Antalya holidays are anything but humdrum. This city's like a variety pack of beaches, restaurants and Roman ruins.

Turquoise Coast top dog

Up there with the likes of Istanbul, Antalya’s one of Turkey’s key players. It’s the head honcho city on the nation’s southern coast. You might’ve heard it dubbed the Gateway to the Turquoise Coast. But this place is more than just a doormat – it’s a destination in its own right, too. Tourists flock here for beaches, shopping and nightlife, plus a giant dose of history.

A dazzling duo

Beach-wise, Antalya’s got a buy one, get one free deal. It’s got one on each shoulder – to the west, there’s Konyaalti Beach and to the east is Lara Beach. The latter gets star billing for its gently sloping sand. But they’re both luxury hotel hotspots, so you’re never far from a café or watersports hut. The sea’s not the only water in this neck of the nation, though – the countryside’s crammed with waterfalls.

Red roofs and ruins

Clustered into a corner of the coast is Kaleici, AKA the old town. This place gives a nod to the city’s past, with a Roman-era harbour, an ancient marble gate and a 2nd-century fort. If that’s not enough for you, you’ve also got the Antalya Museum – home to 5,000 pieces of art. Plus, history buffs can daytrip to the well-preserved ruins at Aspendos and Termessos – around 45 minutes’ drive away.

At a Glance

  • Enter the old town through Hadrian’s Gate
  • Spot turtles in the lagoons of the Kursunlu Waterfalls
  • Laze about on Lara Beach