Antalya Car Hire
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- There are ten main car hire companies operating out of Antalya airport.
- To rent a car in Turkey you must be at least 21 years old and have held your license for a year. Some agencies have a young driver premium for anyone under 25 and some cars have an upper age limit of 70 for renters.
- Drivers in Antalya can be a little more aggressive than you may be used to and overtaking at speed (even on roundabouts) isn’t uncommon.
- The normal speed limit on Turkish motorways is 120 km/hr (just over 70 mph), rural areas is 90km/hr and in built up areas and villages its 50km/hr
- The legal blood alcohol limit is 0.5%. If you are caught driving above this limit, you will face a heavy fine and your licence will be immediately confiscated for at least six months.
- Children under 135cm or 36kg must be in an appropriate car seat, this applies to all public transport and taxis as well. Children under 12 are also not permitted to sit in the front seat of the car.
- It is a legal requirement to have your driving licence and car hire documents with you.
- You are also required to keep two warning triangles, a fire extinguisher and a first-aid kit in the car at all times.
- Car hire off the airport is likely to be up to 120% more expensive than at the airport. Book up to 7 days in advance for the best price.
Guide to Antalya
Antalya is a beach lover and swimmers paradise, set on the turquoise seas of the Mediterranean its known as the jewel of Turkey for good reason. With glorious sandy beaches, the beautifully preserved old-town and hilltop views over the Roman harbour it's easy to see why Antalya has become such a hotspot in recent years. Once thought of as just a gateway into Turkey Antalya is now the 9th largest city in Turkey and the fourth most visited city in the world!
What to do in Antalya?
When we say Antalya has some of the best beaches in Turkey we don’t just mean one or two. Antalya has 202 Blue Flag beaches in total, that’s more than any other city in the world. One of the most popular is Konyaaltı Beach which is on the Western side of the city and stretches for 7km. There are lifeguards patrolling the beach to keep you safe and free of charge changing rooms and showers if your hotel is a little further away from the beach.
The Antalya Museum has an unmissable collection of artefacts from the Stone Age right through to Byzantium. The Hall of Gods has an incredible 15 statues of Olympian Gods whilst the Hall of Regional Excavations exhibits finds from ancient cities in Lycia and Phrygia. All the exhibits have good clear English translations, there is also a handy and delicious cafe on site too
Kaleiçi is the historic district in Antalya and you’ll easily find yourself losing a day strolling between the lovingly restored Ottoman-style buildings. Many of the old buildings here have been converted into pensions, boutique hotels and shops which only serve to add to the feel of the area. There is also the vast undercover bazaar, İki Kapılar Hanı where you will find everything from spice shops to jewellers.
If you’ve visited the museum and been captivated by the Hall of Gods then take a trip to Perge. This ancient city is included in the UNESCO World Heritage list because of the significance of the artefacts uncovered here, it is also one of the largest settlements to have survived as a whole. Perge was one of the most important sculpture production centres of Ancient Age and the statues displayed in Antalya Museum were crafted here during the Roman domination in the 2nd and 3rd centuries AD.
For the nature lovers out there Kursunlu Waterfalls are truly breath-taking. Although they are a little way outside of town (approx. 18km) they are easily reached by taxi or if you have hired a car. There are lots of little thttp://www.antalyaaquarium.com/rails to explore and a quaint little cave with a shrine in it behind the waterfall. Some of the paths closer to the falls do get slippery though so wear suitable footwear. There are shops and cafes on site but they are expensive in comparison to what you will find in the city.
When travelling with children it can be difficult to find something for the whole family to enjoy but don’t worry the Antalya Aquarium has you covered. It boasts the world’s biggest underwater tunnel where you can see a huge range of fish including sharks. Whilst it’s not the cheapest of attractions Antalya has to offer it’s a great way to escape the heat of the day and keep the small ones entertained.
Hadrian's Gate is one of the free historical sites in Antalya that should definitely feature on your itinerary. Built in 130 A.D to celebrate the visit of the Roman Emperor Hadrian the three double arches of the gates are made from white marble and beautifully decorated. Legend has it that in ancient times, the queen of Sheba passed through the middle arch on her way to Aspensos and spent a happy night with King Salomon.
