Pristine seas, cultural assets, gorgeous beaches and history galore… it’s no wonder ten million tourists book flights to Antalya every year. Antalya has long been hailed by tourists as the jewel of Turkey’s crown, capable of satisfying the desires of sun worshippers and cultural fanatics alike. Its rugged countryside and host of coves also make it ideal for the explorers and the wanderers, with endless possibilities on offer to guests.
With that in mind, we present a perfect day in Antalya for every possible holidaymaker.
For the Sun Worshipper
You’re more than happy to lie like a beached whale until the sun goes down, before expending all that energy in the evening. But even sun worshippers have their preferences.
For a quiet lie-down, head to Konyaalti beach as it’s less popular with tourists. If you prefer a gossip with the person on the sunbed next to you, you’re likely to be happier at Lara beach. Got watersports on the mind? Get yourself over to Cleopatra beach and hire out a windsurf board or jetski.
Then when the sun starts going down, get back to the hotel and start readying yourself for a night on the town. Club Ally in Antalya town centre is highly recommended, particularly as the venue is served by seven individual bars that cater for all tastes on the nightclub scene. Great for dancing the night away.
For the Culture Vulture
On the prowl for temples, museums and ruins? You won’t be disappointed. Antalya was once a hub for the Byzantine empire and is steeped in heritage and history. Start the day at Hadrian’s Gate, constructed in honour of the emperor himself. From there, wander round to Hidirlik Tower, thought to have been erected by the Romans as a fortification or lighthouse. Note the restoration work carried out by the Ottomans and the Seljuks.
From there, head to the Tekeli Mehmet Pasa mosque to experience original Ottoman architecture. Considered one of the most important places of worship in the city, its three domes stand proud against the horizon. The Antalya Archaeological Museum is also worth a visit. With 13 exhibition halls and thousands of artefacts on display, you’re certainly getting your money’s worth.
In the evening? Head to one of Antalya’s many restaurants for traditional Turkish cuisine. The Sunset Restaurant and Bar is particularly revered among tourists.
For the Explorer
The explorer likes a challenge and is prepared to go to whatever means necessary to discover something new. A world away from the souvenir shops and luxury hotels, you’ll discover the carved and rugged landscape that surrounds the city. If you’re staying near Lara, get away from the busy beach and meander along the Lower Duden Fall – a truly beautiful location full of lush vegetation and spurting waterfalls. More serious adventurers might wish to tackle the Taurus mountains, which are often scaled by hikers.
For the evening? You’ll surely be too knackered from all that walking to go out, so order from room service and flop out in front of the telly!