From its magnificent cliff top position overlooking a crescent-shaped bay and surrounded by the rugged Taurus Mountains, Antalya offers all the ingredients you need for a honeymoon in Turkey.
Gateway to Turkey’s Mediterranean Coast, the coastal city of Antalya offers newlyweds an exciting honeymoon destination, with a wide choice of sights and activities.
Discover unique shopping and fine Turkish cuisine in the town’s historic old centre and explore several ancient city sites nearby.
Admire more than 5000 priceless archaeological artefacts at the Antalya Museum (Antalya Muzesi) on Konyaalti Beach, some of them dating back 50,000 years.
Then catch a beachfront tram to the nearby historic centre of Kaleiçi (pronounced Kah-leh-ee-chee).
From here descend a maze of steep and narrow streets lined with historic sites and restored wood-framed Ottoman houses to the historic old harbour – now a glitzy marina edged with quayside restaurants and renowned as the centre of the city’s vibrant nightlife scene.
Along the way, sip Turkish coffee at a sidewalk café then browse carpet, jewellery, leather and handicraft shops and see ancient stonewalls, protective gates and soaring towers dating from pre-Roman, Roman and Byzantine eras.
Visit the 13th century old Saat Kulesi (clock tower), the fluted 38m-high Yivli Minare (minaret) and the 2nd century Hidirlik Kulesi (Red Tower), which offers panoramic cliff-top views. Don’t miss the monumental Hadrian's Gate, built in honour of the emperor’s visit to the city in 130 AD.
Tee-off from a choice of golf courses including the par-71 Antalya Golf Course, the two 18-hole championship courses at the Gloria Golf Club, the 27-hole Nick Faldo-designed course at Cornelia Golf Club and the two PGA-endorsed courses at the Kempinski Hotel in nearby Belek.
Inland, the rugged Taurus Mountains (or Toros Mountains) offer numerous outdoor pursuits including rock climbing, hiking, mountain biking, horseback riding, white-water rafting and even skiing opportunities.
Hike the long-distance Lykia Yolu (Lycian Way) from Antalya to Fethiye or the St Paul Trail leading north up to the Anatolian plateau.
Active honeymoon couples may wish to walk the network of hiking trails that wind through pine forests above Antalya, across the Taurus Mountains into the Egirdir lake lands and on to Pisidia.
In some cases these trails follow ancient mule tracks and Roman roads once used by St Paul on his travels through Asia Minor.
Jeep safaris offer a slightly less physical challenge but equally exciting journey through the lush canyons and waterfalls of the Taurus Mountains.
Experts can kayak or white-water raft the Grade 4 and 5 rapids along the Manavgat River, while beginners may try the Grade 1 and 3 rapids of the Köprü River.
Horseback ride beneath shady 350-year-old pine trees in the Sorgun Forests and ride the Tahtali cable car from the resort of Tekirova (near Kemer) up to the 2363m-high summit of Mount Olympos (or Tahtali Dag) for breathtaking vistas.
From January to mid-April, go skiing on the lower slopes of Mount Bakırlı (2547m).
Located in the Beydag mountain range, the Saklikent Ski Resort (1850m) is just 40km from Antalya. Antalya is also a good base for day trips to the nearby ancient cities of Perge, Aspendos, Olympos, Phaselis, Selge, Side and Termessos.
Antalya offers two very long, sand and shingle beaches on either side of the city as well as fine white-sand beaches just a short drive away at Belek.
Both Konyaalti and Lara beaches offer kilometres of beachfront on which to sunbathe and enjoy numerous water sports, all the while close to an array of amenities including themed water parks, cafes, fine dining restaurants and hotels.
In addition to swimming, snorkelling and cruising the warm turquoise waters of the Gulf of Antalya, try scuba diving above wreckage of World War II fighter planes and various shipwrecks that lie just off shore.
The best beaches include…
Pick your own spot to sunbathe and swim on this 7km-long golden-sand and white-shingle beach framed between Antalya's cliffs and the towering Beydaglari Mountains to the west.
Konyaalti is fringed by a pleasant palm-edged boulevard lined with bars, restaurants, cafes and several upmarket hotels.
The eastern end of the beach features a wide, kilometre-long beach park (photo) featuring an aquarium, a children's playground, a water theme park (Aqualand), a paintball area and several ‘beach clubs’ that provide facilities (for a small fee) such as parasols, sun loungers, changing cabins, showers and toilets.
