At the heart of Antalya is Kaleiçi, the stunningly preserved old town. Standing as a monument to eras past, this district is certainly worth making time for in your action-packed itinerary. Wend your way between the alleys of rough-hewn stone and cobbles, surrounded by Ottoman-style buildings and panoramic views.
As with all of Turkey’s coastline cities, Antalya offers almost year-round opportunities to soak up the sun and work on an enviable tan to show off back at home. As one of the country’s most important resort towns, Antalya has a multitude of golden sandy stretches where you can stretch out and relax in style. The beaches range in style, size and crowd levels from the relaxed vibe of the local spots to the family-friendly and buzzing scenes of the popular tourist areas. Some even historical ruins either on or right next to the waters meaning you can enjoy a bit of culture alongside your sun seeking.
If there’s one thing Antalya does well, it’s its culture. From one of Turkey’s largest museums to ruins, art galleries and preserved traditions, there’s plenty of opportunities to soak up a bit of local life for those interested in getting to grips with all things Antalya. Explore Paleolithic archaeological sites, roman sculptures and open-air art installations. If you’re looking for a cultural activity that’s a little more interactive, why not plan your visit to coincide with one of Antalya’s many festivals? The Antalya Festival for example, is an 18-day-long celebration, taking place in September which celebrates its heritage and traditions.
Antalya is famed for its beautiful landscapes and wide variety of natural features. Explore stunning valleys and canyons or roam over picture-perfect national parks and bathe under tinkling mountain waterfalls, Antalya has it all. With mountains, forests, seas and landscapes all coming together to create the picture of ultimate natural harmony, this area is ideal for holidaymakers in Turkey who seeks serenity in nature.
An impressive hiking trail unlike any other, the Lycian Way is a 335-mile pathway that will take hikers from Antalya to Fethiye, covering more than 20 historical sites along the way. Luckily for those who haven’t got enough holiday to complete the entire journey, the trail is a collection of smaller roads, forest paths and other routes. Even less audacious walkers will enjoy completing a small section of this stunning walkway though, as it shows off some of the most beautiful Mediterranean views imaginable.
Emperor Hadrian made his mark across the world, from the wall stretching through the northern part of England to Hadriyanüs Kapısı (Hadrian’s Gate) in Antalya’s city centre. Somehow surviving the erosion of the years, Hadrian’s Gate is a stunningly preserved monument dating back to 130 AD which was built to commemorate the Emperor’s visit to the city. Serving as the main entrance to Antalya’s old town, the gateway is architecturally significant as its towers were actually built in two different time periods. The southern tower was built in the Roman era at the time of Hadrian’s visit whereas the northern tower thought to have been an addition of Seljuk sultan Alaeddin Keykubat I, who reigned in the 13th century AD. A good opportunity for a dose of local history, this should certainly feature on your to-do list while on holiday in Turkey.
Çıralı Beach, also known as Olympos, is one of the most beautiful beaches in Antalya, if not Turkey. Perfect for all the family, this beach has a historic element that is as fascinating as it is stunning. The remains of the ancient Lycian town on the beach’s edge are a draw for locals and foreign visitors alike. And when you’ve explored the ruins to your heart’s delight, you can wander the pebbled shores, searching for shells and trinkets to take back home with you or chat over a cup of Turkish tea with the locals.
If you’re after a fabulously fresh surf and turf meal, Antalya is the place to be. While the option of cooking your own fresh seafood supper on a beach campfire is always an option, you’re on holiday, so in true relaxation spirit you should let someone else do all the hard work and head out to one of Antalya’s amazing eateries. With many restaurants perched on the cliff top or on the seafront, you’ll be able to enjoy views as well as tasty treats. Enjoy a meze meal composed of crispy calamari, shrimp in saffron sauce, olive oil covered vegetables and, of course, the succulently grilled catch of the day.
If you’re visiting the Mediterranean or Aegean coastal areas in Turkey such as Antalya, the temperatures are milder in winter and wonderfully warm in summer, making these areas perfect year-round destinations.
British nationals need a visa to enter Turkey, except for cruise ship passengers with ‘British Citizen’ passports who are visa-free for 72 hours. Turkish visit visas are valid for multiple stays up to a maximum of 90 days in a 180 day period. For the latest information on travel regulations, visit www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/turkey/entry-requirements.
The currency in Antalya is Turkish Lira (TRY).
The language spoken in Antalya is Turkish.