2024 Winter In Cappadocia Guide & 16 Things To Do

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Post author Enes

Written by our local expert Enes

Originally from North Macedonia, Enes is a well-traveled enthusiast residing in Türkiye. He combines his extensive knowledge and avid wanderlust to bring you insightful narratives of his Turkish adventures.

Experience the enchantment of winter in Cappadocia! Immerse yourself in a winter wonderland of snow-capped fairy chimneys and ancient cave dwellings.

This guide shows you 16 things to do in Cappadocia during winter, how to get there, and reasons NOT to go in winter.

  1. Discovering the Pasabag Fairy Chimneys
  2. Discovering the Zelve Open-Air Museum
  3. Enjoying Turkish baths and spas
  4. Exploring ancient cave churches
  5. Exploring the Göreme National Park
  6. Exploring the Goreme Open-Air Museum
  7. Exploring the Kaymakli Underground City
  8. Horse riding through the stunning landscapes
  9. Hot air balloon tours
  10. Marveling at the Devrent Valley
  11. Participating in pottery-making workshops
  12. Sampling local cuisine and wines
  13. Taking guided hiking or walking tours
  14. Visiting open-air museums
  15. Visiting the Uchisar Castle
  16. Visiting underground cities

The fairy-tale region of Turkey, Cappadocia, is known for its unique and stunning landscapes and the historical beauty surrounding it.

The area is home to a series of extraordinary formations caused by natural phenomena, such as volcanic eruptions and erosion, attracting millions of tourists annually. The iconic fairy chimneys are the main reason many people want to visit Cappadocia.

While most tourists flock to Cappadocia during the summer months to enjoy the region’s beauty and outdoor activities, the winter season has its charm and should not be overlooked. In winter, there are usually fewer crowds and more affordable prices (especially for the iconic cave hotels like Sultan Cave Suites). Plus, the snowy landscapes of Cappadocia have their own charm.

Cappadocia in winter promises a distinctive and enchanting experience for those seeking a unique winter break, from a hot air balloon ride over snow-covered fairy chimneys to discovering ancient underground civilizations.

Turkey Travel Blog_How To Enjoy Winter In CappadociaI

f you plan a winter getaway to Cappadocia, you should know a few things. But you need not worry; in this comprehensive guide, we’ll tell you everything you should know about Cappadocia winter.

Is It A Good Idea To Visit Cappadocia In Winter

Colorful hot air balloons before launch in Goreme national park
Hot air balloons in Cappadocia

It really depends on who’s asking. Are you a cold-weather person? Or are you the type that likes hiking on a warm summer day? Do you think you can resist the chilly cold of the Cappadocian region? You should know that Central and Eastern Anatolia are known for their freezing winters, and visiting the area in winter might not be the best option for those who want a sunny Turkish holiday.

However, if you plan on visiting Turkey in December, the stunning landscapes of Cappadocia showcase their beauty in summer and winter alike. Besides, visitors who don’t like crowds or want to avoid sweltering temperatures may find winter months the ideal time to visit.

In short, it’s rather hard to tell when the best time to visit Cappadocia is; the area always has much to offer, and visitors can enjoy its beauty every season.

What Are The Reasons To Visit Cappadocia In Winter

There are numerous reasons to visit Cappadocia during the winter. Here is a list of the top reasons and things to do in Cappadocia in winter.

Magical Winter Scenery

winter in Cappadocia - Pigeon valley with snowy landscape in winter in Cappadocia

Cappadocia’s landscape is breathtakingly beautiful, regardless of the season and time. However, we can all agree that Cappadocia’s warm and nostalgic atmosphere in the summer transforms into a vibrant and picturesque one in the winter. The fairy chimneys, valleys, and the unique rock formations look stunning when they have a dusting of snow. The area turns into a true wonderland during winter, where visitors can take lots of Instagrammable pictures and create unforgettable memories.

Fewer Crowds

Turkey is a summer holiday destination for most. And this perception applies to Cappadocia, too; the vast majority of tourists visit the area during the warm days of summer. Nevertheless, this also means that a winter getaway might be the key to avoiding crowds and having more space to explore the region’s attractions at your own pace. A

winter visit might also allow you to enjoy a more relaxed and peaceful atmosphere.

Unique Experiences

Blue and white evil eye amulet hanging on a rough, textured stone wall in Goreme, Cappadocia.

