Blue Flag beaches, endless sunshine and delicious cuisine. Antalya is the ultimate holiday destination and here are 15 reasons to visit it that prove it!
1. Turquoise coast
The pearl of Turkey’s Turquoise Coast, Antalya is truly stunning. Number one reason to visit? One word: turquoise. Sparkling waters in the only shade of blue you care to see. Beautiful. Stunning. Alluring.
You have to see it to believe it. Pamukkale (Cotton Castle) is one of the most mesmerising natural sites. If you ever wanted to feel as if walking through white clouds, then this is the place for you – the illusion is created by the terraces of carbonate minerals left by the flowing water of the hot springs here. The result? A World Heritage Site that makes for the most unique experience…And one of the top reasons to visit Antalya!
3. An abundance of ancient cities
This part of the country is especially rich in ancient cities so you can get your cultural fix during your Turkey holiday. Visit Myra for the Lycian rock tombs, Arykanda for the impressive two-storey baths complex and Letoön – for the remains of the three temples dedicated to Apollo, Artemis and Leto. Then there is Xanthos (the ancient capital of Lycia). A remarkable archaeological complex boasting inscriptions engraved in rock and on huge stone pillars.
4. …and ancient monuments
A triumphal arch based in Antalya, Hadrian’s Gate is a striking site with its impressive three arched gates. Antalya’s Clock Tower is another classic Roman landmark worth a visit. St Nicholas Church (he is also known as the original Santa Claus) can be found nearby, boasting stunning Byzantine frescoes and mosaic tile floors.
5. Great museums
It’s not only archaeological sites that you can see on your Antalya holiday. If you don’t feel like sightseeing in the heat, why not visit the museums instead to get a full understanding of the region? The Antalya Museum boasts no less than 13 exhibition galleries showcasing around 12,000 archaeological pieces including gods’ statues, mosaics, icons, Sarcophagi, coins and jewellery. Another option is the Atatürk’s House Museum dedicated to the first president of Turkey, Kemal Atatürk.
6. Oludeniz beach and Fethiye
Dreaming of the bluest of blues? The legendary Blue Lagoon in Oludeniz is the one to visit. Paraglide over it and truly appreciate it from above! Truth is all of Fethiye is ideal for sun-worshippers who are after beach lounging and great water sports!
7. Olympus and Çıralı
The villages of Olympus and Çıralı benefit from a ridiculously stunning situation. Think gorgeous turquoise coastline and even the ancient ruins of Lycian city nearby. Chill on the beach in Çıralı and party the night away in Olympus. If this is not a reason enough to visit, wait till you hear about the main attraction. The chimaera is a naturally occurring eternal flame that flickers out of the rock cliff above!
8. Splendid waterfalls: Düden Waterfalls
A must-see natural sight, a great reason to visit Antalya… and worthy of your precious holiday time. The Düden Waterfalls are all that and so much more! Located only 12 kilometres (7.5 mi) north-east of Antalya, they are a stunning showcase of shimmering cascading blue waters surrounded by lush greenery. Absolutely fascinating.
9. Endless beaches: Konyaaltı Beach
Naturally, the beaches here are fantastic. After all, this is the famous Turkish Riviera we are talking about. Point in case: Konyaaltı Beach. This one is definitely one of our favourites. Not only is it based in the heart of the city, but it is also absolutely huge. Enjoy undisturbed relaxation, sun, sands and the sound of the waves splashing on the shores…
10. Amazing water rafting and canoeing
Love water sports? You’ll love to visit Antalya. Forget that lazy lounging about we literally just mentioned and hit the waves instead. Everything from canoeing and rafting in Köprülü Canyon to private boat trips and scuba diving – whatever it is you fancy, Antalya is your place.
11. Karaalioglu Park
Antalya’s main park, Karaalioglu Park is ideal for relaxation in the shades. Escape from the heat and into the refreshing ambiance of that lush city park showcasing marvellous views over the Gulf of Antalya. This is not even the number one attraction here. That would be the ancient fortress tower overlooking the Roman harbour!
12. Gorgeous mountains
What a truly versatile landscape Antalya has! The gorgeous snow-capped Taurus mountains are another utterly alluring natural sight here. Perfect for hiking, mountain climbing or why not just mountain gazing from afar, they will be the ideal backdrop to anyone’s holiday. Even a beach one.
13. Antalya Marina & picturesque harbours
Visit Antalya’s lively marina and grab a bite at one of the many restaurants scattered around it. The Old Harbour is where you can take a boat trip from, while the modern port is the more commercial part. Not only do you get to sample the delicious local cuisine, but you also benefit from the gorgeous views. Winner.
14. Delicious local food
Turkish cuisine is bound to keep you happy throughout your stay. Try out region specific meals such as sac kavurma (diced lamb fried on iron plate) and Tandır kebab – both rich, meaty dishes. You’ll love Lahmacun: a delicious Turkish pizza baked in a stone oven and covered in ground beef, parsley, onion, garlic, black pepper and chipotle! Do not forget to end your meal with plenty of baklava and künefe too!
15. Antalya Old Town (Kaleici)
Truth is, you don’t have to venture too far to get your cultural fix when in Antalya… Just visit Kaleici (Antalya Old Town) for its narrow picturesque streets, traditional wooden houses and lively restaurants. Sorted! How is that for 15 reasons to visit Antalya?