The Antalya area and coast provide everyone with something to do regardless of lifestyle preferences. Excelling in diversity, the region attracts budget and luxury travellers as well as house hunters who want to enjoy this Mediterranean Turkish delight. Altogether, the beautiful scenery, gorgeous weather climate, modern living and traditional lifestyles present a destination of Turkey that is worth the praise and admiration.
The culmination of history with modern luxury hotels also makes for unique lifestyle experiences. Hence Antalya sees 30% of all of Turkey’s tourism and is the fastest-growing province in Turkey, with a 4.17% yearly population growth. Antalya is also a beautiful city for those who want to buy property to use during the hot summer months.
About Antalya in Turkey
Antalya’s Colourful and Varied History
Antalya’s history dates back to ancient times. Various civilizations, including the Hittites, inhabited the region and established settlements around 1500 BCE. Later, the area fell under the influence of the Ancient Greeks and was known as Pamphylia. Attaleia (modern-day Antalya) was founded by Attalus II of Pergamon around the 2nd Century BCE and became an important port city.
In the 1st century BCE, Attaleia joined the Roman Empire. The region then joined the Byzantine Empire after the fall of the Western Roman Empire. In the 11th century, the Seljuk Turks captured Antalya, and the area came under Turkish rule. The region remained under various Turkish empires, including the 13th-century Anatolian Seljuk Sultanate and later the Ottoman Empire, which lasted for centuries. In the early 20th century, after World War I and the collapse of the Ottoman Empire, Antalya, like the rest of Turkey, underwent significant political changes.
The modern Turkish Republic was established in 1923, and Antalya developed in trade and tourism. In the latter half of the 20th century, Antalya experienced rapid growth in tourism thanks to the stunning Mediterranean coastline, historical sites, and favourable climate. In the 21st century, Antalya city and surrounding regions have excelled in tourism and foreign house sales, with many holidaymakers and expatriates.
Public Transportation and Travel
Antalya Airport: Antalya Airport is Turkey’s top touristic airport, with state-of-the-art international terminals. Frequent flights operate all year round, and the airport serves all coastal resorts, including Alanya, Side, Kemer, Belek, the town centre and Patara. At the Alanya end, there is the smaller Gazipasa airport, but flight schedules are more limited to the domestic terminal.
By Sea: If you travel by sea, the official entrance points are Kas, Finike, Kemer, the city centre and Alanya. Please be sure to follow all marina rules and regulations. They can be found on the Turkish Coastguard website.
By Bus and Car: People arriving by road can catch buses from all over Turkey to the bus terminal in the central city centre. The bus terminal then connects to all districts via more minor bus services. The province sits on the main D400 highway from the east to west of Turkey, so car drivers can get there in no time.
What is Antalya Known For?
The Antalya coast is famous for many things, including Turkey’s citrus capital, thanks to oranges. Antalya is a part of the Mediterranean coast and is pivotal for the Turkish Riviera. One big claim to fame is Turkey’s golfing capital, and Belek coastal town hosted the G20 summit in 2016. Antalya Centre is also the fifth-most populous city in Turkey.
Kaleici Historic Center - The Region’s Main Landmark
Kaleiçi old town is the historic district of Antalya, Turkey. These days, the old town sits within the modern town. It attracts many tourists eager to see well-preserved architecture, ancient city walls, charming cobbled streets, and historical landmarks. The name “Kaleiçi” translates to “Inner Castle” in Turkish, reflecting its origins within the ancient city walls. Kaleiçi is home to numerous historical sites and attractions, including Hadrian’s Gate (Üçkapılar), a 2nd-century AD Roman triumphal arch, An Ottoman-era clock tower, the 13th-century Yivli Mosque, Hidirlik Tower, and Tekeli Mehmet Pasa mosque.
Lara Beach and Konyaalti Beach
Lara Beach and Konyaalti Beach are famous and well-known beaches in Antalya city centre. Both coasts offer stunning coastal views, clear waters, and several amenities, making them favourite destinations for locals and tourists.
Lara Beach: Lara Beach, just east of Antalya city centre, is famous for its golden sand and luxurious resorts. The area is often called the “Las Vegas” of Turkey due to themed hotels and vibrant nightlife. Lara Beach boasts lively nightlife scenes, with beach clubs, bars, and evening entertainment venues.
Konyaalti Beach: Konyaalti Beach is another popular beach destination just west of Antalya city centre. The area offers more relaxed and family-friendly atmospheres than vibrant Lara Beach. Unlike Lara Beach, Konyaalti Beach’s pebble shoreline gives the water beautiful turquoise colours. Konyaalti Beach is also adjacent to Antalya Beach Park, with green spaces, playgrounds, and picnic areas. Other amazing beaches in the Antalya region include Cleopatras in Alanya, Cirali, Olympos, and Phaselis.
