If you are after a quick getaway, a week-long road trip through the Antalya region of Turkey could be the answer. This region offers exotic foods, never-ending bazaars, enchanting beaches, and breathtaking scenery, all immersed in the unique culture that can only be experienced in richly historical Turkey. The best time to visit is May through September. Make sure to apply for a Turkish visa online before travel.
Start off your adventure in Antalya. From the airport, you can easily catch a taxi to the city, or for four Turkish Lira, the 600 bus will take you to the city center. Make sure to spend a few nights in bustling Kaleiçi, the historic heart of Antalya. Upon arrival, spend some time exploring the sprawling bazaars, the cafés, and the picturesque marina.
Take a short walk to Karaalioglu Park to glimpse the scenic Taurus Mountains, and stumble across the unmanned cat shelter where cat lovers can spend their day cuddling kittens. Afterward, cool off with a dip at the cozy Mermeli beach and enjoy the crystal clear water.
Antalya Airport International Terminal, Transport Information
For the adventurous, a great way to spend a day near Antalya is by rafting and canyoning. There are plenty of companies that will take you to the scenic rapids. These activities are a great opportunity to soak up some sun and catch a first class view of the lush, cedar forests that line the gorge.
Days 3 and 4
Rent a car and head along the coastal road to Kaş. The road is very well surfaced and there are many signs. However, for those used to driving on the left side of the road, it’s no easy feat to drive on the right. Navigating the chaotic Turkish traffic is no picnic, either. If you are not willing to brave the drive, there are public buses that will take you along the route.
Olympos is a relaxed, long, and narrow road that sits at the bottom of a valley. Stop there for a night or two, depending on how much chill-out and beach time you are after. It is a charming little backpacker spot full of treehouse bungalows where you can sit, drink apple tea, and eat gözleme. Gözlemes are delicious, pancake-like, savory pastries filled with foods like spinach or meat. They are a must-try during your stay in Turkey. At Olympos, you can explore the ruins and the secluded and scenic Olympos beach. You can easily while away a day here, lapping up the beautiful scenery and pleasantly warm ocean water.
Be sure to spend an evening checking out the mythical, eternal Chimaera flames, a cluster of naturally occurring flames that burst out of the rocks of the Çıralı Mountains. The natural phenomena are best viewed at night when the flames are at their most dramatic. After a short hike to get to the Chimaera, you will discover a welcoming campfire environment with like-minded tourists, leisurely roasting marshmallows and making tea.
Antalya Airport International Terminal, Car Rental Information
Days 5 and 6
On your drive along the coastal road from Olympos to Kaş, you will be met with a view of beckoning waters that seem to glisten from every angle. There are plenty of beaches along the coastal road to break up your journey and help you make the most of the Mediterranean coast. Make sure to book ahead for accommodation in Kaş, as space fills quickly. Kaş is a cute little fishing village with great shops and restaurants to explore. Pick up a Turkish towel or two and some souvenirs. The Kaş amphitheater overlooks the sea and a nice place to enjoy some bring-your-own-wine at night if you’re so inclined. If you need more beach time, head to Kaputas Beach, a sandy beach with turquoise waters, 25 minutes from Kaş by car. If the weather isn’t beach-suitable, relax at Spa Martin with the Turkish Bath experience. Again, you will need to book ahead.
Say goodbye to the enticing foods, bazaars, and beaches of Turkey’s south coast and fly home from Dalaman airport, just over a two-hour drive from Kaş. Again, your leisurely drive can be broken up with pit stops at the many stunning beaches along the way.