If only the world knew how much Turkey has to offer.
What perspective do you have of your own version of paradise? Crystal clear warm Mediterranean water, broad sunshine for most of the year, extremely long summers, cheap prices for almost everything.
Turkey’s Mediterranean coast has something for everyone. Whether it’s relaxing on a beach, trekking through mountains or even shopping, there’s many places along the coast that can be ideal for you.
But with such a long coastline, where do you start?
Where about is the Turkish Mediterranean coast?
The provinces of Antalya and Mugla are on the Mediterranean Coast.
Since there’s way too much of information, lets start with Antalya province first.
How do you get to Antalya Province?
Antalya itself is a city, which has an international airport. In the peak summer months there are many carriers from all over the world that do direct flights to Antalya International. Apart from that, you can connect through Istanbul with Turkish Airlines, which is both reasonably priced and well served with many flights throughout the day for almost the whole year.
IMPORTANT: Antalya Airport has a domestic terminal and an International terminal that are completely separate and located 2km away from each other.
How do you visit Antalya Province?
That entirely depends on what your style of travel is.
If you want a relaxed beach holiday, you can get airport transfers to your hotel and arrange tours that fetch you from your hotel for the day. This is usually the most pricey option and you won’t see as much unless you change your hotel and area a few times.
There are arranged tours with luxury buses that go with you throughout the whole coast and stop at the main tourist areas, with hotel stays along the way. While this is a better option, and you will see a lot more, it’s still not ideal. The buses only stick to the main roads and main tourist areas, which have a lot of crowds in summer and they also miss the areas that are so gorgeous and so close.. Yet so far..
Rent a car. By far the best option. Not only are car rental prices extremely low in Turkey as a whole, there are many vehicle choices to suite your needs. You can also pick-up your car at one airport and return it at a different airport at the end of your trip. The best thing about having your own vehicle is you get to see the most beautiful areas that much of the world doesn’t know about. No tours, no buses, just you and paradise. Driving on the Mediterranean coast is also quite easy with mostly very well paved roads and minimal traffic. The only exception to this is Antalya’s Old Town, which is a nightmare to drive in 😉
So what makes Antalya Province so beautiful?
The history of Antalya is very long and complicated. The provinces of Antalya and Mugla in Turkey today was once the Roman City of Lycia. This was around 2500 years ago, and many of the ancient Roman and Lycian structures still partly remain to this day.
Antalya’s Old Town (Kaleici) has a lot of history from these times, and is a great place to base yourself for a few days.
Antalya’s Old Town is called Kaleici.
Antalya’s city is based along a coastline that has a cliff throughout between the land and sea.
The Duden waterfall is located in the heart of Antalya’s Old Town.
The Green Canyon is located in Antalya Province, but a bit further out of the city.
Located a short tram stop or a fifteen minute walk from Antalya’s Old Town is the world famous Konyaalti beach.
As you enter, there’s a cliff with a magnificent view of the whole beach with the Tahtali mountains in the background.
Konyaati Beach is world famous and has a huge coastline with lots of shops and restaurants along that huge coastline.
Alanya is a gorgeous little beach town that’s located East of Antalya city. Although not as big, it has many attractions in a fairly small area which off course attracts many international visitors who base themselves there.
Inside the Red Castle of Alanya (Kizilkule)
You can walk along the Ancient city walls along the coast. The Red Tower is in the background.
The Alanya Castle is located at a high point overlooking a lot of the coastline.
At the top of the Alanya Castle.
Alanya may be small, but since it’s surrounded by mountains, the views are spectacular.
Between Alanya and Antalya city, is the very well preserved 2000 year old Alarahan Castle, also called the Alara Castle.
Although around 2000 years old, the Alara Castle is very well preserved.
You can choose to be your own Game of Thrones character if you want 😉
The Ancient City of Phaselis
Phaselis was a Roman city on the coast of Ancient Lycia. It was once a busy port city roughly 2700 years ago. Although not many of the structures are well preserved, what’s great about this is that as you walk through, you get the feel of exactly how the port city used to be all those years ago. The coastline where the harbour used to be is partly underwater today.
This structure was part of the Port City that existed here around 2700 years ago.
Olympos Cable Car
Turkey has one of the longest cable car lines in the world. This one will take you from the ground to the highest point in the Tahtali mountains (2365m above sea level)
The Olympos Cable car (Olympos Teleferik)
The highest point is 2365m above sea level, and the sea is right next to you! Which makes it quite high 😉
A short drive away is the Olympos Beach, which is also called Cirali beach. The drive to the bottom is through an extremely fun and narrow windey road 😉
The Olympos beach has an huge shoreline.
