Turkey has been on everyone’s bucket list for the past few years. Beautiful beaches, ancient ruins, and doner kebabs – what’s not to love? If you’re heading to the land of four seasons this year, set your trip’s anchor in Antalya.
This stunning destination on the Turkish Riveria offers mesmerizing views of the coastline. It also features some of the best all-inclusive resorts in the country, making it a hugely popular destination for tourists to base themselves.
What truly sets Antalya apart, however, is its geographical location. Resting in the centre of the country (with an incredible transportation system), Antalya is the perfect anchor for those wanting to explore the natural wonders of Turkey. You can do so much in a day if you start from Antalya, far more than just a beach vacation destination.
Let us warn you, though. You’d be hard-pressed to choose only one of all the excursions in Antalya! Are you feeling the FOMO already?
Relax! We’ve narrowed down the best day trips from Antalya for you below.
How do I choose?
Look at the travel time, entrance fee, and activities to make your final call. You’ll find all these details in this post.
Ready to enjoy as many Antalya trips as you can? Let’s hit the road, guys! The question is: how? How do you get to the places on this list? Scroll down for answers.
Ways of Taking an Antalya Day Trip
Antalya is the largest city on the Mediterranean coast of Türkiye. It’s approximately 1400 km² in size, so you can imagine how difficult it can be to get around without a trusty mode of transportation. Plus, most of the attractions are pretty far from the main city center.
Luckily, Antalya is pretty developed in the transportation department. You’ll find many options, from buses and trams to rented cars and domestic flights. But which one to pick?
Stick to the following, and you’ll be good to go:
- Rent a car if your chosen spot is an hour or two from your hotel. Of course, you must have a driver’s license. Driving a car is enjoyable in Turkey, thanks to its well-constructed roads and scenic views. Plus, it’s faster than buses. You can combine two or more day trips when driving yourself – travel at your pace.
- If you’re on a budget, take a bus. They are regular and safe. Catch an early one to complete your trip without any hiccups. Buses are slow, and you don’t want to waste any time.
- Many of the day trips we describe may require taking a flight. Domestic flights are relatively easy on the pocket in Turkey and are scheduled from early morning to late evening so that you can make the most of your time on a day trip from Antalya.
The best way of completing these Antalya trips is by taking guided tours from a reputed tour company. These packages include the cost of transportation, entrance fee, and lunch. Plus, they pick you up from your hotel and drop you back all at the same price – talk of convenience.
Always double-check with your hotel before booking any trip to avoid unpleasant surprises. You don’t want to spend unnecessarily on something you might already have access to. Also, if you’re taking tours, confirm what’s included in the price and what’s not.
Now, let’s find out the best day trips from Antalya. Whether you are looking to explore ancient cities, hot springs, or beach-front towns, there’s something for everyone here.
9 Best Day Trips from Antalya for Everyone
If you’re up for an adventure near your hotel, the Taurus Mountains are the way to go! This mountain range stretches alongside the beautiful Mediterranean Sea. You’ll find rugged limestone terrain and cascading waterfalls. Don’t forget to check out the charming little villages along the way, where you can grab a bite, chat with the locals, and immerse yourself in the atmosphere.
These mythological mountains are only about 150 miles away from Antalya. However, driving or taking a full day tour is the only two ways to get here. You’ll be here in three hours if you’re comfortable driving in Turkey. The region isn’t accessible by public buses and trains.
A UNESCO World Heritage Site that you must never miss out on is Pamukkale. The terraces of travertines, cascading thermal waters, and hot springs of this cotton castle will stay with you longer than you can imagine. Explore the ancient ruins of Hierapolis to learn about the historical importance of this place.
Pamukkale is about 250 miles from Antalya. If you’re driving, it takes about 3 hours. You can also take a bus, bringing you here in 3.15 hours. If you don’t mind sharing a ride, a guided tour is the best way to go. It’ll cover Hierapolis at the same price (except you’ll have a knowledgeable guide to tell you the stories of these lands).
The Sunken City of Kekova
Some of us prefer exploring the offbeat places that most tourists miss. If you’re among the explorers, Kekova is a can’t-miss destination. This abandoned city is half submerged in turquoise blue waters and offers monumental views.
You can take a boat trip to explore the remnants of this city and discover its secrets. Don’t forget to check out the Church of St Nicholas (yep, that’s Santa Claus!), an ancient theatre, and the Lycian tombs.
From Antalya, this tourist spot is about 2.5 hours away. You must drive through Demre or Finike and take a boat trip to Kekova. We suggest taking a guided tour for this one.
Most tours should include pick-ups and drop offs from your hotel, so it’ll be less fussy. You’ll also get lunch and a boat tour in the package. The entrance fee and drinks aren’t included in the price.
Kuzdere Passage Hike
No day has to be the same in Turkey. There’s so much to do and explore. For nature lovers, the Kuzdere Passage Hike is a treat. You’ll pass through this region’s lush green forests, mountain streams, and ancient ruins. The hike might feel strenuous, but it’s worth every minute. If the sun kills your vibe, stop to cool down in one of the many natural springs in this area.
Kuzdere Passage is only 45 minutes by car. If you’re taking a bus, it’ll take you about an hour and a few minutes to get here. Take a public bus to Kemer and grab a taxi from there to the trailhead. Have enough water and snacks with you. If you don’t want to carry bulky supplies, you can stop by the village of Kuzdere to buy some stuff before starting your hike.
