The eastern gateway to the Turkish Riviera, Antalya is one of the best launchpads for discovering the Turquoise Coast. Laze on beaches, explore Greco-Roman ruins and hunt for bargains in the markets of Kaleiçi.
17 June, 2019
With a history as deep as the turquoise waves lapping its coast, Antalya is the eastern gateway to the Turkish Riviera and all its spoils. Sandwiched between the towering Taurus Mountains and sandy beaches along Mediterranean, the city has much to be explored.
Start your day learning about the region's history which spans 2,000 years. Head to the Greco-Roman ruins for the colossal amphitheatre, visit the Temple of Apollo for monumental columns, or make your way to Cirali Beach to see the ancient Greek ruins of Olympos. For a natural phenomenon, make a beeline for Mount Chimaera to see the "Eternal Flames" - fire created by naturally occurring gasses escaping from the rock or, as legend has it, being spewed by the monster of Chimaera.
In the afternoon, choose between sunbathing on the famous Kleopatra Beach or heading inland to explore the mountains, stopping by remote villages in the Dim Çayi Valley and taking a dip in the Dim River if you're brave enough (the water is very cold). After a day well spent, reward yourself with a sundown tipple in Alanya, Antalya's harbour district which comes alive in the evening.
Take one of Europe's fastest cable cars to the top of Tahtalı Dağı Mountain, where, at 7,750ft, you'll have views across the whole of Antalya. For more spectacular day trips, head to the Düden Falls, which cascade among lush greenery before pouring into the Mediterranean.
Who to take with you
Most stay in the ancient old city district of Kaleiçi, where winding lanes and cobbled streets make a lovely setting for shopping. Take a friend who can spot a good bargain, the city is known for its artisanal markets selling everything from jewellery and clothes to homeware.
When to go
Go at the end of April for warm temperatures and fewer crowds.
Where to stay
Stay at Villa Mahal, a hillside hotel surrounded by olive groves and frangipani trees overlooking the Bay of Kalka. Laze next to the infinity pool, sip on cocktails at the Mahal Beach Bar and dine on traditional Turkish cuisine at the Villa Mahal Restaurant.
Most likely to bump into…
Party-goers in Kemer, Antalya's buzzing club district. Enjoy a cocktail at one of the bars, or if you're more of a foodie, go searching for food stalls selling gözleme, delicious savoury pancakes filled with potatoes, cheese or meat.
Essentials to bring with you
Reformation's Sheila floral-print midi dress is perfect for summer; cool and airy for exploring Roman ruins, and an elegant option for evening dinner and drinks.
How to get there
Fly directly into Antalya airport.