Antalya holidays put you at the heart of the stunning Turkish Riviera - also known as the Turquoise Coast. And that makes this gorgeous destination one of the leading sunspots in Turkey (now officially called Türkiye). Famous for its all-singing, all-dancing, All Inclusive hotels and a fantastic line in affordable luxury, the Antalya province is the kind of place where you can relax in style.
With 400 miles of Mediterranean coastline and snazzy resorts stretching out from the city of Antalya, the area’s a total magnet for sunseekers. Putting jaw-dropping scenery and thousands of years of history at your fingertips, there’s plenty to explore too.
Find out more with our top tips for holidays to Antalya below. Whether you choose peaceful Beldibi or lively Alanya, you’re going to love it!
Things to do
From awesome outdoor adventures in Goynuk Canyon to blissful chill-out time at an authentic 15th-century hammam (a traditional Turkish steam bath), there are many ways to enjoy Antalya holidays. All against a backdrop of natural beauty, buzzing beaches and historical gems that attract families and couples, young and young-at-heart, alike.
Step back in time as you wander around the ruins of Aspendos and Phaselis, the ancient streets of Side (‘See-day’) where history and modern life go hand-in-hand, and the Red Tower of Alanya castle, perched above the Med. Or, take a jeep safari into the glorious Taurus Mountains, uncover the secrets of Beldibi Cave and feel the spray of the impressive Duden Waterfalls.
Got a thrill-seeker to satisfy? Throw yourself into all the fun of the fair at Aktur Park in Antalya city, or book a hotel with its own waterpark to ride the slides and flumes as much as you like. Plus, there are water sports all along the coast, from white water rafting to paddleboarding. Just the thing to keep teens and daredevils happy!
If you’re drawn to this part of the world for its tempting sands, you’re not alone. Whether they’re the main focus of your holidays to Antalya or part of a broader experience, you’ve hit the jackpot here!
After all, this part of the Turquoise Coast is home to some of the best coastal delights in the whole of Turkey, from the spectacular Cleopatra Beach in Alanya to family-friendly Konyaalti in Antalya city. And don’t miss the celebrated Lara Beach. With 8km of fine golden seashore, you’ll also get your pick of some of the Antalya area’s most impressive themed hotels right on the waterfront.
In picturesque Side, you’ll be treated to unspoilt sand spots on not one but two seafronts, as this old fishing town’s on a peninsula that juts out into the Med. There’s the main stretch near the quaint harbour, which is just the ticket for families, East Beach with its lounge bars and summer parties, and in the surrounding area, quieter Gundogdu, Kumkoy and Colakli.
But if you’re looking for a beautiful beach resort with extra-swanky touches, you need to check out Belek. Its world-class golf courses and luxury hotels are renowned for classy getaways, and the shallow waters here mean you can take the kids for a splash-about too.
Ancient history and spectacular nature
Need an eye-popping attraction to give your break some added zing? From Alanya’s striking castle and ancient harbour to the dazzling Olympos National Park, you could fill your whole holiday with history and hikes - making Antalya a terrific area to visit even when if it’s too cool to lounge on the beach.
If it’s big-hitters you’re after, you’ll want to visit some of the Roman and Greek ruins. There’s an amphitheatre and baths amongst the impressive remains of Phaselis, a temple and school at Perge, and even all sorts of treasures hiding in plain sight, such as Hadrian’s Gate in Antalya city.
For the kind of views you’ll share on your socials, head to Kemer and ride the cable car up Mount Tahtali. Meanwhile, Mount Chimaera’s weird and wonderful ‘eternal flames’ make it a magical place for a sunset hill walk.
There’s added quirkiness in the form of Pamukkale, where shimmering calcium deposits cake a gentle cliff, earning it the nickname ‘Cotton Castle’. You can even take a dip in the mineral-rich waters that flow over this fantasy-scape, so bring your swimming cossie!
Whether you fancy sipping aniseedy raki with the locals in the oldest part of the city (aka Kaleici) or are raring to check out the hottest dancefloors around, such as Gaga Club Lara, there’s all sorts of nightlife in the Antalya area to suit your mood.
In Alanya, Bar Street’s at the heart of the after-dark party scene, with rooftop drinks under the stars and themed venues like the Cuban-style Havana Club. Or head out of the centre for an all-nighter at the open-air Summer Garden.
And if you’re more into Strauss than House, see what’s on at the Antalya State Opera and Ballet. Their annual festival performances in the Aspendos amphitheatre are something else!
You’ll also find an array of British-style pubs and sports bars all along the coast. Plus, plenty of local coffee and tea shops serve up authentically strong Turkish brews all through the evening - but check before you enter as some are still for men or women only.
Must tries and best buys
There’s nowhere better to hunt for the perfect memento of your Antalya trip than a Turkish market. Whether you’re picking up a supersoft pashmina at the Manavgat Bazaar, gorgeous jewellery from Side marketplace, or traditional ‘evil eye’ amulets (‘nazar’) in the Kemer area of Goynuk, have a go at haggling for the full experience and the best price.
Other classics include prettily painted bowls, carved onyx, and tulip-shaped tea glasses. And then, of course, there are the Turkish carpets. Definitely something to bargain over, you’ll want to do your research if you’re going to take home a genuine locally-made rug - so no impulse buying!
You won’t have to look far to pick up some Turkish delight and teas in all sorts of flavours, such as the popular apple. You should also tuck into the lamb and veg güveç (a type of stew), grilled sea bass (levrek) drizzled with olive oil, pide (Turkish pizza) and kymali börek (meat wrapped in pastry, a bit like a sausage roll).
Pair your plate with ayran, a refreshing yogurt drink, then finish your meal how the locals do - with a small cup of very strong coffee. Cocktails more your scene? You have to try the bright red Şalgam Suyu / raki combo. Who would have thought fermented root veg and anise would work so well together!
More travel guides
Sounds good, right? Find out more about our Antalya holidays with these guides: Alanya | Beldibi | Belek | Goynuk | Kemer | Konakli | Lara Beach | Side