When Chris first booked this Turkey trip, he made sure that we’d be flying in and out of Istanbul with a good amount of time to explore and enjoy this multifaceted city, and at the same time, he also booked us a side trip to visit Antalya, a city in Southern Turkey along the Mediterranean coast that is also known as Turkey’s largest international seaside resort. He had some second thoughts about whether our side trip should have been here or to Cappadocia, a famous region in central Turkey known for its strange rock formations and hot air balloon rides. So he asked me to look up whether I’d prefer to go there instead since the flights and Antalya hotel were fully refundable. But when I read a quick description about Antalya vs. Cappadocia, I didn’t really have much of a decision to make: a seaside town with lots of historical spots and beautiful beaches would be a far more relaxing trip than a place like Cappadocia, where hiking would likely be the bulk of our activities. And while I normally do love hiking and look forward to our hikes on trips, while pregnant and obviously carrying extra weight that has changed my center of gravity, especially at this stage of pregnancy, I would prefer being by the water and having a more relaxing side trip.
And so we flew to Antalya this morning and already got a glimpse from the plane of the gorgeous turquoise waters. This area is also known as the Turkish Riviera, or the “turquoise coast,” and it’s pretty obvious why when you see it. The waters are literally crystal clear. And the mountains along the beaches in Antalya are reminiscent of the mountains that lined the famous beaches of Rio when we visited seven years ago now (hard to believe it was that long ago!).
While the beaches and the Old Town of Kaleici are quite famous in Antalya, the surrounding areas of Antalya are also famous for having a number of historical sites and monuments that have been well preserved, ranging from Perge the Ancient City to the Aspendos theater, and also a cable car “teleferik” that raises you high above the city and water for an aerial view of the Turquoise Coast. We started our day with yet another decadent kahvalti spread, but this was our first one overlooking the Turkish Riviera at a restaurant that had covered outdoor seating with a great view of the beach. And when we sat down and looked over the glistening ocean, I thought, yep, this is the place to be. Although I was initially hesitant about traveling internationally with the current pandemic and the growing concern of the Delta variant, this view itself had to have been worth the travel.