Located on Turkey’s south coast, the small town of Side is a famous ancient seaside town that has grown into a popular beach destination. Located about 75 kilometers from Antalya, Side occupies a little peninsula that measures about 800 meters in length. Its setting on that piece of land protruding into the Mediterranean Sea provides it with amazing views of the world’s most well-known sea.
Boasting a typical Mediterranean climate, Side’s is characterised by long, hot summers and short, cool winters with plenty of rain. The humidity levels are relatively low throughout the year, though, with the highest averages not reaching higher than 70% and occurring in the winter months of November, December and January. Humidity is at its lowest during the summer months, which is convenient, as the summers can get very warm.
Because of these great weather conditions, the resort is a popular place to visit all year round. While in summer, the obvious things to do are soaking up the sunshine and enjoying the warm Mediterranean Sea, in winter, this is a great and comfortable place to “hibernate” from the northern European climate. In autumn and spring, pleasant temperatures invite people to partake in more active pursuits.
The amazing ruins that are scattered in and around Side are an additional factor that make Side a wonderful year-round destination. A former port city, Side is now home to ruins of this ancient city, ruins that are dotted in between its contemporary and modern architecture.
Because of this combination of great weather, beaches and historic sites, you have plenty of options to fill your vacation—from sunbathing and swimming in the azure-blue Mediterranean water to immersing yourself in the area’s fascinating history.
In summer, the average high temperatures extend well into the 30°Cs, and it is quite common to experience several consecutive days with temperatures exceeding 40°C in the peak summer months. This scorching heat makes it important to protect yourself and slop on sunscreen and put on a hat when out and about in the afternoon. Drinking plenty of water is strongly recommended too to avoid getting dehydrated. The average temperature ranges from 25°C to 28°C, depending on the month.
In the peak months of July and August, recordings of average high temperatures of 34°C and average low temperatures of 22°C are normal. In the afternoons, average highs of more than 20°C are observed from April through November. June through September has average highs of more than 30°C. These temperatures are, of course, pretty hot. Luckily, the evenings are cooled by the refreshing breezes that blow in from the Mediterranean Sea.
Summer months see almost no rain. From April through September, there is not a monthly total of higher than 48mm for any month (on average). July and August are by far the driest months of the year in Side, with an average rainfall of just 5mm and 2mm respectively. August is the driest month of them all, having merely two days with rainfall throughout the month. When visiting the resort in high summer, expect nothing but sunshine and an almost complete absence of precipitation. Rainfall increases in October to 70mm, which is a significant increase from just 13mm in September, but is a relatively low total regardless. October, however, does signify that the hot and dry summer season is over.
Sunny days are a plentiful; each day sees more than 11 hours of uninterrupted sunshine for the season. From April through September, each month sees 11 hours or more of average daily sunshine. June and July have the highest total of sunshine in Side, both averaging 14 glorious hours a day. May and August are incredibly sunny as well, both with 13 sunshine hours per day on average.
The average sea temperature is also at its warmest during the summer months. August has the highest average of the year at 28°C, while July and September are not far off at 27°C. These nearly bath-like conditions make swimming a very popular pastime in the resort in mid-summer—it is also a way to escape the heat and cool down a bit. The most popular activities this time of year are, unsurprisingly, water sports, sunbathing and swimming.
In winter, the average minimum temperature drops to about 6°C. This occurs on most nights from the end of December until the end of February. Daytime highs stay in the mid-teens, so you can often be out in your t shirt, or at least in a sweater. The lowest temperatures for the year occur in January and February, both months with an average temperature of 11°C. While this is the coldest average for the year in Side, it is much warmer at this time of year compared to northern Europe and especially the United Kingdom.
However, this is when the region sees its peak rainfall and it rains frequently and heavily. January is the wettest month, averaging 238mm, while December is a close second, averaging 223mm. November and February also have average rainfall totals in excess of 150mm. In the three winter months—December, January and February—there are between 10 and 12 days with precipitation in each month, which implies that you should expect some wetness during your stay this time of year. On the other hand, it also means that there still are between about 18 and 20 days without any rainfall whatsoever.
While the amount of rainfall is at its highest during the winter, the amount of sunshine in Side is at its lowest. December has an average of 7 hours of daily sunshine, which is the lowest amount for the entire year. That being said; 7 hours of sunshine per day as an annual minimum isn’t bad by any standards. January and February both average 8 hours, and November is the only other month averaging single digit hours of sunshine at 9 hours.
Autumn and spring are great times to visit the region as well, as you will find yourself many bargains and be surrounded by fewer tourists. These shoulder seasons are still warm but often experience periods of rainfall.
The autumn months of October and November are characterised by much more rainfall than the spring months of March, April and May. They do, however, also tend to be a bit warmer than the spring months. Both seasons are ideal periods to visit the resort if you are looking to do some outdoor activities such as hiking, cycling and horseback riding—just to name a few.
For an up-to-date weather forecast, you are encouraged to visit this page.