Many people who live here will tell you autumn is the best time of year in Antalya. The fierce summer heat has subsided; the days are still generally sunny and warm and, while it’s cooler in the evenings, it’s nothing that can’t be solved with an extra layer of clothing or a seat by the firepit.
It also means it’s far more pleasant to get out and about and explore the area. Those who struggle to spend their holidays lying by the pool or on the beach love this time of year – so here are our favourite suggestions for things to do in Antalya in autumn.
Take to the greens
Autumn and the off-season are busy times in Belek, Turkey’s golfing capital. Many of its courses are championship standard and have been designed by world-renowned players – the Montgomerie, for example, was designed by the legendary Scotsman himself.
There’s tuition available for those who want it, and of course let’s not forget the all-important nineteenth hole where you can relax and discuss your game before returning to your luxury golfing villa.
The Land of Legends
The Turkish equivalent to Disneyland, if you’ve got children then a day out here is a must. The water park is closed out of season, but the theme park has 20 rides to satisfy even the most demanding enthusiast. There’s the 62-metre high Hyper Coaster, the Sky Fighter and the fast-paced Hurricane, as well as more family-friendly rides like carousels and swings. There are also some 18 themed restaurants to choose from when it’s time to refuel, not to mention a shopping avenue for those in need of retail therapy!
There are also plenty of shows and events, including the Masha and the Bear Circus Show and the Musical Boat Parade – in fact, you might decide that one day just isn’t enough to enjoy all the attractions on offer.
The Roman ruins at Aspendos are a real gem in Antalya’s crown. Lying some 50km east of the city, they include a theatre dating back to 2AD which is hailed by historians as the best-preserved such structure in the world.
At its peak, audiences of between 15,000 and 20,000 people would have flocked there. Today, sensitively restored, at certain times of the year it still hosts music, drama and ballet performances.
Don’t forget to visit the rest of this fabulous attraction, too – the acropolis, agora, basilica and the remains of a magnificent aqueduct are among the features worth exploring.
Life under the ocean
For days when the weather might be less clement, or if you’re looking for an indoor activity, take a trip to Antalya Aquarium. There are 40 entertaining and educational themed sections, while it also features the world’s longest tunnel aquarium at some 131m long.
You can time your visit so you’re on hand to watch the fish being fed, and don’t forget to stop by Snow World – you can make real snowballs, go sledding, and marvel at the ice sculptures. Afterwards, if you need to warm up, there’s the tropical reptile house with its fantastic variety of colourful and fascinating creatures.
Köprülü Canyon National Park
If you’re a nature fan, you’ll love Köprülü Canyon National Park (Kurp-roo-loo). Near Side, in the Manavgat area, it offers a wealth of activities set amid breath-taking scenery.
The canyon itself tracks the Köprüçay River (Kurp-roo-chai) and is around 14km long, with a maximum depth of 400m. Keen walkers will enjoy the numerous excellent hiking trails, while there are challenging rock faces for the mountaineers. Adrenaline junkies might prefer to try white-water rafting along the rapids. It’s also worth taking a look at several Roman bridges for a glimpse at engineering from days gone by, while the national park also houses the ancient city of Selge (Sell-geh).
It might not be one of Antalya’s best-known waterfalls, or the biggest, but Kurşunlu (Kur-shun-loo) is worth visiting. Set in beautiful, lush green surroundings, it drops 18m and connects seven pools as it goes.
Just 20km or so outside Antalya itself, it offers a wide variety of plant and animal life – look in the waters and see if you can spot freshwater turtles, crabs and fish, and explore the canyon that shapes the falls.
Antalya is an international airport, with direct flights to and from a number of destinations running throughout autumn and winter. There are also frequent domestic flights to Istanbul, which acts as a gateway to the rest of the world.
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