10 Reasons Why Antalya is the 2nd Most Visited Destination in Turkey
According to official statistics released by the Turkish Ministry of Culture and Tourism, Antalya was the second most visited destination by foreigners to Turkey in 2014. Trailing close behind the bustling city of Istanbul, Antalya has again bagged the crown of being the most popular coastal area in the country.
The Antalya region covers a wide area of the jugged and turquoise-blue Mediterranean coast. Stretching for roughly 657 kilometres, it ranges from Gazipasa to the small but upmarket town of Kalkan. The chance of areas on the Turkish Aegean coast stealing second place from Antalya is unlikely and there are plenty of reasons why.
Diversity of the Regions
Along with the city centre, Antalya is split into small coastal resorts; each has their own distinctive vibes and characters. Belek is renowned for 5-star luxury hotels and pristine golf courses, while Kemer caters for tourists’ seeking all-inclusive hotels.
Further up the coast, Side is quaint and full of historical ruins in the centre while Alanya has a lively night-time scene and gorgeous beaches. The main city centre is of course, all encompassing, therefore providing every need, facility and amenities. Anyone seeking a quiet off-the-beaten track place will certainly enjoy places like Cirali and Olympos.
The Property Market
Property in Antalya has established itself as an established region with mass potential for property investment, probably sparked by large number of house purchases by foreigners of which some relocated to the country and others return each year. Most foreigners buy Antalya apartments.
Turkey has also seen a boom in Turks from big cities buying summer houses and thanks to Antalya reputation; the area is often their first choice. Leaders of the property industry market and promote a mass of properties to suit everyone from the one-bedroom budget holiday apartment to 6-bedroom luxury villas and buy-to-rent properties.
Transport Ease and the D400
Running alongside the coastline is the D400 highway that stretches for 2,057 kilometres. Road conditions are excellently maintained and public transport schedules from one resort to another are cheap and frequent. These benefits attract self-drive holiday enthusiasts and ensure short transfer times from Antalya airport. The main bus terminal, 4 kilometres outside the city centre has now become a main transport hub between the east and west of the country.
The Aegean coast of Turkey seems to attract mainly European visitors in particular the Brits but Antalya has many nationalities of repeat visitors including Germans, Russians, Georgians, British and Bulgarians. Antalya has also openly embraced the Euro, therefore attracting European visitors. Beyond this, it is hard to establish exactly why, it appeals to multi nationalities but short flight times could also be another reason.
The airport is extremely well designed, maintained and operates a tight schedule to accommodate 20 million plus international visitors passing through it every year. There is only one domestic terminal, but two international terminals have been built to accommodate arrivals from other countries. Served by Turkish and international airlines, in 2008, it grabbed the title of the world’s 30th busiest airport.
A Pivotal Point of the Turkish Riviera
Prior to tourism arriving in Antalya, most coastal villages relied on fishing, boat construction and sponge diving for incomes. In the 1970s, the Turkish Riviera was born and Antalya fully embraced the concept.
Citizens became experts in the construction and sailing of the popular Turkish gulet boats. Huge investment into marinas around the area has paid off because yearly luxury yachts dock in from all around the world. As well as the luxury visitors, many backpackers arrive in Antalya after completing the budget 4-day gulet cruise from neighbouring Fethiye.
Whether it was carefully planned or happened purely by accident, the Antalya region has a distinct cosmopolitan vibe. Traditions fuse elegantly with modern concepts while historical attractions have been given protection away from urban planning. Places such as the old town of Antalya city centre still have the original cobbled streets and old houses while a few blocks away, modern shopping malls and hotels do not intrude on its vibes. Everything blends together perfectly!
Ideal Year-Round Climate
Antalya has a distinct advantage of an appealing all-year round climate. Average temperatures in summer are around 30 degrees Celsius with 11 hours of sunshine a day. Evening times are cool, while in winter, conditions and rainfall amounts are not as cold or plentiful like other places in Turkey including Istanbul and the Aegean coast.
Natural Landmarks of Beauty
Despite being one of the most visited places in Turkey, Antalya has still held firmly onto its places of natural beauty. These include Mount Tahtali from which visitors can take a cable car up to the summit for an amazing panoramic view of the coastline and backing Taurus Mountains.
Manavgat waterfalls are a popular daytime excursion and away from the main resorts, plenty of small rural villages exist in peace. The gushing waters of Koprulu canyon attract adrenaline addicts with white water rafting opportunities while the protected area of Olympos park is home to beaches, forests and the notorious Burning flames of Chimaera that stay alight 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Visitors are also attracted by the historical sites scattered throughout the region. The most famous is Aspendos, an ancient Greco-Roman city prominent during the Pamphylia era. Its theatre is marvellously intact and annually the Antalya Ballet and Opera society hold a series of shows that attracts thousands of fans.
Further up the coastline are the ruins of Phaselis, gently nestled in between two beaches. This city was also a prominent trading post during the Pamphylia era but citizens were driven out by the constant invasions by pirates. Also add Termossos and Perge to the list along with the historical ruins situated in the heart of Side coastal resort.