Why is Antalya so Popular? Reasons to Visit Turkey’s Mediterranean Gem

7 mins read

If you are one of many asking why is Antalya so popular, we can list hundreds of reasons. But let us start with some stats that prove its popularity. So far, in 2019, 14 million people visited the region. That is the same amount that visits Istanbul, Turkey’s top tourist destination. Such is the demand, airlines are looking at new flight schedules for next year, as they prepare for another record-breaking year.

The rising popularity also features among foreign home buyers. Antalya, Turkey’s second busiest housing market attracts many nationalities. They are interested in holiday homes, permanent residences, buy-to-let rental properties and making a wise real estate investment. Many foreigners looking to tap into Turkey’s citizenship by investment scheme also choose Antalya and the region’s thriving ex-pat community of thousands live here all year round.

It ranks at number 12 on London based Euromonitor list of the world’s most visited cities and is Europe’s fourth most visited destination. So millions of tourists and expats cannot be wrong in choosing to visit and live there. To be clear, when we talk about Antalya, we refer to the whole region comprising the main city centre, smaller coastal resorts, and inland villages. Covering most of Turkey’s Mediterranean coast, let’s look at why people adore the region.

Why is Antalya so Popular?

1: Easy to Get There

Most visitors arrive via the ultramodern airport, that is also Turkey’s top touristic air travel hub. With global flights year-round, its geographical position places it in good stead for short transfer times to places like Belek, Kemer, and the popular tourist beach destinations of Lara Beach and Konyaalti. Aside from that, Antalya covers the D400 highway running from east to west of Turkey and is a major sailing hub making it easy to get there via road or sea.

2: Turkey’s Best Weather Climate

As a vast country, Turkey’s several climate zones differ immensely and if hot summers and mild winters are what you want, choose Antalya. While January and February, the rainy months hamper outdoor plans, other months offer an average of 300 days of sunshine. July and August, the hottest months see temperatures reach the mid-40s, emphasising its position as the ideal place for a holiday.

Kaleici old town

3: Turkey’s Best Beach Destination

The region covers 600 kilometres of coastline with gorgeous sandy beaches, hidden coves, and secluded bays. Do not just assume they are any old beaches fronting the Mediterranean sea though. In Trip Advisor’s annual review of Turkey’s best beaches, Cleopatra’s, Konyaalti, Lara, Kaputas, and Patara often rank in the top ten. For ex-pats who dream of a life by the sea, Antalya presents many towns and villages to choose from.

4: Vibrant Shopping and Nightlife Scenes

So, what is there to do asides from beautiful beaches? Plenty, including the best nightlife and shopping scenes in the Mediterranean region. Shops range from traditional, weekly markets to buy fruit and vegetables, souvenirs, clothing, household goods and more to large shopping malls that outrival any in America. Likewise, nightlife ranges from quiet and serene to fast-paced as seen in sit down roof terrace bars, seaside dining restaurants and large nightclubs featuring famous DJs.

5: Visit Tourist Attractions and Historical Sites

Antalya’s vibrant history has left behind traces through ancient ruins like Aspendos, Phaselis, Myra, Alanya’s red tower and castle, Kekova sunken ruins and more. Places to visit include water parks, museums, green spaces, the famous Aquarium, and a cable car ride up to Mount Tahtali. Let us not forget the main attraction, Kaleici old town with its quaint collection of Ottoman houses, old mosques, domineering clock tower and landmark Hadrian’s gate.

Ancient cities

6: Landscapes of Natural Beauty

Photographers and outdoor, nature lovers adore stunning, natural wonders that provide the perfect picture-postcard scene. First, waterfalls are big business and include sites like upper and lower Duden, Kursunlu, and Manavgat. Koprulu Canyon, a favourite place for adventure sport lovers and hikers, is twinned with the backing Taurus mountain range. Other natural attractions include the Damlatas cave and Dim River.

7: Go Golfing in Belek

Ok, so we rarely name drop, but famous golfers have played in Belek, Turkey’s golfing capital. They include Tiger Woods and Barack Obama when Belek hosted the G20 summit. Famous names like Nick Faldo also designed Cornelia and other courses. Belek now ranks in among Spain and Portugal as top golfing destinations. (Read more about Belek.)

8: Hike the Lycian Way

Antalya is home to the famous Lycian Way, Turkey’s longest trekking trail. Covering the entire coastline, it includes ancient sites and historical sites dating from the Lycian empire. Stretching for 500 kilometres to the Fethiye area, most people complete it in sections. Otherwise, to complete the trek all at once, campsites along the way, accept overnight bookings.

