Antalya is a burgeoning Turkish city on the southern Mediterranean coast, an hour and change plane ride from Istanbul. Known for its terrific exchange rates and long warm summers, Antalya is a hot ex-pat site for UK’ers as well as a smattering of other vacationers from the US and Europe. Antalya is a terrific city to spend 2-3 days while checking out some of the surrounding points of interest. Best time to visit is in the heat of the Turkish summer as in the winter the city like most of Turkey’s fabled coast cities, closes down.
Top 10 Things to do in Antalya, Turkey
- Old Town or known as Kaleci [pr: ka le chi]. Spend a couple mornings and afternoon here walking onaround this immaculately restored old town with picturesque cobbled streets. It is picture perfect.
- Old Bazaar- Not as breathtaking or ancient as the bazaar in Istanbul but worth a couple hours and couple lira.
- Konyaalti [pr:kon yal ta] or Lara beach. Not known for its beaches, Antalya can surprise you with a couple of nice options that include real sand!
- Termessos– a ruin located in the nearby mountains, worth a day trip.
- Daily Boat Cruise- Every city on the Turkish coast boasts day cruises for its summer visitors. In 6 hours, explore the coast, eat lunch, get some sun, and do a little snorkeling all for under $25.
- Karaaliolu Park [pr: kah-RAH-ah-LEE-oh-loo]. Just outside the walled city of old town, this city park runs along the cliff edges of Antalya, perfect for a sunset stroll ( and you’ll pass a Starbucks on your way there!)
- Catch a Blue Cruise out of Olympos to Fethiye. Great 3 day sailing adventure for under $250.
- Roman Harbor. Full of cafes and restaurants, this area (in old town) is ideal for a lingering lunch with amazing turquoise views. Its also where the daily boat cruises depart.
- Koprulu Canyon– One of the best day trips you can do from Antalya, white water rafting.
- Waterfalls. Believe it or not, there are several places to catch these beauties- Kursunlu and Duden
Antalya can be reached via Turkish Air from Istanbul or believe it or not, several small carriers have direct flights here from England. All inclusive holidays to Turkey are available as well as a la cart options for the more exotic traveler. Whatever you choose, give Antalya a try and she just might grow on you.