Water sports include jet skiing, parasailing, water skiing, kayaks, sea biking and windsurfing.
After dark the beach clubs transform into stylish outdoor nightclubs. Come for a day or stay for a while at one of the nearby hotels, such as the luxurious Sheraton Voyager Antalya.
Konyaalti Beach is located to the west of the Old City.
Unwind on this long golden-sand and shingle beach that nestles between a tree-lined promenade and the inviting turquoise waters of the Mediterranean Sea.
The beach stretches east from Antalya’s falez (cliffs) just past the Lower Duden Waterfalls, where several hotels also provide bathing platforms on the flat rocks.
Beach facilities include parasols and sun loungers for hire, showers, toilets and changing cabins. The seafront promenade is lined with a choice of restaurants, cafes and several hotels including the Lara Beach Hotel. Aquapark’s flumes, dolphin shows and museum are just a stroll away.
Lara Beach is located 10km to the east of Antalya.
Discover one of the best beaches in Turkey – a 16km-long stretch of fine white sand fringed by shady pine trees and facing calm turquoise waters. Facilities including parasols and sun loungers for hire.
Showers, toilets and kids’ clubs are offered by several of the beachfront hotels. Water sports include riding pedalos (foot pedal boats), kayaking, dinghy sailing and parasailing.
Inland activities include horseback riding, cycling, tennis and golf. The Troy Aquapark and Dolphinarium offers a range of flumes as well as the opportunity to swim with dolphins.
Belek Beach is located on the south coast of Turkey, around 35km east of Antalya, and is known as a popular nesting place for loggerhead and green turtles.
Unwind on this picture-perfect, pale golden-sand and pebble beach that nestles between a pine forest and the calm turquoise waters of a small cove framed by rugged bush-clad mountains.
A small mountain stream flows across the beach from a rocky gorge. Go swimming, snorkelling or kayaking.
Come on a day trip or stay at the beachfront Olimpos Lodge, an upmarket resort where you can find a range of facilities, or stay at the less expensive Kadir’s Tree House.
A short walk inland leads to the ruins of an ancient temple that lies scattered among pine trees on either side of the Ulupinar Stream.
The mountainous interior offers opportunities for hiking, rock climbing, mountain biking and white-water rafting in the nearby Köprülü Canyon.
Olympos Beach is located 80km southwest of Antalya, around one and a half hour’s drive.
Just a short drive from Antalya lie an arresting choice of must-see sightseeing attractions, including…
Discover several so-called ‘eternal flames’ that flicker amid the rocky slopes that overlook the ancient city of Olympos.
This fascinating natural phenomenon consists of a dozen flames that are continuously fed by natural methane gas seeping from this particular patch of rocky hillside – a natural wonder that has occurred unabated for thousands of years.
To reach Chimaera, follow a rough stone path from the modern village of Çirali or take the longer 7km pathway from Olympos Beach.
Walk in the footsteps of St Paul (who once preached here) and ponder the massive Hellenistic–Roman gate towers in the ancient city of Perge, which dates back to 1500 BC.
Admire finely carved marble reliefs in the Graeco–Roman hilltop theatre and enjoy panorama vistas overlooking the ancient ruins.
Other impressive sites include the Roman acropolis, stadium, baths and agora. From Perge you can also start the St Paul Trail, which leads north up to the Anatolian plateau.
Perge is located 17km from Antalya.
Located on a plateau 1050m above sea level, the walled city of Termessos is the only settlement not to have been conquered by Alexander the Great; although he tried in 333 BC.
Hire a guide at the park entrance (Gulluk Dagi National Park) and allow at least half a day to explore the extensive ruins there, which include a (monumental gateway) dedicated to Emperor Hadrian and the goddess Artemis, five ancient cisterns, rock-cut tombs, sarcophagi, a colonnaded street, the magnificent Corinth Temple and a Greek Theatre that offers panoramic views across to Antalya and beyond.
A rocky, uneven footpath winds its way through the ruins. Termessos is located 38km from Antalya.
Explore the ancient Lycian city of Phaselis, which dates back to 700 BC.
Stroll the ancient, 24m-wide main street running through the middle of the city and lined with ancient marble and stone ruins including the Roman baths, agora, theatre, sarcophagi and the soaring remains of the ancient limestone aqueduct.
Cool off with a swim from one of the small pebble beaches that line the three small bays of this once prosperous port city.
