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14 July 2019 / Travel

Day Trips From Antalya City

With a vast array of sights and activities to choose from, Antalya offers something for everyone; from rest and relaxation to adrenalin filled adventure and everything in between. One can easily while away the day in and around the city itself. There’s plenty to keep you entertained, or just pass the day soaking up the rays on sun-drenched beaches. Whatever your style of holiday, you can get it right there in the city region.

But, there is so much more to see and do just outside the city. That’s the beauty of Antalya. Virtually right on its doorstep, are amazing places to explore. Most of them can be accessed using public transport, and of course, having your own car opens even more opportunities. So, here are a few of the wonderful day trips that you could choose to do.

About 60km from the city is the small village of Olympos, a mix of very low-key restaurants and pansions that wind down a dirt road leading to a beach of unspoiled natural beauty, with the mountains touching the water’s edge. Paid access to the beach takes you past the ancient Hellenistic ruins of Olympia, a site well worth visiting. Walk along the beach about 20 minutes and you’ll reach Cirali, again, very unspoiled with casual beachside fish restaurants and many other eating options. You could easily spend the day exploring Olympos and Cirali, but the evening has even more to offer. A hike up the mountain will take you to the amazing site of the Chimaera or flaming stones. These rocks have been flaming for many thousands of years and are quite a unique sight. Take your marshmallows or cheese and wine with you and marvel at the natural beauty. Of course, you don’t have to wait till evening, and if you do go during the day, venture further up the mountain and you can find secluded swimming holes and more flames! On your way to or home from Olympos or Cirali, perhaps a fish meal in one of the restaurants in Ulpinar could be the go-to. Riverside restaurants with the sound of water, shady trees and a few ducks and geese wandering around complete the picture. Some of the restaurants also are fish farming on site which makes for an interesting visit. And if this still isn’t enough for one day, take the 2,366m high cable car up the Tahtali mountain for spectacular views on the way home.

For fun and a splashing good time, why not head to Koprulu Canyon for white water rafting. It’s about an hour and 15 minutes from the city and there are numerous companies offering day trips which include pick-up, lunch, rafting and drop-off. Enjoy the natural beauty of the river and canyon while riding the rapids and having water fights with other rafters. The rapids are at their best early in the summer season when more water is flowing but are still very family friendly. You can always check the rapid rating when making enquiries.

About 40 minutes from the city in the other direction is Goynuk Canyon where you can give canyoning a go. Gear up with your helmet and life vest and venture through the waters and over the rocks of this beautiful piece of nature. Or if cold water isn’t quite your thing, what about zip-lining? Let the inner child escape!

Prefer to look at water rather than be in it? There are 2 beautiful waterfalls that make lovely day trips. The most popular of these are the Duden waterfalls, 15 km from the city. The falls are in a lush, green gorge carved out by the river and you can view them from the top or from boardwalks within the gorge, or you can even venture behind them into the cave hidden by the cascading falls. The gushing water makes its way through the valley and it’s a lovely walk and a great escape from the heat and sounds of the city. There are plenty of places to eat and picnic too. Perhaps half a day is enough to enjoy Duden so, you could easily combine it with a trip to the ancient site of Termessos, again, well worth a visit.

The other waterfalls are the Kursunlu Falls, about 19km from the city. Again, these are lovely falls; not as big or as popular as Duden, but a great place for a barbecue picnic. You’ll see lots of Turkish families here with their grills and teapots!

So, while in Antalya, there is heaps to do and see right on the doorstep. Chose one or do them all. There are many options, and these are simply a few of them.

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