Antalya is the largest Turkish city on the Mediterranean coast, which, conveniently, has international airport, as well as a rich centuries-old history and beautiful surrounding nature, thanks to which it provides an abundance of interesting places for trips outside the city.
The city of Antalya itself is certainly multifaceted and interesting. After you have fully enjoyed the city, its beaches, attractions, museums and entertainment, it is worth going outside the city and paying attention to other attractions and places of both Antalya Municipality and other places in Turkey, of which there are many and each of which is interesting in its own way.
The places and sights given in this article can be applied not only to departures from Antalya, but also to departures from Belek, Side, Alanya, and some to departures from Kemer.
You can get around Turkey from Antalya by public transport, rented car or taxi, as well as with organized excursions.
Excursions from Antalya
Where to go from Antalya (independently and with excursions)
Boat trips, diving and fishing
From Antalya, you can go on boat trips and cruises around the Mediterranean Sea on a yacht, including in the luxury style and see the beautiful coast with steep shores, a waterfall and grottoes.
You can go by sea to Side, to to the island of Suluada, which is called the "Turkish Maldives", or to the sunken city off Kekova Island.
You can also go out into the sea waters and go snorkeling, diving or fishing.
From the old port of Antalya pirate ships sail daily during the high tourist season.
There are cruises from a couple of hours to one-day ones, both with and without lunches.
Ruins of ancient cities
In the vicinity of the city of Antalya, one of the most interesting ruins of ancient cities can be visited
Perge is an ancient city founded in the Bronze Age and whose ruins are now one of the outstanding archaeological sites of Turkey.
Today on the territory of Perge you can see the remains of walls, gates and towers, basilicas, nymphaeums, baths, palaestra, propylaea, agora, some buildings and shops, the main street with a water canal, as well as the ancient stadium and the Bolshoi theater.
Entrance to Perge is paid. More about Perga…
Termessos - ruins of an ancient city of the historical region of Pisidia on the top of the Gulluk mountain, where a hiking trail leads.
Today, the city includes ruins of buildings and a palace; streets and columns; temples of Armetida, Zeus and Hera; Hadrian's Gate; a Roman period theater on top of the mountain; baths and gymnasium; water supply systems, whose channels are still used for irrigation; the tomb of Altek and a complex of rock tombs.
Entrance to Termessos is paid.
Aspendos is an ancient city located near Serik.
According to legend, the city was founded by the soothsayer Pug or Polypet after the Trojan War.
The main attraction of Aspendos is its well-preserved Roman theater, which, thanks to its perfect acoustics, is still used for concerts and performances, including the Aspendos Opera and Ballet Festival, which is held every summer. Aspendos Theater with a capacity of 15,000 spectators was built by architect Zeno between 138 and 164 years. One of the reasons why the theater has been well preserved to this day is that it was used as a palace during the Seljuk period.
Also in Aspendos you can see the ruins of baths, temples, aqueduct, hippodrome, market square and other remains telling about the once prosperous human life in this place.
Entrance to Aspendos is paid.
Sagalassos is a well-preserved ruins of an ancient ancient city that existed before the 7th century AD and was deserted due to earthquakes, which caused problems with water, then epidemics and people began to leave the city.
During the Roman Empire, it was one of the most famous cities of Pisidia.
The remains of the ancient monuments of the city have a pronounced Roman character; the cult of Emperor Hadrian (117-138) was formed in the city, and a large number of Roman veterans settled here, which is not typical for this area.
Now the remains of the 5-meter statue of Emperor Hadrian, the city council building, the temple, the central square, baths, theater, library, the monumental Antoninler fountain and the monumental tomb have been preserved.
Entrance to Sagalassos is paid.
Kurshunlu Waterfall (Kurşunlu Şelalesi), which is located near the city of Antalya, in the Kurshunlu Waterfalls Natural Park (Kurşunlu Şelalesi Tabiat Parkı).