For those of you looking for a little more excitement the vast stretches of beach offer a huge range of water sports. Watersports Antalya Konyaaltı Beach Park has a little of everything on offer from jet ski hire to parasailing. Many of the beach front hotels have their own water sports centres but if you’re set a little further back in the town then you won’t go far wrong with these.
Where to eat in Antalya?
Antalya’s rich multicultural influence makes for an incredible dining experience, whether you opt for a quaint little bistro on the cobbled streets of the old town or head for the all-out luxury of some of the mountain top restaurants, you are almost guaranteed a good meal in Antalya. Turkey is famed for its charcoal grilled meats but if that’s not for you then worry not Antalya has so much more to offer.
Vahap Usta has found the perfect formula for meat lovers, serving up everything from oriental kebabs to international classics such as Chateaubriand and T-bone steaks and everything in between. Whilst you might be tempted to stick to what you know the house specialties including ali nazik, beyti kebab and yogurtlu kebab are not to be overlooked. For those of you that just can’t decide the meze boards here offer you the chance to sample a little of everything.
If you find yourself in the winding streets of the Old Town craving something that little bit special then head to Seraser. Housed in an Ottoman villa, dinner in its beautiful courtyard makes a perfect meal during the hot summer nights. Smooth jazz plays in the background whilst the candlelight adds to the romance of this gorgeous restaurant. The attention to detail here is what really sets this place apart along with their comprehensive wine list.
The seafood at Yemenli Meyhanesi is unbeatable, its rated as the top seafood restaurant in Antalya on TripAdvisor and what makes it even better is that its affordable with dishes starting at £4. All year round you can find fresh tiger prawns, lobsters, oysters, calamari, octopus being served with live entertainment most nights from 8pm.
Sweet lovers will be able to indulge their every desire at Salman Patisserie Cafe. Rated as one of the top ten patisseries in Turkey (no mean feat let us assure you) Salman has been seducing Antalya with the good things in life for decades. You can feast on sumptuous cream cakes or perhaps the traditional baklava and sutlac with chocolate kick profiterole is more for you.
If you’ve sampled the Turkish cuisine and find yourself looking for something a little different then the pizza and pasta at Il Vicino Pizzeria are sure to hit the spot. Its modern and eclectic decor welcomes diners with a bright and colourful atmosphere. The incredible staff here are sure to make this an unforgettable dining experience and the unusual sweet combinations such as gorgonzola and strawberries, or pumpkin and mascarpone will leave you wanting more.
You might be forgiven for thinking that Antalya wouldn’t have much of a nightlife but nothing could be further from the truth. Many of the larger hotels have evening entertainment usually in the form of traditional dancers, if you’re staying in a smaller hotel then some of the bigger chains will allow you in to sample their shows. Venture into the town though and that’s when you’ll really see what Antalya has to offer, from packed out nightclubs to intimate live music bars there is something for everyone here.
Arguably the most popular club in Antalya is Olympos Disco. Found in the Falez Hotel this club attracts the young and lively from all over the world. Nights here don’t start until 11pm but you’re guaranteed some of the hottest DJ’s in Turkey and an unbeatable laser show.
Up Shot Bar is without a doubt one of the coolest bars that Antalya has to offer. Found in the Old Town it appeals to a more “hipster” crowd and the locals flock here to listen to some of the top local DJ’s. The door policy can be a little strict so if you’re wanting to get in make sure you look the part.
For something really different Hangar Bar is the place for you. Part of the Kadir Treehouses in Olympos this collection of tree house rooms is favoured by backpackers and globetrotters from around the world. As you might expect it has a super laid-back vibe to it and the party goes on late every night of the week.
As the name might suggest Club Inferno is another of Antalya’s hottest clubs. Parties here are always loud and lively with the professional dancers keeping the party going all night long. Opened back in 2003 this club has won award after award and you’ll often find yourself queuing to get in despite its huge 3000-person capacity. As you might expect for a large club drinks here are very expensive so make sure you take plenty of cash with you.
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