Historical ruins

9: Adventure Sports Galore

Adrenaline junkies can expect a big choice of activities to partake in. Scuba diving is popular and because schools sell try dives and lessons, attract inexperienced and first-time divers. Go para-gliding in the small, delightful town of Kas, or white water rafting in Koprulu canyon. Most water sports centres on beaches sell parasailing or jet skis sessions. Also head to Ucagiz to sea kayak over Kekova sunken ruins or sign up with an experienced company for canyoning and mountain bike trails.

10: Variety of Destinations

Whether you want somewhere to stay overnight or to move and live here, a wealth of towns and villages each offer something unique. Soak up authentic vibes in Side, go beachy in Kemer, enjoy an upmarket lifestyle in Kalkan, or indulge in nostalgic themes in Kas. Cirali and Olympus offer peace, while Alanya, also growing in popularity is another all-rounder.

Why is Antalya so popular

11: It Oozes Cosmopolitan Vibes

Some places in Turkey attract just one nationality of holidaymakers. A typical example is Altinkum, nicknamed Little Britain. However, Antalya opens its arms to everyone. Russians, Germans, and Brits lead the way in tourism stats but in recent years, Middle Eastern and Asian nationalities have boosted these stats. Some 5-star, luxury hotels now host extravagant weddings for wealthy and influential Indians, who bring along 200 plus guests arriving on the plane with them. Couple this with the varied dining scene in restaurants serving different cuisines and the fact that locals speak a variety of languages, to prove, Antalya is 100% cosmopolitan.

12: Diversity and Hospitality

The main reason for its popularity is the diversity because it excels in everything and anything. Accommodating both luxury holidaymakers and ex-pats, the difference shines through in all areas from the nightlife to travel to lifestyle trends. It does not matter how old or young because Antalya caters for people of all ages from all occupations. Finding a destination to match any pace of life is easy. Hospitality is ingrained in Turkish culture but for the hotel industry, Antalya excels in it, with award-winning hotels featuring in international travel publications.

13: Excellence on the Turkish Rivera

This stretch of Turquoise coast makes up a massive part of Turkey’s Riviera. Differing from the equivalent in other countries like France, the Rivera takes in small towns, villages, and historical ruins. Antalya, a major sailing hub is popular with international yachts sailing these waters. While those who want a day trip sailing the coastline, head to harbours that every morning in summer, see off boats for a lazy day cruise.

Reasons to visit Antalya

Why for House Buyers: Antalya is popular with holidaymakers for sure, and this has impacted the housing market, as seen in this year’s stats. Industry experts predict by the end of 2019, foreigners will buy 10,000 apartments and villas. That is a staggering amount of homes that account for a 20% increase Y-O-Y. But why do international ex-pats flock here?

14: Future Vision of Antalya

Some might think its roaring success, means it can sit back and rest on its laurels; however, this could not be further from the truth. Antalya is keen to maintain its tourism status hence every year, new attractions, and things to appear on the scene. To keep interest circulating, they invest in infrastructure and transport. Future visions include a new cruise ship port, the Konyaalti marina, and if they can pull it off, to be Turkey’s number one film making studio.

15: Affordable Prices

Despite its superstardom status, affordable house prices keep interest high. In some districts where there is a supply surpass and land for building, bargain prices attract the budget and first-time buyers, alongside real estate investors. This offers much potential for anyone looking to a mid to long term investment of at least seven years to maximise their capital appreciation.

16: Active Market

To convert bricks and mortar back into hard cash, the real estate market allows you to do it in next to no time, thanks to its ever-revolving activity. The high liquidity ensures an active Turkish customer base, but an international one too because people from all over the world buy in the area. Every day, houses are sold and bought because it never stops.

visit Antalya

17: Established Community of Foreigners

Foreigners who live here are plentiful; hence, anyone looking to make friends and tap into like-minded social circles slots in. In this article, find out why house buyers and expats choose Antalya for a new life in Turkey. Discussing where they live, value for money, and the property buying system, it should help any potential expat decide whether Antalya is for them.

18: Massive Portfolio

Given the region’s vast size, potential buyers can tap into a massive portfolio of apartments and villas. Ranging from budget apartments in neighbourhoods like Mahmutlar to luxury, millionaire seaside mansions of Kalkan, it is an all-rounder. See our portfolio of property in Antalya here and contact us for more details about any home that appeals.

Further Reading: When finding out why is Antalya so popular, the list is endless. To know more about the region, this article about whether Turkey is an excellent place to live will be of interest. Drawing in results of official surveys and local ex-pat answers, it explains why Turkey is a growing hub for people looking to live and work abroad.

For those who want to tap into the country’s popularity, read about making a move and living in Turkey here. Discussing tips for a smooth move and settling in, it draws upon our own experience and of our customers. Also, to find out more about the Antalya region, see our blog article archives here.

About Natalie

Natalie is a dedicated real estate professional currently working at Spot Blue International Property. With over a decade of experience in the industry, she has acquired a wealth of knowledge and expertise regarding global properties.