Antalya

by Cristina  

antalya harborKnown as the hub for the Turkish Riviera, Antalya is also filled with historical sites mostly in the old quarter.

Location

Antalya is located on the Turkish Mediterranean coast. Perched on a cliff above the sea, Antalya is surrounded by mountains.

How to get to Antalya

Antalya’s Airport has become one of the busiest airports in Turkey. International flights arrive here during the peak season from all over Europe.

Modern buses (facilities just like business class in planes) link Antalya to the rest of Turkey and the prices are low. You just need to get to the bus station and get a ticket.

A lot of travelers also arrive by ferries from Greece (Rhodes and Kastellorizo).

Weather

Antalya has a typical Mediterranean climate. The summers are hot and dry. The winters are mild and rainy. As many as 300 days a year are sunny and the temperature of the water never goes below 15 C / 59 F.

July and August are the hottest months, with high daily temperatures reaching 33 C / 92. F. The coldest month is January and the low temperatures average 5 C / 41 F. Generally the breeze cools off the air but high temperatures are pretty common as well.

Generally speaking, spring and autumn are the best seasons to visit Antalya. Even if you are heading to the beaches, avoid the peak summer months and choose to visit during the shoulder season (May-June, September). In that way you’ll not only avoid the summer heat but save some money on airfare and accommodation as well.

Winter is practically a closed month for tourists as the weather is too cold and there are no winter activities available.

Things to do

Kaleici is the historical city. It’s been restored and “transformed” to cater for tourists. There are hotels, restaurants, bars, clubs and a lot of places to shop. It’s also the place where most of the historical buildings are located.

The ancient monuments include: Hadrian’s Gate, City Walls, the Clock Tower and Hıdırlık Tower.

Yivli Minare (Fluted Minaret) is one of the city’s symbols. The minaret is decorated with dark blue and turquoise tiles.

Several other mosques also draw tourists. Among them we can list: Ahi Yusuf Mescidi, Balibey Mosque, Iskele Mosque, Murat Paşa Mosque, Musellim Mosque, Osman Efendi Mosque, Seyh Sinan Efendi Mosque and Tekeli Mehmet Paşa Mosque.

Ancient sites are also located close to the city. Aspendos and Termessos are two Pamphylian cities. The latter is home to the most magnificent necropolis on the Mediterranean coast.

During the summer, Antalya has a lovely nightlife. There are a lot of clubs and restaurants where you can enjoy a good meal and live music.

Tips

  • Do not buy any antiques. It’s forbidden to take them out of the country. It will cause a lot of headaches at the customs, not to mention the really high fines.
  • Shopping for bargains include buying OTC drugs at really low prices and legally.
  • Food is very cheap. A full meal would cost around 10 Turkish Liras (which is about US$ 7).
  • Accommodation is easy to find. Practically every house in the Old City is a mini-hotel. A couple of years ago the city used to be packed with tourists but now the majority of them flock to the areas outside the city, via the package vacations offered by travel agencies.

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