Often regarded as the gateway to the Turkish Riviera, Antalya has become an increasingly popular holiday destination for Brits over the past decade. With pleasant weather and a beautiful coastline which borders the turquoise waters of the Gulf of Antalya, Antalya is a beach lover’s paradise. However, Antalya is more than a beach destination. Home to world-class museums, Ottoman architecture and a wealth of dining opportunities, there is plenty to see and do!
Blessed with a Mediterranean climate, Antalya is truly a year-round holiday destination. Antalya’s winters are mild with minimum temperatures of just 15°C and minimal amounts of rain. Summer in Antalya is characterised by hot and dry weather. However, do note that July and August are very humid and temperatures often soar about 35°C which may be unpleasant for some travellers. In addition, July and August are the busiest months for tourism which can lead to overcrowded beaches and often higher room prices.
Antalya is served by Antalya Airport (AYT). On average, the flight from London to Antalya takes around 4 hours and there are more than 40 flights a week. Flight prices are at their highest in July and August when a return flight hovers between £160 and £260. However, for the rest of the year, prices fluctuate between £73 and £135.
What to Do in Antalya
The main beach in Antalya is Konyaalti beach. This pebble beach has plenty of nearby amenities such as restaurant and showers. However, it does tend to be overcrowded during high season. If you are looking for somewhere quieter to swim and relax, be sure to check out Mermerli beach. Tucked away behind the harbor wall, this small beach has a mixture of sand and pebbles and is best for swimming.
One of the most popular attractions for international and domestic tourists alike is Hadrian’s Gate which dates back to 130 AD in honor of a visit from the eponymous emperor. This beautiful Roman arch serves as the entrance gate to the Antalya’s Old Town (Kaleiçi).
Kaleiçi is home to a number of Antalya’s major sights and architectural treasures. Popular landmarks include Saat Kuhesi and Hidirlik Kulesi. Saat Kuhesi is an impressive clock tower which stands at the edge of the Old Town and used to be part of the original fortifications. Hidirlik Kulesi, the Red Tower, is situated in the south on the confluence of the sea wall and the city walls. The 14 meter high tower can be ascended and offers an unforgettable panorama of the sea.
There are plenty of great eating places to try out while on holiday in Antalya. One of the best places for trying out Turkish cuisine is the food court which forms the junction between Atatürk Caddesi and Cumhuriyet Caddesi. Here you will find a number of cafes and döner stands.
If you are looking for a luxury hotel to stay in whilst in Antalya, there is a handful of four-star and five-star resorts scattered by the near the marina and the edge of the Kaleiçi neighborhood. All-inclusive holiday resorts can be found half an hour away in the Kelmer and Belek areas.
If you are looking for something a bit different or are travelling alone, why not stay in one of Kaleiçi’s pansiyons or hotels? Many of these accommodation options are situated in beautifully restored Ottoman buildings and have friendly, attentive staff.