The first thing to know about Antalya is that it encompasses a beautiful area of the Turkish Riviera on the southwestern coast of Turkey. Home to a million people and visited by over 15 million people from around the world, it is Turkey’s best beach resort area, offering everything a holiday lover could ask for at affordable prices. If you want to invest in a second home or retire in an affordable paradise not too far from home, Antalya is also the place to check out. The Antalya region offers a perfect jumping ground to the Mediterranean coast alongside all the amenities you could ask for in terms of comfort and ease, as well several resorts-type areas that can offer the full holiday and living abroad experience.
About Antalya on the Turquoise Coast of Turkey
Weather and Best Time to Visit
Turkey has several climate zones, and our opinion is that Antalya’s is the best. Expect hot summers and mild winters. Such is the idyllic climate; many people travel here at Christmas, and New Year to enjoy warm days bursting with full sunshine. The hottest time is August when temperatures can reach as high as 40 degrees. This is when the beach scene thrives but make sure you drink lots of water, wear sun scream and a hat. If you like getting out to explore, avoid February and March because this is when the most amount of rainfall occurs. Other than that, Antalya’s climate makes it a great year-round venue for those who enjoy the outdoors.
Transport and Getting Around
Getting here all year round is easy thanks to the ultramodern airport that is Turkey’s top touristic hub. Receiving flights to and from all over the world, it operates a smooth and efficient operation. From there, many resorts have short transfer times, but some holidaymakers also like to hire a car to make the most of Antalya’s prime position on the D400 highway. Running from the east to west of Turkey, it enables quick and easy access to prime locations like the city centre, Alanya, Belek, Kas and Kalkan. Aside from that, within each resort, small dolmus buses operate daily, and from the main otogar (Bus station,) countrywide buses run by companies like Pamukkale offer a cheap and efficient service.
Beautiful Beaches in Antalya
Did you know the region is home to some of Turkey’s most picturesque beaches, as ranked by Trip Advisor users? Cleopatra’s in Alanya, Lara and Konyaalti in the city centre and Kaputas on the outskirts have all achieved great fame for sandy beaches, crystal blue sea, ideal swimming conditions, and some of the Mediterranean’s best views. Other famous beaches include Cirali and Olympus, Phaselis, Kemer, and Patara that is Turkey’s longest. Most beaches offer sunbeds, and umbrellas for rent and have a wide selection of water sports on offer. This has led Antalya to become Turkey’s number one destination for beach holidays and tourists flock from all over the world. Should you desire peace, many hidden coves and small bays await anyone who goes sailing.
About the Sailing Scene and the Turkish Riviera
Antalya also maintains prestigious status on the Turkish Riviera that runs from the north Aegean round to the eastern Mediterranean. As an international sailing hub, many private yachts often dock into various marinas to enjoy the nautical lifestyle. Budget round the world backpackers also board a gulet boat in Fethiye and share cabins on a cruise that runs all along the coastline to Antalya. The city centre has plans for a new marina in the Konyaalti district, and a cruise ship port for it to capitalise on cruise tourism. So watch this space when it comes to all things sailing in Turkey.
Things to Do and Places to Go
Breath-taking, natural wonders include Duden, Alexander, and Kursunlu Waterfalls along with the Taurus Mountains range, Yavuz Ozkan National Park along the coast. Visit all these gems on day trips from the central city or on longer multiple-day trips that combine sport activities with sightseeing and hiking. You can find whatever types of natural adventures you are looking for, but Antalya also makes a roaring trade in historical and archaeological sites. As the Lycian way starting point, a 500-kilometre trekking route covering ruined cities from the Lycian empire, traces of other civilisations also exist. Best-preserved ancient ruins include Aspendos, Myra, and Phaselis ruins. Find out more about what to do and where to go in our article about the top 6 tourist attractions.
Kaleici – The Old Town
For a holiday in Turkey, Antalya delights for cultural offerings. Any visit to the area should include a walk through the old town of Kaleici built by the Greeks centuries ago and still maintaining its historic atmosphere with unique architecture, old Ottoman mosques, a small harbour, and shops brimming with traditional goods. You also can’t miss Hadrian’s Gate, the most famous sight, along the major Ataturk Street in Kaleici. Built-in 130 in honour of the Roman Emperor Hadrian, stroll up the sides to the two towers for incredible city views. The city is overflowing with other old and impressive artefacts like this, stressed by locals selling handmade crafts like the famous woven rugs and musical instruments more unique to the region. Like anywhere in Turkey, there is no shortage of outdoor bars and cafes to sip a black tea or Turkish coffee by day or a fruity cocktail by night, all during a relaxed Mediterranean atmosphere that can’t be beat.