Hot air balloon flights over snow-covered fairy chimneys and horse-drawn sleigh rides through the area’s historic streets, exploring the underground cities without being surrounded by thousands of people and basking in the peaceful atmosphere without any disruption…

Winter in Cappadocia truly brings a great experience you can’t enjoy during summer, thanks to fewer people.

Lower Prices

Winter in Cappadocia, price list for lower prices

The peak season – summer – is always the most expensive time to visit Cappadocia. Winter might be the best option for budget travelers or those who don’t want to pay a fortune for shopping or eating.

Also, since winter is considered the low season, you can find better deals on accommodations, tours, and activities. Anyway, it’s an excellent opportunity to experience the region’s beauty without breaking the bank.

Better Cultural Immersion

When winter comes, tourists leave the city, the streets of Cappadocia become quieter, and the air takes on a crisp, refreshing feeling. Nevertheless, the people of Cappadocia embrace the season with open arms, invigorating the streets and touristic areas with their daily tasks.

And it becomes a great time to immerse in the local culture. You can enjoy traditional Turkish food, music, and other cultural events taking place during the winter months.

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What Are The Reasons NOT To Visit Cappadocia In Winter

There are indeed multiple reasons to enjoy a Cappadocia winter. Yet, there are also a few reasons why some travelers might find it better to avoid the region during the colder months.

Outdoor Activities Are Harder To Do

One of these reasons is that some outdoor activities, such as hiking and a hot air balloon flight, are harder to do during the colder months. Balloon rides and tours sometimes even get canceled, and visitors have to end their trip without seeing the extraordinary landscape over Cappadocia.

Inaccessible Areas

Some areas of Cappadocia are inaccessible during winter due to the colder temperatures and snow – if not accessible, it might be pretty uncomfortable. Especially since most parts of the region will be covered in snow, it might be uncomfortable for older visitors and children.

Days Are Shorter

It is also worth noting that days are shorter during winter, meaning that visitors get to spend less time exploring the city in daylight.

How Can I Get There

Airports in Cappadocia

Since Cappadocia is in the Central Anatolian region, you won’t have difficulty traveling there.

The easiest way to get to the region is to fly into either Kayseri or Nevsehir airports, which are the closest cities to the main destinations. There are international flights to both cities from various European cities.

Also, several bus companies operate services from major Turkish cities like Istanbul, Ankara, Antalya, Muğla, and Izmir to Cappadocia.

Is Everything Open

Most of Cappadocia’s major tourist attractions and museums remain open during winter. However, it’s worth noting that some businesses and activities may have restrictions, limited hours, or be closed. Especially horseback riding – which is a popular attraction even in winter – may often be canceled due to low temperatures or ice-covered roads.

The Best Things to Do in Cappadocia During Winter

Enjoy A Warm Hammam Day

Signs labeled "turkish bath" with floral designs, attached to a stone wall in Goreme, Cappadocia, on a sunny city street, with blurred background of a building.

Hammam is the best way to relax after a cold and tiring day. And although its fame comes mainly from the outstanding natural landscapes, Cappadocia features some of the best hammams in Turkey. We find it impossible to describe how relaxing it is to visit a traditional Turkish bath after a tiring and cold day exploring the region.

Go Skiing

We know that Cappadocia isn’t the most popular destination to go skiing – at least in Turkey. However, if you plan to visit Cappadocia in December or January, visit Erciyes Ski Resort to enjoy skiing and the impressive views.

The resort is about one hour from the Cappadocia region and is one of Turkey’s largest and most famous ski resorts.

Visit the Snow-Covered Göreme Open-Air Museum

Tourists in Goreme national park, Cappadocia in winter, Turkey

TheGoreme open air museum of is the site where fairy chimneys and all the must-see museums are located. While most tourists visit this place in summer, Goreme open-air museum has a totally different atmosphere during winter. Snow-covered stone structures, fairy chimneys, and dull weather give the historic site a unique aesthetic, turning it into a fairy-tale wonderland with a picturesque landscape.

While it might be harder to hike through the site due to low temperature, Göreme Open-Air Museum is definitely worth visiting in winter – if you don’t mind getting a tad cold.

Go Sleigh Riding Through The Snowy Streets

In most cities in Turkey, you can find horsed sleigh rides; Cappadocia is no exception. Seeing the historic streets and extraordinary landscapes via a nostalgic means of transportation might be the ideal way to create new memories.

Eat Pottery Kebab

A rustic oven setup featuring the Turkish Testi Kebab, or pottery kebab. There are multiple pots and containers with dough baking over an open flame, surrounded by colorful decorations and fresh produce in the background.

