If you are one of many asking why is Antalya so popular, we can list hundreds of reasons.
It ranks at number 12 on London based Euromonitor list of the world’s most visited cities and is Europe’s fourth most visited destination. So millions of tourists and expats cannot be wrong in choosing to visit and live there. To be clear, when we talk about Antalya, we refer to the whole region comprising the main city centre, smaller coastal resorts, and inland villages. Covering most of Turkey’s Mediterranean coast, let’s look at why people adore the region.
Why is Antalya so Popular?
1: Easy to Get There
Most visitors arrive via the ultramodern airport, that is also Turkey’s top touristic air travel hub. With global flights year-round, its geographical position places it in good stead for short transfer times to places like Belek, Kemer, and the popular tourist beach destinations of Lara Beach and Konyaalti. Aside from that, Antalya covers the D400 highway running from east to west of Turkey and is a major sailing hub making it easy to get there via road or sea.
2: Turkey’s Best Weather Climate
As a vast country, Turkey’s several climate zones differ immensely and if hot summers and mild winters are what you want, choose Antalya. While January and February, the rainy months hamper outdoor plans, other months offer an average of 300 days of sunshine. July and August, the hottest months see temperatures reach the mid-40s, emphasising its position as the ideal place for a holiday.
Kaleici old town
3: Turkey’s Best Beach Destination
The region covers 600 kilometres of coastline with gorgeous sandy beaches, hidden coves, and secluded bays. Do not just assume they are any old beaches fronting the Mediterranean sea though. In Trip Advisor’s annual review of Turkey’s best beaches, Cleopatra’s, Konyaalti, Lara, Kaputas, and Patara often rank in the top ten. For ex-pats who dream of a life by the sea, Antalya presents many towns and villages to choose from.
4: Vibrant Shopping and Nightlife Scenes
So, what is there to do asides from beautiful beaches? Plenty, including the best nightlife and shopping scenes in the Mediterranean region. Shops range from traditional, weekly markets to buy fruit and vegetables, souvenirs, clothing, household goods and more to large shopping malls that outrival any in America. Likewise, nightlife ranges from quiet and serene to fast-paced as seen in sit down roof terrace bars, seaside dining restaurants and large nightclubs featuring famous DJs.
5: Visit Tourist Attractions and Historical Sites
Antalya’s vibrant history has left behind traces through ancient ruins like Aspendos, Phaselis, Myra, Alanya’s red tower and castle, Kekova sunken ruins and more. Places to visit include water parks, museums, green spaces, the famous Aquarium, and a cable car ride up to Mount Tahtali. Let us not forget the main attraction, Kaleici old town with its quaint collection of Ottoman houses, old mosques, domineering clock tower and landmark Hadrian’s gate.
6: Landscapes of Natural Beauty
Photographers and outdoor, nature lovers adore stunning, natural wonders that provide the perfect picture-postcard scene. First, waterfalls are big business and include sites like upper and lower Duden, Kursunlu, and Manavgat. Koprulu Canyon, a favourite place for adventure sport lovers and hikers, is twinned with the backing Taurus mountain range. Other natural attractions include the Damlatas cave and Dim River.
7: Go Golfing in Belek
Ok, so we rarely name drop, but famous golfers have played in Belek, Turkey’s golfing capital. They include Tiger Woods and Barack Obama when Belek hosted the G20 summit. Famous names like Nick Faldo also designed Cornelia and other courses. Belek now ranks in among Spain and Portugal as top golfing destinations. (Read more about Belek.)
8: Hike the Lycian Way
Antalya is home to the famous Lycian Way, Turkey’s longest trekking trail. Covering the entire coastline, it includes ancient sites and historical sites dating from the Lycian empire. Stretching for 500 kilometres to the Fethiye area, most people complete it in sections. Otherwise, to complete the trek all at once, campsites along the way, accept overnight bookings.
9: Adventure Sports Galore
Adrenaline junkies can expect a big choice of activities to partake in. Scuba diving is popular and because schools sell try dives and lessons, attract inexperienced and first-time divers. Go para-gliding in the small, delightful town of Kas, or white water rafting in Koprulu canyon. Most water sports centres on beaches sell parasailing or jet skis sessions. Also head to Ucagiz to sea kayak over Kekova sunken ruins or sign up with an experienced company for canyoning and mountain bike trails.
10: Variety of Destinations
Whether you want somewhere to stay overnight or to move and live here, a wealth of towns and villages each offer something unique. Soak up authentic vibes in Side, go beachy in Kemer, enjoy an upmarket lifestyle in Kalkan, or indulge in nostalgic themes in Kas. Cirali and Olympus offer peace, while Alanya, also growing in popularity is another all-rounder.
11: It Oozes Cosmopolitan Vibes
Some places in Turkey attract just one nationality of holidaymakers. A typical example is Altinkum, nicknamed Little Britain. However, Antalya opens its arms to everyone. Russians, Germans, and Brits lead the way in tourism stats but in recent years, Middle Eastern and Asian nationalities have boosted these stats. Some 5-star, luxury hotels now host extravagant weddings for wealthy and influential Indians, who bring along 200 plus guests arriving on the plane with them. Couple this with the varied dining scene in restaurants serving different cuisines and the fact that locals speak a variety of languages, to prove, Antalya is 100% cosmopolitan.
12: Diversity and Hospitality
The main reason for its popularity is the diversity because it excels in everything and anything. Accommodating both luxury holidaymakers and ex-pats, the difference shines through in all areas from the nightlife to travel to lifestyle trends. It does not matter how old or young because Antalya caters for people of all ages from all occupations. Finding a destination to match any pace of life is easy. Hospitality is ingrained in Turkish culture but for the hotel industry, Antalya excels in it, with award-winning hotels featuring in international travel publications.
13: Excellence on the Turkish Rivera
This stretch of Turquoise coast makes up a massive part of Turkey’s Riviera. Differing from the equivalent in other countries like France, the Rivera takes in small towns, villages, and historical ruins. Antalya, a major sailing hub is popular with international yachts sailing these waters. While those who want a day trip sailing the coastline, head to harbours that every morning in summer, see off boats for a lazy day cruise.
Antalya tour can be considered as the second most popular foreign travel tour in Turkey. Antalya usually attracts tourists who are interested in spending holidays with beach activities on the sea side.