The waterfall is located on one of the tributaries of the Aksu River, in the middle of a picturesque pine forest with picnic areas.
Manavgat Waterfall (Manavgat Șelalesi) is a small waterfall located on the Manavgat River, 3.5 kilometers north of the city center of Manavgat.
The waterfall falls from the rocks with a height of about 5 meters.
Cafes, retail outlets, recreation areas, toilets and viewing terraces are equipped near the waterfall.
In addition, on certain sections of the Manavgat River, you can engage in various natural sports, such as rafting and canoeing, which allows you to combine a trip to the waterfall with active recreation.
Entrance to the Manavgat Waterfall Park is paid.
Uchansu Waterfalls (Uçansu Şelalesi) - a wide cascade of waterfalls flowing out of the cave and falling into natural pools in which you can swim.
There are places for walks and picnics nearby.
At the top of the Uchansu Waterfall is the Royal Pool (Kral Havuzu), formed as a result of limestone deposits.
In general, there are two waterfalls of the same name here. Popularly they are usually called Falls 1 and Falls 2 or the Upper Uchansu Waterfall and the Lower Uchansu Waterfall. The waterfalls are located at a distance of about 800 meters from each other.
Uchansu Waterfall 1 falls from a height of 51.5 meters, and Uchansu waterfall 2 falls from a height of 70 meters.
Not far from the waterfalls are the small ruins of the ancient city of Pednelissos.
In Antalya province there is also Kojachai Waterfall (Kocaçay Şelalesi). It is little known and is located near the village of Exili (Ekşili).
Canyons (with rafting, rafting and jeeping)
Antalya is surrounded by mountains and national parks, which means that there are canyons in the vicinity.
Among the most famous and visited canons are the canyon of Koprulu (Köprülü Kanyon) and the canyon of Tazi Canyon.
The canyons are located in the national Park of the Canyon of Koprulu and not far from each other, so it is good to visit them together.
The park has a river, forests, observation decks, an ancient bridge and the so-called "Valley of Stone People" with rocks of fantastic shapes that resemble the reduced Fireplaces of Fairies in Cappadocia. For this, the valley is called "Little Cappadocia".
Here you can also do canyoning, rafting, rafting and jipping.
Not far from the canyons are the ruins of the ancient city of Selge. Today's city mainly consists of the city walls and the acropolis, as well as the ruins of a gymnasium, stadium and basilica. The strongest structure that has survived to this day is the theater, which was restored in the 3rd century AD. There are ancient buildings on the Kepryuchai River and on the road following it: Kemer Bridge, Begum Bridge, ancient road, garrison buildings, waterway, chapel, etc.
Karain Cave (Karain Mağarası) is one of the largest natural caves in Turkey, in which traces of the life activity of ancient people (500 years ago) were found - hunters and gatherers who made the simplest hand tools.
Today the cave is an archaeological monument of the Paleolithic era in Turkey. It is located near the village of Yagdzha (Yağca), 28 kilometers northwest of the city of Antalya.
During the excavations of the Karain cave, the first samples of Anatolian art, tools made of stones and bones, beads were discovered. Some of them can be seen in the Karain Museum, next to the cave, and some in Antalya Museum. Also in the caves were found the remains of animals such as rhinoceros, elephant and hippopotamus, which are no longer found in Anatolia today.
Today the Karain Cave can be visited. In addition to the history, the cave attracts stalactites and stalagmites.
Entrance to the cave is paid.
Cave website: muze.gov.tr/muze-detay.
Amusement Park "Land of Legends"
The land of legends is a large themed entertainment complex with stylized water parks, attractions, entertainment and a shopping area.
On the territory of the complex there are water slides, several swimming pools, a sand beach, a wave pool, a roller coaster, a large fairy-tale castle, as well as cafes, restaurants and a shopping street with several hundred shops of various subjects and several hotels.
