Turkey’s answer to Las Vegas, Antalya is the new holiday destination for sun sea and sand. With Vegas style hotels along a long sandy coastline and great weather almost all year round this is a top holiday destination in the making. When I first heard about Antalya I was not sure of what to expect or even consider visiting but as I started doing my homework it got more and more appealing.
Located on the south-western coast of Turkey, Antalya and Lara Beach is fast becoming a very popular destination especially from the UK. With year round sunshine and average temperatures of 30 degrees makes it the perfect destination if you after some sun sand and sea. It is still quite affordable if you book in advance and the quality of the hotels and service in next to none. Welcome to Antalya.
A beautiful coastline, which stretches between Lara Beach and the town of Antalya is also know as the Turquoise Coast because of the waters which is so clear and appears turquoise when the sun is shining.
Best time to go.
Even though the weather is great all year round the best time to visit Antalya is either May or June before it gets very hot or late September after the intense heat of the peak summer months and far less tourists .
With a wide range of airlines flying in from UK and Europe its quite easy to find direct flights in Antalya. A 3 hours flight from London and you are in Antalya Havalimani airport. If you can’t get a direct flights then your closest choice is Istanbul which is well connected to the world. Once you land in Antalya Airport you can get a cab to take you to Lara Beach or Antalya depending on where you want to stay. Most hotels offer transportation and if you can strike a deal might get a free ride. For the beach its best to choose Lara Beach and visit the city of Antalya which is less then an hour away.
Where to Stay
I would easily call this as Turkey’s answer to Las Vegas. With a large strip of the coastline lined up with some of the most swanky hotels there is plenty of choice. They also have some of these hotels modelled on world-famous landmarks such as the Kremlin or the unsinkable Titanic if you prefer staying in a hotel themed on it.
Our choice – The Delphin Imperial Lara Beach.
Being listed among the World’s Best 100 Hotels and a principle to serve maximum comfort with their all inclusive concept I could not have asked for anything better.
With a private beach, this seafront hotel features luxurious interiors with numerous outdoor and indoor pools, a spa, sports activities and plenty of entertainment for all ages.
The rooms are contemporary design with some of them having stunning views of the sea. Breakfast, lunch and dinner are served as an open buffet in the main restaurant with many options of private dining in some of their other restaurants that serve international cuisine.
There is also a Turkish bath in the spa which I would highly recommend. Antalya city centre is 9 miles from the hotel and Antalya Airport is a 20 minute drive away.
There are a few shops just outside the hotel so you can walk along this stretch in the evening and get your fix of local souvenirs and their speciality leather goods.
Overall one of the best all inclusive hotels I have visited without a doubt and would love to go back to.
With over eight kilometre of sandy beach and gentle waves Lara beach is without a doubt the place to be in when around this area. A large stretch of public beach but majority of this is private and the hotels have it to themselves. The beaches of water sports if you fancy having some fun.
Antalya Town –
If you want to escape the luxury of your hotel and experience local Turkish life then your best option is heading in to the town of Antalya. The majority of the towns architecture is quite modern with shopping centres selling some big brand names as well as local sellers showing off their crafts. There are plenty of restaurants, bars and cafes if you fancy spending a day or an evening here.
What took my fancy was the old town with its winding cobblestone streets filled with historic ruins and some Ottoman architecture. The most interesting place to explore is the old city, Kaleici surrounded by ancient stone walls, a Clock Tower and a Roman arch known as Hadrian’s Gate. You can also visit Antalya’s Archeological Museum, where you can see some of the artifacts from the ancient cities of this region.
Boutiques and bazaars
You can find some great bargains in the shops and bazaars of Antalya selling leather goods, jewellery, handmade crafts and Turkish delights.
Things to Do
- Walk along Antalya’s old harbour and enjoy a tea at a pretty cafe.
- Visit the ancient ruined city of Aspendos 40 km from Antalya.
- Admire the most distinctive landmark in Antalya the Yivli Minare (fluted minaret).
- Stroll the cobbled streets of the old town of Kaleiçi with its whitewashed walls and red-roofed Ottoman mansions.
- Enjoy walks along the coastline stretching away from Antalya with beautiful sunsets.
- Try your luck with the local ice cream man’s tricks.
- Get pampered in the Turkish baths.
- Relax at the all inclusive hotels and sip a cocktail by the pool .
- Try local ottoman cuisine.
Overall if you are looking for a relaxed few days by the sea then there is no better place the Antalya.