Does it snow in Cappadocia? (Plus tips!)

snowy hiking in Cappadocia

Does it snow in Cappadocia in Turkey? What are the best snowy activities to in this Turkish region? Read all about Cappadocia in cooler weather in this full guide!

Cappadocia is a world-famous landscape in the summer months, but in the winter, it’s all the more magnificent.

In the summer, the landscape’s robed in warm hues of brown and orange – but after snowfall it’s enhanced with a beautiful white blanket.

Its iconic “fairy chimneys” – towering, sculpted rocks formed over millennia – stand silent against the backdrop of a cloudless winter sky.

Here’s all you need to know about snowy weather in Cappadocia!

Does it snow in Cappadocia?

valley in Cappadocia

Yes, it snows in Cappadocia – although you’re never guaranteed it!

As winter progresses – through December and into January and February, the intricate topography that’s unique to this region is draped in a blanket of snow, a white contrast to the normally tawny landscape.

The fairy chimneys, tall and majestic, stand as frosted silhouettes against the crisp winter sky.

If you’re looking for numbers, let’s dive into specifics.

Cappadocia typically experiences an average snowfall of about 16 inches (40 cm) spread across the winter months, with January and February bearing the brunt of it.

It’s common to see the snow stick around for about 3-4 days before melting away, though colder temperatures can prolong this.

While Cappadocia doesn’t receive snowfall to the extent of some other regions, the blanket of snow that adorns the landscape brings an undeniable charm.

The pristine white perfectly complements the rich history and striking geography of the area, creating an ethereal winter wonderland that’s quite unlike anything you’ve seen before!

Why does it snow in Cappadocia?

snow in cappadocia

Turkey’s usually associated with its mild Mediterranean beaches and fairly warm (although still chilly in winter!) main city, Istanbul.

(Side note: It can snow in Istanbul too, but my trips to the city in November, January and February have always had pretty mild weather).

But the interior of Turkey, including Cappadocia and the nation’s capital, Ankara, have frigid temperatures throughout the winter season.

If you’re wondering why Cappadocia is so cold in the winter, it’s mainly due to the region’s continental climate and its elevated location.

Positioned at an altitude that ranges from 1000 to 1300 meters above sea level, the region is significantly cooler compared to the coastal areas of Turkey.

In winter, cold air masses from the north, combined with the region’s altitude, lower the temperature drastically, often below freezing point.

When moisture-laden winds from the Mediterranean Sea meet these cold air masses, they condense and precipitate to make snow!

So while Turkey’s in Southern Europe, and places like Antalya are famous for their sunny winter weather, you really don’t need to go far to find completely contrasting conditions!

It’s this variety that makes Turkey one of my favourite winter destinations, time and time again.

When does it snow in Cappadocia?

Snow in Cappadocia is not a year-round phenomenon; in fact, the summers can be pretty toasty!

Typically, the region sees the heaviest snowfall from December to February.

However, snow can begin as early as November and last into March.

That being said, it’s never guaranteed.

Here’s a table showing the average snowfall and snowy days in Cappadocia by month:

MonthAverage Snowfall (inches/cm)Average Snowy Days
November1.18 (3 cm)4
December2.76 (7 cm)7
January3.54 (9 cm)8
February3.15 (8 cm)7
March1.97 (5 cm)5

January and February are usually the months with the heaviest snowfall and the highest number of snowy days.

But weather is always a bit of a gamble, and these are averages, not guarantees.

Some years see more snowfall than others, and the timing can vary!

Other places in Turkey, like Ezurum and Kars, have more reliable snowfall.

Snowy activities in Cappadocia

snow in Cappadocia 2

So… what are the best things to do in Cappadocia in the snow?

Quite a lot!

A hike through Cappadocia’s valleys takes on an otherworldly charm in winter.

Navigate the snow-covered paths of Love Valley or Ihlara Valley, tranquil silence interrupted only by the crunch of your footprints.

Or, don yourself in your warmest winter gear and go horseback riding. These tours run in the snowy months!

And then, there’s the quintessential Cappadocia experience: the hot air balloon ride.

Every dawn when weather permits, hundreds of colourful balloons ascend into the sky, the region’s distinctive features blanketed in snow beneath.

Although balloon flights are weather-dependent, a successful lift-off on a winter’s morning promises a magical perspective of Cappadocia.

And in the city of Nevsehir, close to Cappadocia, you can go skiing!

The Mount Erciyes Ski Center boasts well-maintained slopes and facilities for both beginners and experienced skiers. It’s a pleasant detour for snow sports enthusiasts visiting Cappadocia – and snowy forecasts are more reliable here than in Cappadocia itself.

Tips for travelling to Cappadocia in snowy weather

cave hotel cappadocia

So, you’re visiting Cappadocia in the snow?

Hopefully, we’ve now persuaded you that it’s one of the best times to be in the Turkish region!

However, there are a few things to bear in mind. Follow these tips – based on my snowy January trip to Cappadocia – to help you prepare!


When snow graces the landscapes, temperatures in Cappadocia can plummet drastically and warm clothing is a necessity.

Invest in thermal layers, a high-quality winter coat, hats, gloves, scarves, and waterproof boots.

It’s wise to pack extra pairs of socks, as walking in the snow can sometimes lead to wet feet – there’s nothing worse than cold, damp socks!


While roads in Cappadocia are usually well-maintained, the snowy weather can sometimes create challenging conditions.

I’d recommend relying on public transportation or professional drivers experienced with the local conditions rather than driving yourself, unless you have experience in snow driving.

If you do choose to drive, make sure your vehicle is equipped with winter tires and always keep a car emergency kit handy.


People have been living in caves in Cappadocia for centuries, partially to hide from invaders and partially for shelter during harsh winters!

But don’t worry – while cave hotels are common in the region now (and you should absolutely stay in one), they’re a little more modern these days, with robust central heating!

Prepare for unexpected weather changes

The weather in Cappadocia can be unpredictable during winter, with clear skies turning to snowstorms quickly.

Always keep an eye on the local weather forecast, and be prepared to adjust your plans accordingly.

FAQs about snow in Cappadocia

Does it snow in Cappadocia in November?

While snowfall in Cappadocia in November isn’t typical, it’s not unheard of. The region’s continental climate means weather can be unpredictable. On the off-chance snow does arrive early, it’s usually light and brief.

Does it snow in Cappadocia in December?

Yes, it’s quite possible to see snow in Cappadocia in December.

The beginning of the month might still feel autumnal, but as the month progresses, the chances of snow increase.

Do bear in mind that the weather can be unpredictable, so it’s always best to check the forecast.

Does it snow in Cappadocia in January?

January is among the coldest months in Cappadocia, and the region often receives its highest levels of snowfall during this time.

This is when you’re most likely to witness the fairy chimneys and valleys blanketed in thick, white snow.

Does it snow in Cappadocia in February?

Indeed, it does. February often sees substantial snowfall, continuing the winter spell that usually starts in December or January.

Visitors during this month should come prepared for snowy conditions and colder temperatures.

Does it snow in Cappadocia in March?

Snow in March is less likely than in the peak winter months, but it’s not impossible, especially in the early part of the month.

As spring approaches, the snow begins to melt, gradually revealing the natural colours of the landscape.

Are you ready for Cappadocia in the snow?

So yes, it does snow in Cappadocia in the winter (although it’s not guaranteed!), and it’s well worth scheduling a trip to the gorgeous region of Turkey during this month. Layer up, schedule plenty of stops for steaming lentil soup or Turkish tea, and you’ll have an unforgettable trip!

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