Phaselis lies between the Bey Mountains and the forests of Olympos National Park, around 16km west of Kemer and 42km west of Antalya.
Admire one of the best-preserved ancient theatres in the world – the 2000-year-old Theatre of Aspendos, which is still used today for the annual opera and ballet festival held here from mid-June to mid-August.
Also admire the aqueduct and less impressive remains of an agora, basilica and stadium.
Aspendos is a starting-point for the St Paul Trail, leading north up to the Anatolian plateau. Aspendos is located 47km east of Antalya.
This purpose-built luxury beach and golf resort sits on a coastal plain between the towering Taurus Mountains and beautiful Belek Beach. The resort offers a choice of 30-plus 4- and 5-star hotels and more than 10 championship golf courses.
Take lessons at the international tennis school, see more than 100 species of bird at the nearby Kursunlu Waterfall and enjoy a wide array of water sports on Belek Beach. Most of the hotels run shuttles to the beach, golf courses and into Antalya.
There are also plenty of dolmus (shared taxis) and taxis and you can also hire bicycles to get around the resort.
The ancient cities of Perge and Aspendos are a short drive away from Belek, which is located on the south coast of Turkey, around 36km east of Antalya.
This spectacular walking route stretches for 400km from the resort of Ovacik to the city of Antalya.
Hike through soaring mountain peaks, deep lush valleys and secluded coves fringed by sand and pebble beaches.
The route follows ancient Roman and Ottoman roads, mule tracks and nomad trails. Choose a short section to walk or allow up to 40 days to complete the entire route.
Along the way, see rock-cut Lycian tombs and free-standing sarcophagi, remote Byzantine churches, domed Ottoman cisterns, beachside Roman ruins at Patara and the massive theatre at Myra.
April, May and September are the best times to walk, with pleasant warm weather and fields of wildflowers, with stands of cedar of Lebanon dotting the high passes.
In Antalya, it’s easy to find accommodation options to suit most honeymoon budgets, ranging up to luxurious 5-star hotels such as the Hillside Su Hotel and the Sheraton Voyager, both located on Konyaalti Beach.
Alternatively, stay at the Minyon Boutique Hotel, a restored Ottoman mansion nestled within the ancient ramparts of the Old City.
In addition to Antalya, the nearby coastal resort of Lara offers newlyweds a wide choice of accommodation options to suit all budgets, including the following…
Titanic Beach Lara
Location: Lara Turizm Merkezi Kundu Antalya, Lara
Prices: from AUD263 per room
Description: Set in a building shaped like a cruise ship, this beachside hotel offers luxury spa treatments and 4 restaurants. It features a massive outdoor pool area fitted with water slides. Titanic Beach Resort Hotel’s air-conditioned rooms have large windows that overlook the sea. Each one has comfortable lounge chairs on its private balcony. This resort features a massive outdoor pool area, set on more than 5,000 m² of land. It also has an original sized football field, 4 tennis courts and a basketball court. In its full-service spa, Titanic Beach Resort Hotel provides overall body treatments which include massages and aromatherapy sessions. Various skin care treatments are also available. Titanic Beach Resort Hotel is less than 13 km away from Antalya Airport while EXPO 2016 Antalya is 15 km from the property. It is less than 5 minutes’ walk from Antalya’s sandy coastline which features volleyball matches.
Limak Lara De Luxe Hotel - Ultra All Inclusive
Location: Lara, Antalya
Prices: from AUD243 per room
Description: This luxurious 5-star hotel is located in the coastal resort of Lara. It features 4 free à la carte restaurants and an expansive spa. The spa at the Limak Lara features a Turkish/steam bath, indoor pools and a hot tub. A range of relaxation therapies are also available, including full-body massages, facials and pedicures. The air-conditioned rooms at the Limak Lara De Luxe Hotel have modern furnishings with Turkish influences. They include a spacious living area with a flat-screen TV. Some rooms have a hot tub and terrace with sea views. Guests can enjoy various international cuisines at the onsite restaurants, including Indian, Thai, Japanese, Italian, Mexican and Turkish. Meals can be enjoyed indoors as well as al fresco. The De Luxe Hotel is only a 10-minute drive from the Antalya city centre and offers free private parking.
