7 reasons to love Antalya

To know what is so special about Antalya in Turkey, people must visit and experience the region for themselves. Antalya's stellar reputation stems around the globe, and last year, Antalya Centre was ranked as the 4th most visited city in the world, joining the ranks of Istanbul. Add to this, the fame and glory of the larger region with the same name, to understand why Antalya piques people's interest. Of course, the Mediterranean setting has much to offer.

Sitting on Turkey's southern coast and backed by the green Taurus Mountain range, the beauty is hard to deny, and every year, millions of tourists arrive to find out what the attraction is. The Antalya province is also Turkey's top expat destination, with many foreigners living there all year round or owning summer holiday homes, next to crystal blue waters. However, there are specific reasons why we and millions of other people love Antalya, as the region has more than one claim to fame.

Lara beach Antalya

Why Antalya in Turkey is a Special Destination

1: Turquoise Colours of Turkey's Best Beaches

The Antalya region stretches for 407 miles along Turkey’s southern Mediterranean coast. Within this are specific destinations that join Turkey's impressive list of stunning beaches and clean water. Glistening Cleopatra Beach in Alanya gains its name from urban legends that Queen Cleopatra swam there with the Roman general Marc Anthony. Further along, Konyaalti and Lara Beach on either side often appear as the perfect picture postcard scene.

Lara Beach features large, all-inclusive themed hotels and Antalya's annual sand festival. At the same time, Konyaalti, a residential area with high property demand, boasts a beautiful beach promenade with a children's playground, walking tracks and fantastic sea views. Also, visit the smaller Mermerli beach. Further down the coastline, Cirali and Olympos beach share a long beach, but Patara holds the crown as Turkey's longest.

Konyaalti beach

2: Golfing Capital of Turkey

Belek, a small town in Turkey's Antalya region, is often touted as the alternative to Spain or Portugal for golfing. Indeed, as home to world-class championship golf courses like Cornelia and Gloria, Belek hosts many global championships attended by famous golfers like Tiger Woods. The G20 Summit 2015 was held here and attended by famous leaders like Obama and Putin.

The glory doesn't stop there, though, because before excellent golf courses were built, Belek excelled in five-star spa and wellness hotels that counted themselves among Turkey's best. Add the long, sandy beach to understand why Belek has many expats and holiday home fans. Many retirees buy golfing property or build their own homes in Belek.

3: Dental Tourism and Cosmetic Surgery

In the last five years, Antalya has shot to super stardom in international dental tourism scenes. Foreigners flock worldwide for cosmetic and standard procedures because of high quality and extraordinary prices, which are half what they pay in their home country. Every year, 35,000 Brits arrive on Turkish shores for treatment and many head to Antalya. World-class clinics sell packages with hotels for mini holidays while ensuring your dental hygiene is on par. Additionally, some clinics in Turkey offer cosmetic surgery and procedures that far outperform other countries in price and quality.

4: Foreign House Buyers Attracted by the Natural Beauty

In an average year, roughly 35% of foreign house sales occur in Antalya. People buy for various reasons. The region attracts many holiday home buyers because Antalya is one of Turkey's top-performing tourist destinations. Others buy purely for investment purposes and to build generational wealth. While others purchase property to live here all year round and enjoy the hot summers and mild winters. So, which nationalities are buying? Russians, Germans, Brits and other nationalities make Antalya seem like a mini–United Nations.

Antalya property

5: Foreign Tourists Love the Historical Ruins and Iconic Spots

Formerly an ancient Greco-Roman city with a complex history and varied background, Antalya attracts its fair share of history buffs. Many people flock to see the number one historic site: the narrow streets of Kaleici Old Quarter and Hadrian's Gate. Brimming with old-style Ottoman buildings and mosques, these days, boutique restaurants and hotels ply their trade from them, which adds another dimension to historical vibes.

Aspendos, an ancient city near Antalya, earns praise for the large theatre, which is said to be one of Turkey's best preserved and holds the annual Aspendos music festival. Side town is built around old ruins and the coastline of Apollo temple, while Alanya attracts crowds with its red tower and fortress. Antalya also marks the beginning of Turkey's famous Lycian walking route, running for 500 kilometres along the Mediterranean and featuring ruins of ancient Lycian cities. This picturesque trail and perfect starting point portray Mediterranean Turkish history and panoramic vistas. (Historical ruins in Antaya.)

