Top Ten Antalya Province Attractions
For everyone from young to old, the Antalya province attractions form part of what is Turkey’s second most popular holiday destination. On a good year, roughly 15 million people from around the globe descend on it to enjoy a wealth of activities, from historical ruins to beach water sports to picturesque waterfalls or old mosques. Places of interest run into their hundreds so we will just look at the most popular.
It is worth mentioning, the Antalya province is also the start of the Lycian Way. This 516-kilometre trail runs through to the Fethiye region and includes masses of historical ruins from the Lycian empire. You can visit these attractions separately, but those who like trekking should also consider walking part of the route to take in stunning scenery at the same time.
Additionally, for UNESCO World Heritage sites, there is only one on the border with the Mugla province, and that is Letoon and Xanthos. For this article, we talk about more central attractions specific to Antalya. So, let’s get started.
Top Ten Antalya Province Attractions
1: Admire the Kaleici Old Town
A city centre tour isn’t complete without dropping by the old town section, in specific to see the archaeological remains of Hadrian’s gate. Built to honour the Roman emperor of the same name, tourists traditionally have their photograph taken here. Walk-through to find some interesting spots including harbourside cafes, the clock tower, Iskele mosque and Ottoman houses dating from the 19th century. Kaleici is a beautiful place to shop for souvenirs and spend the morning wandering the cobblestone paths to gain an insight into the history of Antalya.
2: Roman Ruins at Aspendos
Sitting 50 kilometres outside the city centre is Aspendos. Most people visit purely for the marvellous theatre historians call the world’s best-preserved. Nestled into a hillside, such is the echo, the Antalya Opera and Ballet society perform there. Built during the 2nd century AD and seating up to 20,000 people, impressive is an understatement. Other landmarks within Aspendos include the acropolis and aqueduct. Most people book day-trips via local tour excursion shops to make the most of the day and have a tour guide on hand for useful information about the history.
3: Duden, Manavgat and Kursunlu Waterfalls
For a fantastic sea-view, head to lower Duden waterfalls pouring into the Mediterranean. If on foot, you will still get a good photograph; however, we think the best way to see it is from a boat. Many tour agencies sell mini day trips, with drinks included and you can swim on the way back. If waterfalls make your jaw drop, head to the upper section of Duden, Kursunlu at the end of the Antalya-Serik-Alanya highway or Manavgat, in the next town. During summer, the heat and humidity lessen its dramatic impact, but an excellent time to visit is Spring for maximum flow.
4: Best Beaches in the Province
Part of Antalya’s roaring success is as the best beach holiday destination in Turkey. Notable stretches of sand hosting thousands of visitors every year include Cleopatra’s in Alanya, Lara and Konyaalti in the city centre, Kaputas further along the D400 highway, and Patara, the country’s largest that boasts of stunning sunsets. Beach vendors rent out umbrellas and sunbeds, and when not swimming, head to water sports centres to jump on a jet ski or enjoy a pedalo.
5: Koprulu Canyon
Koprulu Canyon covers 366 kilometres and as a designated national park and is heaven for outdoor enthusiasts. Most people visit for white water rafting tours sold by excursion shops. After kitting out in your safety gear and a briefing, get ready for an adrenaline driving ride on fast-flowing water. Stretching for 14 kilometres, at the river ending, traditional restaurants serve up fresh trout dinners. Other people visit simply for the walk, and to see sights like the old Roman bridge.
6: Mount Tahtali: Viewpoint of Antalya
For a less physical experience, ascend in a cable car up to Mount Tahtali. Here, expect a fantastic view over the coastline and backing Taurus mountain range. Restaurants serve food and refreshment, and souvenir shops sell photos of you with the view behind. There are two choices to descend, the first being the cable car or choose the second, that is paragliding and not for the faint-hearted. There is also a cable car ride in Alanya.
7: Historical Ruins in Side
Side, a small quaint town is unique because of something no other places have. The new part, built around the historical part makes for a surreal, and quirky atmosphere. Landmarks include the old gate entrance and a small theatre. However, in the evening, just as the sun sets, a must is the Apollo temple, on the coastline. Take fantastic holiday pictures and after relax and dine in a harbourside restaurant.
8: Alanya Castle and Red Tower
Head to Alanya at the far eastern tip of the Antalya province to find a bustling destination full of cosmopolitan vibes. However, many historical sites are sitting on the UNESCO World Heritage tentative list displaying the city’s cultural heritage. Two such examples which rank highly for number of visitors include the red tower and castle. Displaying Seljuk style architecture, it stems from the 13th century and gives off amazing views over the coastline.
9: Land of Legends Theme Park & Attractions
From historical and natural landmarks to a theme park nicknamed Turkey’s version of Disneyland. Sitting in Belek, there is much to do in Land of Legends, and you can even stay in their themed bedrooms. Within the aqua park section, there are over five pools and numerous rides the kids will love. Also enjoy their adventure section with rides like the Galeon, sky fighter and finger coaster.
10: Dimcay River
Dimcay river in Alanya is a great place to hang out during summer. The 60-metre long river eventually flows into the Mediterranean Sea, but before reaching it, visitors head to numerous spots for swimming breaks and lunch in traditional quaint riverside restaurants. The best area to head to is the Dimcay valley, because of better facilities and colder water.
Districts of Antalya: The long list of attractions spread out over more than 19 communities. Stretching across half the Mediterranean coast, each community has a special ambiance and something unique to offer. We discuss each one, and which are the best to visit.
Visiting Antalya in Winter: Most of Antalya’s tourism industry happens during the official season running from May to October. Yet, thanks to an ideal weather climate, Antalya is a great place to visit in winter as well. This is our guide to more Antalya province attractions and how to plan your visit.