Is Antalya the right place for your vacation?
Certainly, many tourists associate Antalya as a transfer point to holiday destinations. Some of these people, however, do not realize that it is also one of the most popular tourist resorts, offering a wide range of attractions.
In 2021, Antalya was inhabited by 2,619,832 people, making it the fifth largest city in Turkey with the largest population. Located in the south-western part of the country, it is not only an excellent base for further travel (due to the presence of one of the largest airports in Turkey), but is also valued for its tourist attractions. What attractions does it offer and what does it tempt visitors with, since in the high season the influx of tourists increases its population almost twice?
Antalya offers attractions worth experiencing
Antalya (originally named Attalia) was founded in 150 BC. by Attalos II - king of Pergamon. Over the centuries, it was under the rule of the Roman, Byzantine, Seljuk Turks and Italians, until 1423, when it was incorporated into the Ottoman Empire by Sultan Murad II. The impact of the above-mentioned civilization reflects the multiculturalism of the city, visible e.g. in its architecture. Taking into account the fact that Antalya also has access to the Mediterranean Sea and wide, sandy beaches, it should come as no surprise that it is the perfect place to spend your holidays on the Turkish Riviera.
A paradise for history and architecture lovers ...
Broken minaret in Antalya
Another building, characteristic of Antalya, located in the Old Town, is the so-called Broken minaret. The property was built as a Roman temple. In the Byzantine period, it was transformed into a church dedicated to the Virgin Mary, and then into a mosque. It was almost completely destroyed in a fire in 1800. The only element that has not been consumed by the fire is the minaret that stands to this day. The structure officially reopened as a mosque in 2021 on the 5th of March.
The Clock Tower
The clock tower is also a great landmark in the field - the only one that has survived out of the 80 that once surrounded the city. Built in 1244, it has clocks on each of the four walls. At its top, there is the Turkish flag, proudly fluttering in the wind.
Kaleiçi is separated from the modern parts of the city by the almost 8 meters high Hadrian's Gate. This is one of the must-see attractions in Antalya. The most beautiful gate of Pamphylia was built in 130 CE. commemorating the visit of the Roman emperor Hadrian. It consists of three arches and, with the exception of the shafts of the columns (which are granite), is made of white marble. There are two towers in the vicinity of the gate. One is from Roman times, while the other was rebuilt in Seljuk times. Hadrian's Gate has survived virtually intact for 2,000 years! So it is a real treat for history lovers. Its renovation was carried out in the 1950s.
A great place for lovers of museums and modern attractions
In Antalya one of the most visited museums in Turkey is located, Antalya Archaeological Museum. It covers an area of approxç 30,000 m2 and is divided into themed rooms. You can find here interesting exhibits presenting, among other fossils, mosaics, statues or old tools discovered by archaeologists during excavations.
Visiting Antalya with kids
Both children and adults will be delighted to visit the Aquarium, where you can find 40 themed water reservoirs, including a tunnel aquarium with a length of 131 m and a width of 3 m. The whole underwater world, incl. sharks, rays and various species of fish, it is nothing at your fingertips! There is also a zone where you can go sledding and play with the snow all year round. An interesting option is the Dolphinarium, which gives us the opportunity to swim with sharks or dolphins! Both of these tours are available from our travel agency. The youngest will be delighted with the collection of approx. 300,000 toys from around the world presented in the Toy Museum or the Miniature Park showing 1:25 scale models of the most important buildings related to Turkey, both historical and contemporary. A recommendable attraction for the whole family is the modern cable car leading to the viewpoint on the Tünektepe hill at an altitude of 618 m above sea level, from which we can see the panorama of this amazing city.
Nature lovers will also find something for themselves
For those looking for a moment of rest and relaxation in the bosom of nature, the Düden Waterfalls Complex in Antalya is at their disposal. The first one called Karpuzkaldıran, is located near Lara Beach, popular among tourists. In its case, the water falls directly into the Mediterranean Sea from a height of about 39 meters. It is worth noting that it is visible from the deck of planes landing at the nearby airport.
The second waterfall is Duden (Upper), on the other hand, is located approx. 12 kilometers from Antalya to the north-east. It is the highest waterfall in the region. Due to the surrounding green areas, it is often visited by people who want to rest from the heat and the hardships of everyday life. An interesting attraction is the possibility of going through tunnels carved in the rock, allowing you to observe the waterfall directly behind it.
Sunbathing, water sports, active recreation await tourists
Amateurs of water sports and sunbathing have several beaches at their disposal in Antalya. One of the most popular is Lara Beach, located on the eastern coast. It was awarded the Blue Flag. It is wide, sandy, and within it you can find numerous cafes, restaurants and hotels. Its coastline is 12 km long. Most of it is free of charge, with the exception of a few private, guarded sections. Every year, an exhibition of sand sculptures is organized in its area Sandland, which attracts artists from all over the world. About 10,000 tons of sand are used to create the sculptures, and the exhibition itself covers an area of 7,000 m2 on the other hand, in the western part of the city, there is 8 km long pebble Konyaaltı Beach, which is also very popular and, like Lara, has been awarded the Blue Flag. There is a promenade along it. Here you can find numerous restaurants, playgrounds and outdoor gyms.
Delicious Turkish food, everywhere in Antalya
Turkey is famous for its delicious food, so while in Antalya we don't have to worry about going hungry. We can find here both restaurants with local cuisine and international dishes. A meal eaten in the beautiful surroundings of Kaleiçi will satisfy not only our palate, but also delight our eyes. Turkish breakfast overlooking the port? Coffee or tea drunk in the presence of insanely sweet baklava? Dinner with live music? This is the perfect time to gather strength before exploring the city further. You can taste freshly caught fish in one of the gourmet restaurants, or eat a good meal bought from street vendors.
The most beautiful place on earth according to ... Atatürk
As you can see, Antalya is the perfect vacation spot. It offers countless attractions and every tourist will find something for themselves. It was also appreciated by the founder of the Turkish Republic - Atatürk, whose huge sculpture greets the visitors from the north side of the city with the words 'Hiç şüphesiz ki Antalya dünyanın en güzel yeridir' (without a doubt Antalya is the most beautiful place on earth). It has one more undeniable advantage ... While spending your vacation in Antalya, you can easily go on most of the tours we offer :) If, after reading the above text, you want to visit the most popular attractions in the city, we invite you to make a reservation through our website.
The author of the text: Blanka Czapnik