Excursions from Antalya, Turkey

Last Updated on June 26, 2023

Gleaming with historical wonders and natural beauty, Antalya, the jewel of southern Turkey's Mediterranean Coast, beckons travelers from all corners of the globe. Serving as the portal to the past, it houses a myriad of attractions, ranging from Roman ruins and cascading waterfalls to ancient cities and serene beaches.

Antalya is the most convenient place for excursions throughout the region, from the mystical ruins of Olympus in the southwest to the breathtaking landscapes of Alanya in the southeast. There are many Antalya tours and the city is a vibrant destination for exploring the wonders of the surrounding region.

Day trips from Antalya offer a wealth of opportunities for exploration and adventure. It is not only a lively city but also a gateway to a world of extraordinary experiences. Whether you’re seeking historical treasures, natural wonders, or simply a chance to soak up the sun on pristine beaches, this region has it all. Immerse yourself in the rich history, breathtaking landscapes, and warm hospitality that define this remarkable region. (map)

Antalya Tours

The Old City of Antalya (Kaleici) is a charming district that takes visitors on a journey back in time. Its narrow cobblestone streets are lined with ancient architecture, including the remarkable Hadrian's Gate, a well-preserved Roman triumphal arch. As you wander through this historical quarter, you'll encounter fascinating landmarks, vibrant cafes, and shops selling traditional crafts and souvenirs. The lively marina, with its picturesque harbor, further adds to the enchanting atmosphere of the Old City.

For those with a passion for history and archaeology, the Antalya Museum is a must-visit destination. The museum houses an extensive collection of artifacts from various civilizations that once thrived in the region. From awe-inspiring sculptures to intricately crafted jewelry, the exhibits provide a captivating insight into the area's rich cultural heritage. Knowledgeable guides offer informative commentary, enhancing the experience and bringing the past to life.

Nature lovers are in for a treat with a visit to the Düden Waterfalls, located just a short distance from Antalya's city center. Read more below. Even if only in town for a day, Antalya city tour is a must-see.

You can visit all three of these destinations by booking a guided tour.

Two of the easiest and most pleasant excursions are to these two cool, shady, green waterfall parks only a few kilometers northeast of Antalya and they are even closer than you think. They may be crowded on summer weekends, however. Don’t let the crowds deter your day tours from Antalya and experience the magic of these hidden gems. Arriving early or visiting on weekdays can be the best option so that you can also witness the power and majesty of the Düden Waterfalls as they cascade down from a rocky cliff into the sparkling Mediterranean Sea.

Kurşunlu Waterfall stands as a natural masterpiece waiting to be explored. Located just a short drive from the bustling city center, this hidden gem offers a tranquil rest from the urban chaos, immersing visitors in a world of serene beauty. They are nice places to escape from the hustle of the crowded and noisy city. The gentle sound of water trickling down the rocks harmonizes with the melody of chirping birds, creating a symphony that soothes the soul.

Uncover the ancient wonders of Antalya as you embark on a journey through time to explore the impressive Roman ruins that dot this captivating region. Perge, only a few kilometers from Antalya, has impressive Roman ruins. Side too, along with fine beaches and a resort atmosphere and Aspendos has the best-preserved Roman theater in the Mediterranean, still used for performances. These three remarkable destinations are just beside Antalya.

Step back in time as you wander through the ancient streets and marvel at the well-preserved ruins that once formed the thriving Roman city in Perge and let your imagination go through as you envision the bustling city that thrived here centuries ago.

Then continue your journey with the captivating natural beauty of Side. You can stroll along the picturesque harbor lined with charming cafes and shops and take in the sun on Side’s pure beaches. Side seamlessly blends history and modernity, offering a unique experience for its visitors.

The next one is your final destination Aspendos which is home to the best-preserved Roman theater in the Mediterranean. Imagine the applause and cheers that once echoed through the theater as you stand on its magnificent stage. Immerse yourself in the ancient Roman world as you explore these remarkable sites near Antalya.

Prepare yourself for perfect day tours that will transport you through time and unveil the secrets of civilizations long past. A perfect journey by car or tour from Antalya is to Termessos, the breathtaking ancient ruined city high in a mountain area, so well defended that Alexander the Great passed it by. As you ascend the winding roads leading to Termessos, a mesmerizing panorama unfolds before your eyes will take your breath away. The sweeping views offer a glimpse into the past and beckon you to imagine the vibrant life that once thrived within these ancient walls. But the wonders don’t end with Termessos.

On the same excursion, prepare to be amazed as you venture to the enchanting Karain Cave, inhabited for 25,000 years, on the same trip. As you explore the depths of Karain Cave, you will be transported through millennia of history. Let the whispers of history envelop you as you contemplate the lives, stories, and triumphs of our ancient ancestors.

This immersive day trip to Termessos and Karain Cave promises to be an unforgettable adventure, allowing you to touch the remnants of antiquity and forge a deeper understanding of the rich tapestry of human history. So get ready to be bewitched beforehand!

Köprülü Canyon National Park & Selge

Prepare to be awestruck by the sheer natural beauty and rich historical heritage that await you at Bridge Canyon National Park and the ancient Roman city of Selge. This captivating duo offers those interested in taking a day tour that promises a perfect blend of adventure, history, and breathtaking scenery. Köprülü Kanyon Milli Park (Köprülü Canyon National Park) is a beautiful, dramatic river gorge spanned by a stone Roman bridge. As you enter Bridge Canyon National Park, you’ll find yourself immersed in a world of natural wonders. This magnificent park is a true paradise for nature lovers, outdoor enthusiasts, and adventure seekers alike.

