725km (450 miles) south of Istanbul; 467km (290 miles) southeast of Izmir; 298km (185 miles) northeast of Fethiye; 435km (270 miles) east of Marmaris; 634km (394 miles) southwest of Nevsehir
The city of Antalya is built on a rocky travertine plateau, formed by natural springs running down the Toros Mountains and surging off the cliffs, with the constant breathtaking silhouette of peaks and snowcaps in the distance. Meanwhile, the enormous and sun-kissed region of Antalya includes seaside towns well beyond the outstretched arms of the Gulf of Antalya, as far as Kas to the west and Alanya to the east. And all along these stretches of sandy shoreline are more five-star, beachfront hotels than found in all of Spain.
But Antalya is much more than its beaches. Thanks to the local geological gifts that have left Antalya with rocky mountains, gushing waterfalls, soaring canyons, and lush gardens, visitors get to dive right into the action: Biking, hiking, cycling, canyoning, rafting, wreck diving, golfing, and even skiing are all just a stone's throw away. The city's Archaeological Museum is custodian to an incredible collection of richesse of antiquity collected in excavations at the nearby open-air museums of Termessos, Aspendos, and Perge, the latter two among the cities on the Anatolian Mediterranean that witnessed the arrival of St. Paul.
Only 30 years ago, Antalya was little more than a ramshackle fishing village huddled around a harbor backed by Roman and pre-Roman ruins and Byzantine ramparts. Then about 20 years ago, the trend in Turkey toward historic preservation began to touch the historic quarter of Kaleiçi, a renaissance that has witnessed the conversion of a dusty and crumbling quarter into one of Ottoman grandeur, with timber framed manses embracing fragrant garden courtyards. But while the renewal of Kaleiçi helped to transform Antalya from the ugly duckling of the Mediterranean to its current magical Mediterranean appeal, the real show is by no means confined to the historic harbor. A renaissance has also taken root to the west of the historic city center over at Konyaalti, an expansive pebbly strip of prime beachfront backed by a meandering, grassy promenade and "Beach Park," stocked full of diversions such as an aquarium, a children's playground, a paintball area, restaurants, cafes, and shops. It's this winning combination of sun, fun, cultural richness, and a conveniently located state-of-the-art international airport that has made Antalya the focal point of the Turkish Mediterranean.