Antalya holidays

The Pearl of the Mediterranean and one of Turkey’s best holiday hotspots, Antalya combines natural beauty, buzzing beaches, and historical gems with something for everyone to enjoy. Not to mention all the amenities you could wish for a fuss-free holiday. Whether you visit with family, friends, or your romantic partner, there are many ways to enjoy your Antalya holiday that are sure to keep everyone smiling.

Can’t decide where to start? At Lara Beach, east of the city, gentle waves lap along the long, sandy shore. There are many hotels to choose from here, including beautiful beach resorts where guests can swim in the crystal-clear Gulf of Antalya.

Immerse yourself in Antalya’s history when you choose the quiet beach village of Side, 65km east of the city. This resort combines unspoilt sandy beaches and waterfront restaurants with the imposing Temples of Apollo and Athena, a must for history enthusiasts. Add in a quaint harbour and all the shopping you could wish for, and you’ve discovered a holiday for everyone. Pleasure-seekers will be spoilt for choice when visiting Belek, a small but glamorous beach town 35km east of Antalya. Belek is famed for its world-class golf courses and luxury hotels, an ideal choice if you prefer the finer things in life.

Things to do

Antalya holidays offer lots to see and do, including plenty of family attractions, historical sites, and peaceful escapes that appeal to everyone. Visit the triple arches of Hadrian’s Gate or the fortified city walls to immerse yourself in the area’s history. Why not visit the Roman sites of Aspendos and Termessos for even more ancient inspiration? Alternatively, explore centuries gone-by at the Archaeological Museum, with elaborately carved coffins and impressive statues of gods from the ancient city of Perge.

For fun and excitement, enjoy adrenaline-pumping water sports on sunny beaches all along the coast. If you’re travelling in search of excellent local food, sample the catch of the day in one of many seafood restaurants around the natural yacht harbour.

If you’re travelling with the family, there’s plenty for them to do on your holiday too. Kids love Minicity, where miniature replicas of Turkey’s best-known landmarks are both enchanting and educational. From the fairground fun of Aktur Park to the water rides, slides, and flumes in the nearby Troy Aqua Park, great days out are easy to find in Antalya.

Discover plenty of shopping hotspots and traditional markets too. Antalya is home to many beautiful treasures; practice your bargaining at a Turkish market and return to your hotel with something exciting in-hand. All that sightseeing and shopping can be tiring. To return to relaxation, why not visit a 15th-century Turkish hammam for an authentic spa treatment?

Beaches and resorts

Antalya is home to many bustling upmarket resorts, making it ideal for a luxury Turkish holiday. Amongst these resorts are Belek, Lara Beach, Side, and Alanya. Lara Beach is the city’s longest and most popular beach. Here you’ll find that many hotels have their own private section of soft golden sand, a perfect place to relax without distraction.

For convenient access to Antalya, Konyaalti Beach is the closest to the city centre and a favourite amongst visitors and locals. Belek is an excellent choice if you’re searching for luxury. This glamorous resort is home to some of the area’s most beautiful beaches and plenty of fine dining and nightlife. Antalya boasts over 400 miles of fantastic beaches and resorts to choose from, so you’re sure to find a destination that suits you.

Ancient history

There’s more to Antalya than just being an excellent beach destination. The city and surrounding area are dotted with countless historical sites and ruins that are well worth taking the time to explore. Founded as a seaport in the 2nd century BC, Antalya has seen Roman, Byzantine, Seljuq, and Ottoman rule.

Discover Antalya city’s ancient past as you wander the old town’s narrow streets,  surrounded by ancient walls restored during Roman, Byzantine, and Seljuq periods. Some of the most iconic historical landmarks in Antalya include a mosque dating back to 1250, and a former-Byzantine church which houses the archaeological museum today.

Nightlife

The nightlife in Antalya is exciting, with plenty of live entertainment, bars, and clubs catering to every taste. If you’re searching for culture when the sun goes down, the Antalya State Opera and Ballet has you covered. Settle into the 2,000-year-old theatre and enjoy an evening of world-class performance in a unique historical setting.