Alanya Turkey

6: Ideal Location with Excellent Transport

Whether arriving by sea, air or road from other places in Turkey or abroad, getting to Antalya is straightforward. The region covers a significant part of Turkey's D400 highway, from east to west. Of course, this makes bus transport to the rest of Turkey excellent, with cheap tickets and frequent schedules. Numerous marinas across the region are entry points on the famous Turkish Riviera. However, the jewel in the crown, Antalya International Airport, sitting 13 kilometres from Antalya centre and first opening its doors in 1998, serves roughly 31 million people yearly, thanks to extensive flight schedules. The airport services all major resorts from Alanya to Kas.

7: Sailing The Turquoise Coast for Charming Backdrops

One prime reason luxurious yachts flock from around the world is Turkey's turquoise coast, to which Antalya belongs. Aptly named after the blue Mediterranean waters, the turquoise coast stretches from Antalya to Marmaris and covers the whole of Turkey's Mediterranean. Along the way, people follow various routes to dock by quaint towns, villages and attractions like Kekova sunken ruins. Enjoying swim breaks and fresh seafood on board is a unique way to discover Mediterranean Turkey and relax simultaneously. Antalya, a central sailing hub, excels in luxury sailing establishments, hence promoting the sailing world of Turkey with finesse.


Popular Questions About Antalya in Turkey

What Food Is Antalya Known For?

Antalya is Turkey's citrus fruit capital, well known for its oranges and lemons. In recent years, it has also been known for its pomegranates. Buying them from local weekly markets is the best way to try the citrus dishes. Otherwise, you will find many restaurants serving traditional Turkish and international cuisine; hence, no one needs to go hungry.

Does Antalya Have Good Nightlife Scenes?

Yes, of course. Antalya has the best nightlife scenes in Mediterranean Turkey. Iconic spots like Antalya city and Kemer are where large clubs are open until the early hours. Other places specialise in sit-down entertainment and dining. Kaleici's old town turns into a lively place after dark, as does the Konyaalti district. Remember, drinking alcohol on the streets is not allowed.

What is the main street in Antalya City Centre?

Ataturk Boulevard, the main street in Antalya centre, is lined by tall palm trees and bustles with activity from day until night. Coffee shops and fast-food outlets make the street ideal for grabbing a bite or afternoon downtime. Otherwise, Ataturk Boulevard is an exciting place to stroll down, at the same time as exploring Kaleici's old town. Many luxury properties are on this street.

Antalya centre

Is Antalya Better Than Istanbul?

This depends on what you are looking for. Istanbul is Turkey's most significant and busiest city; hence, for less crowds, head to Antalya. Antalya's beaches are much better than Istanbul's. However, Istanbul has more historical and cultural attractions, and it tells the story of Turkish history better. We prefer Antalya for a relaxing holiday, where we can head to beaches or tour surrounding attractions. However, to brush up on rich history knowledge, Istanbul fairs better.

Is Kaleici Old Town Worth Visiting?

Most definitely. Visit Kaleici's old town to see prominent historical monuments and learn more about its fascinating history. Start at the 2nd century Hadrian's Gate, of which the Turkish name, Uckapilar, means "three gates referring to the marble arches. Other landmarks include the 13th-century Yivli Minare mosque, which is 38 metres high. Also, admire the 18th and 19th century Ottoman houses, easily spotted from the traditional courtyard feature.

The Antalya Museum of Ethnography sits within two homes, and the 15th-century harbour is a great place to turn around for views from a different angle. Although not open to the public, Hidirlik Tower is a significant landmark. Otherwise, enjoy shopping on numerous streets and then stop for afternoon tea in the quaint cafes before exploring the rest of Antalya.

Which Part of Antalya is Best for Shopping?

This depends on what you are shopping for. Many agree shopping malls like Terracity and Migros are the best. However, other shopping centres like Kaleici are best for souvenirs. Do seek out weekly markets in various neighbourhoods because these are great places to experience tradition and practise your bartering skills.

Is it Worth Going to Antalya in Winter?

If you want a beach vacation, December, January and February are not ideal. Temperatures drop, and there is much rain. November and March see decent temperatures; however, these don't match the beach temperatures of June or July. Regardless, Antalya has Turkey's best climates for high temperatures and is a great place to spend the winter if you like exploring historical sites and tourist attractions. Leave the beautiful beaches for another visit later in the year. (Learn more about the best time to visit Antalya.)

