Travel Diary: Must-See Places to Visit in Antalya, Turkey with Jet2Holidays

In November I went on a 5 star trip of a lifetime with the Turkish Tourist Board and Jet2 to Antalya, Turkey (or Türkiye) including flights - not bad, huh? After a hectic year of obligations and wedding planning, a winter escape to warmer climates and sunshine was just what I needed. 

Jet2Holidays offer a range of holidays to Turkey but our trip saw us whisked away to Antalya; Turkey's southern Mediterranean region, best known as the Turquoise Coast for its blue waters and beautiful beaches. It's ideal for a romantic or relaxing getaway but, if like me you're more of a thrill seeker and history buff, Antalya still fits the bill perfectly with so much to see and do. Thankfully, we were armed with a fantastic tourist guide and one of Jet2Holidays finest package holidays to help us pack as much in to our stay as possible. Here's our itinerary and some of my most recommended spots to see whilst in Antalya. 

Day 1 - Arrival and Titanic Deluxe Golf Belek Hotel

Departing from Manchester, we set off bright and early and embarked on a four hour flight to Antalya. Having never travelled with Jet2 previously, I was genuinely impressed with how much space we had onboard in our seats - quite a relief after having recently travelled to New York and (despite upgrading) feeling rather cramped. 

It wasn't long before we had arrived and were on our way to our hotel, the Titanic Deluxe Golf Belek - just one of the Jet2Holidays luxury hotels. The hotel is an all-inclusive with contemporary yet classic style; offering a selection of 8 restaurants and 14 bars, along with 5 outdoor pools and a private beach. It also has a beautiful spa with indoor pools and steam baths, plus saunas and treatment rooms. If you're travelling as a family, there's also shops, an arcade, disco, a bowling alley and regular entertainment throughout the year. The hotel even offers an adorable little train or boat ride down to the beach. If you're planning a lazy sun holiday, you'd never need leave the hotel as it has everything you need right there.

Having arrived in the early evening, there was just enough time to get ourselves unpacked, scope out our rooms before heading down for dinner and getting some rest for the following busy day. 

Day 2 - Kaleici Antalya Old Town 

As you can see from the above, we started our second day with a hearty, delicious breakfast (served to us in bed) which is a service included with a Deluxe room. It was quite the feast. Having gotten up and dressed, it was time to venture to the Kaleici Old Town, just a short drive from the hotel. 

Kaleiçi is the historic city centre of Antalya, Turkey. With some structures dating back to 130 AD, almost the entire city was confined within its walls and has seen early Greeks, Romans, Ottoman and modern Turkish republican eras. With its rich history comes a whole host of stunning buildings and monuments. This includes Hadrian's Gate which is a famous historic ruin which was built in the name of the Roman emperor, Hadrian. You can spend hours here exploring the shops selling traditional tapestries and rugs, spices and teas, pottery and local art before retiring to a sunset view from a rooftop bar or restaurant. 

It is worth noting that the Old Town is not particularly accessible and could be difficult for some disabled visitors as many of the streets are very steep. There are also plenty of areas where you could still visit very comfortably so worth planning ahead.

Day 3 - Land of Legends and Nemo Aquarium Restaurant & Lounge

For all my fellow thrill seekers, Day 3 was truly an exciting one. Land of Legends is a leisure complex in Antalya which combines a large water park with 41 slides and wave pool, a theme park with rollercoasters, luxury Kingdom hotel and a vast outlet shopping centre. It even has its own giant castle reminiscing of another famous theme park. 

The Land of Legends water park is the largest in Turkey, but was actually closed at the time of our visit due to it being off-season. Thankfully, the Land of Legends park expanded in 2016 to include a full theme park with dry attractions - although it can be accessed directly from the waterpark without needing to change out of swimwear for the rest of the year. 

The Land of Legends theme park is pretty small as most theme parks go, but perfectly formed. It is arguably aimed very much at families with young children and offers plenty for children of all ages. That said, there is plenty for lovers of rollercoasters with Hypercoaster (a 62-meter-high Hyper Coaster with speeds up to 115 km/hour) and Typhoon Coaster (43 meter coaster reaching the water at a speed of 86 km), and 5th Dimension (a 5D cinema experience with over 12 exciting special effects) being my biggest highlights. 

Being off-season, there were no queues for rides and we got to ride everything multiple times - but with the perk of a comfortably warm, sunny day. I would absolutely go back to Land of Legends if I found myself in Antalya again although I wouldn't necessarily go to Antalya purely for the theme park as you can easily conquer it in a single day. If you're planning on going to Turkey specifically for theme parks, I would recommend making a road trip of it and visiting some of the other theme parks Turkey has to offer during the same visit. These include Sazova Park, Vialand Theme Park, Aktur Park and Sincan Luna Park to name just a few. 

After a day of riding rollercoasters and exploring the many designer shops it was time to grab a bite to eat at a truly amazing venue. Nemo Aquarium Restaurant & Lounge is a stylish, high-end restaurant located right in the heart of Land of Legends. As the name suggests, the restaurant takes you down a floating staircase to the underwater aquarium where you can enjoy pan-Asian cuisine amongst the sharks and fish of the park. The food and service were both absolutely fantastic and I loved everything we tried on the menu. 

Day 4 - Side Ancient City and Apollo Temple

On Day 4 of our trip we were in for another cultural day of breath-taking historical spots as we made our way to the ancient town Side (pronounced See-Day). Named after the ancient word for pomegranate (a fruit you will find all over Turkey), Side is an ancient port city known for beautiful beaches, Greco-Roman ruins and pretty markets selling traditional Turkish trinkets. 

After a pretty heavy lunch at 7Mehmet ("Antalya's most talked about restaurant"), we made our way to Side. In the centre of Side there are the remains of the Apollo Temple. The white marble columns of the Hellenistic Temple of Athena also stand near the harbour and are a sight to behold at sunset. You can find countless artefacts and ancient remains housed at the Side Museum, including a restored Roman bath. 

We finished up our few hours in Side with dinner by the harbour and a browse in some of the adorable market shops, selling Turkey's signature teas, spices and pottery. 

Day 5 - Aspendos Theater in Antalya, Turkey

On our final day, we had a few hours before reluctantly making our way to the airport and wrapping up our wonderful holiday. For our last sightseeing trip, we journeyed back to Side to visit Aspendos (also known as Aspendus), and an ancient amphitheatre that's still used to this day. The Roman theatre dates back to around 161-180 AD and is one of the best preserved in the World.

For more content from my trip to Antalya, Turkey, be sure to head over my Instagram page for videos and more.  I can't thank Jet2Holidays enough for such an incredible trip - everything from start to finish was just wonderful and we couldn't have asked for a better group of people to share it with. You can learn more about Jet2Holidays luxury holidays and package holidays to Antalya via their website here

That's it for another travel diary - I cannot recommend Antalya enough and I can always recommend jetting off to sunnier climates when the weather takes a turn in the UK. I also want to give a massive shout-out to Man vs Globe for helping me capture the best shots of me and putting all my photography to shame. But tell me, have you ever been to Turkey or Antalya? Which holiday destinations are on your list? As always I love reading your comments so please do leave me some below. 

Until next time, 

*Disclaimer: This was a press trip and collaboration with Jet2 Holidays and the Turkish Tourist Board. As always, all views and opinions are my own.


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