Positioned on the coast of Turkey between the Mediterranean sea and the Taurus Mountains, lies Antalya. Turkey’s principal holiday resort, Antalya is a seriously stunning city steeped in ancient history and numerous religious traditions and customs. All around the city you will see areas of outstanding natural beauty as well as many historical remains of buildings and monuments.
But it’s not just the history that attracts thousands upon thousands of visitors from around the world, it’s also the world-class beaches and the sunshine that make this place a year-round destination. Like Bodrum, Antalya is the perfect destination for everyone. It offers sun, sea, and sand for those wanting a relaxing beach holiday, and for those that want to get lost in nature, there are dozens of options to do this along Antalya’s 640-kilometer coastline. There are ancient cities to explore and plenty of hidden bays just waiting to be discovered.
So if you’re wondering whether Antalya is worth visiting, then the short and simple answer is yes, Antalya is 100 percent worth visiting. But don’t just take our word for it, take a look at these additional seven reasons why Antalya is worth visiting.
Antalya is steeped in history. Not only does it attract couples from around the world it also attracts historians in their droves. Antalya is a treasure chest of ancient ruins that can be seen all over the city. It’s considered one of the most ancient cities in Turkey. The diverse range of historical buildings, monuments, and cities will make you feel as though you are on a time-traveling expedition.
There are many ways to explore the ancient buildings whether it’s by yourself or with a tour guide. Some of the main attractions include Kaleici and Hadrian’s Gate, Historical Aspendos Termessos, Phaselis Ancient City and Beaches, Olympos Ruined City, Old Side and the Apollo Temple, Alanya Castle and Red Tower, Perge Ancient City, and the Myra Ancient Ruins. There is also a museum that is worth visiting for an even more historical journey through Antalya’s history.
Antalya’s position between the Mediterranean sea and the Taurus Mountains means that the area is protected from cold northerly Antalya’s position between the Mediterranean sea and the Taurus Mountains means that the area is protected from cold northerly winds, allowing average temperatures to be a lot higher than many other cities in Turkey.
The average temperatures in July and August happily sit at around 33 degrees celsius. Which is perfect for a summer vacation. Even in the winter months, the temperatures are fairly moderate, reaching highs of almost 20 degrees celsius in November and a slightly cooler 14 degrees celsius in December. These moderate temperatures have made Antalya a year-round vacation destination where swimming is possible any month of the year.
|Avg. Temperature °C (°F)||7.7 °C(45.8) °F||8.7 °C(47.7) °F||11.5 °C(52.7) °F||15 °C(59) °F||20 °C(68) °F||25.6 °C(78) °F||29.3 °C(84.8) °F||29.1 °C(84.3) °F||24.6 °C(76.2) °F||18.9 °C(66) °F||13.4 °C(56.2) °F||9.3 °C(48.7) °F|
|Min. Temperature °C (°F)||4 °C(39.2) °F||4.3 °C(39.8) °F||6.3 °C(43.3) °F||9.4 °C(48.8) °F||13.8 °C(56.8) °F||18.8 °C(65.8) °F||22.5 °C(72.5) °F||22.8 °C(73.1) °F||18.7 °C(65.7) °F||14 °C(57.1) °F||9.1 °C(48.3) °F||5.5 °C(42) °F|
|Max. Temperature °C (°F)||12 °C(53.7) °F||13.6 °C(56.5) °F||16.9 °C(62.5) °F||20.7 °C(69.2) °F||25.8 °C(78.4) °F||31.8 °C(89.2) °F||35.9 °C(96.6) °F||35.5 °C(96) °F||31 °C(87.7) °F||24.7 °C(76.4) °F||18.8 °C(65.8) °F||13.8 °C(56.9) °F|
|Precipitation / Rainfall mm (in)||215(8.5)||137(5.4)||110(4.3)||74(2.9)||45(1.8)||7(0.3)||1(0)||1(0)||25(1)||103(4.1)||138(5.4)||225(8.9)|
|Rainy days (d)||10||8||8||6||4||1||0||0||2||4||6||10|
|avg. Sun hours (hours)||5.8||7.0||8.8||10.2||11.9||13.0||12.9||12.1||10.8||9.1||7.6||6.2|
A lot of Antalya’s cuisine has been influenced by Greek, African, Arab, and overall Mediterranean cultures. It also takes its influences from the vast history that surrounds the city. Some of the best restaurants serve traditional dishes such as Gozleme, Borek, Yenge, and Pide Salonu, as well as more well-known dishes like grilled meats, shish kebabs, and Turkish ice cream.
