Antalya is a popular choice for holidaymakers, and there’s a good reason for that! Referred to as the gateway to the Turkish Riviera, Antalya boasts a splendid old city, fine museums, and breathtaking beaches all while being surrounded by the Taurus Mountains, which are home to inspiring ruins and walking trails. It’s for this exact reason that Antalya was dubbed the ‘most beautiful city in the world’ by Mustafa Kemal Atatürk who was the founder of the modern Turkish Republic.
But despite all this, visitors are missing out if they don’t venture beyond what Antalya has to offer.
Take a 20-minute drive northeast of Antalya city and you’ll end up at Kursunlu Waterfalls. Here you’ll find a more secluded and remote waterfall which falls over an expansive wall into a beautiful pond. With the waterfall being located in the Kursunlu Waterfall Nature Park, visitors can marvel at the plants and animals while escaping the heat of the city!
If you’re searching for a more rural experience and a setting that is more off-the-beaten-path, be sure to head over to the Kuyucak Köyü village located in the province of Isparta. Although it takes over two hours to get there, the village has a great way of rewarding visitors with its serene and cosy atmosphere. Referred to as the Lavender Village, Kuyucak Köyü village is also home to a large spread of wonderful lavender fields.
Isparta city is definitely worth a stop! Located in Turkey’s ‘Lake District’, its the largest city in the region and is known for its fragrant roses. With many lakes, water activities and scattered historic sites, Isparta is a common choice for those looking for a day-trip experience from Antalya. Meander through the streets and marvel at the 15th-century Ulu Mosque, majestic churches and awe-inspiring fortresses. To get away from the city, be sure to head over to Kovada and Kizildag which are home to beaches, forests and many hiking trails.
If you do end up in Isparta, you may want to explore Eğirdir which is only 40kms from Isparta city centre. Home to a calm and beautiful lake, visitors can visit the lagoon, the Eğirdir Castle or take a scenic boat ride along the reflective lake! With the town moving at a slower pace and enjoying a cooler climate, you may want to take it easy whilst spending your time here.
Whatever you choose to do whilst in Antalya, be sure to dedicate one or two days away from tourists and the touristic routes. This way, you’ll experience a more local way of life and get to see some of the most underrated places in Turkey!