Pearl of the Turkish Riviera

Categories: Antalya Mediterranean region Turkey

Antalya lies in the south of Turkey. The bay of the same name stretches for 120 kilometres along the foothills of the Taurus Mountains to Cape Anamur. The port city offers a Mediterranean climate, high water quality, clean beaches and 250 days of sunshine. 1 million people live in Antalya. The tourist centre has countless restaurants, cafés, bars, nightclubs and amusement parks.
Antalya - View to the sea© muratart / Fotolia

The airport is located 10 kilometres away. The pretty old town with pedestrian zone is located in Antalya above the cliffs. Here modern shops and traditional bazaars with leather goods, gold jewellery and oriental carpets outdo each other. The centre of attraction is the harbour district, where holidaymakers can enjoy a raki or coffee with a view of boats, ships and yachts. The best time to visit Antalya is spring and autumn. In the summer months the temperatures reach more than 30 degrees.

Antalya was already founded in pre-Christian times. Romans, Byzantines and Ottomans shaped the city and building history. Witnesses of past times are the remains of the city wall and lighthouse. The Hadrian's Gate is considered the oldest sight of the South Anatolian city. The impressive Yivil Minare Mosque has a minaret that rises 38 metres into the sky. Remarkable are the clock tower and the archaeological museum.

Rich in extraordinary natural beauty and ancient sites, Antalya is one of the most popular regions in Turkey. Holidaymakers often travel on from here to the seaside resorts of Side, Belek, Alanya and Kemer. The most popular beaches are Konyaalti and Lara Plaji with numerous possibilities for water sports. A special feature is the view from the water to the Taurus Mountains, where the 3,000-metre-high peaks near Antalya can be covered with snow in summer.

Impressive are the Lycian rock tombs of the destroyed city of Myra with amphitheatre and church. It is said that St. Nicholas worked here, who is regarded as the model for Santa Claus. This is probably why the Christian-Islamic services at Christmas attract many guests. Best preserved among the ancient sites is Termessos. On the mountain Güllük the place offers a unique view of Antalya.

Perge is the former capital of Pamphylia. A visit to the ancient city is suitable as a day trip. In the times of Alexander the Great Phaselis was an important trading place, which can be visited today. From Antalya the bizarre rock formations in Cappadocia are easily accessible. Spectacular is a ride in a hot air balloon over the fascinating volcanic landscape. The natural jewels Düden waterfall and Göynük gorge are recommended.

The Sandland Skuplturen Festival in Antalya is a special experience in the dark. Then the figures are atmospherically illuminated. If you want to dance and party, you will find many possibilities in the big city. Some discotheques are located a little outside. It is worthwhile to ask for a shuttle bus at the hotel. One of the best venues for nightlife in Antalya is Club 29.
Antalya - View of the landscape© neurobite / Fotolia

The largest regional open air discotheque is located near the marina. The markets in the old town of Kaleici, as well as Atatürk and Cumhuriyet Boulevard offer many fake branded goods. The sales receipt must also be kept when buying valuable goods. The export of genuine antiques is prohibited.

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