Antalya is the eight largest city in Turkey population-wise, a thriving modern city, with a historic heart in the centre of Kaleiçi, within the old city walls. This area has seen something of a renaissance in recent years, with many of the wooden Ottoman mansions being restored and turned into boutique hotels. No cars are allowed in the narrow streets of the old town so it is a good place to soak up the atmosphere around the charming harbour. The symbol of Antalya is the fluted minaret or Yivli Minare built by the Seljuk sultan Alaeddin Keykubat in the 13th century. Culture vultures will find plenty of interest in the Archaeological Museum which has artefacts from the Paleolithic Age right through to Ottoman times. Antalya has a backdrop of stunning mountain scenery, and the city is set high on cliffs, with many of its grandest hotels overlooking the sea on the outskirts of the town. The beach area of Lara, approximately 12 kms to the east is home to the best beach in the area, known for its golden sand, which is rapidly becoming a resort in its own right. To the west, the long pebble beach of Konyaaltı is also popular. Heading up into the mountains, you can make the most of the beautiful scenery by visiting the spectacular Düden or Kurşunlu Waterfalls to see a completely different side to the Turkish landscape. At Saklıkent, just 50 kms away you can even visit a ski resort, where they usually have snow on the pistes until early April.
The Altlın Portakal, ‘Golden Orange’ film festival is held in the Autumn. Antalya has a large number of 5 star hotels, many of which have meetings facilities, and this, together with the Pyramid Congress Centre which can hold up to 3000 delegates make it a popular venue for conferences.
Highlights: Telmessos, Phaselis, Olympos, Side, Perge, Aspendos, Manavgat, Rafting, Jeep Safari