Antalya Information: City and Holiday Resort Area Guide
Antalya, a Mediterranean delight, is a large province of south Turkey that excels in tourism, Antalya property sales and expat living. Comprising of the city centre, and many smaller seaside resorts, its reputation for shopping, nightlife, amazing touristic attractions and leisurely things to do precedes it and has earned it the title of second most popular destination in the country.
This Antalya information guide is an in-depth introduction into the region, but to know more about it, seeing and experiencing it first hand is thoroughly recommended. Nothing can match its beautiful climate, ideal lifestyle, scenic landscapes and overall, a multicultural vibe welcoming everyone, regardless of nationality or social status. Antalya is an all-rounder, from budget to luxury, slow to fast-paced, and traditional to modern, meaning you will feel right at home in the area.
9 Reasons to Visit Antalya
1. An idyllic Mediterranean climate of hot summers and cool winters
2. Award-winning hotels are the best in Turkey’s hospitality industry
3. Restaurants sell most worldly cuisine, satisfying everyone’s personal tastes
4. Enjoy a vibrant nightlife scene of large nightclubs, alfresco dining and quality food
5. There is a vast range of shopping choices from cheap and cheerful to luxury and expensive
6. As named by Trip Advisor, beaches win undying admiration from tourists
7. The ultramodern, smart airport has many domestic and international routes, making getting there all year round easy
8. An impressive transport network helps non-car drivers get around quickly
9. The many places to visit, attractions and activities keeps everyone occupied for weeks
What is Antalya Famous for?
- Belek, Turkey’s golfing mecca is home to world-class golf courses. Prominent and respected players designed some of them while other high-profile players like Tiger Woods competed in open championships to much publicity.
- Unique topography and beautiful weather make Antalya perfect for growing sweet, juicy and delicious citrus fruit, hence its nickname as the citrus capital of Turkey. It excels in marmalade oranges.
- The province heavily contributes towards arts, film and culture social scenes, as seen in the annual film festival, viewed by industry insiders as the most important in Turkey.
- Antalya does extreme luxury in excess through its five star plus hotels like Marden palace, nicknamed the most expensive hotel in Europe. Gloria Serenity VIP services have put it on the map, while the Rixos Premium Resort, is another hotel used by rich and famous business executives and celebrities.
- Trip Advisor says Cleopatra, Lara and Konyaalti beaches are the best in Turkey, as rated by user reviews. Blue flag stretches of sand, sitting alongside crystal Mediterranean waters not only excel in beauty but also include extensive choices of water sports, restaurants, bars and nearby facilities.
20 Things to Do in Antalya
1. Explore cobbled paths of Kaleici and see the landmark Hadrian’s gate
2. Mount Tahtali gives off a fantastic panoramic view of the Taurus mountain range and coastline
3. Ride the Tunektepe cable car
4. Visit ancient ruins and relax on a gorgeous beach at Phaselis
5. The burning flames of Chimaera are surreal at night-time
6. The Olympus ruins in a dense forest make it seem like a fairy-tale setting
7. The intact Aspendos theatre stuns all history lovers
8. Enjoy a tour around Antalya aquarium
9. History lovers adore Antalya Museum and its impressive collection of artefacts
10. Get back to nature by seeing the Duden and Manavgat waterfalls
11. Road trip all districts on a four-night tour by following the D400 highway
12. The 516-kilometre Lycian way is perfect for history lovers and trekkers
13. Sail the Turkish Riviera, by signing up for a 3-night Blue Voyage cruise
14. Hop onboard a one-day lazy boat cruise around the coastline
15. The red tower, castle and famous Cleopatra's beach in Alanya receive hundreds of visitors during summer
16. Sightsee in Side, home to the temple of Apollo and marvellous city ruins
17. Sign up for golfing lessons in Belek
18. See the ruins of Myra and Church of Saint Nicholas also known as Santa Claus
19. Go rafting in Koprulu Canyon
20. Visit ancient Perge, home to the Hellenistic tower, fountains, baths and an agora
Antalya Information: Major Districts
The province stretches for just over 350 kilometres along the Mediterranean coastline. Some inner land districts like Elmali and Kumluca maintain a low-key rural atmosphere, but buyers prefer coastal areas.
180 kilometres, east of Antalya city is Gazipasa, a popular area on Turkey’s domestic tourism scene. Known as a centre of production for bananas and oranges, the change in popularity came about when they opened their new airport. Although there are international flights, it mostly operates domestic routes. Hence foreign investors buy there, although it is a district to watch for the future.
Alanya is Turkey’s rising star. Every year, more foreign nationalities are descending on the town to discover places like Cleopatra’s beach, the red watchtower, Damlatas cave, and the castle. The excellent prices of apartments, in the Mahmutlar district, has boosted Alanya to a top destination for foreign home buyers. Sitting east of the city, the population is 100,000, but this grows in summer as the tourism season kicks in.
