AntalyaAntalya is the pearl of the Turkish Riviera -- an exciting major city, and a paradise for vacationing families from all over Europe. The coast features innumerable delightful beaches, with hotels and restaurants to suit all budgets peppering it in abundance. Those looking to break the streak of all-inclusive days by the pool will find a fascinating many ancient sites to explore in close vicinity.
The CityIn the 14th century, the explorer Ibn Batuta, the Muslim counterpart of Marco Polo, wrote that Antalya is one of the most beautiful cities you will ever see. Nowadays, visitors to the city can easily understand this point of view. Antalya - chief city on the eastern part of the Mediterranean coastline - is located on fertile and flat land with high and often snow-covered mountains in the background. Those who want to make something extra with their holiday and really get acquainted with the history of the city will not be disappointed with Antalya. Karain, a cavern just north of the city, contains remnants of the oldest settlement in Turkey. Romans, Byzantines and “Seldjuks” have always characterised Antalya. Today, Antalya is a mixture of a modern metropolis and an old-fashioned small town. In Kaleiçi, the visitor will experience the original Antalya. It is an oasis with its small mosques and its muddle of both renovated and ramshackle Ottoman wooden houses from the turn of the century. In the harbour, Yat Liman, there is a multitude of cosy small cafes and bars where you can sit down and relax as you enjoy the boat life in the bay nearby.
Beach LifeThe best way to get to the different beaches is by “dolmus” - the minibuses run often, stop frequently and are a cheap way to travel. Most beaches in the region are very family friendly and offer sport activities, such as surfing and water skiing.
Do & See
There are must sees in Antalya for every age and every taste. Those who are interested in history there can visit plenty of historical sites like Hadrianus Triumphal Arch, Hierapolis or Yivli Minareli. For families with children there is the aqua park called Troy Aqua and Dolphinarium, or why not explore the sea life at Antalya Aquarium? There are also many exciting places outside Antalya to discover like Side and Belek. All you need to do is find your favourite attractions.
The Turkish cuisine—a wonderful mixture of simple “Nomadic” foods, Byzantine luxury and fresh raw ingredients—is considered to be one of the best in the world. Turkish speciality is the small starters “meze,” together with grape-distilled “raki.” Kebab is always meat cut into pieces or minced meat. Another minced meat course is “köfte”—meatballs—which, just like kebabs, are served in special restaurants. The most popular soup is “iskembe”. It is made of cow stomach and served with vinegar. Seafood is very popular among the people on the Turkish Riviera.
The Turks like to frequent garden cafés, where they drink tea or coffee, spend time together and just relax. Turkish pastries are sweetened with a great amount of honey which, as a matter of fact, quenches your thirst. Tea is made of mint, apples and different herbs.
Bars & Nightlife
Nightclubs with belly dancing and other entertainment are easy to find—especially in the luxury hotels. In most cases, people who don’t stay at the hotel are also welcome to larger hotels' bars. Many of the bars in the city centre also function as discos and having a good time is an easy task. Along the narrow street called Hesapci Sok, you will find several music restaurants and garden bars serving beer. Go where the music sounds loudest—or where it is least disturbing.
Turkey has an old tradition of manufacturing rugs and tapestry. The values of the rugs are decided by the density of the knots: the more knots, the higher the cost. Rugs made of silk are more expensive than cotton rugs. Avoid the big department stores and people who sell to tourists—they usually sell inferior quality at exorbitant prices. The exclusive brand name shopping in Antalya is located along Konyaalti Cad. More everyday ready-made clothing is sold along Atatürk Cad. and Isiklar Cad. In the old district of Kaleiçi, you will find souvenirs, leather products and rugs.