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Getting There

By Plane -- As the gateway to the "Turkish Riviera," Antalya's international airport is a destination for visitors on both direct and connecting flights from dozens and dozens of cities worldwide. In 2007, the city completed a second international terminal to accommodate the continued tourist growth of the region as a whole. Turkish Airlines (tel. 444-0849; www.thy.com) and British Airways (tel. 0844/493-0787 in the U.K.; www.britishairways.com) inaugurated direct flights from London (Gatwick) to Antalya in June 2005 and April 2008, respectively. Pegasus Airlines (www.flypgs.com) and SunExpress (tel. 0232/444-0797 in Turkey; www.sunexpress.com.tr) soon followed suit, flying from London's Stansted Airport (summers only). The U.K.-based charter Thomas Cook (www.thomascookairlines.co.uk) flies year-round from London Gatwick direct to Antalya. Check with your travel agent to see about other charter flights on offer during the summer months or log onto the airport websites for information on airlines flying into the region (international terminal: www.aytport.com; domestic terminal: www.antalyaairport.com).

Direct domestic service into Antalya from Istanbul is provided by Turkish Airlines from both Atatürk and Istanbul Sabiha Gökçen Airports (tel. 444-0849), Onur Air (tel. 0242/330-3432 in Antalya, or 0212/663-9176 in Istanbul), and Atlasjet (tel. 0216/444-3387; www.atlasjet.com.tr). Pegasus and SunExpress also fly from Sabiha Gökçen Airport in Istanbul, while SunExpress also flies direct from Izmir and Bodrum. In summer, Fly Air (tel. 444-4359; www.flyair.com.tr) resumes regular service to Antalya from Istanbul as well. (There are also direct flights from Adana, Trabzon, and Van, cities not covered in this guide.)

The airport is about 11km (6 3/4 miles) to the east of the city center on the main Antalya road/D400. If you're staying on Lara Beach, a taxi will be your best bet from the airport. If you're staying on Konyaalti Beach, take the Havas airport shuttle (tel. 444-0487 or 0242/312-2956; 10TL), which stops at the Sheraton Hotel on its way to the otogar. From the drop-off point, you can get a taxi to your final destination. For those whose final destination is Kaleiçi, get off the Havas bus at the Devlet Hastanesi (State Hospital). From there, it's but a few steps through the open air plaza to Cumhuriyhet Caddesi and the Clock Tower. From there, you can navigate on foot through the maze of the Old City to your hotel. Havas shuttle departures are scheduled to coincide with the arrival of domestic flights.

A taxi directly to/from the airport to the center of town costs around 30TL, more if your hotel is further afield. Nighttime rates are about 50% higher (many cities in Turkey are abolishing this nighttime rate to address the unfortunate fleecing of tourists who can't read the gündüz-day and gece-night indicators on the meter).

Major car rental companies with counters in the Domestic Terminal 1 are Avis (tel. 0242/330-3073; also downtown at Fevzi Çakmak Cad. 30, in the Divan Talya Hotel across from the Sheraton Voyager, tel. 0242/316-6148; open daily 9am-7pm), Budget (tel. 0242/330-3395), Europcar (tel. 0242/330-3068), Hertz (tel. 0242/330-3465), and National (tel. 0242/330-3557). National also has a presence in the International Terminal 2 (tel. 0242/330-3316). If you're interested in booking with a local company, log on to the airport's website for a full list of providers (www.aytport.com).

By Bus -- Antalya is a major transport hub, with 167 bus companies and 633 minibuses serving a total of 147 routes. The major bus lines serving Antalya with frequent service are Varan, Ulusöy, Kamil Koç, Pamukkale, Uludag, and Boss. Sample fares are: from Istanbul (12 hr., 60TL), Izmir (7-8 hr., 35TL), and Denizli (3-4 1/2 hr., 20TL). For transport from the smaller towns along the coastline, you can hop on one of the frequent minibuses, Bati Antalya Tur is a good bet, arriving from Fethiye (21TL), Kalkan (15TL), Kas (13TL), and Demre (11TL), to name just a few.

The dual-terminal bus station lies 4km (2 1/2 miles) northwest of the town center on the highway to Burdur and is easily as user-friendly as the airport. A rail system that will eventually transport passengers from the bus station to the center of town and beyond is currently under development and should be completed by the second half of this century (optimistically). Otherwise, you'll have your choice between an excruciatingly slow municipal bus (located outside the minibus/dolmus terminal in front of the taxi stand, idling until its half-hourly departure; 1TL) or a taxi (cost to Kaleiçi: around 20TL to 25TL).

