Turkey in March: Spring Holiday Tips

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As winter transitions into spring, the weather in Turkey can get unpredictable at the beginning of March. But from mid-March onwards, spring is clearly in the air and temperatures start warming up.

Explore the splendid Hagia Sophia in Istanbul, get lost among the geological wonders of Cappadocia, or go see the beautiful Duden waterfalls and Ottoman-style houses of Antalya. There are many attractions and hidden gems to discover if you visit Turkey in March.

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Turkey Weather in March

Hike the green landscape in Goreme National Park in March.
Enjoy the spring weather by visiting Goreme National Park in Turkey in March.

The temperature in Turkey rises as the month progresses, but March is still a cold month overall. Coastal areas in Turkey in March can be a little wet. In Istanbul, the average high temperature during this time is 12°C, while the average low is 7°C. In Cappadocia’s Goreme, home to the famous Goreme National Park, average temperatures fluctuate between 2°C and 10°C. It is much warmer in the coastal town of Antalya, thanks to the moderating influence of the sea. Here the mercury averages at the balmy high of 18°C and the low of 8°C.

Turkey in March sees average daylight of 12 hours with seven hours of sunshine, offering plenty of time for sightseeing. For a seasonal overview, check out our guide on the best time to visit Turkey.

Weather in Turkey in March - Rainfall and Temperatures

Feb Mar Apr
Avg Daily (°C) 5 11 16
Avg Nightly (°C) -4 -2 3
Avg Daily (°F) 41 52 61
Avg Nightly (°F) 25 29 38
Avg Rainfall (mm) 40 30 60

Why Visit Turkey in March

Watch camel wrestle in Turkey.
Experience one of the most unique festivals in the world, camel wrestling which takes place from January to March in Turkey.
Skiing in Turkey in March.
Head to the slopes and enjoy the ski season in Turkey in March.

March may not be the peak tourist season in Turkey, but it is still a great idea to visit the country during this time. Here are some reasons why you should be traveling to Turkey in March:

  • Festive season: Turkey has some of the most intriguing festivals and events lined up in March. These include Nevruz, which heralds the arrival of spring with bonfires, games, painting of eggs and superb food; Istanbul Dance Festival, which features performers from all over the world; and the Camel Wrestling Festival (yes, you heard that right!), which takes place in Selcuk and goes hundreds of years back.
  • Budget-friendly travel: In the peak tourist season of summer, you can still expect to go on your holiday with a moderate travel budget. You are likely to get some good discounts on hotels.
  • Fewer tourists: March is still a few months away from the high tourist season of Turkey. This means you can see the country’s top sights without massive tourist crowds to distract you.
  • Ski away: The ski season in Turkey is on for the most part of the month of March. If you want to enjoy a memorable skiing holiday, head to Uludag and Palandoken, the country’s top-rated skiing destinations.

Where to go and what to do

Hike up Mount Nemrut in March.
Head to the summit of Mount Nemrut and get a breathtaking view of eastern Turkey in March.

Soak in the energy and charm of Istanbul’s Grand Bazaar, full of shops selling everything from carpets and kilims to ceramics and leather goods; visit the intriguing 6th-century Basilica Cistern, which was part of the Byzantine Empire’s water system and features hundreds of ancient Corinthian and Ionic columns; and explore the grand St. Antoine, Istanbul’s most prominent Catholic church.

Cappadocia also makes for an excellent destination if you are visiting Turkey. The most striking aspect of this region is its otherworldly landscape, especially in Devrent valley. Marvel at Pasabag’s famous ‘fairy chimneys’ and cave dwellings. Take a tour of the fascinating Goreme Open-Air Museum, a UNESCO World Heritage site known for its centuries-old rock-cut churches and monasteries. While at Cappadocia, do not miss to take the famous hot air balloon tour over its enchanting landscape.

Head to Antalya to explore its labyrinthine old town and the Kaleici neighborhood with its red-roofed Ottoman mansions, cobblestone streets and lovely art galleries and restaurants. A day trip from Antalya is the archaeological site of Aspendos, home to one of the world’s best preserved Roman theaters and other delightful ruins dating from the 2nd and 3rd century BC.

A strange and starkly beautiful place in eastern Turkey is Mount Nemrut’s summit funerary mound, which is scattered with the ruins of once gigantic statues. Giant stone heads stare at you eerily from the mountain top.

Visit the old town of Safranbolu in March.
Go around restaurants and cafes to experience the old Turkish charm in Safranbolu.

Another place to soak in Turkey’s old Ottoman charm is Safranbolu. Its restored wood-framed mansions have been converted into pretty hotels and cafés; and not far away is Yenice Forest, popular for its waterfalls, woods and canyons.

Turkey is truly the melting pot of the East and the West, both geographically and culturally. It boasts a uniquely rich and diverse culture, both modern and old: remnants of the bygone Byzantine and Ottoman empires coexisting with the latter-day urbanity; diverse culture, arts and architecture; and many natural wonders. No wonder then it is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world.

Reach out to our local travel experts to plan a customized trip to Turkey.

Related articles:
Turkey in February
Turkey in April

Published by Tim Green, updated on August 17, 2022

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