I’ve been lucky enough to go away five times this year. I’ve been to Majorca and New York with Sukh and the kids and to Malaga and Amsterdam with my friends.
To be honest, after my last trip in September, I’d thought that was it for overseas travel in 2022. So you can imagine my surprise and excitement when I was given the opportunity to get some winter sun.Last month, I was whisked away to sunny Antalya by Jet2holidays. It was my first press trip abroad and I was excited to be invited to explore a new part of Turkey. (By the way, it is now be renamed Türkiye).
Jet2holidays have a variety of holidays to Turkey and I booked one of their trips to Bodrum with my girlfriends a few years ago. That was actually the first time I travelled with Jet2 and I haven’t looked back since.There are a great deal of flights to Antalya with Jet 2 from various UK airports. I’ve flown to both Istanbul and Bodrum from Birmingham Airport but on this occasion, we flew from Manchester.
The flight took around four-and-a-half hours, which is a breeze for someone like me, who’s been on plenty of long-haul holidays.The seats are comfortable, there’s plenty of legroom, the staff are friendly and I’ve always had a smooth experience.
So let’s get into what you should see and do in Turkiye and where you should stay. Here are my 5 places to visit in Antalya.
ANTALYA OLD TOWN
On our first day, we headed to the Old Town of Antalya, which is actually called Kaleiçi. It’s a town full of narrow, cobbled streets and I’d suggest a good two to three hours to explore the area.Check out the shops selling authentic goods and enjoy a leisurely lunch at one of the many pubs or restaurants.
Not only is it picturesque but there’s so much culture and historical sites to soak up.You must make the walk up to Hadrian’s Gate, which was built in the name of the Roman emperor Hadrian, who visited the city in the year 130.
It was restored in 1959 and it is a must-see when you visit Antalya.Take a walk down to the crescent-shaped harbour, where you’ll find fishing boats and impressive yachts or even take a boat ride over the clear blue waters.No trip to the Old Town would be complete without a walk down Umbrella Street. You can choose to eat at one of the many restaurants and cafes that line the street or just go for a meander and take lots of photos!
Check out my Instagram Reels and highlights to see what I mean.
Once you’ve explored the town, head to a cafe or bar to watch the Sunset over the Mediterranean Sea.We enjoyed Turkish coffee at Tipsy Old Town and enjoyed the breathtaking view. It was definitely one of my favourite spots on the whole trip.
THE LAND OF LEGENDS THEME PARK
Now those of you who have followed my blog for a while, will know how much I love theme parks and rollercoasters! Check out my vlogs from our trip to Orlando.
You can imagine my delight when I saw a visit to The Land Of Legends in Belek, was on the itinerary.It’s a theme park, hotel and shopping avenue all rolled into one. In fact, it has a water park too, so whatever you’re looking to get out of your vacation, this is a one-stop destination for plenty of family fun.
By 10am I had already been on the Hyper Coaster which is the largest ride in the park, with a drop of 200 feet.That’s enough to rival the largest roller coasters in Orlando. It was out of this world with plenty of air time, twists and turns, and the ascent was surprisingly fast for a tall coaster.
We really enjoyed the Typhoon water coaster too and my trainers were literally sloshing after the last drop. Thankfully, Antalya has sunshine all year round so I was dry in no time.We had lunch in the park and there are plenty of options to appease all appetites.
There are plenty of rides for the whole family and it’s a nice way to spend a day in Antalya, so I’d definitely add it to your list if you plan to visit this part of Türkiye soon.
After our day at The Land Of Legends, we returned to the hotel for some down time. Me and the lovely group of bloggers (and new friends) treated ourselves to a Hammam.
It was just what we needed and we felt cleaner than we’d ever felt (well, we were scrubbed to the bone!) and super relaxed after our massage.We headed back to the Land of Legends resort for dinner at the Nemo Restaurant, where we enjoyed the most delicious three-course meal, whilst enjoying the underwater aquarium.The decor is extremely contemporary and elegant and this is the kind of place you’d want to visit for a celebration. Each dish was delicious and the service was second-to-none. I would definitely suggest a visit to Nemo if you’re in Antalya.While I’m talking about restaurants, I’ll drop in a extra tip here for you! I recommend you visit 7 Mehmet restaurant for great local food in a beautiful setting.
People come from all over Türkiye to eat here and I can definitely vouch for both the food and the restaurant grounds.I had quite the photo shoot as I waited for our delicious lamb skewers!
Whilst in Antalya, a trip to Side is a must. It’s about an hour from Antalya and there is so much to see and do. As well as being a pretty resort town, it’s also a preserved ancient city.There is so much history and culture to soak in among the city remains. First up is the Ancient Theatre, which is similar in structure to the Colosseum in Rome. There’s also the Side Museum, which is actually built on the grounds of old Roman baths.
And then there are the temples of Athena and Apollo. The Apollo was definitely my favourite place, standing tall and overlooking the sea. I suggest you sit on the stones and watch the sunset from this very spot.If the cultural sites don’t float your boat, there’s plenty of other things to keep your entertained. Eat at one of the ocean-front restaurants, grab a boat ride or check out some of the many shops for local goods and souveniors.
On our final day, we went to the Aspendos Ampitheatre and this was, hands down, my favourite tour of the whole trip. Do not skip this when you plan a holiday to Antalya. You will regret it.The ampitheatre is the best preserved in the world. It was built during the reign of the Roman emperor Marcus Aurelius by a Greek architect, who lived in Aspendos.
The theatre is actually still used today and hosts the annual International Opera and Ballet Festival. I’m not surprised it’s still in use.The acoustics are out of this world. One of the group whispered my name from the top of the theatre and I heard them all the way at the bottom!
It’s also a photographer’s dream and we were grateful to have over an hour to enjoy the place and capture some amazing photos and videos. I’ve already got ideas for my next photo shoot when I visit again!
WHERE TO STAY
So now that I’ve given you my 5 Places To Visit In Antalya, let’s talk about hotels.
We stayed at the Titanic Deluxe Golf Belek with Jet2 Holidays and it was one of the most beautiful hotels I’ve ever stayed in.
It’s a five-star unlimited luxury resort in Belek and has around eight outdoor pools. If you’re going in the winter, don’t worry because there are heated pools too.
There are plenty of amenities and you need never set foot outside of the resort.There are a variety of restaurants to choose from, a huge gaming area for families, a kids’ club and a private beach.
The rooms are comfortable too with plenty of natural light. Make sure you enjoy the Turkish sunrises and sunsets from the spacious balconies.The Titanic Belek is a golfer’s paradise. In fact, if you’re a looking for a quality golf holiday and want to visit Antalya, then head to Belek. It’s about 40-50 minutes from Antalya airport.There are equally stunning hotels in the Lara area, if you want a resort with less transfer time. This may be better for families, as it takes around 20-30 minutes. You can check out various package holidays to Antalya.Türkiye has a lot to offer and I’m nowhere near done with discovering the sights, the sounds and the flavours of this diverse country.
If you want to explore another country, Jet2holidays has a generous number of luxury holidays.
Disclaimer: Jet2Holidays and Go Turkiye paid for this press trip but all thoughts and opinions are my own.