The Düden Şelalesi Waterfall, 11 km (7 miles) northeast of Antalya (map), is a great place to go for a few hours on a hot day to savor the cool shade, misty breezes from the falls, the intense green of the well-watered verdure, and the pleasant, relaxed atmosphere.
(Note that this is the Upper Düden Şelalesi. There is also a Lower Düden Şelalesi (Düden Kıyı Şelalesi) right at the edge of the sea, where the water tumbles over the cliffs.)
Here's an idea: head for the Roman ruins of Perge first, then go west 16 km (10 miles) to Düden, or north 10 km (6 miles) the Kurşunlu waterfalls to escape the summer heat on your way back to Antalya.
Signs on the coastal highway point the way north long the D400 highway to both Şelales (waterfalls).
The falls and watercourses at Düden are pretty, though not spectacular—but then, spectacular is not the point. You come for the zephyrs of moist, cool air, the deep shade, the intense green of the well-watered verdure, the absence of normal city cacophony, and the happy family atmosphere.
Düden has picnic tables, stands selling gözleme (Turkish crepes), light meals and non-alcoholic drinks, walkways and benches for strolling and relaxing.
There's a small fee for admission to the park. Bring a picnic if you like.
The alternative to Düden is the aforementioned Kurşunlu Şelalesi, a few kilometers farther east.
—by Tom Brosnahan