The first thing to know about Antalya, the Mediterranean coast's top city resort and tourist destination, is that it hosts roughly 15 million tourists a year. It is not difficult to see why. It is a large, attractive destination boasting a fabulous climate, excellent shops and facilities, stunning views, beaches, a world-class marina, and a fascinating past. The Old Town Kaleici makes up Antalya City's heart with its spectacular walled interior and warren of cobbled alleys ideal for exploring.
Discover little shops, restaurants, and boutiques, but don't forget to haggle when buying a leather handbag, souvenir, genuine fake, or jewellery. In contrast, the newer districts, such as the Konyaalti beach area, Lara beach district is home to modern-day, glorious Antalya. Here features fancy holiday apartments and condominiums, numerous 5-star hotels, shopping malls, government buildings and all-inclusive resorts.
Antalya was originally ancient Pamphylia, then Attaleai by the 2nd century BC King Attalos II. Its vast history spans thousands of years, with the Seljuks, Romans, Ottomans, and Byzantines each playing their part. The entire region, including Kalkan, Kas, Side and Kemer, is popular with foreigners and Turks. Each resort has a charm and feel of its own, with a strong expat community happy to call Antalya their home.
About Antalya in Turkey
1: Where is the Province?
Antalya is on the Mediterranean coast of Southeast Turkey, an area known as the Turkish Riviera. Turkey's most prominent international sea resort has a world-class marina and lies at the impressive Taurus Mountains foot. The Province stretches from Alanya and Gazipasa to the far west bordering the Mugla province. To drive from Alanya to Kalkan is some 5 hours - just to put in perspective how sizeable this sunny county is.
2: What is Antalya Known for?
Antalya has many claims to fame, including being the citrus capital of Turkey. Additionally, it is the second most popular destination for tourism and foreign house sales. The annual Aspendos Ballet and Opera festival takes place in the ruins' historical theatre with the same name. The sand sculpting festival takes place yearly on Lara Beach. Antalya also features large, luxury all-inclusive hotels, including the Mardin Palace, which at one stage was the most expensive hotel in Europe.
3: Is Antalya Dangerous?
Ask any repeat holidaymaker or expat living in Antalya, and they will say they always feel safer than in their home country. Antalya has a lower crime rate than big-city destinations like Istanbul, London, or Rome. Don't be a victim of opportunity crime, though. Keep wallets and handbags close to you, don't accept drinks from strangers and always use licensed taxis.
4: Is Antalya a Good Holiday Destination?
Yes, and don't just take our word for it, because the proof is seen in yearly tourist visitors' stats that average around 15 million people from different countries worldwide. One reason for its popularity is the region accommodates everyone from families with young kids to groups of friends who want to party all night. If you wish to indulge in luxury or find a budget hotel, Antalya will provide. The diversity of restaurants offers worldwide cuisine, and there are many things to do, tourist attractions and sites of interest.
5: What are the Beaches Like?
Get ready for a treat. Not only does the Antalya region offer a bountiful choice. It ranks as home to Turkey's most beautiful beaches as voted by Trip Advisor users. Some like Kaputas sandy beach, Lara, Konyaalti and Cleopatra are world-famous, hosting thousands of beach lovers every year. Others like Cirali, Phaselis are quieter and suit those looking to get away from the crowds. More about sandy beaches in Antalya.
6: Getting About
Drive east from Antalya city, to pass by Lara coast, a leading holiday home destination, then head toward Belek and after that Side and Manavgat. Continue east, approximately an hour from Side, to reach the well-expanded and busy resort town of Alanya, now almost a city.
Drive westerly, follow the D400 carriageway, enjoy the stunning scenery of Konyaalti beach, twist toward the mountains, and enjoy the elevated route through pine forests before arriving at the popular resort marina town of Kemer. Continue on the same road, to arrive at Kas several hours later. After Kalkan, drivers leave the Province for Mugla that includes popular holiday and expat destinations like Fethiye, Marmaris and Bodrum.
7: About the Weather and Climate
Antalya boasts over 300 sunny days a year. Visitors enjoy long hot summers and mild, if sometimes rainy, winters. The hottest and busiest months of July and August reach up to 40 degrees. The coolest months, January, and February, often feature highs of around 16*C during the day and an average night-time temperature of 6*C. The loveliest time to visit is spring and autumn when cooler temperatures and sparsely crowded beaches mean enjoying an evening stroll in a T-shirt.
8: Is Antalya a Good Place to Live?
The quality of life here is one of the best on the Turkish coast! The climate is ideally suited to year-round living with long hot summers and mild winters. A great choice of shops, restaurants and nightlife and accessible transport links and medical facilities provide all you need for social amenities. Antalya is a popular destination because the average cost of living is considerably lower than in the UK and other foreign destinations!
9: Lycian Way and Turquoise Coast
This stretch of coastline fronting the Mediterranean Sea holds two of Turkey's major attractions. It is the starting point for the Lycian Way, a 500-kilometre trekking route leading to the Fethiye region. Participants trek set paths to archaeological sites and ancient ruins dating from the Lycian civilisation who once ruled these lands. Secondly, it is part of the Turquoise Coast, known as the Turkish riviera.
