Romantic Antalya, The Turkish Riviera

Antalya TurkeyIt is quite likely that we fall in love with a beautiful city the moment we get the first glimpse of it. In our case when we reached Antalya, the famous Turkish Riviera, not only we fell deeply in love with it, but also we felt relaxed and bit lazy after our excursions in Istanbul and Cappadocia. We had a lengthy itinerary prepared which included exploring all the historic places to visit and things to do in and around Antalya but we chucked all our plans and decided to put our feet down, enjoy the balmy weather and slow life of the city.

Related Post: Why Turkey has to be in your travel list

Antalya: The Turkish Riviera
Picturesque view of Gulf of Antalya and the mountains

Antalya: The Turkish Riviera

Antalya is a uniquely romantic Mediterranean city situated in Turkey’s western coastline overlooking the picturesque views of Gulf of Antalya and the mountains.  Antalya is well known for its balmy temperatures during most of the year, which makes it an ideal place for those who are looking for a Mediterranean beach vacation. One can also enjoy its lively nightlife, Turkish, Mediterranean and worldwide cuisines, explore the beautiful combination of a modern and ancient city. The turquoise blue water of the Gulf of Antalya is lined with white limestone cliffs with tiny little waterfalls which is one of the iconic images of the city. The coastline of Antalya is dotted with both luxurious and affordable stays, hence one can choose their stay according to their comfort.

Honestly speaking, we planned to make a couple of day trips from Antalya during our 2 days stay here to visit Pamukkale and the ancient ruins of Termessos, Perge, and Aspendos. But as we walked on our first evening through the lanes and bylanes of Antalya we were so impressed and felt relaxed by this charming city that we decided to call off our plans and stay here, enjoy the relaxed atmosphere of Antalya. The streets of Antalya have a very distinct character with a picturesque boulevard, little streams with small water fountains between the streets with tiny bridges to cross them and cafes and restaurant-lined on either side, all of these making Antalya an extremely charming city.

Related Post: What I ate in Turkey: A vegetarian’s food guide in the Land of Shawarma

Antalya: The Turkish Riviera
Charming street of Antalya with a tiny water stream flowing in between and a small bridge to cross

Antalya: The Turkish Riviera

Antalya: The Turkish Riviera
Hadrian’s Gate: is a triumphal arch built in the name of the Roman emperor Hadrian, who visited the city in the year 130.

On our second day here we decided to saunter around in the old town known as Kaleiçi and the surrounding gardens. As we entered the old town there was a dramatic change in the architecture of the buildings inside, showing us a glimpse of Antalya’s rich history. The maze of cobblestone lanes was lined with colorful ancient building some of which dating back to Ottoman era, few of them have been beautifully restored and converted into boutique and heritage hotels while some of them are left in ruins. There is no denying that this is the quaintest part of the city where you can also find cafes filled with tourists and the locals who get together to play games, bazaars and several shops selling some of the unique and beautiful souvenirs.

 

Antalya: The Turkish Riviera
Streets of Kaleiçi
Antalya: The Turkish Riviera
Locals enjoying their game in one of the cafes

Antalya: The Turkish Riviera

Antalya: The Turkish Riviera
Vibrant and colorful building inside the old town of Antalya

Antalya: The Turkish Riviera

Antalya: The Turkish Riviera

Antalya: The Turkish Riviera

Antalya: The Turkish Riviera

Antalya: The Turkish Riviera

To get to the ancient harbor of Antalya we walked down the Kırkmerdiven which means forty steps, built by the Venetians during the time they had occupied the city.  This harbor which was built by the Romans during the 2nd century was used till 20th century as one of the main harbors of the city. Now it houses yachts and tour boats surrounded by lively cafes and restaurants.

Antalya: The Turkish Riviera
Kırkmerdiven: the forty steps built by the Venetians
Antalya: The Turkish Riviera
The ancient harbor of Antalya

Antalya: The Turkish RivieraAntalya: The Turkish RivieraAntalya: The Turkish Riviera

After lunch at one of the cafes where we spent some time in the Karaalioğlu Park enjoying the beautiful view of the coast and the old harbor.

Antalya: The Turkish Riviera

Antalya: The Turkish Riviera

Antalya: The Turkish RivieraAntalya: The Turkish Riviera

Antalya: The Turkish Riviera

Antalya: The Turkish RivieraAntalya: The Turkish Riviera

Antalya: The Turkish Riviera
Mesmerising sunset of Antalya

On our last day, we decided to take the boat tour and view Antalya’s gorgeous sea-facing cliffs with fairytale-like waterfalls. Antalya looked absolutely stunning from the sea and we were bit disappointed when our tour ended at the boat docked back in the harbor. Rest of the day we just walked around the city, ate at one of idyllic sea facing restaurants and enjoyed the evening here as we were leaving back to Istanbul the next day.

Related post: Seven Ways to Enjoy Istanbul

Antalya: The Turkish RivieraAntalya: The Turkish Riviera

Antalya: The Turkish Riviera

Antalya: The Turkish Riviera

Antalya: The Turkish Riviera

Antalya surprised us in so many that we got to see things which we were not expecting and we now wish to revisit Antalya someday again.

Have you guys ever changed you are itinerary because of a place like us? What do you think about Antalya?

Do let us know your thoughts about Antalya in the comments below!! 

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60 thoughts on “Romantic Antalya, The Turkish Riviera”

  • There was a time when holidays in Antalya were very popular in my home country, and many people would go there to spend 2 weeks in summer. But after the recent conflicts in Turkey, you don’t really seem to see offers for Antalya or the Turkish riviera anymore. The entire place looks wonderful, I love your photos! And it’s so nice that from Antalya you can easily go to places like Pammukale or Cappadocia.

