Antalya Province, Turkey

Competing with the Bodrum Peninsula for title of best sunbathing spot in Turkey, Antalya Province has an immensely beautiful stretch of coast encompassing dramatic mountainous views and the restful golden sands at Patra and Çıralı. The ancient Lycians made their mark on the area and their presence lingers in well-preserved ruins, from the tombs of Myra – carved into the rock face – to the submerged city of Simena, adding historic intrigue to the area’s charm. The Lycian Way (a 500km trail) reveals the extent of their empire. There are resorts dotted along the coast but not enough to crowd it, and towns such as Kalkan and Kaş retain a village-y ambience. Offshore pursuits are plentiful, but to get a full sweep of the scenery hire a gulet (sailing boat) and cruise along the shore.

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Areas in Antalya Province

When to go

Antalya's resorts tend to wind down for the winter season around November, opening their shutters to brilliant sunshine again come May when clement temperatures make it ideal for sunbathers. The mercury soars from mid August, so be prepared for sizzling days and pack plenty of suntan lotion.

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Getting there

  • Planes

    Fly in to Antalya Airport to explore the province. Turkish airlines run frequent flights from Europe via Istanbul, and transatlantic flights stopover in Germany or Portugal> From the Far East and beyond stopover in Dubai and Istanbul. Dalaman Airport is its second international hub, close to Fethiye – flights here arrive from Europe and across the Pacific arrive via Istanbul. US flights arrive via Germany, London or Istanbul.
  • Automobiles

    If driving down from Istanbul, expect winding paths through the Taurus Mountains. It's well worth hiring a set of wheels: the D400 road may not have a terribly romantic name, but the drive – past Lycian ruins, petite beaches, blue bays and greenery-topped mountains – is spectacular.