5-star hotel The Land Of Legends Kingdom Hotel, decorated in a fantasy individual style based on fairy tales. The hotel has swimming pools and a spa. Guests receive a free entrance ticket to the theme park. The room rate includes: breakfast or breakfast + dinner. Link to the hotel
5-star Innvista Hotels Belek, located within walking distance from the theme park The Land of Legends Park. In the hotel: spa and fitness centers, tennis court, swimming pools, restaurants and lobby bar. The room rate includes an all-inclusive system. Link to the hotel
The park is located in Serik. Entrance to the park is paid.
Amusement Park website: thelandoflegendsthemepark.com.
Side is not only a popular tourist resort, but also an ancient city, which was one of the oldest known Greek colonies in Anatolia, founded by immigrants from Kima Aeolian in the 7th century BC on the site of an older settlement.
Today in Side there are ruins of fortress walls, gates with the remains of towers, agora buildings, columns of the temple of Apollo, ruins of Roman buildings and the largest preserved Roman theater in Turkey, accommodating more than 20 thousand spectators, which in the 1-4 centuries was used not only for theatrical celebrations, but also for gladiatorial fights and animal baiting, and later - like city quarries.
The ruins of buildings of Hellenistic and Roman times are clearly visible under the water and stretch for many kilometers along the entire sea coast.
There are a large number of necropolises outside the city walls.
Remark! It is good to combine a visit to the city of Side with a visit to the Manavgat waterfall, since they are quite close to each other.
Saklikent Ski Center
Saklikent is a ski complex consisting of chalets, restaurants, trails, ski lifts, sledding places, rentals and other ski facilities.
The complex is located on the northern slope of Bakirlidag Mountain, in the Beidaglar part of the Taurus Mountains.
Saklikent Ski Resort, which is one of the closest to the Mediterranean Sea, offers approximately 120 days of skiing from December 10 to April 10 (but it all depends on weather conditions).
Website of the ski center: saklikent.com.tr.
Olympos Cable Car
The Olympos Cable Car (Olympos Teleferik) is located in the center of the Beidaglary Coastal National Park, on the top of Mount Takhtaly, which in ancient times was known as Mount Olympos.
The height of the mountain is 2,365 meters.
There are observation decks on the top of the mountain, there is a cafe and you can do rock climbing and paragliding.
The mountain offers beautiful panoramic views of the coast and the sea, as well as the surrounding nature.
Guests are lifted up the mountain by large enclosed cabins with panoramic windows.
The Olympos Cable Car is located in the Kemer region.
Website of the Olympos cable car: olymposteleferik.com.
Also notable in the Kemer region are: Phaselis - an ancient port city with a beach and ruins of ancient Roman baths, theaters, aqueducts and a market; ruins of ancient Olympos (Olympos Eren Yeri) with a theater, baths and a necropolis; a long Lycian trail (Likya Yolu) with ancient ruins, natural landscapes with canyons and caves, places for water sports and camping.
Demre - Myra
In Demre, you can visit the majestic Greek Orthodox Church of St. Nicholas (St. Nicholas Kilisesi) with the icon shop of St. Nicholas the Wonderworker, and near the ruins of the ancient city of the World (Myra Antik Kenti), which was once the mighty capital of the ancient Lycian kingdom.
Currently, rock tombs and a Greco-Roman amphitheater have been preserved from the city of Myra. The Lycian rock tombs carved into the rocks are unique, since the peoples of Lycia had a custom of burying the dead in elevated places, as it was assumed that this would help them get to heaven faster and more safely.
Visiting the ancient city of Myra is paid.
Website of the ancient city of Myra: muze.gov.tr/muze-detay.
Dalyan, may also be known as Dayan is a city located in the extreme southwest of Anatolia, in the Ortaja district, part of Mugla Province.
The city is attracted by the fact that in its vicinity there are ancient archaeological sites and natural attractions, including the ruins of the city of Kaunos (Kaunos Antik Kenti), Lycian rock burials, Lake Kejegiz (Köyceğiz Gölü) and the Turtle Coast of Iztuzu.
