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Antalya Hotels and Apartments
Antalya Holidays & Hotels
Hotels in Antalya
The gateway to the Turquoise Coast (AKA the Turkish Riviera), ancient province, Antalya, is a destination in its own right, offering holiday seekers all they desire. Accommodation in Antalya comes in all shapes and sizes to suit every budget, from five-star resorts to cheaper options, but breaks in Antalya, generally, take two forms. Romance seekers and those after a more authentic experience on holiday can book into the stylish boutique stays and converted Ottoman townhouses in old town, Kaleiçi, in Antalya’s centre.
However, if you’re after an all-inclusive break – where ‘inclusive’ covers non-stop fun for all ages – palatial five-star resorts (some with spires and domes) sit by Blue Flag beaches in hotspots such as Lara and Belek. The Antalya resorts boast lavish landscaped grounds, pools resembling waterparks, pan-global restaurants, private stretches of shore and an array of ever-flashier extras: spas, Jacuzzis and basketball courts. Kids will love the clubs and activity programmes here, and for a unique family holiday, check into the cartoon-y rooms at Belek’s Land of Legends theme park.
Where to stay
There’s a little of Las Vegas’s disregard for subtlety in Lara Beach, where amid glossy hotels resembling beached cruise ships, you’ll spy one themed around the Titanic. Plush hotels rule the land in Lara, putting on a fabulous show with their five-star facilities. The area is truly a buoyant place of family fun and stay-all-day beaches. During the day, you could even drop the kids off at a thrill-ride club, then take yourself to the spa, bar or hot tub.
Beaching is only part of Antalya’s charm. The Romans recognised its holiday potential when they moored here back in the day; and, while they may not recognise the crowded coastline today, there are remnants of their reign in Old Town Kaleiçi (as well as beautiful Byzantine and Ottoman buildings). Enter by Hadrian’s Gate and shop for handmade trinkets, situated in pretty alleyways or even stop by the Roman harbour to admire the Taurus Mountains.
Castles, towers and caves that – allegedly – heal asthma are Alanya’s more historic draws. A hotly debated historic link also concerns the white-sand Kleopatra Beach, where the Egyptian Pharoah – allegedly – swam. True or not, it’s a must-visit spot. There are archaeological museums, aqua parks, a house where president Atatürk stayed, and the picturesque Dim River and caves, which are more interesting than their name suggests…
What to see
Don’t cloister yourself away in your resort – there’s much to see beyond the beach. Start at the very beginning in Side, where well-preserved Roman ruins (the Temple of Apollo and Aspendos amphitheatre) still wow today. Further up the coast, Belek has an architecturally striking mosque, a brace of golf courses, and a dolphinarium in the Troy Aqua water park.
For some greenery on your holiday, take a stroll through central Karaalioglu Park and climb Hidirlik Tower, or venture out to see the two verdant Düden Waterfalls. Kursunlu Waterfall Nature Park is another unique spot and home to one of the most attractive landscapes in Antalya. Belek’s Garden of Tolerance is also a peaceful place to visit, where different faiths can worship in harmony.
To add a dose of adrenaline, white-water rafting along the ribbon of aquamarine rapids through Köprülü Canyon will certainly thrill. For kids, there are aquaparks, a dinopark, vast aquariums and more than 70 rides at Land of Legends, as well as intricate sand sculptures at Sandland, from May to December.
Where to eat
When it comes to food, resorts are as generous as a Turkish büyükanne (grandma), with multiple eateries serving dishes from far and wide, offering menus to please the fussiest little ones. Alternatively, go all-inclusive and you’ll be well-fed throughout.
Anatolian street food can be found in Side or Kaleiçi, where kebabs, pide (Turkish pizzas) and tasty gözleme pancakes are dished up. For historic romance, Kaleiçi’s Club Arma is housed in a 19th-century flour mill, and Seraser Fine Dining welcomes diners into a breathtaking 300-year old house.
If there’s nowhere to dance-until-dawn in your hotel – although, it’s likely there is – try Kemer. This area is famous for their intense and lively clubs, drawing in locals and tourists alike. Club Inferno, one of the biggest venues, usually draws a young, energetic crowd.
Kaleiçi has a buzzing nightlife scene, boasting British and Irish boozers (some curiously themed) and more traditional tavernas. Join the locals at laidback drinkeries, Filika Café-Bar or live-music joint Puppet Old City. If you’re after something a little more highbrow, see if the Antalya State Opera and Ballet are holding any shows in the Aspendos amphitheatre – it’s truly magical after dark.
With treasure-trove bazaars and brand-packed malls, souvenir shopping in Antalya is a breeze – although be wary of illegal antique dealing and fake designer brands. Between Antalya City and Düden is Terra City, there are more than 100 shops to browse. özdilek mall, closer to the city centre, has shops, a bowling alley and cinema. For ‘evil eye’ charms, handwoven kilim rugs, decorative lamps, local embroidery and other holiday souvenirs – plus, haggling opportunities – try Sultan’s Bazaar by Lara Beach or open-air Antalya Bazaar.
Fast Facts about Antalya
- Direct flight time: 4 hours from London
- Transfer time from Antalya Airport to Antalya: 15 minutes
- Time Zone: EET (+3 hours)
- Currency: YTL (Turkish Lira), but Euros, USD and GBP are often accepted
- Language: Turkish
- Average price of a domestic beer: YTL13 (around €2.50)
- Average price of a bottle of wine: YTL30 (around €4.50)
- Number of Brit tourists per year: 251,714