As the heart of the Turkish Riviera, Antalya has transformed recently from a bustling seaside town to a plush, resort ridden spot that is ideal as a Mediterranean break with a cultural twist. The region’s beaches are laden with turtles and scattered with sand so hot they are an effort to walk on. The clear water is ideal for snorkeling and day-trips out on old-school wooden cruise liners, and – despite the overwhelmingly touristic vibe – the city still holds tight to plenty of its history, too.
The old quarter is resplendent with minarets and mosques, as well as being home to an ancient Roman Theater and surrounded by the crumbling walls of the old city. The ornate city wall gates are well worth exploring, as are the back street experiences, like delving in amongst the thin, winding streets or shopping for gently flavored Turkish delight on the busting market stalls.
The old harbor is a relaxed place to hang out. Locals offer cheap boat trips for an hour or more.
If you live like a local, Turkey is cheap in a way that’s more Asia than Europe; Antalya certainly falls the Asian side of the famed line (Istanbul, they say, is the border between Europe and Asia). While the resorts have a distinctly local flavor and can be pricey (at least for the region, anyway), the real side of the city is downbeat. The tourist side, though, is full of lively bars and clubs, high-end restaurants and a true sense of vacation.
Head a little out of town – either on a boat out into the bay and around the islands, or up the impressive surrounding hills – and you will find sights like impressive curtain style waterfalls, troglodyte houses built into the walls of sizable cliffs and even the chance to charter a yacht and spend a day or two cruising, or simply throwing yourself in amongst the turtles and making the most of the incredible local waters.
Antalya is an ever growing tourist spot, but one that is held on to the local character epitomized by things like the sound of the daily call to prayer, or the winding backstreet markets. It is also the perfect place to stock up on fake designer clothes and drink on the cheap, but most of all it is just an impressively enticing corner of the Mediterranean.
Belek is a town in Turkey's Antalya Province.
Belek is one of the centers of Turkey's tourism industry and so the amount of hotels, hostels and basically all kind of accomodation is of the…