Urban legends say Side’s well-known landmark, the temple of Apollo was where Cleopatra and Marc Anthony meet for a romantic rendezvous. These days, life is much lower key, and less about a celebrity status lifestyle, and more about rest and relaxation. Side is one of Turkey’s smaller holiday resorts, but it still oozes charm in abundance. The town centre built around historical ruins has a community vibe to it while all-inclusive hotels on the outskirts make a roaring trade in the summer tourism scene. View Side property.
4: Antalya City Centre
As a hub of everything and anything, house prices in Antalya city are higher, but owners have everything on their doorstep including an all-encompassing and varied shopping and nightlife scene. Old mosques, the unique architecture of old Ottoman houses and Hadrian’s Gate make Kaleici, the old district, a top tourist attraction. Homes in this neighbourhood rarely come on the market but the Konyaalti beach neighbourhood, just metres away from the gorgeous Mediterranean coastline is an even better alternative. Buyers will also be surprised with what they can get for their money. If you want many shopping, nightlife and transport options, Antalya city is where it’s at.
In 2015, the small resort of Belek hosted world leaders at the G20 summit, but its claim to international fame started well before then. World class golf championships take place in Belek, and many champions have swung their clubs on golf courses that easily outrank those in Spain or Portugal. Accommodating experienced players, the area encourages beginners through golfing schools and structured lessons. Its prestigious reputation also revolves around the spa and wellness industry. Many five-star hotels throughout Belek receive guests eager to sign up for their treatments. You can view Belek properties for sale here.
Kemer keeps a discreet reputation on Antalya’s real estate market, because its industry revolves around all-inclusive, beachfront hotels. If you arrive during summer, you will sense an undying dedication to party hard till the early hours of dawn. Attractions and activities within resort include water sports like scuba diving, but the enormous Mount Tahtali is the top attraction. Every day, hundreds of tourists ascend to the summit via the “Sea to Sky” cable car ride.
7: Cirali and Olympus
These two, little villages sitting side-by-side share a long beach. Major touristic attractions include the burning flames of Chimaera, the Olympus tree hut hotels and ancient city ruins of the same name. With a clear background view of the Taurus mountains, both scream of a natural, down-to-earth ambience and have avoided the trappings of mass tourism. Buyers seeking an idyllic location are often disappointed because the small sizes of both villages mean property rarely comes on the market.
Despite hosting many tourists on daytime trips, this working town stayed true to its roots. Major attractions are the ancient Myra ruins, hosting Lycian rock tombs and a beautiful theatre. Pilgrims also visit the Saint Nicholas church, also known as the Santa Claus Museum, where the saint spent his last days preaching. The population of just over 25,000 includes nine smaller villages making Demre more of a rural hub than urban. Demre’s real estate market lacks momentum, so new build and off plan constructions, and villas are scarce. It is rare for foreigners to buy property in Demre.
As a quaint and delightful town, Kas’s typical Mediterranean fishing village vibes shine through in the harbourside, fish restaurants, and small houses tumbling down the hillside. Kas’s attitude is to take us as you find us, and this is the lure for foreigner buyers who find the laid-back lifestyle too tempting to resist. Property in the centre is hard to come by but head outwards towards the marina, to discover a portfolio of large, luxury villas. Most properties are three to five-bedroom villas, and some sell for six figures. Due to their location, a car is advisable for ease.
Kalkan and Kas are like twins. Both resorts ascend, the further you go away from the beach, and the old part of town still highlights stone houses from bygone days. Yet their real estate markets are different. Kalkan’s prestigious reputation revolves around ultramodern, luxury villas with panoramic sea views and private infinity pools. While tourists book into hotels, many families and large groups rent private villas hence the interest in buy-to-let incomes from investors. (More about Kalkan.)
Patara is not for everyone. In the last 15 years, Turkey re-invented itself by modernising its real estate market, but Patara seems stuck in time. Keeping a typical village atmosphere, if you are after a rural, seaside home, and want to be close to Turkey’s longest and most beautiful beach, it will suit you. Many tourists visit Patara for the beach, and ancient ruins but the rustic appeal of the village makes this area perfect for buyers looking for authentic, and traditional Turkey. The downside is that you’ll need a car for day-to-day living.
Living and Buying Property in Antalya
Proof of Antalya’s popularity is easy to see in its record-breaking stats foreign house sales and residents living there. Various nationalities have bought property in the city and all surrounding coastlines, making Antalya a multicultural and cosmopolitan area. Many more live there all year round. If the region is your dream lifestyle, see our portfolio of property for sale here, or read more about daily life, and major attractions in our Antalya information blog section. Explaining why it is a Mediterranean gem, we are sure you will fall in love with it too.