With its rich heritage, eclectic architecture, cosmopolitan demographic and lively pace of life, it’s easy to understand Antalya’s considerable international appeal as a tourist destination.
The region has methodically built its reputation since the 1970s, first for the authentic Ottoman atmosphere of the old town but more recently as an aspirational beach resort including a Mediterranean shoreline dotted with luxurious, all-inclusive hotels.
And with the enhanced exposure comes a secondary benefit reflected along much of the Turkish Riviera; the number of foreign nationals investing in property has increased as more are tempted to settle in a region they’ve fallen in love with.
As a result, the cadences of English, German, Russian and Arabic have become commonplace all year round in the city’s restaurants and bars, shopping malls and leisure venues. Businesses have also had to adjust to be able to deal with inquiries from all over the globe.
But with competition from other resorts along the Turquoise Coast, just why does Antalya have such a pull for expatriates from around the world?
Location, location, location…
It might be a cliché, but location is a significant factor. Antalya, nestling on Turkey’s Mediterranean coast, offers easy access to sandy beaches, warm seas and as many as 3,000 hours of sunshine every year.
But it’s not just the weather that entices foreigners to buy a new home in Antalya; the surrounding countryside is also spectacular, with the Taurus Mountains along the western horizon and substantial, thickly wooded parks within easy reach to the north.
Here you can find waterfalls, fast-flowing rivers perfect for white-water rafting, long-distance hiking routes such as the Lycian Way, and mountain bike trails for all abilities. Belek is also home to internationally renowned golf courses while smaller harbour towns within an easy drive are ideal for day trips.
Whether you’re hankering after a luxury apartment with a sea view, yearn to be at one with nature, or are considering an exclusive modern golf villa in Belek, you’ll find your ideal home in the Antalya region.
However, one of the most significant advantages is the city’s international airport, welcoming flights year-round from all over the world. If you live in Antalya, tortuous journeys to far-flung regional airports are a thing of the past; instead, there’s easy access to more than 50 European, Middle Eastern and UK destinations.
Great public transport
Like much of the rest of Turkey, Antalya benefits from the dolmuş (doll-mush) network – privately-run minibus services overseen by the local authority. The coach station in Antalya itself is also a busy terminal for intercity services to destinations around Turkey, including Ankara and Istanbul.
Since 1999, a tram service has also run from Antalya Museum and along the main boulevard through the city centre while the light railway runs from Antray to the zoo, airport, Aksu and the Expo 2016 site.
Taxis are also plentiful, and Antalya is easily reached by road by the D400 – a major road route connecting Turkey’s east and west – and the D685 and D650 north towards Isparta.
A life of leisure
We’ve already mentioned the beaches which, as well as being ideal for sunworshippers, offer plenty of opportunities to enjoy water sports. The city also benefits from parks and gardens acting both as “green lungs” and locations for recreation including lakes, ponds and woodland.
Perhaps the best known are Antalya City Forest, Atatürk Park and the Kepez City Forest. Nature reserves can also be found at Güllük Mountain National Park, the Mount Olympus National Park in Kemer and the Düden and Kurşunlu waterfalls. Other protected areas include the Karain caves and the cliffs at cliffs at Güver.
While the city caters well for those who enjoy the great outdoors, it also boasts some well-known shopping malls and precincts which bring custom from across the region drawn by famous global brands such as Ikea and Decathlon.
Antalya hosts a number of annual festivals celebrating film, music and dance. The city is also renowned for its Sand Festival on Lara Beach, as well as annual regional and national oil-wrestling tournaments.
History and heritage
Today, Antalya is a modern metropolis offering all the benefits you would expect including a university, state-of-the-art hospitals, shopping malls, leisure centres, museums, theatres and cinemas.
However, its original appeal was as an authentic reminder of Turkey during Ottoman times and also as a relic of previous empires including the Roman and Byzantine eras. The old walled town still survives, boasting mosques, ancient tombs, Turkish baths and evocative narrow cobbled streets all laced with lokantas, restaurants, bars and shops which retain something of the city’s original ambiance. If you spend an afternoon wandering the alleys, it’s easy to forget the more contemporary streets and high-rise blocks.
The old town certainly enjoys a cosmopolitan feel thanks to holidaymakers who provide summer custom for today’s traders, but the shutters stay up even in the cooler winter months, ensuring residents can still enjoy their “fix” of life in days gone by.
Property and prices
Something a buyer can be sure of in Antalya is choice. It’s a city after all – and a growing one – so there are both new and resale homes for sale to suit most tastes and budgets.
The global pandemic has brought about some demographic change in Turkey, enhancing the appeal of homes along the coast and increasing prices, particularly since 2020. Antalya’s popularity among Turks is reflected in figures which show a total of 12,384 residential property sales in 2021 – second only to Istanbul and four times more than the capital Ankara.
More recently, economic factors have also helped to enhance Antalya’s appeal to foreign investors. While the Turkish lira struggled on the international money markets in the latter part of 2021, the US dollar, Euro and the pound have enjoyed better exchange rates, bringing quality homes into range of more buyers’ budgets.
The city’s growing popularity as a tourism destination has also helped bolster the rental market, which means more demand for properties with letting potential, pretty much regardless of size. Add to that legislative change which has simplified the purchasing process for overseas buyers and it’s easy to see why demand is high and seems likely to remain so for the foreseeable future.
We’re here to help
Our team are specialists in buying and selling property in Antalya and have a wealth of experience in the Turkish real estate market. We can also help you with acquiring Turkish citizenship through investment or planning your custom-built home. Feel free to get in touch and we’ll be happy to answer any questions you might have.