Adalya Elite Lara Hotel
Location: Lara, Antalya
Prices: from AUD216 per room
Description: Featuring free WiFi, all-inclusive Adalya Elite Lara Hotel offers accommodation in Antalya. The hotel has a garden, an outdoor pool and a private beach area. Free private parking are also available. Modernly decorated, all rooms include a flat-screen TV. Each also has a marble bathroom. There is a 24-hour front desk, hairdresser's, and gift shop at the property. Spa centre is ideal for relaxing after a busy day. Water sports facilities are also available. Daily breakfast, lunch and dinner are served in buffet style. Guests can enjoy meals from international and local cuisines at the hotel's à la carte restaurants. Adalya Elite Lara Hotel also offers variety of drinks at the Lobby Bar, Amfi Bar, Pier Bar and Beach Bar. Car hire is available. The nearest airport is Antalya Airport, 15 km from the property.
Baia Lara Hotel
Location: Lara, Antalya
Prices: from AUD171 per room
Description: Featuring a private sandy beach area and a wooden pier, this extensive hotel offers wide outdoor pools, Aqua Park with 3 slides and a heated indoor pool. Spa and sports facilities are all available. Rooms at Baia Lara Hotel include free WiFi, a flat-screen TV, air conditioning and floor-to-ceiling windows. Safety deposit box, minibar and an electric kettle are provided. Private bathroom comes with a hairdryer and a shower or bath. Baia Restaurant serves breakfast, late breakfast, lunch, dinner and midnight snack, all in buffet style. A la carte restaurants with Italian, Mexican and Turkish specialties are available, and reservation is needed. Bars and snack corners are scattered around the hotel. Guests can play a game of football, basketball and tennis on the fields offered. Bowling, beach volleyball and games room are available. You can also work out in the fitness centre and relax in the Turkish bath, sauna or in one of the 13 massage rooms. Antalya Airport is only 15 km from Baia Lara Hotel.
Akra Barut Hotel
Location: Lara Yolu Muratpaşa Antalya
Prices: from AUD113 per room
Description: Located on the seafront, this 5-star hotel offers an outdoor pool and spa facilities. The main restaurant of Akra Barut Hotel offers Turkish and Mediterranean cuisine. Balconies with views of the Mediterranean or the Taurus Mountains are featured in all Akra Baruts’s rooms. The contemporary-style rooms include flat-screen TVs with satellite channels and free WiFi. The wellness centre includes sauna, Turkish bath and a range of massages. Guests can train at the well-equipped gym, or play some tennis on the resort’s courts. Akra Barut Hotel features multiple restaurants and bars. Organic food, Turkish cuisine and a range of snacks are available. Akra Barut Hotel is situated 3 km from Antalya's centre. Antalya International Airport is about 15 km away while EXPO 2016 Antalya is 19 km from Akra Barut Hotel.
Location: Konyaalti Beach, Antalya
Prices: from AUD80 per room
Description: Set in exotic gardens in Ataturk Culture Park, this 5-star hotel near Konyaaltı Beach overlooks sea and Taurus Mountains. It offers 4 dining outlets, a lagoon-style pool and a free shuttle to the beach. Konyaalti Beach is 300 m away. For those who like to work out, the luxurious Rixos Downtown provides a modern gym and 2 tennis courts. There is also a spa where guests can unwind in the Turkish bath, or with a relaxing massage treatment. The Rixos Lounge features a panoramic terrace and serves upscale international cuisine in chic surroundings, while the Beach Bar & Restaurant is located on Konyaaltı Beach and offers an à la carte menu. The hotel also features a range of bars serving exotic cocktails and light snacks. The bright guest rooms are decorated with rich fabrics and offer a private balcony with views of Antalya or the Mediterranean Sea. They also have a flat-screen TV with satellite channels and a seating area with a couch. Rixos Downtown’s tour desk offers advice about local trips and excursions. Antalya Museum is 10 minutes by walk, and Konyaalti Beach is a 14-minute walking distance.
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With a mild year-round climate, a honeymoon in Antalya can be enjoyed at any time of year. However the best time to visit is between the months of May and October when the average temperature is 25°C (77°F).
January is known for the heaviest rainfall of the year. Temperatures often exceed 30°C (86°F) during the peak holiday season of July and August.
For more climate info: Antalya Weather Guide…
Antalya is Turkey's fourth largest city and lies along the country’s south coast, around 298km northeast of Fethiye, 467km southeast of Izmir and 725km south of Istanbul.
By air, Antalya’s international airport receives daily flights from Istanbul, Ankara and the major cities of Europe and the Middle East, and is located around 10km east of the city centre.
Latest update: Antalya: 27 November, 2018
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