Reasons Why You Need to Visit Antalya

Roman ruins and swathes of calming beachfront are just two reasons why you should come to Antalya
Roman ruins and swathes of calming beachfront are just two reasons why you should come to Antalya | © Debu55y / Alamy
Feride Yalav-Heckeroth

With a rich history and stunning natural landscape, Antalya is a unique summer destination. From the looming grandeur of the Taurus Mountains to secluded beaches that lead to ancient cities of former empires, here are some excellent reasons why you need to visit.
Interested in visiting? Antalya is just one of many fantastic destinations featured on Culture Trip’s epic 12-day Turkey adventure, led by our Local Insider.

Great hiking

This marked walking trail stretches 540km (336mi) from Fethiye to Antalya and takes approximately 29 days to trek. You’re not only accompanied by beautiful views along the coast, but you’ll also come across 25 historical sights belonging to the Lycian Empire.

Ancient ruins by the beach

Çıralı, a beautiful and non-touristy beach, is enclosed by green mountains and light blue waters. It’s also here that the ancient Lycian city of Olympos is situated; walk among the ruins after a day of lying on the beach.

Amazing hotels

While the huge resorts make the most of the local beachfront, the smaller, boutique hotels offer a more down-to-earth option for accommodation, set entirely within nature. From mountain lodges to beachside hotels, Antalya’s boutique hotels never disappoint.

Historical artefacts

The Antalya Museum has an impressive collection that fills up 13 exhibition halls and an open-air gallery. Find everything from archaeological finds from the Paleolithic era to beautiful sculptures from the Roman period.

Beautiful beaches

From the turquoise waters of Patara to the white sands of Konyaaltı, the beaches of Antalya range from overcrowded and exciting to secluded and immersed in nature. Depending on preferences, stay in one of the luxury resorts or opt for a more secluded boutique hotel with access to a minimally inhabited beach.

Natural wonders

Duden waterfalls have become a veritable visitor location in their own right. The upper waterfall is located in a park northeast of Antalya and descends into a gorge surrounded by lovely flora and fauna, while the lower section cascades directly into the Mediterranean Sea and is best seen on a boat tour.

Amazing food

Antalya has individual traditional dishes and plenty of sun-drenched fresh produce for sale at bazaars. Make sure to get the full Turkish breakfast treatment and to definitely try freshly grilled fish and meze (preferably with a view of the sea).

Ancient ruins

Antalya is dotted with many historic sites, from Hadrian’s Gate in the city centre to the ruins of the Lycian Empire all around the province. Make sure to visit the remarkable Lycian rock tombs in Myra, the ancient ruins at Arykanda, and the former Lycian Empire capital of Xanthos.

Stunning nature

When looking out over the view of Antalya, the imposing Taurus Mountains are always a breathtaking spectacle. Looming over the city, the mountain complex divides the regions along the Mediterranean and central Anatolia.

Old meets new

The Antalya old town is a beautiful mixture of ancient structures and renovated Ottoman houses that lead every cobblestone footpath toward a splendid city view from an elevated perch. Walk through Hadrian’s Gate, wander along the narrow streets shooting photos, and end up at one of the cafes to enjoy the view from under the shade.

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