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Antalya Tourism And Travel Guide
11.9° C / 53.4° F
April to October
2 to 3 Days
Antalya (16 kms)
Burdur (122 kms)
Antalya is a beautiful seaside city located in the southern parts of Turkey. Rich in scenic landscapes as well as history & culture, this is the 5th most populated city with over 1 million people residing here. The first settlement in the city was in 200 BC and since then Antalya has flourished under multiple rules of the Roman, Seljuk Sultanate and the Ottoman Empire. Tourism in Antalya is the main source of income as the Turkish Government has aided it with large funds and established this city into a seaside resort. Read this travel guide to Antalya to get the best and most useful information on this captivating city.
How To Reach
Being a popular tourist city, Antalya has many access routes, however, the preferred option is by air.
Antalya has its own airport which makes it the easiest access route. However, there are no direct flights from India. One must fly to Istanbul and then change to a domestic or charter plane. There are daily flights from Delhi and Mumbai airports that fly directly to Istanbul and many other flights from other parts of India that fly with a stopover. The domestic flight between Istanbul to Antalya runs daily and is only 1.5 hours which easily makes this the fastest way to reach.
Antalya has no railway station. The nearest one is at Burdur, which is 122 km away. However, Burdur is accessible from other parts of Turkey like Istanbul via Eskisehir station. An alternate station is Konya which is further away but is better connected across Turkey. From both these stations, you can take a bus or hire a private vehicle up to the seaside resort city
Antalya is located towards the south of Turkey with the Mediterranean sea at its feet. While there are many international cruises that dock here, they are mainly from neighbouring countries like Greece and Italy. To experience a sea-faring journey, you can opt for a ferry from Izmir to Antalya. Izmir is a popular city in Turkey and can be reached by Flight, Train or Bus from almost every other city in Turkey.
Turkey has a huge network of buses which connects each city to the other. Antalya is also well-connected and the main bus terminal is only 6 km away from the city centre. There are many overnight bus coaches that are great for the budget traveller as it saves on cost and time. If you plan to hire a vehicle and drive down from Istanbul, it would take around 10 hours via Eskisehir.
Antalya is a tourist hub and there are many public transport facilities available for the locals and tourists. Buses run far and wide, all across the city and is an easy way to get from point A to B. The dolmus, which is a minibus service, also connects many of the popular tourist spots together and is a fun local experience. Antalya also has a tram service. If you want something more convenient and private, you can also book a taxi service.
Weather & Best Time To Visit
Seaside escapes are best enjoyed during summer as the climate is more favourable. Antalya's summers are hot while winters are cold and so the months between April to October make for the best weather.
Spring (March to April):
Spring is a lovely time to visit. The beaches aren't as crowded because the waters are still cool and the sun isn't hot enough to sunbathe. However, the time is ripe to enjoy the watersports Antalya has to offer. The average temperature is between 15°C to 21°C and makes for wonderful weather. The views of Mount Taurus and others are a pretty sight as they would still be snow-clad, sometimes even up to May.
Summer (May to August):
The summertime is perfect for beach goers. Plenty of sun with almost no chance of rain is great if you want to laze around on the sand and party in the beach clubs. These months tend to get overly crowded though and that could be a deal breaker for some. The temperature in July & August can average 30°C, making it the hottest time of the year for Antalya. The humidity levels also rise and this makes it uncomfortable for people who are not used to such warm conditions. But there are also some very interesting events that are usually held at this time - like the Flower Festival in May and other cultural and musical festivals that happen in June, July and August.
Autumn (September to November):
When the summer sun isn't as harsh and the days are still long, it is a lovely time to visit Antalya. The beaches are not overly populated and yet open for all adventure and watersport activities. The temperature ranges from 18°C to 25°C and the weather is pleasing. For a lover of the arts, there are many music-related and creative events that take place in October. Also, the Golden Orange, one of the most important film festivals in Turkey, takes place every October.
Winter (December to February):
Turkish winters can get quite harsh and are not favourable for tourists. However, if you like cold, then why not? It is a beautiful place any time of the year. You can also enjoy some winter sports like skiing on the slopes of Saklikent National Park which is around 200 km from Antalya city. The temperature within the city can go down to 1°C, however not much snow is experienced. Rain is a higher probability.
