A guide to what to see and do in Antalya

Friday, 4 January 2015 5:32 PM

Antalya is a stunning destination that is a safe bet when searching for the best deals for bargain holidays to Turkey. Known as the Turkish Riviera, Antalya will guarantee a stay here will be luxurious and ooze sophistication, especially if you go all inclusive.

Picking this type of holiday means you don't need to worry about spending money on food and drink once you are there, unless you choose to venture outside of your accommodation to try somewhere new. It is well worth having cash to hand for daytrips, though, as there is plenty to see and do in stunning Antalya. Below are some of the best attractions that should be on your itinerary.

Its historic sites

If you think an important part of going abroad is to learn about different cultures and civilisations, then make the effort to pull yourself off your sun lounger to explore one of Antalya's historic sites. Phaselis is home to remains such as baths, aqueducts, a theatre, acropolis and Hadrian's Gate, most of which are mainly Roman.

A Lycian port city, Phaselis has three harbours that used to be important commercial centres. These days, its lovely beaches and dazzling waters make it more popular for sunbathing, swimming and sailing.

There is also Aspendos, which is around 50 km away from Antalya. It boasts a breathtaking theatre that dates back to 162 AD and can seat 15,000 spectators. Impressively, it still hosts shows today, and if you come in June and July you can book tickets to see the Aspendos Opera and Ballet Festival.

If you want to visit an historical site a little closer to your accommodation, Perge is approximately 18 km from Antalya and is known for being a place where St Paul stopped when on his missions.

Its mountain scenery

You might not expect to take in stunning mountain scenery when on a beach break to Turkey, but Antalya is set against a backdrop of peaks thanks to the city resting upon cliffs. Of course, its position also means you can enjoy breathtaking views of the ocean and beaches at the bottom of the cliffs as you lie back with a cocktail in one hand and a good book in the other.

To get a closer look at the region's flora and fauna, you can hike up the mountains, and you certainly won't feel guilty about eating all of the mouth-watering cuisine served in your hotel's restaurants later that evening! Some of the main things to look out for are the Kursunlu and Duden waterfalls. These are not only pretty, but the spray can help cool you down following your ascent.

Its beaches

As mentioned, Antalya has plenty of beaches to choose from should you fancy sunbathing on the sand and taking a dip in the clear waters. To the west of the city lies Konyaalti, a long pebble beach, while in the east you will find Lara.

This is fast becoming a popular resort thanks to the golden sand and array of restaurants, cafes and accommodation options. If you have children in tow, they will particularly enjoying coming to this beach due to its sandcastle-building opportunities, and parents can have the peace of mind that snacks and refreshing beverage are never too far from hand.

There are also lots of little coves in this area, such as Kumluca, while you might want to check out what the other major tourist resorts have to offer. Belek, Adrasan and Kemer are some of the best ones to explore if you are staying in a different destination.

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