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The Turkish Riviera is a spectacular region, complete with historical cities and stunning beaches. One of the more enticing cities within the region is Antalya, the largest international sea resort along the Turkish Mediterranean coastline. Last year alone, the city was the third-most visited destination in the world. From the ancient city centre to glistening Konyaalti Beach, Antalya is a city not to be missed. Plenty of sites within and around the city are reachable via car rental.
Who to Book With
Although there are some internationally-renowned rental suppliers in the heart of the city, there are many local companies that offer very reasonable rates too. Turtas Rent-a-Car, Antalya Grand Rent-a-Car, Urent and Peker Cars are some of the local companies providing rental services. Online bookings are available for most suppliers in Antalya, with prices easily compared for the best rates.
Best time to go
The summer months in Antalya are extremely sunny, but also very hot. Temperatures can reach extremes of over 34°C regularly between June and August. The best time to visit the city is around March or April, when rainfall is low and temperatures still warm. This makes driving around the city and the surrounding Riviera rather more comfortable.
Need to Know Essentials
When renting in Antalya, tourists will need to present certain documents:
- A valid driving license, held for more than 12 months
- A valid passport and visa (depending on driver’s status)
- The credit card for rental fees and security deposits
- Booking confirmation
Tourists should steer clear of driving in the downtown area of Antalya. This includes districts like the Old City, Ataturk and Cumhuriyet. In addition to narrow streets and meandering routes, parking is quite difficult to find in the city centre, and local authorities are very strict about where cars can stop. Also, it tends to be very expensive to park in the pay-as-you-park garages. Be wary of local drivers too, as many fail to comply with the speeding laws and drive recklessly at times.
There is a wide variety of public transportation options in Antalya, even though there is no transit network operating throughout the city. Buses are popular, as too are taxis, which can be found all across Antalya. The tramway is another historic yet convenient public transportation option available within this Turkish sea resort. Daytrips outside of Antalya are best done with car hire.
Taxis are a convenient way to get around the city. Even though hailing taxis is possible, most are found at taxi ranks throughout Antalya. Taxis are metered, so visitors don’t usually have to worry about negotiating fares or getting cheated. Be aware that there are two rates for taxi services. Between the hours of midnight and 6:00, the prices are 50 per cent higher than those outside of these times. Antalya Taxis is a very reputable cab company operating in the city.
Air conditioned buses are provided by Antalya Ulasim, which offers convenient and affordable transportation. Most areas of Antalya are connected via the bus routes, although for travel outside the city, you will need to visit the central bus terminal, known as Otogar. Most bus routes leave from Otogar Station, where tickets can be purchased. Tourists can get anywhere around the city for around TL 4, which equates to about £1.40.
Despite not operating a train system, Antalya does contain an efficient tramway, which is ideal for sightseeing between Konyaalti Beach and the historic city centre. It takes about 30 minutes to travel from one end of the tram line to the other. Known as AntRay, the tramline was given to Antalya by the German city of Nuremberg. Tickets will set you back around TL 1.75, which is less than £1, and are available at AntRay stores or within tram stations.
Antalya is a beach getaway with a difference. The historical landmarks and fascinating culture that radiate from the heart of the city make it a memorable destination at all times of year. However, having access to a car gives visitors a great opportunity to explore the rest of the Turkish Riviera. Daytrips outside of Antalya shouldn’t be underestimated.
Alanya - A two hour journey by car from Antalya, and is definitely recommended for daytrips. Boasting an impressive citadel, the beautiful Red Tower and numerous cliff-caves around the town, Alanya may even demand an overnight stay if you want to see everything on offer.
Kemer - Another coastal resort town on the shores of the Turkish Riviera. Just 30 miles from the city of Antalya, it not only contains a number of relaxing beaches, but also Liman Street. This strip of shops is a great place to spend your hard-earned money, whether you are looking for local souvenirs, jewellery or clothing.
Perga - Only 10 miles from the city of Antalya, Perga provides tourists with a perfect daytrip opportunity. Some of the world’s most riveting Roman ruins are located in the town. The most important archaeological sites inside this ancient settlement include The Nymphaeum, the roman baths and the Old City Gate.