You can all probably guess that the summers in Fethiye are hot and sunny with little or no rain from June to September.

However, winter can be a very different story.

So if you are planning to visit or live in the area during this time of the year, you need to come prepared for the weather.

Short and (mostly) sweet

The Mediterranean winters are shorter than in UK but similar in that they can be wet and/or cold.

But when the weather is good, it’s amazing!

November sunset
Winter sunset (November 2014)

Due to the relative strength of the sun at this latitude sunny days can raise the daytime temperature to 18 – 20 degrees and warm you nicely if you sitting outside.

Cold snaps

However, the nights can be as cold as the UK with temperatures dropping below zero in areas outside the town or higher up such as Ovacik, Uzumlu and Nif.

A winter's day
A winter’s day in Nif/Arpacik (January 2012)

A northerly or east wind blows from time to time, especially in January/February, spreading cold air over the area making day and night time temperatures feel much colder.

Hard rain’s gonna fall!

Winter is the time that the Mediterranean receives its watering! There are frequent thunderstorms and the rain can be very heavy at times causing localised flooding.

Sometimes it can get a bit wet!
Sometimes it can get a bit wet! (Kayaköy 2009)
Snow on Ak Dağ
Snow on Ak Dağ

This rain falls as snow at higher levels and snow can be seen on the surrounding mountains from November onwards. But it can be fun too!

Stormy weather

The wind can also gust to high speeds when storms race over the area causing damage to property, people and bring down trees and power lines.

A water spout
A water spout

Fethiye town is generally protected from the prevailing south-westerly storms that can strike the area because of the surrounding mountains.

A winter's day at beautiful Ölüdeniz
A winter’s day in Ölüdeniz

But watch out if you are on a boat because even in the bay the wind can rip over the Yarim Adi peninsula with some force, putting you and your boat at risk.

Smoke gets in your eyes

Most of the time the air is very still and this along with smoke from thousands of coal and wood heaters can cause fog / smog to engulf the town especially at night.

This is something to be aware of, especially if you have breathing difficulties, or are sensitive to pollution.

No SAD Here

Do not let us put you off though. The weather is better than worse for 95% of the time and bad weather, whilst amazingly spectacular at times, is short lived.

Winter sunset over Ölüdeniz
Winter sunset above Ölüdeniz

And…when the sun does comes out you realise why you came here to live or visit…it is paradise to have that warm winter sunshine!

Sometimes the air is so clear, it is possible to see the Greek island of Rhodes from the mountains around Ölüdeniz.

And with an estimated 300 sunny days a year there is plenty to smile about.

Get Out and about

One of the great things about Fethiye is that the high mountains behind the town get a regular fall of snow over the winter.

Winter in the Fethiye highlands
Winter in the Fethiye highlands

This has led some people to say you can ‘ski in the morning and swim in the afternoon’. Well… you can certainly go tobogganing!

If you just want to frolic in the white stuff the closest spots are on the road above Arpacik on the wonderful and scenic road that goes through Uzumlu.

Tobogganing in the snow above Nif/Arpacik
Tobogganing in the snow above Nif/Arpacik

We are not sure about winter swimming though, it’s too chilly for us but we know people that do!

What will you need?

So, if you plan to visit or live here in the Winter be prepared:

We suggest the following:

  • Winter jumpers, vests, socks, boots (a must where roads aren’t made up), hat, gloves and a waterproof coat.
  • Good bedding, thick quilts, electric blanket and/or hotwater bottle etc.
  • Rugs to cover cold tiled floors and a nice warm pair of slippers.
  • Central heating or other heating so you don’t get cold at night or during overcast days.
  • A method other than solar to heat water on cloudy days. Install an electric shower or small water heater to conserve cash.
  • Sun block for those sunny days! The sun still has strong UV even in the winter and can burn those of us with sensitive skin.
  • Buckets to catch the drips from the inevitable leaks that appear from time to time in your accommodation.
  • A smile – to remind yourself just how much better the weather is here than in the UK!
  • If you want to enjoy the snow, bring a toboggan – unless you prefer a piece of bubble-wrap!
  • We suggest that you also ask other expats for their experience of what works and what does not.