The resort town is one of the most important tourist centers in the country, stretching along the Turkish Mediterranean coast.
More than 15 million tourists annually spend their holidays here, who are attracted by excellent beaches, developed infrastructure of the hospitality industry, amazing service, high-quality gastronomy, an abundance of shopping centers, natural beauty, historical and cultural heritage.
BEACH AND CITY IN ONE HOTEL
A factor of success for exploring the sights of the city is the convenient location of the hotel.
According to this parameter, the 5-star Akra Hotel is ideal, where we stayed and discovered all the beauties of Antalya, since the hotel has developed a special concept “Urban Social”, which successfully combines the possibilities of a city hotel with an outlet and a beach holiday on the sea with the calm atmosphere of a Mediterranean resort.
The hotel is located three kilometres from the old part of the city with many restaurants, cafes, bars and souvenir shops, and Antalya International Airport is only 15 kilometres away. The hotel has its own transfer ordering service, and free parking is available for customers traveling by car.
Very friendly Busem Kökoğlu and Selçuk Güçlü, representatives of the hotel, warmly welcomed us, treated us to Turkish tea, kindly showed us around and told us about the establishment.
Clients are offered various types of rooms and apartments. All have balconies overlooking the sea or the Taurus Mountains. The comfortable rooms have everything one would need, including satellite TV and free Wi-Fi.
The most luxurious of them are the Panorama apartments: a penthouse with a swimming pool, a luxury salon and sun loungers, located on the 10th floor. Here is the Asmani restaurant, which offers stunning views of the majestic Bay Mountains, the Mediterranean Sea and the city itself.
In addition to Asmani, the hotel has several other restaurants and bars. The main restaurant is Panora, which offers rich breakfast menu, and for lunch and dinner you can order unique dishes of Turkish and world cuisine, prepared by high-class chefs from the freshest, high quality products, mainly from local producers.
Bistro Pablito specializes in seafood, Italian gastronomy, grilled dishes and baked bread according to old Turkish recipes.
Organic food lovers will appreciate the wide variety of snacks at the Saf health food restaurant.
The LifeCo Akra wellness center has a sauna, Turkish bath and a variety of massages. Guests can work out in the well-equipped gym or play tennis on the courts.
Swimming is possible in the heated indoor and outdoor pools, and there is a separate paddling pool for children. The highlight of the hotel is considered to be a special rocky platform built on the rocks of the Mediterranean with the possibility of diving into the sea.
The Akra hotel concept was developed by its parent company Barut Hotels, a 50-year-old brand with thirteen hotels and resorts in Antalya and Side. About the history of Barut Hotels, we were kindly told by Anna Kondratova, sales representative of the company:
“The Barut Hotels brand is built on the principles of quality, comfort and originality. We are one of the famous brands in Turkey, trusted by guests from all over the world and especially from Europe. Our hotels are the only ones with the relevant UK and Scandinavian standards. The goal of Barut Hotels is to create an unforgettable luxury stay experience.”
We can confirm this with pleasure: “Our stay at the Akra hotel turned out to be really unforgettable!”
Visitors to the old part of Antalya have the opportunity to touch the history that has come down to us in its original form. Walking through the labyrinths of narrow streets and looking at the architecture of houses, you involuntarily plunge into the way of life of generations of people who inhabited these lands in ancient times.
This is the name of the oldest part of the city.
Now it is difficult even to believe that the whole of Antalya once fit inside these fortress walls.
Initially, there was a Roman city, then it became Byzantine, and later passed to the Seljuk Turks, and, finally, to the Ottoman Empire.
There are several entrances to Kaleici, but the most convenient is Kalekapisi, and the most picturesque and historically significant is the Hadrian’s Gate. There is a tram line nearby, a taxi stand at the entrance. It also has its own fire brigade, its own beach, its own shops and cafes, in general – this is a city within a city.
The heart of Kaleici is the old port for which Antalya was famous at one time. For more than two thousand years, it did not perform at all as a decorative function, as evidenced by the strong fortress walls and cannons aimed at the harbor. Now this place is a magnificent marina where boats, luxury yachts and numerous boats dock.
Kaleici is a popular tourism center that has preserved its original appearance. Hotels, restaurants and shops harmoniously fit in here, and the exclamations of sellers asking to buy souvenirs only add the atmosphere of oriental flavor. On the cliff itself, there are several restaurants, from where a magnificent view of the sea and mountains opens up.
The old town with its picturesque streets and authentic landscapes has recently become a very popular filming location for many films and TV series. It is gratifying that the administration of Antalya carefully preserves traditions: it is not so easy to erect a new building or restore an old one inside the fortress. There are quite strict rules aimed at protecting and preserving the architecture of the old city.
The third most important museum in Turkey after Istanbul and Ankara, and also considered one of the most important attractions of Antalya, is located on a mountain in the western part of the city in the Konyaalti region.
Its history begins in 1919, and the museum received its official status in 1937.
The exposition includes more than two thousand exhibits, located in 13 halls, covering an area of 7000 square meters. Some of the exhibits are also housed in an open-air gallery, around which handsome peacocks stroll around.
We would like to note the hall number 5, one of the exhibits of which is a silver plate with an engraving depicting the head of the goddess Athena. And in the center of the hall there are statues of Zeus, Aphrodite, Artemis, Fortune and other gods.
A bronze statue of Hercules was raised from the bottom of the sea at Foča. Also made of bronze statues of Apollo and Hermes. An underwater showcase with exhibits that were found on sunken ships is presented in an original way. Among the exhibits there are many rare silver and gold jewellery pieces.
Archaeological work in the region is constantly continuing, thanks to which new exhibits are supplied to the museum, which makes the museum one of the most interesting objects of the historical heritage of Turkey.
One of the popular natural attractions in the vicinity of Antalya is the incredible beauty of the waterfalls formed by the Duden River.
The number of waterfalls is more than two dozen. Various excursions are organized here, and the stunning panorama of the waterfalls can be admired from numerous observation platforms. In addition, it is interesting to watch the seething streams of water while standing on a wooden suspension bridge.
The cleanest air is saturated with the scent of conifers, and the pleasant rumble of falling water caresses your ears. Walking through the national park, you can meet unusual birds, and on the water you can see wild ducks with their offspring.
Tourists and locals love to come here on weekends or holidays, as there are many cozy cafes in the park where you can have a tasty and inexpensive snack, as well as have a picnic in specially designated, equipped places. Romantics will undoubtedly be interested in night walks to the waterfall.
At this time, the bright lights of the city and the shimmering vault of the mysterious southern starry sky hanging overhead add to the mystery of the seething stream. If you drive a few more kilometers, you can go down to the beach and swim in the night sea, admiring the moonlit path that goes beyond the horizon…