Spring, Summer, Autumn
LCY → AYT
Up to 3 months
Taxi: 17 £GBP (20 min)
Bus: 3 £GBP (45 min)
Subway: 0.7 £GBP (15 min)
Beauty comes naturally for the Antalya region. Set in the southwest corner of Turkey, this area boasts almost 650 kilometres of white-sanded beaches and secluded coves. Back from the coast you’ll find plantations of avocados, olive groves and the pine-covered Taurus Mountains.
The nature has been helped along the way over the years and now the Antalya region is one of the most upmarket in Turkey. So much so, it is often called the Turkish Riviera. In resorts like Belek, immaculately-kept golf courses sit alongside the sand. In Side, the beaches are complemented by designer boutiques and a marina filled with yachts. While in Kemer and Lara Beach, the hotels are all luxurious.
For all the glamour of the Antalya region, it also has a very traditional side. In Antalya town itself, the backstreets are filled with Ottoman-era architecture, bazaars and restaurants that serve sizzling kebabs. Meanwhile, Side has plenty of historical sites – from the Byzantine basilica, the baths that date back to Roman times and the Temple of Apollo.
Temperature: The coldest temperature in winter averages 10 degrees Celsius, while in summer the temperatures hit an average of 28 degrees Celsius.
Best time for a visit: With sunshine year-round, Antalya is a destination that can be enjoyed any time.
Antalya has more than its fair share of brilliant sunshine year-round, however summer is the premium time to visit if you are planning to spend time on the beach. For temperatures that are slightly cooler, book Antalya holidays in spring or autumn, in both seasons the average temperature hovers in the 20s degrees Celsius. Meanwhile, winter is an opportunity to avoid the crowds and enjoy temperatures in the mid-teens.
Apparently Side, on the south coast of Turkey, was loved by Antony and Cleopatra. Located about an hours’ drive from Antalya – things haven’t changed much here since the Romans. The old town is unspoiled and there are numerous ruins near the beaches. The contemporary world has not left the place untouched, however, you’ll also find a chic harbour packed with waterfront cafes, restaurants and bars.
Lara Beach is known as the Turkish Las Vegas. Like the original here you will find a strip that is lined with amazing hotels that are modelled on some of the world’s most famous landmarks – like the Kremlin for example. Like Vegas, you will find a vast array of clubs to have a good time on your holidays to Antalya and it is all topped-off by 8 kilometres of sandy beach.
There’s also Kaleici, which is Antalya city’s gorgeous old quarter. Running off narrow streets are stone courtyards, while the lanes themselves are lined with Ottoman-era houses. Meanwhile the Roman harbour is a foodie’s destination with many cafes and restaurants. It is split into three districts – Selcuk Mahallesi, Barbarod Mahallesi and Tuzcula Mahallesi – yet is compact enough it is easily negotiated on foot.
The resort of Belek is surrounded by the pine-clad Taurus mountains and actually consists of two villages, Belek itself and Kadriye and is the perfect destination for golfers to spend Antalya holidays.
When you’ve finished soaking up the sun’s rays on Lara Beach or enjoyed a day with the family at Antalya Aquapark, discover history spanning millennia at the Archaeological Museum. It features statues of gods and finely carved sarcophagi from the ancient city of Perge. Go shopping in Kaleici for souvenirs from your holidays in Antalya, with goods such as silver jewellery or hand-woven and dyed rugs. For some pampering visit the 15th century hammam for a traditional Turkish scrub, or kick back on a boat trip cruising the region’s deep-blue waters.
Konyaalti beach is the closest to Antalya city and is popular with the locals. Also nearby are the thrills of Beach Park Aqualand with its giant water slides, and you can see sea lions, dolphins and more at Dophinland. Lara Beach is one of Antalya’s major drawcards and is the longest beach in the city and the most popular for holidays to Antalya. Almost all of the top hotels found here have private beaches, so there is no need to walk far. The Roman ruins at Side are also appealing as is the unspoiled beach lined with cafes and restaurants.
Away from the beaches, Antalya has a wealth of historic sites bearing testament to more than 2,000 years of history. Look closely and you will see wheel ruts that date back to Roman times in front of Hadrian's Gate, which was built in the Emporer Hadrian’s honour, and church silver from the Byzantine-era sits alongside treasures from the Bronze Age in the fantastic Antalya Archaeological Museum. Take a day trip to see the huge amphitheatre at Perge, and Aspendos’ incredibly well-preserved Roman amphitheatre, which hosts a famous Opera and Ballet Festival in summer.
Sampling Turkish cuisine is a must on Antalya holidays. Breakfast typically consists of fresh bread, white cheese, honey and black tea. Later, feast on freshly caught fish in the many restaurants overlooking the yacht harbour.