Antalya has been attracting people for centuries with its historical riches, lush coastline and pine clad mountains. Popularly known as the unofficial seaside “capital” of Turkey, the pearl of the Mediterranean is famous for its sun soaked beaches and gorgeous weather. Situated in the southwest of Turkey, Antalya is the country’s biggest sea resort and represents an excellent holiday for anyone booking through lastminute.com. Despite its relative modernity, the city does have a charming historic city centre, which is referred locally as Kaleici (within the fortress) and many of the buildings date back to the Ottoman Empire, and have been tastefully resorted to provide hotels, inn and restaurants for both locals and tourists alike.
During the medieval era, the ancient city of Antalya represented a major Byzantine stronghold and even today most of the city’s historic landmarks remain in excellent condition.
Hadrian's Gate is amongst the most popular attractions in Antalya and its three beautifully preserved arches once formed the main gateway through the city. Some of the most popular sites in the city include the gateway’s Fluted Minaret (Yivli Minare) and Truncated Minaret (Kesik Minare). Some of the city’s favourite attractions include the Antalya Museum (Antalya Müzesi), which provides visitors a fascinating insight into the city's Roman and Ottoman past. Anyone wanting to discover more about Antalya’s history can wander across to the Suna and Inan Kirac Kaleici Museum in order to be fully versed with the region’s history.
Antalya is currently the fastest growing city in Turkey and enjoys a sunny climate for the majority of the year. Even though Antalya has enough historic attractions to satisfy a more cultured visitor, the main appeal of the resort will always be their beautiful beaches. Antalya's most popular beach is Konyaalti Plaji and is resplendent with water sports, deck chairs and bronzed holiday makers. Antalya's newly opened Beach Park meanwhile offers entertainment for young families, and nearby Aqualand and the adjoining ‘Dolphinland’ are home to pods of dolphins, sea lions and whales.
Come evening there is a rich variety of international restaurants, clubs and bars to unwind in after a long day lying on the beach. Anyone looking for a traditional Turkish feast will be seduced by the Mehmet Restaurant (Yedi Mehmet), which can be found in a hillside location overlooking Konyaalti Beach and the Bay of Antalya from the nearby Hillside Su Hotel. Slightly less glamorous but wholesomely unpretentious there is a Turkish kebab grill called Parlak, which specialises in Asian grilled meat in relaxed and welcoming atmosphere.
Those wanting to branch out and see the wider region will be pleased to learn that Antalya is within reach of the hedonistic port town of Bodrum, the capital Ankara, and the famous city of Istanbul.
With its welcoming atmosphere, historic attractions and beautiful sandy beaches, Antalya is a thoroughly relaxing place to book through lastminute.com. Exceptionally warm for the majority of the year, this popular and up-and-coming resort has all the attributes of a wonderful holiday and will appeal to all the family.