Visitor Information

The tourist information office (tel. 0242/241-1747) is about a 10-minute walk west of Kaleiçi down Cumhuriyet Caddesi, at Anafartalar Cad. 31. It's worth a visit for fliers and brochures on upcoming events. Or, save yourself a trip and pop into one of the many travel agencies lining the cobbled streets for the same information. They also maintain a website (currently in Turkish only) at www.antalyakulturturizm.gov.tr.

Orientation

The city of Antalya is built upon a limestone travertine formed from the springs that run down from the mountains, so that the city meets the sea by way of breathtaking cliffs. At the center is the cliff-top fortress neighborhood of Kaleiçi, full of elegant garden cafes and charming ramshackle eateries, all built atop pre-Roman, Roman, and Byzantine foundations. Kaleiçi, the hassling to get you to empty your wallet notwithstanding, is a charming area of restored Greek houses, Italian villas, and Ottoman Pasas' residences, some converted into guesthouses and hotels along narrow winding streets. At the base of the cliff is the harbor and marina, built over an ancient Roman harbor and now the center of the city's resort nightlife.

About a mile and a half to the west of Kaleiçi is Konyaalti, the pebbly beach beginning just west of the archaeological museum and extending (so far) for about 8km (5 miles). Development will continue up to the port, an extension that will simply put the icing on an already successful and crazily popular city/seaside resort destination. By day, beach umbrellas and lounges backed by cafes and green lawns are filled with sun-seekers; by night, the waterfront park gets strewn with oversize colored cushions and romantic lighting, and restaurant tables spill onto the beach park walkway.

To the east of Antalya center just past the cliffs is Lara Plaji, a long stretch of pebbly beach gives way to a long stretch of coarse sand coastline, and enough all-inclusive themed hotels (a replica of the Titanic, the Kremlin, and Venice, just to name a few) to earn the area the moniker "Las Vegas in Turkey." Still, at approximately 11km (6 3/4 miles) from Antalya city center, it's a bit of a stretch to recommend this beach, that is, unless combined with a jaunt to the Lower Düden Waterfalls.

Beyond the city limits, Antalya spreads out to the mountainous winding roads that meander along the Lycian Coast to the west, and to the all-inclusive resort hotels along the sandy beaches sprawled out to the east, past the haphazard, poured-concrete blocks typical of Turkish towns. Clear waters and sandy coastlines also lie at the base of Kaleiçi, at Memerli Plaji, and most archaeological sites and natural phenomena are within an hour of town.

Getting Around

The primarily pedestrian area in and around the old town of Kaleiçi (including the harbor) is very compact, and you'll have very little need to venture far from here if this is where you're holing up for the night. The tourist information office is at the Cliffside park just on the western fringes of Kaleiçi, while the archaeological museum is about a 20-minute walk to the west of the city center, also accessible by tramway. From Kaleiçi to Konyaalti, it's about a 10TL unavoidably meandering taxi ride; it'll be cheaper on the way back because the one-way main avenue is now working in your favor.

By Tram -- An 8km (5-mile) tramway runs parallel to the coastline from the Antalya Museum to the neighborhoods east of Kaleiçi. Running every half-hour, it is particularly convenient as a way to get between Kaleiçi and the museum, Atatürk Parki, and Konyaalti Beach. There's a hop-on point on Cumhuriyet Caddesi across from the clock tower in Kaleiçi, and the fare is 1TL.

By Car -- A car in the region of Antalya is indispensable for a thorough exploration of the sights, sounds, and smells, but within the city itself, you may want to spend your energies doing something other than sitting in traffic and making sense of the one-way circuitous route through the center of town.

Although a car would be handy for a quick run to the museum, about a mile west of Kaleiçi, you'll be better off parking it and forgetting about it. The tram will take you practically door to door for 1TL and no hassle. For self-piloted day trips out of town, all major hotels have either on-site car rental or a concierge to help fix you up. Car rental companies abound in Kaleiçi, so your biggest challenge will be one of choice. A good bet is Gaye Rent a Car, Tuzcular Mah. Imaret Sok. 1, near the clock tower (tel. 0242/247-1000; www.gayerentacar.com). Sample rates for a Honda Civic automatic is 60TL per day, including full insurance.

By Taxi -- Because Kaleiçi is a walking district, a taxi is mostly useful for getting back and forth between the marina/Kaleiçi and the museum (Konyaalti Beach, the Sheraton, and the Hillside Su are near the museum on the west side of town). Hiring a taxi is also an (albeit expensive) option for those unable or unwilling to rent wheels for day-tripping out of the city, but be sure to bargain (you will also pay for gas) because quoted rates are exorbitant. I recommend a tour to your nearby attraction of choice, at least for the professional guide and the camaraderie of your fellow visitors.

Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.