Antalya’s bars are always bustling, but they’re incredibly vibrant in the summer months when you can find plenty of packed-out spots to quench your thirst. Enjoy sunset cocktails overlooking the sea, or catch your favourite team in one of Antalya’s many sports bars. Live music and Turkish taverns are plentiful, so you can experience Antalya like a local and create memories to last a lifetime. If you’re in the mood for something a little less noisy, head to Castle Café, a peaceful gem and a great alternative to some of the busier spots around the city.

Food & Drink

Antalya’s cuisine offers something for everyone. So whether you’re a picky eater or a dedicated foodie, you’re sure to find a meal that satisfies your tastes. Local specialities abound in central Antalya, where fresh produce is often the star of the show. For breakfast, feast on organic eggs, local olives, cheese, and traditional pastries, all washed down with steaming-hot Turkish tea.

Fresh seafood is often on the menu in this harbour city, so be sure to order the catch of the day if it suits your palate. Turkish cuisine also often features grilled meat, so whether you prefer the surf or the turf, you’ll have plenty to choose from in many of the city’s restaurants.

Map of Antalya

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10-35 ℃

With its year-round sunshine, you can enjoy holidays to Antalya at any time. For the highest temperatures, go between June and September, when the mercury hovers between the late 20s and the mid-30s. If you prefer it cooler, the temperatures during October and November are much more manageable, while the months between December and May are cool, but starting to climb.

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4-5 hours

Antalya International Airport is a busy year-round airport and about 15 minutes’ drive from the resort.

Antalya is best for...

Beach lovers: For a touch of Vegas-style glamour, head for Lara Beach. Offering 8km of pine-swathed sands and a nearby Old Town that’s brimming with character, Lara Beach is the highlight of any holiday here.

History lovers: Antalya is littered with remnants of its rich past. Divers can explore the sunken sarcophagus near Kekova Island, while history buffs can step back in time with a visit to the ancient city of Phaselis.

Golfers: Perfect your swing at the various golf courses in Belek, many designed by world-class golfer, David Jones.

Fast facts for Antalya

Language: The language spoken here is Turkish. While the locals may speak a bit of English, it’s worth downloading an app or packing a phrasebook on your Antalya holiday, so you can try a couple of phrases to impress the locals.

Currency: You’ll need to exchange your Sterling for Turkish Lira (TL) before your Antalya holiday.

Local time: Antalya is 2 hours ahead of GMT/UK time.

Fly to: Antalya Airport. The transfer time to Antalya is between 30 minutes and 1 hour.

Flight time from UK: The flight time to Antalya is 4 hours.

Visas: If you’re a British Citizen and you’re travelling to Turkey for a holiday, you will not need a visa unless you are planning on staying for more than 90 days in a 180-day period. If you need any more advice on Turkey visas, or entry requirements - please visit FCDO website for the latest guidance. 

 

Getting around Antalya

By minibus: The minibus system covers the centre of the city, right across to the outskirts and is a cost-effective way of getting around.

By tram: 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 much smaller Nostaljic Tramvay passes several historic sites and the main beaches, along the resort’s boulevard.

By taxi: Taxis are plentiful here. To make sure you don’t pay over the odds, check the meter is running, or be prepared to negotiate a price for longer journeys.

Events in Antalya

Outdoor opera: The Aspendos International Opera and Ballet Festival has been delighting audiences for almost 25 years, with performances from leading lights in opera and ballet. Set in the restored Roman amphitheatre, the festival is an absolute must for culture lovers!

Summer fun: June to September are lively months for summer fun in on the beaches and in the bars.

The big screen: In September, the prestigious International Antalya Film Festival sees the screenings of hundreds of independent films from around the world. The spectacular closing ceremony usually takes place in the historic Aspendos Amphitheatre.

Antalya weather

Temperature: 10-35°C

With glorious sunshine throughout the year, there’s no bad time to visit. However, if you want to soak up some serious sunshine, book your break between June and August. For slightly cooler weather, book your holiday between September and November, when average temperatures hover in the 20s.

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