Pleasure boats go along the lake and the winding river, which is why Dalyan is sometimes called "Turkish Venice".
The nearest beach on the sea to the city is Iztuzu Beach (İztuzu Plajı), which can be reached from the center of Dalyan by shuttle bus.
Lake Salda (Salda Gölü) is a crater lake surrounded by mountains and which is a popular tourist destination.
The surface area of the lake is 45 km2, the length is 8 km, the width is 6 km, and its depth reaches 200 meters.
The lake is also popular because of the hydromagnesite mineral, which is believed to help with some dermatological diseases. To do this, people smear clay from the lake.
White sandy beaches of the lake, clear water of a bright azure hue and white islands in the lake complement the already beautiful landscape. Because of this, the lake is called the Turkish Maldives. More about Lake Salda...
Pamukkale Travertenleri, Hierapolis and Cleopatra's Pool
Pamukkale Travertenleri - are natural thermal springs in limestone rock, erected on the site of ancient Roman baths. There are white terraces with fancy pools where you can relax in the hot thermal waters.
Hierapolis is the archeology of an ancient ancient city with ancient streets, ruins of an amphitheater, shopping areas, temples and educational institutions.
Cleopatra's Pool (Antik Yüzme Havuzu) is a thermal public outdoor swimming pool. According to legend, Cleopatra herself took healing and rejuvenating baths here, and now they say bathing in this pool rejuvenates for 10 years.
Three attractions are located nearby (in Pamukkale) and it is convenient to explore them together.
Entrances to the attractions are paid.
The ancient city of Efes (Efes Antik Kenti) is located near the Aegean coast.
Efes attracts attention with the majestic ruins of an ancient city with Roman and Greek temples, a theater and a library.
The most iconic object of Ephesus is the former temple of Artemis of Ephesus or Artemis Tapınağı, also known as the Temple of Diana, and included in the list of the Seven Wonders of the World.
Entrance to Efes is paid.
Remark! Bodrum is home to another of the Seven ancient Wonders of the world - the Halikarnassus Mausoleum (Halikarnas Mozolesi), which is the tomb of the Carian satrap Mausolus, built in the middle of the 4th century BC by order of his wife Artemisia II in Halikarnassus (now the city of Bodrum in Turkey).
Cappadocia (Kapadokya) is the historical name of a locality in the east of Asia Minor in Turkey.
Cappadocia is famous for its bizarre landscape of volcanic origin with rock formations, observation points, rock monasteries and former underground cities (Derinkuyu is the largest cave city, Kaymakly and Ozkonak), created in the I millennium BC.
Cappadocia is also a place where numerous balloons take off into the sky at dawn, creating a unique and charming atmosphere. Anyone can climb over Cappadocia by balloon.
The center of Cappadocia is the town of Goreme, around which the Goreme National Park and the cave settlements of Cappadocia are located, which are included in the UNESCO World Heritage List.
In addition to Goreme, tourists also stop in small nearby towns, such as Uchkhisar, Avanos, Ortakhisar, Urgup and others.
It is most interesting to live in Cappadocia in cave hotels, which are easy to find - the word "Cave" will be in the name of the hotel (but it is better to check this fact by the description and photos of the rooms).
It is better to visit Cappadocia for a few days.
It is more convenient to get from Antalya by plane. It is necessary to fly to Kayseri (Kayseri Havalimanı) or Nevşehir (Nevşehir Kapadokya Havalimanı), and from there by taxi or public transport to the hotel. Flights to Cappadocia →
In Antalya and the region there is a Museum map of the Mediterranean (Museum Pass The Mediterranean), according to which the entrance to some museums and archaeology (including Antalya Archaeological Museum and in Perge) - free or discounted.
All accommodation facilities in Antalya (hotels, apartments, villas, guest houses, etc.), including in the historical center of the city, near beaches and more remotely from those, can be view and book here