South-western Turkey is full of amazing coastlines. It was very hard to pick which beach town we should go to. Each one offered an entirely different vibe. In the end we decided on Antalya. One of Turkey’s biggest cities and responsible for 30% of Turkey’s tourism industry.
Everyone needs a little beach time in every holiday. Antalya was the perfect place. A variety of beaches, fancy hotels and restaurants, places to party, and more.
Best Beaches in Antalya
We were immediately struck by the beauty of Antalya right when we arrived. The city seemed to be built on a cliff, and all the beaches we saw seemed to be cliff beaches. After a little research we did find that Antalya offers a couple types of beaches.
Almost all the beaches in Antalya are cliff beaches. At first I wasn’t too excited about this. You have to go to a particular section in order to get to the water; a raised platform with umbrellas and seating areas didn’t so much appeal to me at first. But I could not have been MORE PLEASANTLY SURPRISED.
On our second day in Antalya, we decided to try out the cliff beach that was right next to our hotel- BLM beach. We took an elevator down to the entrance, walked out to a popping cliff side with umbrellas and beds all around. The music was loud, but very enjoyable. The vibe was unmatched and it felt like a chill, but fun party. Waiters came to take our orders for cocktails (which were so good!) and there was a dock where you could jump into the slightly wavy water. Showers to rinse off and ladders to get back up to the platform; it was so much fun. We spent almost the entire day jumping and swimming and relaxing in the amazing environment.
Our first day in Antalya and we wanted to go to a sand beach. After all, it is the traditional “beach” experience that we are all used to. So I did some research and came across one of Antalya’s only sand beach- Lara Beach. It was about a 15 minute drive from our hotel (the Lara beach area is known for it’s all inclusive resorts) and so we set off to explore. More than anything we were super excited to spend the day relaxing in one of the Beach Bungalows that they have for rent on the beach.
When we arrived in the morning (around 11:00), the beach was very quiet. I think it was more related to the time we went to visit, because Lara Beach is infamously crowded. We were lucky to be some of the first arrivals, we rented our Beach Bungalow and settled in.
There is a restaurant and a bar at the beach so that beach goers can relax the entire day there. And we did just that. Swimming, jumping, and enjoying ourselves for our few days of relaxation.
The crowd was a mix of tourists and Turkish. It was amazing to see the diversity among the locals and the tourists.
Amazing Place to Party
Sooo we honestly weren’t really planning on partying when we went to Antalya. Although, espeically in the summer months, Antalya is famous for it’s hip club scene, when we traveled many corona restrictions were still in place. All of the clubs were closed and so we opted for a nice dinner overlooking the water. Or so we thought.
We didn’t realize that we stumbled upon the creme de la creme of our Antalya visit. This place (attached to the cliff beach we went to) was AMAZING.
We entered and the music was loud and happy. We were given our own table, despite not having a reservation, and noticed the young vibe of the other guests. When it came to ordering it was a mezze-like arrangement of at least 50 different dips and sides served as a starter. All of it was delicious, inexpensive considering the quantity, and the atmosphere was unmatched.
As the meal progressed, a live musician came out, playing the drums, very lively, giving a full and great performance along with it. Guests started to get up and dance and before long belly dancers appeared, half of the guests were dancing, and the performer continued to sing and drum at the same time.
The locals spotted us tourists and immediately pulled us in, started to teach us Turkish dance moves, and gave us Turkish drinks to try. It was literally AMAZING. And the best part was that we stumbled upon it by accident. We thought we were sitting down to have a nice dinner overlooking the ocean. Little did we know that that dinner would include a live musician, lots of dancing, and one of our best experiences with the locals. The place was called BLM Beach (connected to the cliff beach we went to earlier the same day).
How to Get to Antalya
Just like most places in Turkey, Antalya is very easy to get to. There is the Antalya airport (AYT) for domestic and international flights. We came from within Turkey (Pamukkale to be exact) and arrived by bus. However we flew out of this airport in order to go back to Istanbul.
The bus system in Turkey is very comprehensive, reliable, comfortable, and inexpensive. Renting a car to drive into Antalya from another destination within Turkey is also an option. Just be aware of drop off fees that are often not included in a general quote. The fees to drop off a car in a different city are sometimes more expensive than the car rental itself!
Is Antalya safe?
Short answer, yes!! The crime rate in Antalya is very low and general Turkey saferty concerns are also low. It is not a hostile area at all. Did I mention that 30% of Turkey’s tourism comes from here?? That’s a huge number!
But just like any place, while traveling be careful. Purse snatchers, pick pockets, and the like exists everywhere. Normal safety precautions however will be more than enough.
When is the best time to visit Antalya?
Although it can be visited all year round, it is admissable to aboid it in the winter months (November-March), where it gets cool and rainy. If you’re looking for the traditional beach experience Antalya during those months, probably will be too cold.
In the summer, as it is a Mediterranean climate, it will be hot and humid! So be prepared!!
General Tips for Antalya Travel
- Beaches. Most of the beaches are cliff beaches. As said earlier, there is one main sand beach-Lara Beach
- Cost. Because it is an extremely tourist oriented area, everything is a bit more expensive than in the rest of Turkey
- Water Sports. A plethora of water sports are available (wind surfing, kite surfing, jet skiing), but as said, are rather expensive.
- Day Trips. There are lots of day trip options if you want to explore beyond Antalya – Green Canyon, Serik, Isparta, etc. If you have extra time consider exploring beyond Antalya and its beaches. The Green Canyon in particular looks amazing!
- Waterfalls. Antalya boasts a few beautiful waterfalls; Duden Waterfalls and Kursunlu Waterfalls being the most famous. Although you cannot swim near them, you can sign up for a boat trip to tour them and other amazing things in Antalya
- Restaurants. Much of Antalya’s food is based around seafood and there are so many amazing restaurants overlooking the water. Antalya also has a very fancy side, with luxurious hotels and clubs. If you’re up to the drive and in the mood for a fancy dinner, check out Nemo Restuarant and Lounge.
Lots of love and safe travels,
Danielle and Brooke, Colorful Sisters