September 8, 2023
Antalya is the gateway to the 'Turkish Riviera', a string of miles-long stretches of golden sand that outdo just about anywhere in the Med. But there's more to Antalya than beaches. Not far away are breathtaking areas of natural beauty, ancient wonders, and a huge choice of sports and adventures.
Whatever you’re visiting for, choose from a portfolio of hotels that includes awesome all-inclusive resorts, romantic old-town hideaways, budget-friendly beach stays and spa and wellness cocoons that will leave you glowing with health.
The Antalya region has so many fantastic all-inclusive hotels that you're spoilt for choice. At the Delphin Be Grand Resort, the pool bar opens at 10am and the on-site club stays open until 2am, so there's plenty of time to get the most for your money (but remember not all those drinks have to contain alcohol...).
A kids' club keeps younger family members entertained at this vast all-inclusive resort of almost 900 rooms, which include two-bedroom family rooms and duplex suites. A private beach, multiple pools (heated and unheated) and more than a dozen water slides will please tots, teens and grown-ups.
Make the most of the open buffet at the main restaurant (where there's a dedicated section for kids) or dine at seven a la carte restaurants serving everything from pizza and pasta to sushi, seafood, and of course kebabs. There's free access to the hammam, sauna and steam room too.
Can't wait for the family fun to start? The Lara Barut Collection is just a few minutes from the airport, so kids can start making the most of its cracking all-inclusive facilities not long after touching down.
Split into separate zones for families and child-free guests, the resort’s three kids' clubs – for under-threes, four- to eight-year-olds and eight to twelves – keep younger family members entertained. Mums, dads and teens, meanwhile, can make the most of watersports on the hotel's own beach, thrills and spills at an on-site aqua park that boasts Turkey's longest slide, and 17 bars and restaurants.
There's an away-from-it-all feel about Çirali, where a 3.2km (2 miles) pebbly beach is overlooked by the forested slopes of Mount Olympos.
This low-key little resort is very different from the bigger, brasher and blingier spots east of Antalya – there's more of a barefoot boho vibe here, and nowhere more so than at Villa Lukka. This collection of rooms and suites in 13 individually styled bungalows are set in an acre of gardens within easy walking distance of the beach, where the hotel has its own seaside restaurant.
Splash out on a suite with its own hot tub and terrace to maximise romance, and stroll along the beach to discover the evocative ruins of ancient Olympos and the legendary Chimaera, where spooky, ever-burning flames fed by natural gas flicker over the rocks.
Backpackers were the first to make it to Çirali and the wooded Olympos Valley, a couple of miles inland, where there are still plenty of hippy-style treehouses, dorms and simple cabins.
For somewhere a bit less basic but well within most holiday budgets, the Azur Hotel has 28 rustic log cabins (some with private verandas) and two saltwater pools, including one for tots, so it's great for families too.
Surrounded by palm trees, green lawns and a garden that produces the fresh fruit and veg that features on the hotel’s restaurant, this budget base doesn’t skimp on the good stuff. The beach is just a hop and a skip away.
From old-school hammams where muscular masseurs will knead the knots out of tired, tense muscles to the latest in Gwyneth Paltrow-style wellness fads, the GreenDoor Spa & Wellness centre at the Regnum Carya offers what could be the ultimate in massage therapies. Inspired by Turkish, Thai, Chinese and Japanese traditions, and with skincare treatments and aromatherapy sessions also on offer, you’ll leave rejuvenated and relaxed.
Bedrooms here are sleekly modern – think floor-to-ceiling windows with sea views, fine white bed linens, fluffy bathrobes and an array of upscale toiletries in marble bathrooms with full-length tubs and separate showers.
Just 31km (20 miles) from Antalya and its airport, Belek was planned from its beginnings as a world-class golf, tennis and soccer resort area to rival spots like Portugal's Algarve. A clement climate makes it a golfer's paradise almost year-round, with more than a dozen international-standard courses and top-notch hotels to match.
Stay at the Kempinski Hotel The Dome and you'll have access to the two 18-hole courses of Turkey's only PGA-certified course, the Antalya Golf Club, as well as tennis coaching for grown-ups and juniors, watersports on one of the region's best beaches, and a pampering spa when you’re ready to recover. Rooms all have private balconies.
Step back in time to a bygone Ottoman era when you enter this charming adults-only inn in the heart of Kaleiçi, Antalya's old quarter. Five rooms are decorated with antiques and curios and some boast four-poster beds. Polished wood floors, Turkish rugs and exposed stonework add to the period feel.
Fear not, though – bathrooms are bang up to date, and you'll find perks like fluffy bathrobes, a library of books and DVDs and a sunny flower-filled terrace. Old town sights and shopping, harbourside restaurants and tiny (and usually busy) Mermerli beach are on your doorstep.
You'll find modern comforts and old-school charm at this surprisingly well-priced Ottoman-style inn on a quiet street in the heart of the old quarter, where six old townhouses have been immaculately restored and individually furnished and decorated.
With an excellent terrace restaurant and one of the few hotel pools in old Kaleiçi, surrounded by palms and pomegranate trees in a sunny garden splashed with purple bougainvillea, you might just decide to cocoon yourself here for your entire stay. When you decide to go out, you’ll find sights, shops and restaurants nearby. The 46 rooms include two family suites.