Turkey is a gastro-heaven for those who enjoy delicious Turkish cuisine. And if you haven’t ever tried pottery kebab, it might be about time you do! It’s a traditional kebab-vegetable stew served in a clay pot. You have to crack the pot in order to eat kebab – sounds fun, right?

Pottery Kebab is one of the best foods to eat in Turkey in winter; it’s warm, delicious, and full of energy – three things you’ll need after hiking through Cappadocia’s snow-covered landscape. Also, if you are a fan of other types of kebabs – such as shish kebab or döner kebab – you shouldn’t miss the delicious pottery kebab!

What To Wear During Winter In Cappadocia

SJ in sunglasses sipping a lime cocktail at a sunny outdoor cafe in Goreme, Cappadocia.

Winter in Cappadocia is usually way colder than most think. Temperatures often drop below freezing, and it’s usually snowy. That’s why dressing appropriately and in layers is very important. Wearing a hat, gloves, and scarf are among the most essential pieces of clothing you should have.

If you’re going hiking, always take a backpack with more clothes with you; this way, if the temperatures get lower, you’ll have more layers to put on. Your footwear is as important as your clothes; always prefer sturdy and waterproof boots to handle snow-covered terrain. Wearing a long parka or coat will also protect against the cold.

FAQs About Winter In Cappadocia

Crescent moon and star symbol atop a building in Goreme, Cappadocia, against a blue sky with clouds.


When is winter in Cappadocia?

The winter-like weather spans from November to April, however you will most likely only see snow from December to February.

How cold is Cappadocia in December?

The weather forecast changes year to year, but the averages range as follows: the cold temperatures are about -3°C (25°F) and as high as -6°C (43°F).

Do the balloons fly in Cappadocia in winter?

Yes! Weather can obviously cause flight cancellations, but as long as the weather is good, the balloons fly.

Is Cappadocia a year-round destination?

Absolutely! You will find most activities available in the winter, and even some you won’t find in the summer (i.e. skiing on a volcano at Mt Erciyes).

Why should I visit Cappadocia in winter?

Visiting Cappadocia in winter has several advantages. Firstly, you can enjoy lower prices and fewer crowds compared to the peak summer season. Additionally, the unique landscapes of Cappadocia become even more stunning when covered in snow, creating breathtaking scenery. Lastly, winter offers a romantic atmosphere in Cappadocia, making it a great destination for couples.

What is the weather like in Cappadocia during winter?

During winter, Cappadocia experiences cold temperatures with occasional snowfall. The weather can vary depending on the month:

  • December: Average temperature ranges from -2°C to 6°C (28°F to 43°F)
  • January: Average temperature ranges from -5°C to 3°C (23°F to 37°F)
  • February: Average temperature ranges from -4°C to 4°C (24°F to 39°F)

What should I pack for a winter trip to Cappadocia?

When visiting Cappadocia in winter, it is essential to pack warm clothing, including:

  • Thermal underlayers
  • Thick sweaters or fleeces
  • Coats or jackets
  • Hats, scarves, and gloves
  • Comfortable waterproof boots

Are there accommodations available in Cappadocia during winter?

Yes, there are various accommodation options available in Cappadocia during winter. Staying in a cave hotel is a unique and memorable experience. Additionally, there are hotels, guesthouses, and luxury resorts to suit different preferences and budgets.

How can I reach Cappadocia during winter?

Cappadocia can be reached by both air and land transportation. The most common way is to fly to Kayseri or Nevşehir airports and then take a shuttle or taxi to your accommodation in Cappadocia. Alternatively, you can take a bus from major cities in Turkey to Cappadocia.

What can I do in Cappadocia during winter?

  1. Discovering the Pasabag Fairy Chimneys
  2. Discovering the Zelve Open-Air Museum
  3. Enjoying Turkish baths and spas
  4. Exploring ancient cave churches
  5. Exploring the Göreme National Park
  6. Exploring the Goreme Open-Air Museum
  7. Exploring the Kaymakli Underground City
  8. Horse riding through the stunning landscapes
  9. Hot air balloon tours
  10. Marveling at the Devrent Valley
  11. Participating in pottery-making workshops
  12. Sampling local cuisine and wines
  13. Taking guided hiking or walking tours
  14. Visiting open-air museums
  15. Visiting the Uchisar Castle
  16. Visiting underground cities

No matter when you go, either to spend Cappadocia in January or December, winter in Cappadocia is a must at some point.


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