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Antalya Province lies in south west Turkey on the Mediterranean Sea and is known as the Turkish Riviera because of its long stretches of golden sand and clear blue seas. Sunshine is guaranteed throughout the summer and the sea is warm. The scenery is spectacular as the area is surrounded by the Taurus Mountains and in addition to this there are pretty whitewashed villages adorned with trailing blossoms which retain the traditional flavour of Turkey.
Turkey retains its traditional appeal even in the most popular tourist resorts, where time-honoured customs sit along side the modern tourist industry. This enables visitors to experience the authentic atmosphere of Turkish life as well as enjoying the facilities that holiday makers have grown to expect.
The beaches in Antalya are excellent with a wide variety of water sporting facilities. The nightlife is varied and caters for all tastes from those who wish to party through the night to those searching for a romantic dinner for two. Similarly the diverse cuisine satisfies most palates.
Those interested in ancient history will find themselves overwhelmed by the number of archaeological sites.
Antalya is Turkey's main holiday area being popular with all age ranges and appearing to satisfy most tastes. Families with small children and those who just want to relax in the sun will find many beaches that fulfil their needs. The more energetic holiday maker will discover a wide range of sporting activities both in and out of the water.
The holiday season lasts from early spring until late autumn when the temperature range is from the twenties to the high thirties. Although summer is the most popular time to go, winter is ideal for combining skiing in the mountains and bathing in the still warm waters of the Mediterranean. Autumn and winter are also good times to visit the historical sites when the days are cooler.
Antalya is Turkey's most popular holiday centre and it is easy to see why this is so. The town of Antalya sits on a cliff above the sea and is surrounded by mountains. The old centre has narrow cobbled streets and is a favourite place for shoppers.
Take a walk along its wonderful marina and marvel at the yachts. Visit the mosques with their amazing tile decorations or walk around the town's remaining Roman fortifications.
Fourteen kilometres north east of Antalya are the Duden waterfalls where you can walk behind the cascading water.
The beaches in the area have a wonderful backdrop of mountains and pine forests and a foreground of warm clear water perfect for swimming and water sports.
There are numerous shops, bazaars and markets where haggling for goods has become something of a sport.
A visit to the steaming Turkish baths followed by a massage is a popular attraction especially after a hard night of drinking and dancing.
It is said that Turkey, as far as culture is concerned, is the richest country in the Mediterrean. It has a wealth of ancient ruins and buildings within its shores including many Roman viaducts and theatres and Ottoman bridges. There is also evidence of the caravanserais which were built on the Silk Route as fortified inns to give safe passage to the merchants and their goods. There is a programme of restoration which is ongoing at the present time.
The nightlife in Antalya is based around the hotels, restaurants and bars where you can find entertainment to suit most tastes. Hotels often offer floor shows with belly dancers and live music. The liveliest places are in Antalya town where you can party into the early hours.
Antalya Town provides good shopping facilities especially in the narrow cobbled streets of Kaleici in the old quarter. Boutiques, craft and souvenir shops and jewellers are numerous and have long opening hours.
Roadside stalls, bazaars and markets usually sell their goods until midnight. Shopkeepers and stall holders have a very proactive approach to selling and you will be offered many ‘bargains'. Be aware that bartering is expected and that the original price is almost always inflated. There are many outlets for leather goods, carpets and gold and silver jewellery. Don't forget to buy the blue glass beads which, according to legend protects you from the evil eye.
In Antalya there are numerous places to satisfy the appetite ranging from pavement cafes serving traditional food, to restaurants offering international cuisine.
Traditional Turkish food is very tasty and includes stuffed peppers and vine leaves, kebabs and of course feta cheese, olive and tomato salads. Rice dishes are also popular.
The national drink of Turkey is raki which is aniseed flavoured.
Turkish people, although friendly, are more formal than the British and behaviour follows certain rules. Hand shaking is the usual form of greeting. Overt displays of affection between the sexes are shown disapproval.
When visiting mosques shoes should be removed and clothing should be modest. Women are expected to cover their hair.
Coffee houses remain part of Turkish culture and even the smallest village will have one. Here the men go to drink their coffee, smoke their pipes and solve the world's problems.
The best time to find a cheap holiday to the Turkish area of Antalya is early and late in the season. Looking for a holiday deal in April, May or October gives you the most chance of finding one. Depending on sporting events and the weather in the UK you can also occasionally pick up a bargain in June too.
Turkey is very cheap, so the best advice is to book into a self catering or bed and breakfast accommodation and use the extra money that you'll save to buy your food from the various high quality restaurants.
Antalya is known as the Turkish Riviera because of it's long stretches of golden sands, and there are still worth a visit outside of the peak summer period. There are plenty of different water sports going on at any of the beaches, and similarly, the night life features various activities.
For those looking to party through the night, there are places which will give you that opportunity. If it's a quiet romantic meal you're after instead, you'll find that in Antalya.
The area is very suited to families with small children who are looking to have a good time playing on the beautiful beaches, but of course there are plenty of things for adults to see and do too.
There is of course plenty more to see and do in Antalya. If you're looking to visit for the lowest price possible, the best time to look for a great deal for a cheap Antalya holiday is in April, May or October.