At the end of the shoreline, there’s a small lagoon.
The Anicent City of Olympos is also located at the end of the Olympos beach.
The Ancient City of Myra
Myra was once the Capital of ancient Lycia, and one of the largest towns to have existed in Lycia. A small part of the city is very well preserved, and that’s what you can visit here.
INTERESTING: The Lycians spoke their own language. It was a Luwian language that got extinct many years ago. The scriptures and symbols are still exist today. The Lycians engraved them onto many rock structures and tombs.
Myra was the Capital of Ancient Lycia.
Imagine if the people who built these structures knew that it would last thousands of years?
A typical Roman arena. These were used for entertainment purposes most of the time by Gladiators fighting till death.
As you drive along the coast from Antalya Province towards Mugla Province, the area becomes very mountainous. High mountain cliffs right next to the turquoise Mediterranean waters, and of course you in between.
The Castle of Simena is located a short drive away from the spectacular beach town of Kas. At the top of the castle you can also view the Turkish Island of Kekova.
The Castle of Simena with the Island of Kekova in the background.
At the top of the Castle of Simena. The castle was built to view incoming pirate ships that were a problem at the time.
The views are panoramic, and wonderful.
Kekova is a Turkish Island that has the ruins of a sunken city. The sunken city is around 2000 years old. Part of it can be viewed from land. There are many daily ferry trips to the island.
The Island of Kekova has a sunken city underwater.
Kas is a magical little beach town that’s located at the bottom of the Uyuyan Dev Dagi (Sleeping Giant Mountain).
When you look in front of you, you see the Greek Islands and when you look behind you, you see Mountains.
The great thing about Kas is that most of the hotels are located a walking distance away from the Kas Marina, which is the main area where most services are based.
The Greek Islands are a short boat trip away from the Kas marina, and can also be viewed from land.
The Cinarlar Beach in Kas. Mountainous, different and gorgeous.
Kas has a promenade along the coast where all the basic necessities are found.
Ladies and gentlemen.. The best for last 😉
Kaputas Beach is located at the bottom of two steep cliffs and a gorge. So what’s the result of that?
One of the most famous beaches in Turkey and in the world!
There is a stepped pathway to the bottom and a walkway at the top which gives you great views from all directions.
You could easily spend the whole day here. There’s a walking area along the whole top of the beach which will give you great views from all the angles. There’s also a restaurant and public toilets at the bottom once you walk down to the beach. There’s just something about Kaputas beach which just has to be experienced in person.
How much time do you need?
As much time as possible. If you have five weeks for Antalya province alone, that still wouldn’t be enough to do everything. Antalya is not a destination that you visit once and strike off your bucket list. You have to go a few times. A good few times 😉 and you can change your experiences as you prefer.
What time of the year is best to visit?
The longest days with the least rain are July and August, which is off course Peak Summer months. I would strongly recommend avoiding these months. There are too much crowds and much higher prices. May and June are excellent months, as well as September. Flights and hotel prices are much lower in these months, and still have mostly excellent weather.
Where do you stay in Antalya Province?
I would recommend moving as you travel throughout the coast, as Turkey has an excellent hotel market in terms of what you pay for what you get.
If you base yourself in Antalya city, then of course you have much more choices. Lara beach has a strip of exclusive 5 Star hotels which offer fully inclusive meals and services.
Lara beach has many exclusive 5 Star hotels that are all along Lara beach.
Is Antalya Province safe?
I view this as a very stupid question. Never in my life, in anywhere in Antalya province did I ever feel unsafe. Whether you are alone in the city or rural area or driving in the middle of the night, safety is the last thing you will be concerned off.
So what’s the catch?
ladies and gentlemen… There’s always a catch 😉
With Antalya Province the catch is how to spread out your time. Which hotel and for how many days? Which beach? What type of food for the day?
I think that’s the beauty. You can pick what you want to, when you want to. When you visit Antalya Province, you can change your plans there and then, on the spot if you feel like doing something different. You of course will have to do some basic planning though, although almost everything is on Google Maps.
What else is there to do near Antalya Province?
Very simple. Mugla Province 😉 Which is next to Antalya Province and JUST as beatiful.
Oludeniz is located in Mugla Province, which is next to Antalya Province.
Mugla Province is just as beautiful as Antalya Province.
I will cover a separate article for Mugla province soon.
My dear friends.. There is no verdict needed..
Antalya is one of the most gorgeous places on earth. There’s just too much to do and see, and that can only ever be a good thing!
Speak to you all soon 😉