Things to Do in the Antalya Region Aside from the Beach
Holidaymakers are spoilt for choice when looking at the best things to do in Antalya. With shopping centres, ancient cities, beaches, treks, and amusement parks, there is plenty for everyone to enjoy. Popular daytime excursions include jeep safaris, lazy day boat cruises around the coastline, village tours, quad bike tours or hiring a car to explore at your leisure. First on your list should be the cobblestone streets of Kaleici,
Antalya’s reputation for adventure sports includes white water rafting in Koprulu Canyon national park, canyoning, para-gliding, and tubing. Don’t forget Antalya is the starting point of the famous Lycian Way, a 500-kilometre marked trekking path leading from the city centre to Fethiye. Otherwise, the top tourist attractions are Duden and Manavgat Waterfalls, Antalya Aquarium, Antalya Museum and Aspendos ancient ruins and Theatre. Also, visit Perge’s ancient ruins and Karaalioglu Park for rest, relaxation, and views.
Lively Nightlife and Eating Out in Antalya City Center
It will delight those who thrive when the sun goes down to learn Antalya’s nightlife scene is one of Turkey’s best. Eat out worldwide thanks to many restaurants serving various cuisines, including traditional Turkish, Chinese, Indian, Pasta, Steak, British and much more.
Being a seaside resort, many like the Mediterranean dining style, which is seafood and fish restaurants along the coastline. Many bars feature live music or sit-down entertainment, and large nightclubs stay open until the sun rises for another day.
Guide to Towns in the Antalya area of Turkey
Beautiful Alanya: Sitting at the eastern tip, the coastal town of Alanya is growing in popularity and on the verge of becoming a mini city. A vibrant social scene, beaches, shopping and dining out contribute to its sturdy reputation. The Mahmutlar district is popular with holidaymakers and foreign buyers looking to buy property in Turkey. Alanya is well known for the castle and red tower.
Historical Side: Don’t underestimate Side’s small size because the town commands respect for its historical value. The new town built around the ancient theatre ruins provokes surrealism, and the landmark Apollo temple on the coastline attracts curious holidaymakers, thanks to an urban legend that Marc Anthony and Cleopatra once met here.
Golfing Belek: Known as Turkey’s golfing capital, Belek resort has seen some famous names descend on its world-class championship golf courses. Now ranking alongside Portugal and Spain as an ideal location to swing your club, Belek is renowned for its 5-star spa, wellness hotels, and Land of Legends theme park. Belek coastal town will deliver if you want to relax and chill out.
Antalya City Center: As the most popular district, don’t think of urban landscapes because much of Antalya city centre is residential and places like Konyaalti and Lara beaches districts are popular tourist spots. Another population attraction in this area is Kaleici, the old town boasting Ottoman architecture, small boutiques, and the nostalgic harbour district.
Beachy Kemer: The primary tourist demographics of East Europeans love the all-inclusive hotels of Kemer that front the Mediterranean Sea and boast fantastic sunset views. Also featuring water sports, the resort is clean and perfect for anyone who wants to lay back and chill out. Kemer is also the closest resort to the Mount Tahtali Cable Car Ride.
Nostalgic Kas: To witness bygone eras in Turkey, visit Kas, a former Greek fishing village whose stunning beauty wow everyone. Old Lycian sarcophagus and an ancient theatre are major landmarks but traditional houses on narrow, cobbled streets in the old town part are a delight to wander around.
Luxury Kalkan: As an exclusive Turkish Riviera destination, Kalkan’s luxury villas with infinity pools and stunning Mediterranean views thrust this town into the limelight as an upmarket district. Houses in seaside neighbourhoods sell for millions of pounds, making this Med Turkey’s darling jewel.
Rustic Patara: Sitting on the western outskirts, Patara will win no awards for luxury, but the rustic charm keeps people coming back. Patara was one of Turkey’s first destinations to embrace mainstream tourism 50 years ago and has somewhat been left behind by the internet’s advances. Yet, its village, long beach and stunning city ruins are worth visiting.
Living and Buying Property in the Antalya Area of Turkey
Every year, across the Antalya area, many foreigners buy apartments and villas for summer homes, buy-to-let income, real estate investments, or live there. The varied real estate portfolio suits many buyers, including first-time purchasers, from budget studio apartments in Mahmutlar to large, luxury, millionaire villas in Kalkan.
Many people also live in Antalya all year round, so the sizeable ex-pat community, are a wealthy source of knowledge. See current listings for apartments and villas for sale in Antalya just below. Each contains photos, property descriptions, area information and an enquiry form should you want to learn more. Otherwise, contact us to arrange viewing trips or to speak to a representative about the Turkish property buying process or about Antalya in Turkey.