Antalya is easy to fall in love with. As much I would go back to Istanbul in a heartbeat, I would have to say that my favourite part of our Turkish trip was our three relaxing days in Antalya. Situated in the south of Turkey along the Mediterranean sea, Antalya is known for its beaches and sea resorts.
We were there in February, so it wasn’t technically beach season but it was a perfectly warm 26 degrees during the day, and dropped to about 12 degrees at night. Having escaped a horrible Canadian winter, it was just what I needed. We indulged every second of the sun and turquoise waters.
Since we were looking to just relax and keep it low-key in Antalya, we mainly hung out by the coast of the marina, we went to a traditional hammam and we enjoyed a leisurely boat ride along the beautiful Turkish riviera. The view was serene and spectacular.
On our second day there, we made our way down to the coast and we sat on the rocks and people-watched. Surrounded by local fishermen, couples holding hands, young families, groups of friends and a young man playing the guitar, we spotted a group of teenage boys a few rocks down from us having sandwiches, soda and just hanging out by the sea.
Inspired by the Turkish teens, we decided that a “picnic by the coast” would also be in our itinerary. The next day, we stopped by the market near our hostel and picked up some essentials: a loaf of bread, cheese, charcuterie, cucumbers, tomatoes, a bottle of Coke, a bottle of water, a bag of Doritos and a box of cookies which all came up to a whopping price of 16 Turkish Liras, which in conversion came to about $8.00 CDN. We looked at each other in shocked happiness, paid our new best friend at the market and headed down to the water.
And so our Atanalyan afternoons consisted of a simple picnic, laying down in the rocks, listening to music, reading our books and every so often looking up and enjoying the blue hues of the sea until it became orange from the sunset.
Aside from its stunning and therapeutic coast, Antalya is a charming, Mediterranean town, reminiscent of Greek vacation posters. We loved the hotel we stayed in, White Garden Pansion. It was a colonial home turned into a hotel, that included a garden terrace and hammock, and a fireplace which we enjoyed every night with Turkish tea served by our host.