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BLOG The Incredible Impact of Tourism in Antalya

24 June 2017 / Lifestyle


Antalya: The Tourism Hub of Turkey

Tourism in Antalya puts this region of Turkey on the global map for idyllic holidays and retiring expats. The region, famed for places like Lara Beach, Konyaalti Beach, and the famous Hadrian's Gate, hosts an average of 14 million tourists annually. That number is only tourists arriving via Antalya airport and doesn’t include those who come in via road and sea. Indeed, the global popularity of Antalya and surrounding coastal resorts is hard to deny when looking at modern cities of Turkey.

Antalya has won favour with Russian, German and British tourists. Many other nationalities also flock to experience luxury hotels, historical monuments and beautiful beaches. Such is the tourism success; Antalya city centre is an ideal place to own holiday homes in Turkey, and many owners eventually retire out here to enjoy delightful vibes all year round. So, whether you are planning to visit or looking to buy a summer holiday home, here is why Antalya ranks highly in Turkey for tourism.

                                     Why Tourism in Antalya Drives Turkey's Travel Industry

Tpurism in Antalya Turkey

Sailing and Boat Trips in Antalya

Antalya's coastline runs for 400 miles, so sailing is big business! The sailing season starts every year from April to November, from luxury boats to public boats. For tourists, there are many options. Hire luxury boats and yachts to cruise along at your own speed and itinerary, or head to the local harbour of the coastal town where you are staying and jump on board public boat trips that cruise along the coastline. These public boat rides depart daily, including lunch and swim stops. Otherwise, luxury boats include options for choosing which coastal towns to visit and how long you want to stay.

The Old Town Centre of Kaleici

The historic centre is Kaleiçi town centre, also called Antalya Old Town. "Kaleiçi" translates to "within the castle," reflecting the ancient town walls that once surrounded the area. Even Alexander the Great couldn't break them. Kaleiçi, renowned for well-preserved Ottoman and Turkish architecture, features narrow, winding streets lined with charming houses, many of which have been converted into boutique hotels, restaurants, and shops. 

One iconic landmark in Kaleiçi is Hadrian's Gate, an ancient Roman triumphal arch built to honour the 2nd century Roman Emperor Hadrian. Another notable structure, the clock tower, stands tall and adds to Kaleiçi's charm. The 13th-century Yivli Minare Mosque, with a unique fluted minaret, is the oldest and most important historical structure displaying Seljuk architecture.

Overall, Kaleiçi attracts tourists and locals alike who are drawn to its unique atmosphere and well-preserved historical character. Exploring the Old Town provides glimpses into Antalya's rich past. It offers delightful experiences revolving around history, architecture, and cultural heritage.

Karaalioglu Park and the Ataturk House

Karaalioglu Park is a favourite spot in Antalya for locals to hang out and enjoy weekends and summer evenings. Sitting near the old town and Hidirlik Tower, fantastic coastline views can be had. The park is also near Ataturk's house and museum, which is excellent for learning about the Turkish Republic's founders.

The Impressive Antalya Aquarium

Antalya Aquarium stands as Turkey's largest aquarium complex, offering captivating underwater journeys for visitors of all ages. With vast marine life from the Mediterranean and other global seas, Antalya Aquarium showcases an impressive array of species, including colourful fish, sharks, and rays. The colossal main tank boasts an immersive tunnel that allows guests to walk through an underwater world and features mesmerizing movements of diverse aquatic creatures. Beyond extensive marine exhibits, Antalya Aquarium also features the Snow World section, where visitors experience snowfall in unique and unexpected settings, making this a multifaceted attraction that combines education, entertainment, and awe-inspiring natural beauty.

The Best Collection of Waterfalls in Turkey

The collection of waterfalls amazes everyone. Situated about 15 kilometres northeast of Antalya's city centre, Upper Duden Waterfalls are formed by the Duden River and cascade from approximately 15 meters. Water flows through rocky cliffs and creates picturesque scenes. Lower Duden Waterfalls are where the Duden River meets the Mediterranean Sea. Water plunges over the cliffs directly into the sea, creating spectacular displays. About 18 kilometres from the city centre, Kurşunlu Waterfall, part of a nature park, flows over multiple tiers with walking paths and picnic areas. Manavgat Waterfall isn't as high as other waterfalls but offers scenic settings to enjoy summer afternoons.

Koprulu Canyon Turkey

Köprülü Canyon National Park

Sitting within Köprülü Canyon National Park, approximately 90 kilometres from Antalya city centre, the canyon is carved by the Köprüçay River and surrounded by dramatic cliffs and rocky formations. Köprüçay River flows through the Köprülü Canyon National Park, creating exciting rapids and opportunities for water activities like rafting and kayaking. At the same time, the river,  surrounded by pine forests, adds to picturesque landscapes. One main attraction in Köprülü Canyon is whitewater rafting. Rapids offer various difficulty levels, making the river suitable for beginners and experienced rafters. Many tour operators organize rafting trips, allowing visitors to enjoy the thrills of navigating the river's twists and turns.

