Antalya, the fifth most populous city of Turkey, is also one of the largest Turkish city on the Mediterranean coast. It is home to many luxurious sea resorts and I consider it to be a tourist’s dream destination. The enthralling beauty of the place would make you want to stay there for longer.
It has a population of 2.5 million, 99% being Turkish with Tourism and Agriculture being the main occupation. Antalya has best climate with sun for 300 days. In a year farmers can get 3 – 4 crops like strawberry, watermelon, cotton and sesame because people like its halwa. Oil wrestling is their national sport followed by football and basketball. Oil wrestling was done in middle east which they follow here.
Tourism is one of the biggest occupation of this place, the tourist season begins from April and ends close to 21st October. Major tourist population is from North Europe – Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Russia and Germany. Their main idea is to enjoy the hot sun and laze around the beach.
The summer heat peaks in the month of August with temperature as high as 42 – 43 degrees with lot of humidity. While, the winters months are pleasant with lowest being 10 -13 degrees in January. The mountains have snowfall but the city doesn’t have it. The fun part of the place when we visited in November was in shade the temperature was 2-3 degrees lesser in comparison to when we were under the sun. Nights were chilly during this period and it rained occasionally. Overall, it was an awesome experience, we enjoyed every bit of it.
During the tourist season, people from Turkey and nearby areas come to work in Antalya then go back to their homes during off season. People who get retired from various countries like Europe buy houses and settle here or rent apartments. There are small organisations who celebrate Christmas for the Christian population. Lara is the costliest place to buy a house and has the most expensive luxury hotels and malls.
Most resorts include food in the tariff as there is no restaurant culture there. We were staying at Rixos Premium, Belek. The property was mind-blowing with so many facilities. Belek is a place in Antalya close to 15 – 20 mins away from the main city. Resorts have golf course and football courts for the guests. They organize competitions and even invite football teams to play for 15 days during winters.
With so many multinationals visiting the place, the food spread is generally keeping this population in mind. Turkish ice-cream and Turkish Tea is something native of the place and a must try. Since we were a group the agency had flown in Indian chefs.
You have beaches to explore, theme parks and some historical and local sites.
Within the resorts facilities like Turkish bath is also famous and generally free for the guests.
Euro and USD (United States Dollar) is easily accepted everywhere however, the exchange rates could differ. The rates are mentioned at the tourist spots. Turkish Lira (TRY) is the currency of Turkey and the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus. When we had gone 1 Turkish Lira was around Rs. 18. However, not many agencies have Turkish Lira, at-least we faced the issue in Mumbai so Euro and USD is a safe bet.
Means of Travel:
We traveled by Turkish Airlines from Mumbai to Istanbul and then Antalya. By flight it was a 45 – 60 mins flight from Istanbul to Antalya.
In Antalya, traditional artifacts like pottery, wood & ceramic carvings, carpets & rugs, leather goods, local sweet especially Baklava, jams and jellies are popular. Pottery especially the handmade ones will have a higher price but a must buy if you like such stuff.
Turkish halva and spices like saffron are also preferred choice of the tourists. You must explore the various tea options if you are a tea lover like me, there are so many fruit varieties like guava, pomegranate, apple but the best was apple tea which we loved.
You will find a lot of souvenir items like the evil eye jewelry or decor stuff, home decor made with shells and wood or you could carry back some apple tea or Baklava for your family/friends. You will have a variety suiting your pockets.
A lot of people buy leather stuff the choice is very personal I would say.
Olive is being cultivated on a large scale there so you will find cosmetics and other stuff with olive as an ingredient, you could check those out.
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I take this opportunity to introduce one of my #CrossBorderSisters – Bhawna who also leads our team, a working mom of 9 years old son. By profession, she is a coordinator in school and by passion a lifestyle blogger. KickUpstairs, her blog is an amalgamation of general thoughts, product reviews and earning gateways.
This post is published for #OpenNTalk Blogger’s League hosted by Dipika Singh of Gleefulblogger and Ruchie Verma – Wigglingpen in association with SummerBarn, Vedantika Herbals, Nyassa, Explore Kids World.”