Antalya itself has a fascinating Byzantine past, while stunning resorts such as Lara beach and Side are perfect for families and couples. Expect lazy days by the sea, trips to ancient sites such as the Temple of Apollo plus plenty of shopping opportunities at Antalya’s thriving markets.
For sunshine lovers, Lara is a good place to stay, and is where hotels are designed to look like major global landmarks. Another popular choice is the idyllic Belek, boasting several exclusive hotels and a stunning sandy bay, it’s great for a relaxing beach retreat. Mermeli beach is also centrally located and holidaymakers love to revel in its soft golden sand and family friendly swimming waters.
Remember to pack your sunnies – the Antalya region is famous for being scorching hot in the summer months. Thanks to its proximity to Africa, it’s also warm in the winter months too, meaning you can enjoy holidays to Antalya all year round. Enjoy spending your days on one of the region’s many Blue Flag beaches, such as Konyaaltu, which has plenty of water sports available, including snorkelling and banana boats.
If you get tired of lazing in the sun all day – although we can’t imagine that will be quickly - then delve into Turkey’s fascinating past by wandering along the seafront in smaller towns such as Denizkent or Goynuk. Or if you feel like getting back to nature then visit the stunning Taurus mountains for some spectacular photo opportunities.
If you want to get a true taste of Turkey, then head to the old town in Antalya city, where you can sit alongside locals and sample spicy adana kebab with toasted pide, a type of flat bread. If you plan your Antalya holidays in July then be sure to check out the Manavgat Festival too; you can sample traditional food while experiencing fantastic Turkish music and dance.
If you fancy a bit of an exploration then visit the Duden waterfall, where visitors can climb down behind the water into the magical caves hidden underneath. Back within the city walls, wander through the Antalya bazaar where you’ll find a colourful array of stalls selling everything from trinkets to carpets. Alternatively, cool off with the kids at Dedeman Water Park and make sure your holiday really goes down with a splash!
Please note that UK Passport holders arriving in Turkey from 10 April 2014 need to obtain an e-visa online before travel. You can apply for your e-visa on www.evisa.gov.tr
When you go on holiday in Turkey you expect friendly locals, good weather and of course, fantastic beaches! When you take your beach holidays in the Antalya area you can be sure of warm Mediterranean sunshine. What's more, there are some fascinating caves to explore in the area and taking a boat trip to visit them makes for a great day out.
The glorious sunshine here means that it's absolutely perfect for one thing - sunbathing! Of course, make sure that you bring the sun cream. If it does all get a little bit too hot, you can just cool off with a nice bit of sea swimming in the calm waters of the Mediterranean. Holidays don't need to be about doing as much as you can – relaxing is our number one activity for your beach holidays here.
There are some incredible beaches in the Antalya area and we've picked out our top three for your beach holidays here.
Lara is a fantastic beach area with golden sands – and it's really, really long! There are plenty of amenities here, and there are some privately owned parts of the beach that you can get into by paying a small fee.
Kleopatra Beach is in the town of Alanya, not far from Antalya city itself. This is a bit quieter than Lara Beach but is still really well appointed and has a promenade with bars and cafés.
Side Beach has perfect white sandy beaches and is well equipped for tourists –it's great for families, couples or groups of friends.
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If all you want is to enjoy the beach, then there are plenty of hotels that are perfect for you! There are quite a few hotels in the area that are right on the beach, and there is a pretty wide range in their price tags. The Divan Antalya Talya Hotel is a good, mid-priced option that would suit families or couples.
The amazing history of Turkey is really prominent in the Antalya area, and if you're in the city itself then you should definitely make time to wander around the Kaleici, or Old Town. To really enjoy this quiet area, you should try entering through the Hadrianus Gate and escape from the modern city for a few hours. For something completely different, you should make sure you head to the town of Manavgat. The Manavgat Waterfall is a great tourist attraction and a perfect place for some memorable holiday pictures.
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Turkey is an incredible country with a fantastic Mediterranean landscape, and there are few better ways to enjoy the area around Antalya than to hike through it. It's a fantastic way to spend a few days of your holiday. If you'd rather explore underwater though, why not do a little scuba diving? If you don't already have your diving licence, you can take lessons at one of the few schools in the area.
If you have a sweet tooth then you should definitely try to visit in August. Every year the Antalya Honey Festival takes place in the Gundogmus area of the city, and the best honey producers in the country descend on the city – and most of them offer free samples before you decide which ones you want to buy! If music and dance is more your thing then the Aspendos International Opera and Ballet Festival is probably going to appeal to you more. This is a touring international festival that stops in Antalya every year.
Turkey has an incredibly rich history, and there are many amazing historic ruins spread throughout the country. If you want to visit the ruins, make sure you head to Side. There are some really well preserved Roman ruins in the area including a Temple to Apollo and an amphitheatre. If you'd prefer to stay in Antalya itself then check out the Aspendos Theatre, another ancient Roman theatre.
There are some amazing sights to see here and in the surrounding area. The Alanya Citadel is an ancient castle in the nearby city of Alanya whose walls stretch right down to the sea. You should also visit the Hadrianus Gate which was built by the Romans as an entrance to Antalya city itself, and if that isn't enough history for you why not check out some of the area's museums? There's a particularly good archaeology museum in Antalya itself.
If you want to explore the area there's no better way to do it than on a quad-bike safari – it's the perfect day out for the kids. If you want to see the surrounding area but don't want to drive, try a river cruise and see Turkey from the water. There's plenty of great shopping – just visit the Terracity Mall for a great day out splashing the cash.
Eating out is a really great experience, with all kinds of food available from Turkish specialities to more familiar favourites. One of the best things about the area is the Mediterranean-Turkish fusion cuisine which combines the best of Mediterranean cooking with delicious Turkish spices. After you've tried some local delicacies, why not head to one of the local pubs for a refreshing beer? If you want a taste of culture, you could go to a show at the theatre before heading back to your hotel.
There are a lot of great hotels and they suit any price range from bargain budget to 5-star luxury. If you're not looking to break the bank then the Deja Vu Boutique Hotel is a good choice. It's got a fantastic central location, close to the old town, and the staff are really friendly and helpful.
Antalya is really popular with tourists and with so much to do and see it's easy to see why. One of the best attractions in the area has to be Dolphinland. This park makes for a fantastic day out, as you have the opportunity to swim with dolphins. If you'd rather enjoy something that has a more historic leaning, make sure you visit the ruins of Phaselis just to the south of the city, but if you just want to see something completely spectacular, try visiting the amazing Karst springs just North West of the city.
When you visit, you want to experience as much of the local Turkish culture as possible. What better way to do it than haggle in the bazaar? You might just bag a real bargain, and it'll certainly be fun! If that doesn't strike your fancy though, why not try exploring the area on horseback? There are several companies that offer horse riding in the area and along the beautiful beach.
If you've never been to Turkey before – or even if you have! – one experience that you can't miss out on is smoking a traditional hookah or water pipe. There are quite a few coffee shops around the main city, and more in the general area, where you can try smoking a hookah. If you'd rather just have a drink and a dance then don't worry, there are some great bars and clubs in the area. Some of the houses in the Old City are now bars, and if you head to Konyaalti's Beach Park you'll find a whole host of nightclubs.
There are a lot of hotels and they come in every size and shape – and to suit every price tag! If you want to splurge and take the ultimate romantic break away, then try the Barut Hotels Arum Resort and Spa. This is a spectacular hotel complex that has everything you could possibly need for a really luxurious holiday.