Stunning Beaches in the Antalya Region

Antalya boasts of many beautiful beaches that cater to domestic and foreign tourists. Konyaalti, a famous pebble beach, stretches several kilometres along the city's coastline. Lara Beach is renowned for its golden sand and is situated east of Antalya city centre. South of Antalya, Cirali Beach earns fame for its natural beauty and pristine environment.

Phaselis, an ancient Greek and Roman city, has three pristine beaches: the North, Central, and South Beaches.  Although farther from central Antalya, Cleopatra Beach Park in Alanya features golden sands and clear blue waters, with the famous Alanya Castle providing stunning backdrops. Between Kas and Kalkan, Kaputas Beach's turquoise waters grace the pages of many travel magazines.

Why is Antalya special

High Concentration of Luxury Hotels

Although you can book cheap hotels, Antalya features a high concentration of luxury hotels, many of which offer stunning views, world-class amenities, and exceptional service. Mardan Palace's five-star hotel features extravagant architecture, luxurious accommodations, and lavish amenities. Maxx Royal Belek Golf Resort, a five-star hotel, features an elegant design, upscale accommodations, and a championship golf course.

Rixos Premium Belek is known for its spa, water park, and sports facilities. Kempinski Five Star Hotel is situated in Belek and offers luxurious experiences, stylish accommodations, and golf courses. Delphin Palace in Lara provides spacious rooms, elegant design, and several entertainment options.  Concorde De Luxe's five-star hotel offers upscale rooms, a private beach, pools, water slides, and a spa. These are just a snippet of the high-class hotels that host tourists.

Explore the Rich History of Tourism Day Trips

Turkey's Antalya region is rich in history and boasts several ancient and archaeological sites spanning various civilizations. The 2nd century Aspendos theatre seated 15,000 spectators! Perge, an ancient city with ruins dating from Hellenistic times, features a well-preserved stadium, Roman baths, theatre, and impressive colonnaded streets. The town was an important centre during the Roman and Byzantine periods.

Termessos, an ancient city in the Gulluk Mountain National Park, features a stunning mountainous setting and well-preserved remains, including the city walls and theatre. Phaselis site includes well-preserved ruins such as an aqueduct, theatre, and numerous ancient buildings. Olympos was an ancient city with connections to Greek mythology. The site features Roman theatre, temples, and necropolis ruins. Myra's site also includes the Church of St. Nicholas, which is associated with the legendary figure who inspired the modern Santa Claus.

Side ancient city dating from the Hittites include a well-preserved Roman theatre, the Temple of Apollo, and old city walls. While not an ancient site, Antalya Museum houses extensive collections of artefacts from throughout history, including statues, pottery, and exhibits related to ancient civilizations.

Land Of Legends Adventure Theme Park

Land of Legends Theme Park combines a theme park, water park, and shopping avenue, offering tourists fun filled days out. It is designed as an integrated entertainment destination, providing experiences for visitors of all ages. Theme Park sections feature rides and attractions, including roller coasters, carousels, and themed areas inspired by different cultures and mythologies. The water park with slides, wave pools, lazy rivers, and other water attractions caters to thrill-seekers and those looking for more relaxed water experiences.

Otherwise, head to the shopping avenue with various shops, boutiques, and restaurants selling souvenirs, clothing, and other items. The park's entertainment shows, including musical performances, theatrical productions, and other live events, add to entertainment experiences. In contrast, the adventure park adds extra excitement with activities such as zip-lining and rope courses. The park also offers night shows with impressive light displays, music, and special effects. These shows create magical atmospheres for evening visitors.

Golfing Tourism in Antalya

Antalya has emerged as a premier destination for golfing tourism, drawing enthusiasts worldwide with its world-class golf courses, stunning landscapes, and luxurious resorts. The region's mild climate and picturesque surroundings make it an ideal year-round golf destination, and Antalya boasts several top-notch golf courses designed by renowned architects.

Belek Antalya Golf Course

Belek, a golfing hotspot with numerous championship-level courses, features Carya Golf Club, Montgomerie Maxx Royal, and Antalya Golf Club, among other prominent names. Additionally, many hotels in Belek cater specifically to golf enthusiasts, offering all-inclusive packages that include accommodation, meals, and access to golf courses. These resorts often have on-site golf facilities, providing convenience for guests.

Golfers enjoy various styles of courses, including link-style layouts, parkland courses, and courses with stunning sea views. Variety ensures golfers of all skill levels can experience enjoyable rounds of golf. Antalya's Mediterranean climate means mild temperatures throughout the year, allowing golfers to enjoy their favourite sport in any season. Winters are exceptionally favourable, offering pleasant escapes for golfing getaways during colder months.

