Holidays to Antalya take you to an historic city on Turkey’s Mediterranean coast. You get a Byzantine old town, beaches backed by mountains, and an eclectic nightlife with open-air clubs.
The city of Antalya, on the lively Turkish Riviera, comes with a cosmopolitan vibe. The promenade buzzes with chic bars and the modern marina has a host of seafood restaurants. There’s an old town, too, filled with a mix of Roman, Byzantine and Ottoman architecture along with bustling bazaars. As for the beach, you’ve got a 15-kilometre stretch along this coastline.
Antalya’s city charm is boosted by Konyaalti Beach, a sand-and-shingle stretch that’s hugged by mountains and filled with watersports. It’s 5 minutes’ drive away and you can get there by tram or by jumping on a dolmus mini bus. Lara Beach is further afield, at 40 minutes, though it offers one of Turkey’s longest stretches of sand.
Old town atmosphere
Antalya’s old town is known as Kaleici, which starts at the triple-arched Hadrian’s Gate, a Roman ruin from the 2nd century. Inside, everything is within 10 minutes’ walk. There’s Saat Kulesi, a tall clock tower with views of the Roman harbour below, and the Kesik Minare, an old minaret, built on top of a Roman temple in 1207.
Waterfalls and Roman ruins
The Upper Duden Waterfalls are one of the area’s most famous sights. Set in a park 25 minutes’ drive away, there are railed paths that take you up close to the 20-metre-high falls. Or at the Roman ruins at Perge, half-an-hour away, there are tours of the acropolis and old bathing houses. And in an hour you can be at Aspendos, site of one of the world’s best-preserved Roman amphitheatres.
Things to See and Do in Antalya
Just west of the city centre is a glorious sand and pebble beach with watersports to suit the keenest water babies. Quieter stretches of beach, including secluded coves can be found further west, at the base of the Troodos mountains. Lara Beach is a glorious stretch of golden sand, shelving seductively into the dazzling ocean.
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