Including hidden bays and coves, a popular pastime for many travellers is to sail from picturesque Fethiye to Olympos on a shared gulet cabin blue cruise. Those searching for a cosmopolitan atmosphere rather than traditional, often choose modern sailing yachts. Either way, passengers enjoy sunbathing, exploration, and other water activities like scuba diving or jet skis. The latter is especially popular during the summer months. If you don't want to go overnight on a boat, head to the harbour in the morning for a day time excursion around the sea coast.
10: Buying Property and Living Here
Antalya, a diverse, Mediterranean destination, features an ever-expanding tourism industry that attracts families and ambitious young professionals to the area. Since the late 1980s, the population grew from around 275,000 to currently about 2.5 million.
Antalya is constantly growing. The Chamber of Commerce and Industry state over a third of foreigners choosing to live in Turkey opt for Antalya. They note it is a particular favourite with the Germans, Russians, and Scandinavians. Many ex-patriots have brought or rent property in central districts, but areas like Kalkan, Kemer, Side and Kas attract crowds.
Unlike some parts of Turkey, locals managed growth exceptionally well with efficient planning and environmental awareness. Today, Antalya is one of Turkey's most affluent cities as per capita income. It controls and manages investment inflows and tourism. It benefits from the Belek golf region and provides summer as well as winter tourism opportunities. Above all, the city's vibrant and cultured lifestyle attracts increasingly like-minded dwellers coming in search of real estate and professional jobs.
Homeowners can expect 300 days of sunshine as well as high-income potential because residents and holidaymakers enjoy blue flag beaches and are within effortless reach of nature reserves, pine forests and ski resorts. The demand for luxury homes in Antalya and apartments in Lara and Konyaalti districts means they hardly ever go rent-free. See apartments and villas for sale in Antalya.
Popular Towns and Villages
Seaside Alanya: For a bustling Turkish delight, head to lively Alanya that grows in popularity every year. The landmark Red castle and city walls are the main touristic attraction, but there are plenty more attractions to boast about. Go all traditional by indulging in Turkish cuisine and an excellent old-fashioned Turkish bath or dress it up in luxury style by hanging out on the promenade in trendy cafes, bars, and restaurants. White water rafting from Alanya is also popular.
Antalya City: On any visit to Turkey, people will say, you must visit the old city of Antalya, known as Kaleici. Featuring a selection of ancient buildings with Ottoman and Roman architecture, the landmark Hadrian's gate marks the entrance. The region's top sightseeing attraction is followed by Antalya Archaeology Museum, one of Turkey's best. Waterfalls are big business here, and buses regularly depart to all other towns from the central bus station.
Historical Side: This modern town, built around the uniquely well-preserved ruins, provide a surreal atmosphere. Other than that, the town is all about rest. Indulge in fancy harbourside restaurants, or relax by the swimming pool. The choice is yours.
Golfing Belek: Welcome to Turkey's golfing capital that has hosted world championships rounds and top players like Tiger Woods. Belek's beautiful beach and immaculate well kept town centre is fast becoming home to more foreign expats looking to set up home in Turkey.
Luxury Kalkan: This destination is all about luxury, as seen in stunning, large villas dotted across the hillside. Most boast of a marvellous sea-view and private infinity swimming pools. The elegant theme continues through Kalkan making this destination pricier than others, but you won't find this selective ambience anywhere else in Turkey.
About Us: We are Property Turkey, an investment and real estate specialist with offices all over the country. We have taken our years of combined experience and local knowledge to form our blog that focuses on Turkish food, places, history, culture, and attractions. Including advice for expats and those who want to invest in Turkey, also learn more about Antalya and other major destinations.
THINGS TO DO IN ANTALYA
1. The sandy Konyaalti Beach guide in Antalya - everyone who visits Antalya must make a trip to the perfect sandy beaches at Konyaalti beach. Watersports, a marine animal park, and an waterpark all make Konyaalti Beach one of the most loved tourist attractions in Turkey.
2. Hadrian’s Gate and Antalya’s Old Town - The Queen of Sheba is said to have passed under these historic gates on her way to Aspendos, on her way to visit King Solomon.
3. Pamukkale, the cotton castle - The city of Pamukkale is well known for its gorgeous hot springs and lovely descending terraces of carbonate minerals formed by the flowing waters of thousands of years - a stunning site to witness and a must visit for anyone in the region.
4. Duden Falls: a natural beauty spot - The Duden River source is high in the Taurus mountains, and the flow winds all the way down to the Mediterranean. Duden Falls is the perfect day trip in Antalya.
5. Antalya Museum, where old meets new - This Amazing must see museum is one of Turkey’s largest and is located in Konyaalti, Antalya. It is a reminder of ancient times gone by and is a great source for information and historical lessons about the region.
6. Golf in Belek, Antalya - With over 17 Championship quality golf courses in the region, most designed by former Pros such as Colin Montgomerie, and Nick Faldo, any golf enthusiast will find themselves in paradise in Antalya.
7. Skiing in Antalya - Skiing? In Turkey? Yes that is not a typo, you can indeed head to some of Antalya's ski resorts before heading back to your luxury villa to lounge under the sunshine and even head to a beach all in the same day!
8. Rafting in Antalya - One for those who enjoy a little bit of adventure, rafting is increasingly popular in Antalya with some great spots in the region where those who enjoy the water head in and take on the rafting challenges of Antalya.