If you’ve chosen Antalya as the destination for your next vacation, you’ve made a fabulous choice. With picturesque coastal scenery, inviting translucent waters, friendly locals and a wide array of exquisite restaurants serving up the finest in Turkish dining, there is plenty to keep you occupied during your stay. However, the area that surrounds Antalya is also home to numerous attractions that are definitely worth the journey to during your vacation.
Whether you fancy yourself as a culture vulture, an Indiana Jones-esque explorer, or you simply like a slice of R&R, I’m pretty certain that I can suggest the perfect day trip from Antalya for you.
Lay Back and Relax in the Pamukkale Hot Springs
You’re on vacation so you deserve a relaxing day to forget about all your cares am I right? There is truly better no location for this than heading up to the pamukkale hot springs. Meaning “cotton candy” in Turkish, the natural limestone at Pamukkale has created a picturesque paradise that you need to see to believe. Slide down into the warm waters (34 degrees celsius) and bathe as the Romans once did here, while you revel in the magnificent views.
Located directly next to the ancient city of Hierapolis, you can combine the two activities into the same day – after your exploration is completed, enjoy a soak at Pamukkale.
Marvel at Hierapolis Ancient City
Hierapolis, known as the “sacred city” is a very well preserved Roman ruin which is referred to as a holy land due to the numerous religious sites and monuments that are contained within it. Little is known about this city which makes it all the more mysterious and fascinating to explore. The 1KM main street leads you through the historic city. Particular sites of interest include the necropolis, the magnificent baths, and the Apollo temple.
Enjoy the Sunken City of Kekova
An ancient town destroyed by an enormous seaquake, Kekova is located on an island just north of Antalya. Once an enviable place to live, you can now explore the area by boat. An intricate network of houses are carved into rock faces, and jutting out from the water are staircases leading to nowhere, and all that remains of once magnificent structures.
Visit the Ancient City of Perge
This is not to be confused with the “Perge” neighbourhood that is located within Antalya city, the Perge ruins are the remnants of an ancient city dating all the way back to the year 1000BC. Much of what remains of the city is from the Roman period, however from the 12th century, it was inhabited by Greeks who had migrated from the region of Anatolia.
Explore magnificent amphitheatres that once entertained thousands, but now lay overgrown beneath the fierce Turkish sun and wander the cobbled streets past old houses and ancient piazzas surrounded by magnificent pillared structures as you are transported back in time.
The best thing about Perge? Unlike many Roman ruins around Europe, it is seldom ever busy so you can arrive here and find that you have its beauty all to yourself.
Visit Tahtali Mountain
Just 70km from Antalya awaits the mountain of Tahtali. A scenic cable car ride from the bottom up to the mountain peak allows you to experience incomparable panoramas as you look out to the sea and the lush rolling green hills beneath you. The view from the top is arguably one of the best in the area and if you do so wish, you can opt to have your photographs taken professionally up here, making for a perfectly unique and personal souvenir.
Chase Jaw-Dropping Natural Waterfalls
Antalya is a city of beautiful nature, and is surrounded by several waterfalls that will be certain to take your breath away. The Upper Duden waterfalls, located 20km away from the city centre are contained within a beautiful park filled with pine trees, small lakes, and lush greenery. Alternatively, the Kursunlu waterfalls, 20km away from the centre are also housed within a beautiful public pine forest. The lakes here are filled with sea turtles and interesting marine life which will certainly interest those with a fondness for nature.
If you prefer to stay fairly central during your time in Antalya, stick to Lower Duden waterfalls . These falls are located within the city centre and are often referred to by locals and those that visit the area as the “best” waterfalls in Antalya. Lower Duden falls offers great views of the mediterranean coast and Antalya bay.
Visit the Resort Town of Side
Antalya has world class beaches, but we understand that if you are staying in the area for a week or so, perhaps you will wish for a change of scenery after a while and that’s why we would certainly recommend taking a day trip to the pretty little resort town of Side. With miles of gorgeous, sandy beaches and a quaint old town that is home to traditional markets, and a large selection of stores, bars and restaurants, Side is a great place to spend a day.
Hike Kuzdere Passage
Kuzdere passage, a hiking trail that leads you through valleys, woodland, mountain passes and natural springs is an adventurer’s paradise. The area is somewhat isolated so it is possible to join daily organised excursions to the area if you would prefer.
Have you travelled to this beautiful part of Turkey? What are your favourite day trips from Antalya?