Antalya, Turkey at its Best
Boasting gorgeous beaches, epic ancient sites and natural landscapes ripe for adventure, Antalya in Turkey has everything you need for a truly unforgettable holiday by the sea. For a holiday that combines stunning scenery, beautiful beaches, pine forests, fast-paced adventure and ancient sites look no further than Antalya, on Turkey’s Turquoise Coast. Boasting 300 days of sunshine per year, it’s the perfect destination for families and couples, sports enthusiasts, history buffs and sunbathers.
The shores of the Antalya region on the south coast of Turkey are known for their sublime beaches – ideal places to kick back in the warm Mediterranean sunshine. There’s Lara beach, known as the Las Vegas of Turkey, where you’ll find 8km of golden sand flanked by sophisticated bars and hotels, or Kleopatra beach, a serene stretch with gentle waves. For those who love sunbathing as much as shopping there’s Konyaalti beach, where you can join a well-heeled local crowd by the shore.
History enthusiasts will be spoilt for choice in the Antalya region. The city of Antalya itself is home to the impeccably preserved old city of Kaleici which is crammed with Ottoman houses and close to a Roman-era harbour. A short drive away you’ll also find the majestic Aspendos theatre, the spectacular rock-cut tombs of Myra, and Demre – the home of a certain Saint Nicholas of Myra, who later became known as Santa Claus. Elsewhere, you’ll discover the spectacular, partly sunken ruins of Dolchiste, one of the region’s most famous ancient cities. Nearby you can also explore the ancient city of Olympos, which is located in a peaceful river valley near the coast. The historic ruins are scattered along the water and dotted beneath pine trees, and make the perfect cultural addition to your summer holiday.
Those looking for more adventurous activities will have plenty to choose from in Antalya. At the Koprulu Kanyan you’ll find a stunning chasm that offers some of the country’s most famous and thrilling white-water rafting along the Koprucay River. If that’s not enough, the region is a hotbed of canyoning opportunities – that’s jumping, abseiling and clambering down waterfalls in some of the region’s most impressive natural caves. Or perhaps scuba diving is more your thing: along the shores of Antalya you’ll discover rich marine life as well as ancient cities submerged beneath the sea.
To see the natural landscape of the region at its most remarkable, head to the Toros Mountains, where you can pack a picnic and peaceful trails. Keen to cover a lot of ground in one day? A fast-paced jeep safari could be the answer, while those looking for a bird’s – eye view of the area should try paragliding: a chance to see the natural mountains, forests and coast from 100ft in the air.
Golf enthusiasts will be treated to an enticing array of lush fairways in Antalya. There’s even a spectacular 27-hole golf course designed by six-time Major winner Sir Nick Faldo in Belek, while many of the other rolling greens offer views over the Mediterranean Sea.
Accommodation along the dazzling coastline is second to none. You may opt for one of the large and exclusive resorts that offer fantastic restaurants, beach views and watersports. These range from all-inclusive, adult only-hotels to family friendly options that are perfect for toddlers to teenagers. Some couples may prefer something more private; in Antalya you’ll find peaceful villas boasting secluded settings and exclusivity. The area is also dotted with arty boutique hotels, many of which are located in the serene, forested hillside. For a buzzing city stay, Antalya’s streets are full of historic hotels.