    • That’s so sad to hear that people fear to visit such an amazing place, We hope that the charm of this city never dies because its too beautiful to be true..:)

  • We had planned a trip to Turkey last year, but then the coup and conflicts happened and we had to cancel and went to Jordan instead. While Jordan was certainly great, your photos and narration remind me of what we missed. We will need to reschedule, sometime soon if possible!

    • We must Denny, Antalya is a spectacular place. The unrest had happened just after we left the country so we were lucky enough to visit the country and return safely…. 🙂

  • What a lovely picture gallery of Antalya! And it is quite the contrast to Istanbul and Capadoccia. When I visited Turkey a few years ago, I had to choose between Antalya and Kusadasi and I chose Kusadasi, I can see what a beautiful paradise I missed out on! Calls for another trip 😉

    • Yes, in fact, the beauty of this place was quite a surprising one for us as we had expected it to be the same as Istanbul! 🙂

  • Wow the Turkish riviera looks like heaven! I have never been to Turkey, but Antalya would definitely be included in my travel itinerary. I love just spending all day long on the beach.

  • LOVE the photo of the mountains towering over the city. We were due to spend a month in Antalya in early 2016 but ended up canceling because the conflict in Istanbul had become pretty heavy. We were glad we canceled because the airline and airport we were flying in on had a bomb go off the day would we would have been arriving. But now we can’t wait to get it back on our list because it looks so gorgeous and place where we would love.

    • Oh, that was quite an unpleasant situation! I guess how everything is back to normal in Turkey and good time to visit 🙂

  • I did a similar boat trip to see Algarve from the boat and I really didn’t want the boat trip to end either. I have heard so much of Antalya and its beauty that I would love to visit this Mediterranean town one day. Love the gorgeous pictures of this city and it is quite different from other photos of Turkey.

    • Thank you so much, Soumya! Yeah, even I felt very bad at the end of the boat trip and wished it to be bit longer…:)

  • Antalya looks beautiful! We are hoping to make it to Turkey this year and were planning on stopping by for a couple of days, but this post makes me think we might need a week! The cruise on the water sounds amazing–what beautiful coastline. The architecture of some of the enclosed balconies reminds me a lot of Malta–it’s such a pretty look!

    • Thank you Kate! Antalya is stunning when seen in real as the pictures really don’t make justices to its beauty. You really have to visit this place if you are in Turkey…

  • Thanks for sharing these stunning photos. Definitely a side of Turkey I don’t usually see. Istanbul is on my bucket list already. I guess I need to add Antalya as well. I loved the seaside views. Definitely inspired to visit.

  • Nothing I like more than spending time on a riviera when traveling. Ive never been to Turkey and from what I’ve read with the conflicts I think it shouldn’t deter visitors. I like your outfit!

    • Thank you Mangwanya! We were there in Turkey when the riots broke out, despite being scared we didn’t stop and change our plans! Now when we think of that we feel it was all worth it! 🙂

  • We so wanna do this entire trip to Istanbul, Cappadocia and Antalya soon. How many days in all do you suggest for exploring all these attractions properly? Love all the pictures!

  • Antalya is indeed a revelation. It is lesser hyped than other places of Turkey and probably therein lies its charm too. It was a great decision that you took of taking it slow and enjoying the sights of Antalya. Indeed the place has such an endearing old world charm, no wonder you forgot about your day trips and ended up staying in Antalya.

  • Your pictures are fantastic! I explored Morocco last year from top to bottom and it was pretty awesome but unfortunately I couldn’t get to spend too long in Antalya … definitely got to go back 🙂

    • Thank you Claire! Even I wish the same, want to go back to this beautiful place once again some day…:)

    • Trust me, Antalya won’t disappointment you if you are a history buff or a beach bum since it has both to offer its visitors..:)

  • Yes, yes, and yes! I’ve still not visited Turkey, and really want to go! Seeing all your sunny photos of Antalya makes me miss summer so much! Very cool to see Hadrian’s Gate too; I never knew it was in Antalya. Maybe this year…

  • I’ve never heard of Antalya so thank you for introducing me to this beauty. The streets really are vibrant and colorful. I think I’m in love! Definitely adding this to my bucket list!

  • wow…these pictures looks so so gorgeous…we are palnning to visit turkey in may and for sure will add this place to our bucket list..this shades of blue is so soothing

  • I love the look of Antalya. I have never been and am always a bit worried out travelling in Turkey but this looks amazing. Was it safe? Love the umbrella scenery and the harbour. What was the food like?

    • Antalya was very safe and the locals were very friendly and helpful! Food since I am a vegetarian I had few options in Antalya as seafood in quite popular here… 🙂

  • When I am exploring, I often pack my itinerary with “things not to miss.” This usually serves me well but I do have a few regrets — most notably not spending more time just lounging on the beach on Cat Island, Bahamas. It was great to tour the island, but in retrospect, I should have allowed for one or two more days just vacationing rather than sight-seeing. Antalya looks like the perfect place to do so! I’m so glad you changed your plans. It appears so charming and filled with culture and history. I hope to get there someday myself, now that you’ve brought it to my attention. Thank you!

    • We totally agree with you, Jackie! Such places are meant to slow down, relax and enjoy rather than rushing around to sight seeing! 🙂

  • Ok I am adding Antalya to my travel list, what a gorgeous location! The waterfront looks so dreamy and your description makes me want to jump on a plane and visit now.

  • I have actually been to Antayla, a few years ago now – but I stayed in an all inclusive hotel, and didn’t really leave the hotel much, so had no idea there was so much to see and do in the area. I’m thinking about heading back there this summer with friends, so have bookmarked your post as inspiration x

  • The first thing that come to my mind when talking about Turkey is Istanbul but there are so many equally amazing places in the country and Antalya looks stunning!

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