Take a leisurely stroll along the well-maintained trails that wind through the park and discover the beauty of nature. At the top of the valley is the ancient Roman city of Selge. Venture to the top and discover the ancient Roman city of Selge, a site that breathes history at every turn. It makes a great day trip from Antalya whether you go water rafting or not because this day trip promises an unforgettable experience.

Read more about taking an Antalya rafting tour here.

Kemer is a modern seaside resort town southwest of Antalya, but Phaselis, a bit farther down the coast, is an ancient port now in a national park, and Olimpos just beyond it is a strange and wonderful mix of forest tree-house camps, tidy small hotels, secluded beach resort, and ancient ruins. Begin your exploration in Kemer and immerse yourself in the lively ambiance as you stroll along the promenade, lined with charming cafes, boutique shops, and bustling markets. Kemer offers the perfect blend of relaxation and entertainment, making it a beloved destination for both locals and visitors alike.

Go further down the coast to Phaselis, an ancient port nestled within a breathtaking national park. It is a testament to the region’s rich history and a gateway to the ancient world. Just beyond Phaselis, you’ll encounter Olimpos, a place that defies expectations and captivates the imagination. Indulge in the serenity of this hidden paradise as you unwind in the embrace of nature.

Explore the trails that meander through the forest and discover hidden waterfalls. Complete your journey with Çıralı, a serene village known for its unspoiled natural beauty. Çıralı offers a peaceful retreat where you can reconnect with nature and savor moments of pure bliss. At nearby Çıralı, the famed Chimaera natural eternal flame still burns as it has for millennia. Prepare to be enchanted by the harmonious blend of historical ruins, fascinating and soft-sanded beaches, and natural landscapes that await you on this unforgettable adventure, located just over an hour from Antalya.

Other Day Trips from Antalya

While there are many destinations close to the city center of Antalya, it is also possible to arrange for other tours, such as boat trips on the Turkish Riviera, a Pamukkale tour, or a Cappadocia tour. Though we think it's best to leave more time if possible for those destinations, if you're short on time, it is doable. Many travel agencies also offer the option to take an adventure tour, a hot air balloon ride, go horse riding, take a visit to the Taurus Mountains, embark on an excursion to the Sunken City at Kekova, and more.

Cultural tours provide deep dives into the rich tapestry of history and tradition that pervades the region, while food tours invite visitors to savor local culinary delights and learn about Turkish cuisine. For more leisure, sightseeing tours often include visits to major landmarks, museums, and shopping districts, offering a comprehensive overview of Antalya's magnificent beauty and vibrant city life. Regardless of your preferences, there's likely an Antalya tour that will enhance your journey, enrich your understanding, and leave you with lasting memories of this remarkable region.

Pre-arranged tours provide a seamless and convenient way to explore Antalya's surroundings. Numerous local travel agencies offer a wide array of tours (such as a day tour or boat trip) that include transportation, often with knowledgeable guides who can provide rich insights into the history and culture of the places visited. These tours can be booked in advance either online or in person once you arrive in Antalya. Fill out the form below to connect with our top tour operators.

For those keen on exploring the splendid locations around Antalya province, there are numerous transportation options available. One of the most popular and economical options is the minibusses, known locally as 'dolmuş'.

Buses depart from the Antalya bus station's Otogar for all these locations regularly, especially in the warm months. Additionally, there is a frequently serviced bus stop on Dumlupınar Bulvarı (D400), just north of the Antalya Aquarium on the city's western side (map). This is another excellent point to catch a ride to these beautiful places.

The bus services in Antalya are reliable and timely, making it a favored mode of public transport for both locals and tourists alike. However, it's advisable to check the specific bus timetables and routes in advance, as some services might be less frequent outside the peak tourist season.

Alternatively, taxis offer a more private and flexible option for getting around. Taxis in Antalya are plentiful and can be hailed directly from the street, ordered by phone, or found at designated taxi ranks throughout the city centre. Be sure to agree on the fare with the driver before setting off or ensure the meter is running to avoid any potential confusion upon arrival at your destination.

Regardless of your preferred mode of transportation, each of these options offers its own unique perspective on the region and caters to different travel preferences and schedules

It is also possible to use taxis or pre-arranged tours to visit these wonderful places.

Antalya Excursions

Antalya, with its unending vistas of mesmerizing beauty and layers of ancient history, provides a diverse array of experiences for every kind of traveler. This region of Turkey presents a tapestry of adventure, exploration, relaxation, and learning. The vibrant city, the majestic natural wonders, the serene beaches, the traditional villages, and the awe-inspiring ancient ruins come together to form a symphony of experiences that captivate the senses and ignite the imagination.

Whether you're journeying through time in ancient ruins, reconnecting with nature in tranquil parks, or simply losing yourself in the rhythmic waves along the pristine coastlines, every moment in and around Antalya brings you closer to the heart of this diverse and captivating region. Embark on Antalya excursions which will leave you with a treasure trove of unforgettable memories.

-by Tom Brosnahan, updated by Can Turan

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