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Holidays in Antalya
Turkey’s founder, Atatürk, said that Antalya was 'the most beautiful place on earth' – and millions still agree. Known as the Pearl of the Mediterranean, this picturesque resort combines natural beauty, buzzing beaches and archaeological gems. There’s something for everyone with a holiday to Antalya, from the triple-arched Hadrian’s Gate, to fish restaurants around the natural yacht harbour, and energetic watersports on sun-drenched beaches. It’s also a handy base to see the Roman sites of Aspendos and Termessos.
The best time to visit is in September. Antalya also boasts warm winter too.
Antalya International Airport is a busy year-round airport.
Book your Thomas Cook Holiday to Antalya for a friendly city on the Turkish Riviera, with sandy beaches, ancient historic sites and lively nightlife.
At Lara Beach, east of the city, gentle waves lap along this long sandy beach. There are many hotels to choose from, including near the Lower Duden Waterfall where you can swim in the Gulf of Antalya. Immerse yourself in Antalya’s history at Side, 65km east of the city. This lively resort combines unspoilt sandy beaches and waterfront restaurants, with the imposing Temples of Apollo and Athena, a quaint harbour and lively shopping. Budding golfers will be spoilt for choice at Belek, a small town 35km east of Antalya, famed for its growing number of world-class golf courses and luxury hotels!
Once you’ve soaked up the rays on sandy Lara Beach and taken the kids to Antalya Aquapark, explore centuries of history at the Archaeological Museum, with elaborately carved sarcophagi and statues of gods from the ancient city of Perge. Browse Kaleiçi's little shops for souvenirs from your Antalya holiday – perhaps a hand-dyed woven rug or silver jewellery. You'll certainly have fun haggling with the shopkeepers! To relax, head to the 15th-century hamam (Turkish bath) for a traditional scrub, or sit back on a boat trip around the region’s turquoise waters, past thundering waterfalls and islands peppering the coastline!
Closest to the city is Konyaalti beach, its golden sands a favourite with locals. The surrounding Bey Mountains, stretching to the west, seem close enough to touch. Close by, squeal-inducing giant water slides at Beach Park Aqualand, and charming performances by dolphins and sea lions at Dophinland, provide plenty of family-friendly fun. Lara Beach is a huge attraction in Antalya, the city's longest and most popular. Most of the top hotels here have their own private beach, so you don’t have to walk far. At Side, the Roman ruins are a huge appeal – as is the unspoilt beach lined with little waterfront restaurants!
Far from being famed just for its beaches, Antalya has a swathe of historic sites – after all this was an ancient kingdom over 2,000 years ago. You can still see the Roman-era wheel ruts in front of Hadrian's Gate, built to honour Emperor Hadrian, and Bronze Age treasures and Byzantine church silver in the outstanding Antalya Archaeological Museum. It’s an easy day trip to reach more Antalya attractions: historic gems include the huge abandoned amphitheatre at Perge, and the beautifully preserved Roman amphitheatre at Aspendos, venue of the famous summer Opera and Ballet Festival!
There’s a huge choice of places to go in Antalya for dining on Turkish cuisine and fresh fish. Breakfast is a typical local feast of white cheese, fresh bread, honey and black tea. In the evening, head to the legendary restaurant 7 Mehmet, located on a hillside overlooking Konyaalti beach, famed for its traditional fresh grilled meats. For a hearty, good-value feast, head to an informal kebabci (literally, kebab house) in Kaleiçi. Or perhaps you're tempted by freshly caught local fish. In Antalya’s restaurants it is usually simply grilled or fried; taste it in the fish restaurants lining the yacht harbour!
Beach lovers: Visit lively, pine-forest-draped Lara Beach or go diving from Topcam beach
History lovers: Explore the old town Kaleiçi, a maze of narrow streets lined with 18th-century Ottoman wooden houses
Golfers: Perfect your swing at world-class golf courses in Belek, a growing sporting beach resort
Language: The language spoken in Antalya is Turkish.
Currency: The currency used in Antalya is the Turkish Lira (TL).
Local time: Antalya is 2 hours ahead of GMT/UK time.
Fly to: Antalya International Airport is a busy year-round airport, located around 12km east of central Antalya.
Flight time from UK: 4-5 hours
Tourist Information: Further Antalya tourist information can be found at www.goturkey.com
Visa & Health: Before you travel, visit www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/turkey for recommendations and advice on visas and health for your holiday to Antalya.
Temperatures: Average temperatures reach 28°C in July and August.
Best time to visit Antalya: September when it cools to a comfortable 25°C.
The Antalya weather is perfect for your summer holidays – especially if you love a hot, Mediterranean climate! But it’s not just about summer holidays; 30 miles northwest of Antalya, head to the slopes of Saklikent in winter for top-class skiing.
By minibus: Hop on a dolmus (minibus), each one plying a different route, or the main city buses.
By tram: Two tramways give you contrasting experiences: the new AntRay is the major light rail line, a streamlined service linking the main bus station with other areas of the city. In contrast, the historic little Nostaljic Tramvay passes Hadrian’s Gate, Antalya Museum and the main beaches, along the seafront boulevard.
By taxi: Taxis are readily available; make sure the meter is switched on, or negotiate for a longer journey out of town which is the best option for small groups
Outdoor opera: A highlight of the year is June’s Aspendos International Opera And Ballet Festival, with live performances from top companies in the gloriously restored Roman amphitheatre.
Summer fun: June to September are lively months for summer fun in Antalya’s beaches and bars.
The big screen: In September, the prestigious Golden Orange Film Festival sees the screenings of dozens of independent films from around the world.
Top tip: Keep up to date with religious festivals in Turkey – the dates alter according to the lunar year. Ramadan is a month of fasting, where most Muslims refrain from eating and drinking in daylight hours. Following this, Eid al-Fitr sees many Turks travelling to visit friends and family.