Quite a lot of travelers are familiar with the French Riviera and its famous cities of Nice, Cannes, and St. Tropez. Quite a few less travelers have heard of the Croatian Riviera including Montenegro and Dubrovnik. And then there is the Turkish Riviera, which many travelers are surprised to find even exists. Though not as popular as the other Riviera Regions, the Turkish Riviera rivals all others with its hidden beauty, daunting cliffs, and Mediterranean villages that dot the coastlines.
The Turkish Riviera is an expansive coastline that runs along the Mediterranean in the Southwestern portion of the country of Turkey. The area’s blue waters and impressive coasts have long attracted travelers, including Marc Antony and Cleopatra, who picked the location for their wedding — the wedding of the millennium. While the extent of the Turkish Riviera runs from Çeşme in the North to Alanya at its Southeastern border, the main cities we will focus on — which are also our favorites — are the Cities of Alanya and Antalya.
You will often hear Alanya, Turkey referred to as a beach resort city. While Alanya is much more than just a beach resort city, its stretching sand beaches makes it the best part of the coastline for beach resorts, modern shopping, and entertainment in its many beach-side districts. As the flat, low beaches begin to rise towards cliffs on the outskirts of the modern “beach resort city,” you can be taken on a journey through time, as the buildings age from 200 years old to 500 and even to ancient buildings and ruins that are over 1000 years old. the Alanya Castle — which was built in the 13th century — is still standing on the hill above the town, and is a must-add to your lists of daily activities in the Turkish Riviera.
While Alanya is known as being a “beach resort city,” Antalya is known for being the largest sea resort in Turkey. This city and region is such a sough-after destination by travelers and vacationers, that it is currently ranked as the 3rd most internationally visited city in the world (just behind Paris, France and London, England). Though this too is a region known for beach-side relaxation and coastal elegance, the city of Antalya holds a rich and deep history. Excavations into the cliffs along the coast of Antalya have shown that the area has been settled since the 3rd century B.C., and the buildings are reflective of the last 2300 years of history, including Roman, Grecian, and Byzantine influences into its architecture and art. Hadrian’s Gate and Hidirlik Tower are both ancient structures that should be toured, if you get the chance.
The most stunning sight to see in Antalya are the Düden Waterfalls, where the rivers of the Turkish Riviera finally meet the sea in a breathtaking plunge of the sea cliffs and into the Mediterranean. If there is one reason to ever visit the Turkish Riviera, it would be to see the Düden Waterfalls at least once in your lifetime.