Hot off the heels of record-breaking tourist numbers in 2019 comes our new Antalya route in time for Summer 2020. The Turkish coastal city may be better known for its resplendent beaches, but it’s also a haven of historical, natural and culinary wonders. We round-up what the bustling Mediterranean hotspot has to offer that makes it more than just a resort town.
A world apart from Antalya’s glittery new developments, this old-city district is truly charming. Historically, the entire city was enclosed within these walls, and though much of what there is to explore now lays beyond its confines, there’s still plenty to discover along the cobblestone streets. Aside from the beautifully restored Ottoman houses are one of the city’s most important mosques, Tekeli Mehmet Pasa Cami; the ruins of Hadrian’s Gate and Kesik Minare Cami, and a slew of great boutiques.
If history is your bag, you’ll be happy to hear that Antalya boasts some of Turkey’s most impressive museums. Antalya Museum, one of the country’s largest, boasts archaeological treasures dating all the way back to the Stone Age, including the world-famous Elmali Hoard, a precious collection of ancient coins illegally smuggled out of the country in 1984. Also worth a visit is Suna Inan Kirac Kaleici Museum for an insight into Antalya’s local culture by way of artefacts, photographs, maps, costumes and more.
For real-deal history buffs, a visit to Antalya would be incomplete without a day trip to Side, home to the Greco-Roman ruins. Located 75km east of the city, this ancient site is one of the most spectacular of its kind, housing a 2nd century AD amphitheatre that was originally designed to accommodate up to 15,000 people. The architecturally staggering temples of Apollo and Athena, located at the tip of the city’s harbour, are also worth a visit in the late afternoon as the sun sets over the peninsula.
The Düden Waterfalls
Antalya’s beaches aren’t the only places to cool down in the summer heat – these spectacular cascades are located at separate sites just outside the city. The more popular of the two, Upper Düden Waterfall, can be found 14km north-east, sitting at a mighty 20 metres high. One of the main draws is that visitors can experience the rushing water from inside a hidden cave directly underneath, or wade in the surrounding pools. Alternatively, check out the smaller but equally scenic Kurşunlu Waterfalls, set amid a verdant, 587-hectare pine forest and accessed from a nature trail.
You certainly won’t be hard-pressed to find exceptional dining in Antalya, but one of the city’s best offerings is its abundant street food stalls where you can sample national delicacies for a fraction of the price. Favourites include gözleme – akin to savoury crepes – fired up on open outdoor grills and filled with cheese, potatoes, spinach or kiyma (chopped meat), and traditional Turkish dondurma (ice cream) made using resin mastic which gives it a chewier texture.
With FORWARD.REWARDS you can earn points on every shipment you make with IAG Cargo, with flights from London to Antalya starting at 4,000 points. Don’t miss your chance to visit this Turquoise Coast oasis.