Most people, when they travel to the southern Turkey, have heard of Antalya – if only because it until a year ago, was where you landed with the plane, when you came from abroad and was going to Alanya. I do not know how many times people have asked me about which city we traveled to, and whether it was Antalya or Alanya. Many confuse the two cities, because the names have some similarity, but beyond that,they have only few things in common. Nowadays there is a completely new airport in Alanya called “Gazipasa”, so today you save approximately a 3 hours long drive down a long straight road if you’re going to Alanya and land in their airport.
Especially many Danes and Scandinavians traveling to Alanya, have surprisingly few trips to Antalya. Some prefer the pure charter vacation with all-inclusive, partying and the opportunity to meet the entire domestic garde – and then Alanya is an excellent place to stay. Others may have been in Alanya and need of change of air and new input, and others just want to have more options, fewer tourists, beach and city at once, and then Antalya might be suitable.
In my family we have always vowed to Antalya – simply for the reason, that it is there most of my in-laws live. So one can say, that we have always been used to the city, have a natural preference if you will. But we sincerly think, that it is one of the most beautiful cities on the south coast, because it offers it all: sun, swimming, long beautiful beaches, numerous good restaurants, beautiful boulevards, beautiful parks, several major shopping malls, good places to stay either via hotel, guest house or apartment, many opportunities for active or cultural experiences. The city is a central departure point to go and explore some of the most attractive regions of Turkey, while there is also that special metropolitan vibe, which can only be in cities with several million inhabitants (last census from 2010 featuring just over 1 million inhabitants, it is believed, however, that there are now up to 1.5 million and with just over 12 ½ million. tourists a year, the city expands considerably).
It’s not all about the city vibe. There are several scenic areas and small hiding places, where you can easily be private and feel alone in the world (almost). You just need to know these beautiful oases.