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<a href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/zolakoma/6030173892/" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Antalya | © zolakoma / Flickr</a>
<a href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/zolakoma/6030173892/" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Antalya | © zolakoma / Flickr</a>

10 Reasons Why You Need to Visit Antalya

Picture of Feride Yalav-Heckeroth
Updated: 22 May 2017

With its rich history and stunning natural landscape, Antalya is one of the world’s most unique summer destinations. From the looming grandeur of the Taurus Mountains to secluded beaches that lead to ancient cities of former empires, here are 10 reasons why you need to visit Antalya.

Great hiking

This marked walking trail stretches 540 kilometres (335.5 miles) from Fethiye to Antalya and takes approximately 29 days to trek. Walkers are not only accompanied by beautiful views along the coast, but they also come across 25 historical sights belonging to the Lycian Empire.

Ancient ruins by the beach

Çıralı, one of Antalya’s most beautiful and non-touristy beaches, is enclosed by green mountains overlooking the light blue waters and a wide, pebbled beach. It is 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

Apart from the huge resorts that make the most of Antalya’s beachfronts, 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.

Courtesy of Olympos Mountain Lodge

Courtesy of Olympos Mountain Lodge

Historical artefacts

The Antalya Museum, one of Turkey’s largest museums, has an impressive collection that fills up its 13 exhibition halls and open-air gallery. Find everything from archaeological finds from the Paleolithic era to beautiful sculptures from the Roman period.

Konyaalti Cd. No:88, Bahçelievler Mahallesi, Antalya, Turkey, +90 242 238 56 89

Beautiful beaches

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

Natural wonders

This group of waterfalls has become a veritable visitor location in its 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.

Upper Düden Waterfalls, 21 Cd, Antalya, Turkey
Lower Düden Waterfalls, Lara Cd No:457, Çağlayan Mahallesi, Antalya, Turkey

Amazing food

Like all of Turkey’s various regions, Antalya has its own 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 its city center 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’s capital at Xanthos.

Myra, Alakent Mahallesi, Antalya, Turkey, +90 242 238 56 88
Arykanda, Arif Mahallesi, Antalya, Turkey, +90 242 238 56 89
Xanthos, Kınık Mahallesi, Antalya, Turkey, +90 242 247 76 60

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

Antalya’s 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 cafés to enjoy the view from under the shade.