Most of the food that’s used in Antalya’s cuisine is locally grown and sourced as the majority of the population is occupied with farming, especially in the rural plains and tablelands. It’s very common to see Goat and Sheep breeding, however, there are also plenty of choices for those that are vegan or vegetarians.
Most tourists that visit Antalya come for its magnificent beaches. From the more isolated beaches to the most popular beaches there is a beach out there that will appeal to everyone. There are a few note-worthy beaches that you should definitely visit while you’re in Antalya. Most of the beaches are steeped in history and have won several Blue Flag Awards for their fine golden sands and incredibly clear azure seas.
One of the most popular beaches for both tourists and locals is Lara Public Beach. Located in the city center, it’s the closest beach to the airport and is one of the easiest beaches to get to. However, this does make it busy during peak seasons. Lara beach is a public beach for around 2 kilometers, the rest of its golden sands and deep blue seas is owned by the upscale hotels that line the beachfront. The beach is a popular destination for beach weddings due to its stunning backdrop and upmarket atmosphere.
Another popular beach to visit is Olympos Beach, which is located around 50 miles from Antalya. Although you would need to travel a fair distance to reach Olympos Beach it’s well worth the drive. Known for its kilometers-long coastline, natural wonder bays, boat tours, and paragliding options, it’s no surprise people love this beach. The beach itself is pretty isolated so you may have to take a 5 to 10-minute walk from where you park your transport to where the beach actually is, but many don’t mind the walk. The azure waters and cool temperatures are refreshing during the summer months and the view of the rocky coastline makes for the perfect backdrop to a relaxing day on the beach. You’ll also want to watch out for the Caretta Turtles that make their nests in the fine sands of the shore.
Located one and half hours from Antalya city center is Kleopatra Beach. A truly spectacular, royal-worthy beach that sits at the base of an imposing headland topped with a medieval castle. The best viewpoint of this beach is from the castle itself, where you’ll see the beach stretch off into the distance, backed by steep rising foothills. To get down to the beach you’ll need to take the cable car.
The beach is steeped in history and folk tales. There isn’t a shortage of things to do one or around the beach with plenty of restaurants, cafes, and bars as well as all manner of sports including basketball, tennis, and even a full-sized swimming pool.
Although Antalya has a rich history, it also has strong cultural roots. Many of the local residents follow a number of different religious traditions and customers, so it’s worth being aware of some of them. Despite women now having equal rights as men, there are still some ancient traditions they need to stick to, although as a tourist you don’t have to follow all of them, you are encouraged to follow a few.
As a traveler you should not walk while wearing provocative clothes, you should not drink alcohol in the wrong places, and remember to always remove your shoes at the entrance to someone’s home. While most of the locals are friendly, hospitable, and polite they do pay close attention to the manners of a newcomer and how familiar a person is with the rules of the etiquette. Learning a few Turkish phrases before visiting would also be hugely beneficial.
For some, the colorful and lively nightlife is another major factor in why many love Antalya and frequently return. There are countless nightclubs and pubs in the city center as well as the surrounding area. It’s always possible to find venues that appeal to every musical taste. In addition to the clubs and pubs, there are several taverns, discos, and bars that all heaving during the summer months, just another sign that Antalya is the place to visit for a good night out. If visiting during their annual Orange Film Festival you will see that the nightlight atmosphere is even more lively and fun.
For those that love hiking, you’ll want to get your gear on and hike the incredible Lycian Way. It’s the world’s longest hiking route at 350 miles. The route takes you along the beautiful Mediterranean landscape that stretches from Antalya to Fethiye. The route will take you through harbor towns and sandy beaches as well as olive-grove hinterlands. For inexperienced hikers, you won’t have to worry about completing the whole trail as you can stop and start from many different points along the way.