Antalya holidays (Antalya area)

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!

Beaches

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 holiday 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 stretches in the whole of Turkey, from the spectacular Cleopatra Beach in Alanya to the family-friendly Konyaalti in Antalya city. And don’t miss the celebrated Lara Beach. With 8km of golden seashore, you’ll also get your pick of some of the most impressive themed hotels right on the waterfront, including the Aska Lara Resort & Spa and Delphin Be Grand!  

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.

And 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. Just take the Granada Luxury Belek as a prime example with its wonderland theme park, chocolate house and a state-of-the-art spa. But the star attraction is the resort’s pristine, fine white sands fringed by shady pines.

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!

Nightlife

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

 

Map of Antalya

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10-35 ℃

With its year-round sunshine, you can enjoy holidays in this part of Turkey at any time of year. For max heat, go between June and September.

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4-5 hours
Antalya International Airport is the regional hub for this part of Turkey, with flights from around the UK. Check our resort guides for transfer times.

Antalya Province is best for...

Beach holidays: With irresistible sand spots all along the Mediterranean coast, the Antalya area is basically beach heaven! For a total winner, head for Lara Beach. Think 8km of pine-swathed sands, an Old Town that’s brimming with character, and glitzy themed hotels.

Ancient sights: The Antalya area’s littered with jaw-dropping remnants of its rich past. Divers can explore the Sunken City near Kekova Island, while history buffs can step back in time with a visit to the ancient city of Phaselis.

Golfers: Enjoy the sunshine on the greens and fairways in Belek, where many of the courses were designed by world-class golfer David Jones. Some are attached to top All Inclusive hotels, making it super easy to combine tee times, spa treats and poolside cocktails in one amazing holiday.

Fast facts for the Antalya area

Language: People in Antalya speak Turkish. Many also know some English, but it’s worth downloading a language app or packing a phrasebook to help you out.

Currency: You’ll need to exchange your Sterling for Turkish Lira (TRY).

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

Fly to: Antalya Airport. Transfer times for our destinations around Antalya can vary between 30 minutes and at least two hours.

Flight time from UK: Flights to Antalya take approximately 4.5 to 5 hours.

Tourist information: Find out more about holidays to the Antalya province from the Turkish Tourist Information Office.

Visa / health: Make sure you check up on the Antalya visa requirements and health recommendations well before your holiday.

Getting around the Antalya area

By dolmus: Antalya’s dolmus (minibus) network is a cost-effective way of getting from A to B. Routes and prices are fixed, and the dolmus only leaves when it has enough people on board.

By city transport: Get yourself an AntalyaKart to jump on and off the frequent buses and trams in Antalya city - perfect for exploring. There’s a similar system for the buses in Alanya.

By taxi: Taxis are plentiful but can be pricey. 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.

By boat: Board a traditional gulet (sailing boat) for a leisurely way to see the coast, or check out the local water buses and taxis.

By hire car: Prefer to drive yourself? It’s a flexible way to fit in as much as you can, at your own pace. Just make sure you’re familiar with the way people drive here, as there are lots of differences to at home.

Events in Antalya

Kemer Carnival: Kemer pops with fireworks and colour in April, when carnival comes to town. Get ready for live music, a kaleidoscope of costumes, and all-night parties.

Opera and ballet: Leading performers top the bill at Aspendos International Opera and Ballet Festival every summer or early autumn. Set in the restored Roman amphitheatre, it’s quite a spectacle!

Antalya Festival: In September, join the locals celebrating their city’s culture - an exciting family event showcasing traditional food, drink and traditions.

Film: The prestigious Antalya Golden Orange Film Festival sees the screenings of hundreds of independent films from around the world each September, with a breathtaking closing ceremony in the Aspendos amphitheatre.

Antalya entry requirements, safety and security

Do I need a passport for Antalya holidays?

Yes, passports are essential for Antalya, so make sure everyone’s meets the most up-to-date requirements - including validity for both your entry and exit dates. You can check all the passport rules for Antalya on the UK government’s Turkey advice pages.

If you need a new one, make sure you apply for your passport as far ahead as possible.

Do I need a visa to go to Antalya?

Most British Citizens won’t need a visa for a holiday on the Turkish Riviera. Have a look at the current Turkey visa guidelines to find out if you should apply for one or not, and for information on who to contact if you’re not sure.

Should I take out travel insurance?

Absolutely! Whether you’ll be spending your well-earned break stretched out under blue Mediterranean skies or throwing yourself down waterslides and into white water rafting adventures, it’s really important to protect yourself with comprehensive travel insurance. You don’t want to be the person who gets hit with big bills!

Make sure you choose a product that covers you for emergency healthcare in case you get injured or fall ill on holiday, as well as for things like lost suitcases and cancellations. And don’t forget to check you’ll be covered for any sports and activities you want to try during your trip.

Safety advice

For a stress-free holiday, plan ahead with the FCDO advice on safe travel to Antalya, including tips for driving in Turkey if you’re planning to hire a car.

 

Antalya weather

Temperature: 10-35°C

With Mediterranean sunshine throughout the year, there’s no bad time to visit the Turquoise Coast. However, if you want to soak up some serious rays, book your break between June and August. July’s the hottest month, averaging a divine 27.5°C. Definitely not the time to forget your hat and sunscreen!

For temps that are cool enough to explore Roman ruins but still perfect to pack shorts and swimwear, book your holiday for autumn (September / October). Averages hover in the low to mid 20s.

Looking for a winter sun break? You can still enjoy highs of around 20°C in November and 15°C December to February. Just be aware you’re more likely to get some rain at that time of year.

Or, pick the spring weather of March to April, when the sun shines a little longer and any outdoor pools and al fresco restaurants that may have been closed over winter are likely to start reopening.

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