Antalya frequently hosts international golf tournaments and events, attracting professional players and further solidifying its reputation for golfing. These events contribute to Antalya's golfing atmosphere and allow visitors to witness top-tier action. Beyond golf courses, Antalya's natural beauty enhances golfing experiences. Many courses set against the backdrop of the Taurus Mountains offer Mediterranean Sea views, creating visually stunning environments for golfers. Golf academies and training facilities cater to players of all skill levels, and tourists can use professional coaching and practice facilities to improve their game or learn from scratch.

How Antalya Airport Boosts Turkey’s Tourism Industry

Antalya Airport (IATA: AYT, ICAO: LTAI), approximately 13 kilometres (8 miles) northeast of Antalya city centre, has two terminals: Terminal 1 (Domestic Terminal) and Terminal 2 (International Terminal). Terminal 1 primarily handles domestic flights, while Terminal 2 caters to international flights.

Both significantly contribute to tourism, with millions of flight passengers passing each year. Charter flights operate all year round, although schedules vary from November to April. But those charter flights make Antalya different from the other tourist airports of Bodrum and Dalaman. Many airlines sell affordable flight tickets for holidays in Antalya all year round. At the same time, travel agents also sell packages, including accommodation and day trips.

More about the Antalya Region in Turkey

Although much tourism focuses on Antalya's city centre, the whole province adds value to Turkey's travel industry. Along with the city centre, coastal resorts with unique characters attract their own hardcore army of fans who either holiday there yearly or buy property.

Modern Alanya: On the eastern side of the Antalya region, Alanya’s sandy beaches and picturesque hilltop castle overlook the Turkish Mediterranean. The Red Tower (Kızıl Kule), Cleopatra's Beach, and Damlatas Cave are among notable attractions. Alanya also offers vibrant nightlife scenes and water sports. In recent years, Alanya has experienced significant modernization and development. The town is favoured by domestic and international tourists seeking historical charm and modern amenities.

Golfing Belek: Positioned as a luxury golf and beach destination, Belek is famous for high-end, all-inclusive resorts and pristine golf courses. The town boasts beautiful sandy beaches and is surrounded by pine forests, providing a serene atmosphere. Besides golf, Belek offers several outdoor activities, from water sports along the pristine coastline to exploring historical sites. With upscale accommodations, stunning natural surroundings, and several leisure options, Belek is synonymous with luxury and leisure on the Turkish coast.

Beachy Kemer: Nestled between the Taurus Mountains and the Mediterranean Sea, Kemer offers stunning natural settings. Visitors enjoy water activities and visit historical sites like nearby Phaselis, an ancient city. Much of life in Kemer revolves around the beachfront, and large, all-inclusive hotels attract many Russian and German tourists looking to relax and enjoy Mediterranean sunshine.

Historical Side: The town's rich history dates back to ancient times. It is evident in its well-preserved ruins, including the magnificent waterfront Temple of Apollo. Side's old theatre, with its panoramic Mediterranean views, testifies to the city's former grandeur. The town seamlessly integrates archaeological treasures with vibrant, bustling markets, waterfront cafes, and contemporary resorts.

Hadrian Gate Antalya

Antalya City Centre: As the province's capital, Antalya city centre is a hub of cultural and historical attractions. The Old Town (Kaleici) features narrow streets, Ottoman-era architecture, and landmarks like Hadrian's Gate and the Clock Tower. Antalya's city centre is also known for its lively atmosphere, with bustling bazaars offering an array of spices, textiles, and souvenirs. Visitors encounter upscale shopping districts, contemporary restaurants, and waterfront parks as the city transitions from its historic core to modern parts.

Kas: Known for stunning sea views, Kas boasts vibrant bougainvillea-covered buildings, narrow cobblestone streets, and relaxed coastal atmospheres. The town is a haven for tranquil escapes, offering mixed cafes, boutique shops, and waterfront restaurants, and the ancient amphitheatre and Lycian King's Tomb carved into the sea cliffs testify to Kas's rich history.

Stylish Kalkan: Whitewashed buildings adorned with colourful bougainvillaea create postcard-perfect settings, while narrow cobbled streets wind down to a charming harbour lined with upscale restaurants and boutiques. Kalkan's reputation for high-end dining scenes offers culinary journeys that complement stunning scenery. Many foreigners also buy high-end luxury villas in Kalkan.

Each coastal resort in the Antalya region of Turkey has distinct character and attractions, catering to different preferences and interests. Whether you're interested in historical sites, water activities, or simply relaxing on beautiful beaches, tourism in Antalya definitely contributes to Turkey's value as a global destination.

Also, About Antalya in Turkey

Why Buy a Holiday Home in Antalya: The holiday vibes of Antalya in Turkey are everything you would expect from a destination filled with sun, sea and sand. Nestled on the stunning Mediterranean coast of Turkey with picturesque beaches, historic landmarks, and vibrant nightlife, Antalya easily attracts tourists. The lush greenery twins with the Mediterranean Sea and Taurus mountains, also means Antalya, instantly captivates.

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