Travellers to Antalya know the area for a host of different reasons. Some seek out its luxury hotels while the area's historic treasures attract culture hunters. Then there is the natural beauty of the land. Most visitors will lay testament to picturesque panoramic views and natural wonders, including the Duden Waterfalls and the Chimera on Mount Olympus where flames have been sprouting from the ground for the past 2500 years.
The culmination of history with modern luxury hotels makes for a unique lifestyle experiences. It is no surprise, therefore, that Antalya sees 30% of all of Turkey’s tourism and is the third most visited destination in the world. It is also the fastest growing province in Turkey with a 4.17% yearly population growth.
Districts that fall into the Antalya provide are Alanya, Finike, Gazipasa, Kale, Kas, Kemer, Kumluca, Manavgat and Serik.
Whether travelling to the east or west of Antalya, there are plenty of long sandy beaches that remain relatively undiscovered. To the west of the city, the beaches start at Konyaalti, head towards Kemer and simply keep stretching on and on.
Kaputas is on the exhilarating coast between Kalkan and Kas. The long winding steps down to the beach have plenty of rock cover. The relative difficulty to reach the beach means that it has remained true to nature. Just opposite the gorge of Kaputas beach is the island of St Nicholas - who contrary to common knowledge did not live in Lapland.
Similarly, Cirali is a 3km stretch of sand that has been sheltered from the development of the region. Patara beach is another long stretch of sandy beach that is favoured by the intelligent tourist.
Antalya City itself has miles and miles of soft sand and pebbly beaches including Lara and Konyaalti. To the east, sandy beaches connect Antalya city with Alanya, famous for its Roman ruins and quaint ports. In the summer, the promenade that lies south across the city is a constant hum of locals and tourists enjoy the beach side of to the early hours.
Things to Do and Attractions
Holidaymakers in Antalya are spoilt for choice. With a host of shopping centres, beaches, treks, and amusement parks, there is plenty for everyone to enjoy.
Restaurants and bars are plentiful, with a good choice between local and international cuisine. Local foods such as Lahmacun (Turkish Pizza) and Tandır kebab. Vegetarians might enjoy a dish of wonderful eggplant salad.
Some of Antalya’s main attractions include white water rafting and tubing. Saklikent gorge is also lovely wet trip through some fairly difficult terrain. Saklikent is also a top destination for skiing from November until May, as the heights become covered in snow.
Sealanya Dolphin Sea Park and Antalya Aquarium are a big hit with families, as are the areas many water parks.
Visitors with an interest in the history of Antalya or hiking have a range of options. The quick trip from Kaleici to the Antalya Archaeology Museum is worth a trip. Not only because of the comprehensive artefacts on display but to also travel on the old tram between the town and the museum site.
Named after its founder Attalos II, King of Pergamon, Antalya is the eastern Mediterranean’s largest city. Prior to its official founding in 150BC Antalya province was part of Lycia. Today an ancient Lycian footpath (the Lycian way) stills runs between Antalya and Fethiye and is home to some of the most beautiful sights in the world. At times reaching a high altitude through Taurus Mountain, looking down on the many beaches and nature reserves to the west of the main city of Antalya, the trek passes Kalkan, Gelemiş and other coastal villages and towns.
The Lycians ruled the land until defeat by the Persian’s in 546BC. The area changed hands between armies of the west and east, including rule by Alexander the Great and the Seleucid Empire until the reign of Pergamon.
After Roman conquest, the mid-Byzantine era saw the Selcuk Turks and Byzantines capturing and recapturing the town as it passed hands between the two empires, until Ottoman rule under Murad II in 1432.