Welcome to Tahtali Mountains, one of the magnificent peaks in Southern Turkey. Locally known as Lycian Olympus, it proudly stands at an impressive altitude of 7,762 ft. If you’re not afraid of heights, take a cable car ride to the top.
It will give you sweeping views of the Mediterranean Sea, alluring valleys, and intriguing coves. If you’re coming here in summer, you’d never want to leave. The region is fifteen degrees cooler than the coastal towns, and you’ll be able to enjoy a peaceful time here.
Tahtali Mountains are only an hour and twenty minutes by bus and car both. Getting a bus means no parking hassle. It’s definitely easier. But if you want to hike to the top, you’ll need your own car to reach the trailhead.
Beach bums, this one’s for you. Fethiye is stunning, with a lot of water fun awaiting you. There’s plenty to do here – paragliding, snorkelling, and sailing trips. It also has some of the best seafood restaurants in the region. You can even enjoy a hearty three-course meal while immersing in the jaw-dropping views of Mount Babadag.
Fethiye is at a distance of 121 miles from Antalya. That’s about 2 hours and 40 minutes of driving time. Since it’s a long trip, driving is better. You’ll be able to make stops when needed, and it won’t get tiring. It is especially true for families with kids. But if you take a bus, you’ll reach in 3 hours 20 minutes.
Lycia Rock Tombs
Lycians, the people of this region, believed in magical beings. According to them, once a person died, their soul was carried to the afterlife by mystical winged creatures. They built tombs high in the mountains to make this journey easier for their beloved.
The Lycia Rock Tombs are a testament to this ancient belief. You can explore the tombs carved out of rocky cliffs by skilled craftsmen. They are about 2500 years old but still in excellent shape.
Lycia Rock Tombs are 86 miles away from Antalya. Getting here by car will take about 2 hours and 20 minutes. The bus takes longer, about three whole hours. If you know your way and driving is up your alley, rent a car and drive, or try this full-day tour which includes a stop at this ancient site.
When all the day trips have exhausted you, take just one more to chill out in nature. Koprulu Canyon is a favourite among locals and tourists alike. It’s a soothing and remarkably beautiful natural park that’s perfect for relaxation. Take a long, lazy swim in the turquoise waters, soak in the sun, or brave the wild waters of the rapids near the park entrance. Horse riding, hiking, and wildlife safaris are also popular activities in the region.
The destination is only about 56 miles away. The most economical way to get here is by driving a rented car. If you’re taking a bus, you’ll have to book a taxi for half the route, which can be expensive. So, rent a car. The drive is an hour and forty minutes long.
If you don’t want to drive or splurge on public transport, booking a guided tour will work best. It’ll include pick up and drop off to the hotel – less hustle, more fun.
Breathtaking caves and rock formations, dreamy hot air balloon rides, and the surreal landscape of Cappadocia make it one of the most popular day trips from Antalya. The White Valley, Goreme Open-Air Museum, and Fairy Chimneys are a must-visit when you’re here. If you want to explore more of Cappodocia, stay back for a few days in one of the many guesthouses here. They’re affordable too!
But Cappadocia isn’t the closest spot to Antalya. It is 357 miles away – yet a must-see attraction on any Turkish itinerary. In fact, there are several travel agencies that run private day tours from Antalya to Cappadocia, despite the distance.
If you’re driving, it can take you about seven hours to reach. An overnight bus will transfer you to this fairy-tale land in ten hours. But if you don’t want to spend so much time, hop on a flight and reach Cappadocia in 1.15 hours. Flights take off every day starting at 3 am – the earlier your flight, the more time you have to explore Cappadocia and still make it back to Antalya by bedtime.
Attractions Close to Antalya
Some of these day trips can get exhausting – too much distance to cover, too many things to do in too little time. If you feel so, slow things down – take time for an Antalya city tour; tour the Old Town of Antalya, including the Roman Baths, Hadrian Gate and the Clock Tower.
Explore the natural beauty nearby, such as the Lower Düden Waterfalls, Kurşunlu Waterfall or nearby sandy beaches that make the coast famous such as Lara Beach. Alternatively, Olympos Beach on the Lycian coast is another popular choice, a pebble beach with a unique setting in a nature reserve close to the ancient city of Olympos. At certain times of year, you may even see sea turtles nesting.
Or, for a truly relaxing day, hop on an Antalya boat tour and experience the beauty of the Turkish Riviera from the crystal-clear waters surrounding the city, or try your hand at some water sports, even snorkelling and scuba diving are possible from Antalya.
More Helpful Guides Planning a Trip To Turkey
For more inspirational dn helpful planning tips for a family vacation to Turkey, you may also be interested in:
- Understanding the best time to visit Turkey – when to plan your Turkey vacation for optimal weather and fewer crowds
- What to Wear in Turkey – your complete guide to the dress code in Turkey, along with our advice and what you should be packing for the seasons
- Start your journey in the capital; fabulously culturally rich and interesting, we share all the best things to do in Istanbul with kids , plus where to stay for the best city break.
- Heading next to the coast, these are our favourite beach towns in Turkey
- Or, for a unique experience, try the famous hot springs in Turkey
- Winter in Turkey can still be a fabulous time to visit; we share our guides to Istanbul in Winter, Cappadocia with kids in winter, and where you’ll find the best ski resort towns in Turkey
We hope you enjoy Turkey just as much as we did.
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