Things To Do
Being a coastal city, Antalya has some breathtaking beaches. Spend your day travelling and experiencing different beaches. There are some fun outdoor activities to be played, adventurous watersports to be done and of course any amount of lounging about. Some of the popular beaches are Lara, Konyaalti, Kaputas and Mermerli. All of the beaches have a wide range of eateries. Most of them are also well equipped with toilets and changing facilities if you want to go for a swim. You can also drop by a beach party at one of the many beach clubs.
Right in the heart of the city is Antalya's historical quarters - Kaleici. Its cobblestone pathways, rich architecture from the Ottoman and Roman periods, a variety of shops and restaurants, make it an extremely charming place to walk around. You can visit the famous Tekeli Mehmet Paşa Cami, Hadrian's Gate, Kesik Minare Cami and other interesting landmarks. Catch up on your souvenir shopping from the local vendors. Head over to Karaalioğlu Park for a beautiful view of the sunset.
Boat Trip From Kaleici Marina:
Antalya's old harbour is one of the most famous signs of Antalya. You can spend a couple of hours just walking about the harbour taking photographs and wandering into the little shops and cafes, but, if you have the time, you could also take a boat trip from the Marina and get a view of the Antalya coastline from the sea. There are many tour operators found in the harbour area who offer boat rides from 30 minutes to a few hours.
White Water Rafting Tour:
If you want to get your adrenaline pumping, don't miss out on a white water rafting tour in the popular Koprulu Canyon National Park. It is 90 km away from Antalya and so you can end up spending about 7 hours on this excursion. The experience is thrilling and offers spectacular sights of the pine forests and cliffs alongside the canyon. This activity is suitable for individuals as well as families.
In an effort to increase Tourism in Antalya, the Government has developed, restored and renovated many places and activities. In 2012, a new arrival in Antalya was the Antalya Aquarium, which became one of the biggest aquarium complexes in all of Europe. It has one of the longest tunnel tanks and a variety of aquatic species. An interesting sight to see is how the staff, trained divers, manually feed the sharks by hand! Also within the same complex is Snow World, Ice Museum & WildPark, all designed to provide information and entertainment.
Cable Car Ride To Mt. Tahtali:
Mount Tahtali, the highest peak of Beydaglari National Park is just 50 km away from the city centre. You can take a cable car ride all the way to the top of the peak. The stunning landscapes from the cable car and from the summit are sure to take you to wonderland. The cable-car ride is 10 minutes one way and fits up to 80 people at a time. If you arrive here before summer, you will witness a beautiful white landscape, with snow-clad mountains.
Turkish cuisine is popular the world over. But no one cooks it the way the Turks do. So when in Turkey, you must experience the local cuisine to the fullest. Guneyliler is a popular restaurant which serves great traditional Turkish food. Their delicacies include Kilmali Pide, which is a Turkish pizza and Ali Nazik which is a marinated lamb dish with eggplant and yoghurt sauce. Another good restaurant choice is 7 Mehmet which is known for its grilled meat. The interiors are well decorated with excellent services and delicious food. Of course, being a coastal city, there are also some good seafood restaurants like Alara and Lara Balik Evi. There are plenty of seafood restaurants, especially around the old marina.
There are plenty of places to shop in Antalya. From high-end malls to local markets, you will get it all. Antalya Migros Shopping Mall is one of the largest malls in Antalya with over 130 stores that offer global and local brands. Other malls in the area are TerraCity, MarkAntalya, Mal of Antalya etc. The malls are usually open up to 10 pm.
For traditional Turkish items, you can find many shops in Kaleici. Carpets and Spices are some of the popular items that are often bought. Apart from that, you can also find jewellery, antiques and local souvenirs. Just towards the north of Kaleici is İki Kapılı Han where you can find handmade goods. This bazaar is from the late 15th century and is a lovely historic experience. You must also visit the copper workshops, jewellers, and metalwork craftsmen. You will also find a lot of beautiful textile and Iznik style tile shops.
To get a taste of the local produce, head over to the local markets, held at different neighbourhoods every day of the week. You will get everything from fresh fruits and vegetables to nuts and spices, fish and olive varieties.