Antalya Turkey is one of the major resorts along the country’s Mediterranean shore and the southernmost part of the beautiful Turquoise Coast that stretches for nearly 1,000 miles north to Izmir. It is located about 70 miles south of Antalya and about 100 miles from the island of Cyprus, which once was partitioned between Turkey and Greece and is now an independent republic.
As one of the principal marinas on the coast, Antalya vacations often include sailing, and there are many operators here who offer cruises on traditional Turkish gulets (sailing yachts) along the secluded beaches, coves, and offshore islands of Greece. This is one of the most popular things to do in Antalya and you can book a space on one of these yachts just for an idyllic day trip or for cruise vacation packages that last as long as a week or two.
The area around Antalya Turkey and the city itself has become a mecca for visitors from England, Russia, and Western Europe who have made it their seasonal home. Therefore, many Antalya vacations use the large number of vacation rentals available instead of Antalya hotels.
The history of Antalya travel dates back to its founding in the second century B.C. It was then subsequently conquered by armies from Greece, Rome, and the Seljuks from Persia (today’s Iran). It also was part of the Byzantine and the Ottoman Empires. This long history has left numerous beautiful mosques for visitors to admire. The most important of these is the Yivli Minareli Mosque, with its graceful minaret. Dating to the early thirteenth century, this lovely mosque was the first Islamic structure in the city and is the city’s landmark symbol. There is even a fabulous lighthouse that has been guiding ships for more than 2,000 years, and portions of the ancient city walls with its watchtowers still stand.
Antalya travel can also put you in close touch with nature. The region around the city boasts wonderful natural beauty, some of which is adorned with fascinating ancient ruins. This is one of the parts of the Turquoise Coast where the mountains come right down to the sea. The city of Antalya Turkey itself is set on dramatic high cliffs (falez), where the sparkling Lower Duden Waterfalls pours down onto the beautiful beaches that make this one of the most popular and picturesque resorts in the country.
Many visitors travel to Antalya specifically to enjoy these famous beaches. Here is sandy Lara Beach with is many luxury hotels, and nearby is Oludeniz Beach with its long stretch of shingle sand, famous Blue Lagoon, and lively nightlife. South of the city is secluded Patara Beach, set in a pristine national park that is one of the most important nesting sites of the endangered loggerhead sea turtle.
If you’ve decided that your Antalya vacations will occur during the winter or spring, you will find excellent skiing about 35 miles away in Saklikent on the slopes of Bakiri Mountain. During the spring skiing season, you can glide down snow covered slopes in the morning and sunbathe on beautiful beaches in the afternoon. North of the city is Duzlercami National Park, full of wildlife and excellent for hiking.
Antalya travel will also reveal some excellent museums and ancient ruins. The city’s Archeological Museum has extensive collections of relics and artifacts from prehistory to the Ottoman Empire. Archeological sites in the region include Aspendos, Termessos, and Perge. If you want to enjoy dining on local specialties, you will enjoy strolling through the narrow cobbled streets in the harbor area and stopping in for a snack at one of the many restaurants and cafés. This is the historic center of the city, and there are also many shopping bazaars here.