won’t be great and many places and activities are closed but the sun still shines in Antalya in December and it’s better than many other destination in December.
Is it warm in Antalya in December?
During the height of day at about 1:00 pm the temperature can get warm in Antalya in December at up to 20c, however mornings and evenings are much cooler and you may experience days where the sun doesn’t shine and therefore it remains cool and cold all day.
Can I swim in Antalya in December?
Staying in a hotel with a heated pool in Antalya in December is the best way to swim in Antalya in December. The sea is cold in December and hotel swimming pools that are not heated are also freezing.
Can I sunbathe in Antalya in December?
When the sun is shining in December there are a few hours of the day around lunchtime you will be able to comfortably lie on a lounger in swimwear soaking up the sun, but as the sun lowers it will soon get too cold to sunbathe.
What clothes to take to Antalya in December?
- Rain Coat
- Trainers / Boots
- A few Jumpers
- T- Shirts
- Flip Flops
I hope you have a good idea of what winter in Antalya is like now and December in Antalya particularly.
- For more of my Turkey posts see:
- What To Wear In Istanbul As a Woman To Feel Comfortable Exploring!
- Istanbul 4 Day Itinerary! What To See in Istanbul in 4 Days!
- 10 Istanbul Hidden Gems To Visit For Unique Things To Do in Istanbul!
- 12 Things To Do in Uzungol, Trabzon’s Iconic Lake!
- How to Travel From Istanbul to Cappadocia Easily! A Detailed Guide!
- 2 & 3 Day Cappadocia Itinerary With BEST Things To Do In Cappadocia!