Dining Out and Nightlife
Antalya excels in its hospitality industry in a way that no other destinations can match. While the hotels can count themselves as some of Turkey’s best and include high profile establishments like Marden palace, bars and restaurants also prove themselves to offer the best in service. For dining out, the world is your oyster from fine dining in marina restaurants to cheap street food and other international cuisines like Pasta, steak, Chinese and Indian. However, being a seaside destination, alfresco-Turkish style dining is the favourite theme with many places offering rooftop restaurants for fantastic views. The common theme is Turkish mezes, fresh fish or seafood, the alcoholic drink of Raki and pleasant conversations with best friends. Likewise, enjoy sit down family bars to large pulsating nightclubs as seen in Kemer. The nightlife can be as low key or hectic as you want.
Popular Coastal Resorts in Antalya
Alanya: Sitting at the far eastern tip of the region, Alanya has become a recognised district on its own. Mass promotion and the opening of Gazipasa Airport has lured in more holidaymakers and property buyers attracted by its historical sites and long, sandy beaches.
Side: This quaint coastal resort is unique because the modern part of town was built around the old city ruins; hence the major attraction is the large amphitheatre. The other major landmark, the Apollo temple standing on the coastline, is the resort’s mascot to the international travel world. (Why we love Side in Turkey.)
Belek: High profile Belek makes a roaring trade with foreign tourists because of its status as Turkey’s golfing capital. Think world-class golf courses designed by stars like Nick Faldo and championship events that host golfers from all over the world. Belek matches the likes of Spain or Portugal as a golfing holiday haven.
Kemer: This resort revolves around pursuing leisure. Spend days at the beach, soaking up the sun and enjoying water sports, while after dark, large nightclubs kick into lively action to provide entertainment until the early hours. (Read Guide to exploring Kemer in Turkey.)
Antalya City Centre: First-time visitors to the region would do well to choose the city centre. As the hub of it all, it has the best shopping, and nightlife scenes, and two of Turkey’s best beaches; Lara and Konyaalti. A host of things to do during the day include the old town of Kaleici, the museum, and the aquarium. (About Antalya city centre.)
Cirali and Olympos: These two resorts sitting side by side, attract holidaymakers and backpackers who want a low-key lifestyle. Olympos’s quirky accommodation choices include tree houses, while Cirali, a more upmarket destination is quiet, and relaxing. Both resorts share a long beach, fronting the Mediterranean Sea and backed by the Taurus mountains.
Kas: As another quaint destination, Kas keeps much of its heritage as a slow-paced fishing village. The original architecture includes whitewash stone houses with wooden balconies, and while exploring, keep an eye out for ancient sarcophagus in the town’s major streets.
Kalkan: Sitting next to Kas, Kalkan could not be more different. Although the old town keeps its original architecture, much fame surrounds Kalkan because of its high-end luxury villas that dominate Turkey’s real estate market. Find out more about Kalkan in Turkey.
Buying Property in Antalya - Turkey
Property prices for prime real estate are still much lower than an equivalent piece of land in places like Spain or Portugal. With the recent devaluation of Turkish currency, finding a convenient apartment for under £50,000 or an independent villa for around £85,000 is easily done. To make sure you find the property of your dreams, Property Turkey provides brief inspection trips to help you see various areas until you find the property you have been looking for.
We can organise every aspect, lasting between three and five days so you can see about five properties a day that fit your requirements and get a taste of what the real estate market offers. Get in touch with us if you would like to discuss buying property or see our portfolio of homes on the market. Each listing contains everything to know, including price, location, and home features, and contact details to find out more or arrange a viewing.
Why is Antalya so Popular? The region is Turkey’s second most popular destination for foreign house sales and tourism. Many experts say within years, it can match Istanbul in terms of visitor numbers. So, why is Antalya growing in popularity and why do people come back year after year?
Do’s and Don’ts When Visiting Antalya: The region adopts a whatever go attitude for tourists, but in this article, we listed five do’s and don’ts that will help you have a better holiday, and learn more about Antalya and why it is one of the world’s best destinations.
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