Proudly positioned on the Mediterranean coast of south-west Turkey, Antalya is a world-famous destination for more than one reason. Aside from the many mountains and cliffs that make up its stunning backdrop, Antalya has made a name for itself as a holiday destination that caters to all tastes. The tranquil city is drenched in sunshine throughout most of the year and most of the beaches are certified as Blue Flag ones, making the Antalya coastline suitable for families.
Throughout its fascinating history, this charming culture-rich area has had numerous names over the years. Nowadays, Antalya is a popular spot for windsurfing, water skiing, and sailing. After exerting energy climbing mountains and visiting historical sites, chow down on some sumptuous Turkish delights at one of the ocean-facing diners. Despite the name changes, the undeniable beauty of Antalya has never altered.
Described by many as the "city of whirling dervishes', Konya is a place on the map that deserves a special mention. Exhibiting some of the most jaw-dropping Seljuk architecture in the Central Anatolia Sea, it was formerly the capital of the empire Sultanate of Rum. It is thanks to its well-preserved architecture and rich heritage that Konya stands out as a haven of historical interest. The focal point is the centre of the city, where a man-made hill named Alaattin Tepesi was erected as a viewing point for wealthy residents from the Seljuk period.
Located on the south-east coast of Turkey is a place called Mersin. This harbour city is continuously growing and if you want to admire it in its well-preserved traditional state, now is the time to visit. Numerous attractions are located around Mersin, with most being easily accessible from one another. They include the Mersin Archaeological Museum and Mersin's Ataturk House, which was the birthplace of Mustafa Kemal, the founder of modern Turkey. Step inside to inspect original furnishings that have been preserved since the late 1800s.
Valley of the Fairy Chimneys
You won't be able to truly capture the magnificence of Mother Nature until you have experienced Valley of the Fairy Chimneys. A magical experience awaits anyone who takes the opportunity to witness the scenery and landscape that Cappadocia has to offer. This heavenly slice of Turkey will make your jaw drop, as you peer out onto the soft rock-caved homes, narrow valleys, and fairy tale-like hotels. An area that held significant importance for the Byzantine Christians in the medieval times, it is home to an 11th-century World Heritage Site and a collection of cave churches that reflect the valley’s religious significance.
A day trip is all it takes to visit the most famous group of waterfalls in Antalya. Duden Waterfalls are sourced by a water recycling station and since the falls are based 10 kilometres south-east from Antalya's best beaches, renting a car and traversing across the asphalt roads will be worthwhile. The natural space is open to members of the public on a daily basis and picnic facilities are also available. Make sure to look closely at the riverbed, which has been carved by volcanic materials contained within the water. The cave at Duden Waterfalls measures 40 kilometres in total, so be prepared to admire sights of the gushing water from many different angles.
The name Hadrian's Gate translates to "Three Gates" in Turkish. It was constructed in honour of a Roman emperor also named Hadrian. The emperor was said to have visited Athens way back in the year 130. It is more than just an ancient archway though, legend has it that the Queen of Sheba walked beneath the gates once upon a time! Notice how the architecture differs on the arch's upper section because this antique section of the tower dates back to the Seljuk period, whereas the southern section was designed by Hadrian architects.
Another architectural wonder that you will come across when you visit Antalya is the fluted minaret of the Aladdin Mosque. Better known as the Yivliminare Mosque, it is based in the centre of the old town, making it a good place to spend a few hours if you want to witness its adjoining complex of structures. They include Seljuk and Dervish lodge, Gıyaseddin Keyhüsrev Medrese and two sacred vaults. Constructed back in 1230, the mosque has been reconstructed a number of times over the years. Standing tall at 38 metres, the mosque's iconic minaret has 90 steps leading to the top.
Blessed with a Mediterranean landscape akin to paradise, Antalya's prime position in the Turkish Riviera makes it an idyllic spot for beach lovers. Extending for 640 kilometres, there is no wonder why the pristine coast is such a hotspot for sun worshippers. The seaside resort presents visitors with a range of stunning beaches, including Olympos Beach, Orange Beach, Konyaalti Beach, Alanya Damlatas Beach and Lara Beach. Most beaches have general facilities, like souvenir shops, cafes and water-sport facilities.
An eclectic mixture of cuisine can be found all around Turkey, where many meat dishes like Tantuni (meat cuts served with lavash) and Kuzu guvec (lamb casserole) are enjoyed by the locals, however, you can also choose from an assortment of other specialities. Although the basic meat of any Turkish kitchen is lamb, you can tuck into more than a Doner kebab when spending time in Antalya, with numerous meat-free and seafood restaurants located in the Antalya region.
Fine dining, food with an ocean view, a cosy gastronomic experience in an old town bistro - whatever you're searching for in terms of Antalya restaurants, you won't be disappointed. Vanilla Restaurant, Club Arma Restaurant, and Seraser Fine Dining Restaurant are three recommended dining establishments in the pretty province. Knock back a glass of "Lion's Milk" after your meal. This national Turkish drink is made with a delicious blend of aniseed and grapes.
With so many tourist attractions peppering Antalya's landscape, this seaside region is a must-visit for travellers in search of beaches, misty mountains, and grand landmarks, like Aspendos Theatre. Book your trip to the Antalya area through easyJet holidays today and we will provide you with a flight and hotel discount for booking at the same time!