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BLOG 9 Things to do in Antalya

13 March 2016 / Lifestyle

Antalya for sandy beaches and clear blue sea

Antalya on the lustrous Mediterranean coast of Turkey is a large region, covering many small holiday resorts as well as including the large city centre. Fronted by sandy beaches and a clear blue sea, the backdrop of the domineering Taurus Mountains provides a picturesque destination that is the second most visited region for international visitors.

Called Pamphylia in history, the ancient Greco-Roman and Lycian ruins blend with modern shopping malls, exclusive hotels and an impressive infrastructure to form a unique and appealing holiday destination. Naturally as tourism has grown in the region, so did the diversity of things to do and everyone finds  something to suit their passions and interests whether visiting in summer or winter.

9 Things to do in Antalya

See Hadrian’s Gate and Visit the Old Town of Kaleci.

Like many other cities in Turkey, the old town is a must-visit and in Antalya, this is Kaleici. Mostly recognised by the main entrance of Hadrian’s Gate that was built in AD130 to honour the Roman emperor, the marvellously intact three-arched white marble structure is called Uckapilar by Turks, which translates to three doors.

Some say the queen of Sheba famously passed through this arch but since she lived hundreds of years before Hadrian, it can only be that she passed on this route. Walking through, visitors come upon the old stone houses and narrow cobbled paths of the old quarter district, eventually arriving at the traditional harbour front, where seafood restaurants and cafes have made this area a popular afternoon haunt for locals and tourists alike.

Antalya Archaeological Museum

Listed on Trip Advisor as the number one thing to do in the region, and sitting in the Konyaalti district, the Antalya Archaeological Museum demands fame and recognition by being one of Turkey’s largest museums holding one of the biggest collection of artefacts from around the region. The 13 exhibition halls and open-air gallery cover an impressive 7000 square metres, used to hold 5000 plus works on display and a further 20,000 in storage.

Its beginnings stretch back to the end of WW1 when the Ottomans lost and found themselves occupied by the Italians. In an attempt to stop them from removing priceless historical treasures, the museum quickly established under legal law, documented, and stored as many antiques as possible. Fast forward, nearly a hundred years later, and it now has a name of expertise regarding the history of humankind in the area.

The Ancient Ruins of Aspendos City

45 kilometres east of Antalya city centre, the ancient ruins of Aspendos stand in all their glory. It’s  esteemed reputation for holding one of the world’s most impressive Roman theatres, is well deserved since it sat approximately 15,000 people and dates from AD 161 having been built during the lustrous time of Marcus Aurelius. Still in use for concert performances, other structures include the agora, acropolis, and aqueduct.

Visit Lara and Konyaalti beaches

Many idyllic beaches sit within the Antalya region but one of the most popular is Konyaalti. Although pebbly, it stretches for 2 miles and holds a number of restaurants as well as a dedicated entertainment area. During summer, Lara Beach famously holds the annual sand sculpturing festival that sees incredible pieces of art produced by amateurs and experts. Showcasing life-size models of iconic mythological figures, cartoons, or historical figures, the talent of the sculptors is clear to see.

The Cable Car of Mount Tahtali

Jumping on board the cable car of Mount Tahtali eventually leads riders to a fantastic all-encompassing panoramic view over the coastline and majestic Tauris mountains. Often labelled as the sea to sky ride, alternative methods to come down include skiing or paragliding. The leisure facilities at the base camp include a restaurant so summer evenings watching the sunset often turn into a romantic affair.

Do a Road Trip to All the Coastal Resorts

The coastal D400 road runs alongside all major resorts and villages, therefore making it easy to see them all on a car rental, 2 to 3-day road trip. Starting in the large, bustling resort of Alanya, home to the Mediterranean’s Red Castle, the next stop is historical Side that was built around the ancient ruins and holds the impressive Temple of Apollo. Kemer is more renowned for its beaches and water sports while further down, the resort of Belek is a golfing haven. The trip could end with an overnight stay in the surrounding villages of Olympus or Cirali that is also near to the burning flames of Chimera.

Take a Blue Cruise

As a major hub of the Turkish Riviera, Antalya naturally excels at being yachting experts. A 3 night, 4-day cruise up to the Fethiye region drops into smaller towns such as Kas or Kalkan and visits small islands such as Gemiler that holds ancient ruins of churches. Alternatively, if cash is in endless supply, hire your own traditional Turkish gulet boat, complete with crew and captain.

Duden and Manavgat waterfalls

Lovers of natural beauty landscapes should seek out the separate waterfalls of Duden and Manavgat. Duden, famously portrayed in travel magazines by its dramatic drop in the Mediterranean Sea is near the city centre while Manavgat, nearer to the small coastal resort of Side, is an ideal place to relax and take in the vibes of nature while sitting in the traditional tea gardens.

Antalya Aquarium

Including 40 smaller aquariums and a tropical reptile house, Antalya aquarium also has the world's biggest tunnel aquarium stretching for 131 metres at 3 metres wide. As home to thousands of species of underwater life, and an aircraft wreck, the highlight is shark-feeding time by specially trained divers. Featuring themes such as the sunken city of Atlantis, pirates and an underwater aircraft wreck, this attraction is all about nautical life.


Tolga Ertukel, director of Turkey Homes says….

The Antalya district really is a delight to explore and at the same time offers modern facilities and amenities such as cinemas, bowling alleys and a vibrant nightlife scene. Contact us if you would like to receive further local information or book a property inspection tour of the area.

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