Antalya area holidays don't discriminate between sand and sightseeing aficionados. You'll see historic sites go tit-for-tat with beaches.

The natural look

With the Taurus Mountains for a backdrop and the Mediterranean Sea front and centre, the Antalya area’s lucked out in the scenery stakes. The Karain Cave – once believed to be home to Neanderthal dwellers – dates back up to 200,000 years. Capping it all off is the Manavgat Waterfall – this natural wonder’s such a crowd-pleaser that it was once pictured on Turkish banknotes.

Best for beaches

White sands are part and parcel for Antalya and its neighbours. Lara Beach is one of the most popular picks for visitors, with hotels behind it that need to be seen to be believed. One mimics a giant cruise liner, and there are others designed to look like Concorde and the Kremlin. A huge sandcastle competition dominates parts of the beach every year, too. Head either way along the coastline, and you’ll find quieter sunbathing spots like Belek and Kemer.

Time-warp towns

Ask to see this area’s culture credentials, and you’ll be bowled over by the response. Alanya’s old quarter, Kaleici, is brimming with ageing architecture. There’s an Ottoman-era clock tower, the ancient ruins of a Roman place of worship, and triple-arched Hadrian’s Gate. Trace your finger along the coastline to Side, and things map out in a similar fashion. The seafront’s dragged back through the centuries by the Temple of Apollo, and the countryside in the background’s home to a near-intact open-air amphitheatre.

At a Glance

  • Marvel at the Manavgat Waterfall
  • Flake out on Lara Beach
  • Visit the Temple of Apollo in Side
  • View hotels in Antalya

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