It 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.
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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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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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!!