Antalya in Turkey

Where is Antalya Located?

The natural beauty and turquoise colours cover Turkey's eastern Mediterranean coast. Covering 20,000 square miles, Antalya province sits next to Turkey's famous Mugla province, the second most popular destination for tourism. As an official province, Antalya is separated into 19 official districts and coastal resorts, an impressive collection of which the following are the most famous.

Alanya City Centre: Sitting at the fair eastern tip next to Gazipasa, the beautiful city of Alanya seems to have set off on its pursuit of fame and glory. Over the last ten years, the local council has invested millions into upgrading the infrastructure and promoting the city lights of Alanya to a global audience. The effort has paid off, and Alanya now does an excellent job attracting tourists and foreign house hunters. The expat population includes nationalities from around the world. Main attractions include the walled city, red tower, harbour, and castle, and areas like Mahmutlar offer golden sand.

Historic Demre: For package holidays and foreigners buying property, Demre doesn't really rank. The town and area are traditional Turkish and don't promote beach activities. However, the area is famous for being home to ancient Myra and the Church of Saint Nicholas. He was buried here before sailors ran off with his bones. Saint Nicholas was a famous bishop known for his kindness; these days, he is better known as Santa Claus.

The Perfect Spot of Kas: Now, we arrive at a traditionally quaint town with nostalgia on every corner. Kas old village features whitewashed buildings with wooden shutters and trailing pink bougainvillaea. Stroll down to Kas's harbour to see traditional fishing boats bringing in their catch alongside boats selling scuba diving. The district includes neighbouring Kalkan and large luxury villas with private swimming pools. Boat trips from Kas to sail the Turkish Riviera are popular.

White Sand of Kemer: With a population of roughly 50,000, Kemer doesn't have any significant claims to fame, yet the large beachfront hotels do an excellent job of attracting tourists with golden sands and clean water. The name refers to walls built to stop the town from flooding from mountain stream water. The Kemer district includes the smaller neighbourhoods of Olympos and Cirali, which have the attractions of burning flames and ancient ruins, and Phaselis, an ancient harbour with ruined city landmarks. Kemer also sits near the famous Mount Tahtali cable car.

The Ideal Destination of KonyaaltiKonyaalti wasn't originally part of the bustling city of Antalya, but thanks to developments over the last forty years, it has now become sought-after to buy property and live, thanks to the Blue Flag beach. Konyaalti Beach and the promenade are significant lures, and the famous beach offers incredible views. However, the supply of property cannot keep up with demand, and home buyers looking to cash in on good exchange rates for the Turkish lira are now looking elsewhere.

Foreign Tourists Flock to Manavgat: This district includes the popular Side, which attracts history buffs with its large amphitheatre. However, Manavgat earns admiration because of the low falling waterfalls and the weekly market that sees people flocking from all over Antalya. Manavgat also features the Koprulu Canyon, with white water rafting and old Ottoman stone bridges.

Historical Attractions in Muratpasa: Many foreigners know this area because it is home to the Kaleici old quarter district's cobbled streets that lead down to Antalya's harbour and include the 2nd-century Kesik Minare mosque. Covering 20 kilometres of coastline, the other major attraction, the lower Duden waterfalls, spills into Turkey's Mediterranean Sea. The best way to see these is via a boat day trip. Many boutique hotels operate in the area, and the neighbourhood earns respect for the famous Ataturk Square.

Tourist Attractions in Serik: This district attracts attention because of Belek, the golfing capital. Covering 20 kilometres of coastline, the main town is traditionally Turkish and relies on agriculture and tourism. The other main attraction, Ucansu, is one of Antalya's most beautiful waterfalls during summer. The district is separated into 84 neighbours, and Serik features the famous Land of Legends Water Park, Turkey's version of Disneyland.

Antalya Duden waterfall

Summary - Reasons to Love Antalya

So, as you can see, Antalya is so special for numerous reasons. From glorious sights of waterfalls to big attractions dating from the Lycian empire, this bustling city and larger province has much to offer. As a beach destination, the charming town and surrounding coastal resort should be on your list of places to visit. However, if you are interested in buying property or living in Antalya, we can offer our services. As an established real estate agent, drop by our office in Antalya city centre to discuss more about what is so special about Antalya. You can also see our portfolio of property for sale here. Just use the contact details to find out more or arrange property viewings in the beautiful districts of Antalya.

Antalya cable car


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