Jesse and were in Antayla for two weeks. I wrote about our first week here. We also went visited the Archeological Museum and Roman site of Perge, which I wrote about here. Our last week, we made a trek to the Düden Waterfall, took a cable car ride up high above the city, and a boat tour around the Mediterranean Sea. There is just so much to do in Antalya!
We arrived at Düden Park, but not before we stopped for some tasty burgers (there are many burger joints around Antalya, and of the few we tried, all were good) as well as buying multiple bottles of water along the walk, which are readily available at the convenience stores that are all over the city.
We finally reached Düden Park, and we could tell we were approaching the waterfalls as there were more people gathered; every shady spot to sit was accounted for, so we walked up to the Falls. We watched as a few guys with large blue and red parrots on their arms offered them to families and to take their picture (for a fee). The cool mist off the falls was very refreshing on the hot day; and thus we stood, overlooking the Falls, for as long as we could (and even got to see a rainbow in the Falls!).
Afterward we grabbed a couple of iced coffees, we started walking back, realized it was too hot, and hit one of the very convenient taxi buttons, that are found on lampposts and other street polls. The light flashes, and a taxi appears, usually in just a few minutes. There are many, many taxis in Antalya, and they will take you anywhere, for a reasonable (with the exchange rate) fee.
Another day we hit the taxi button, and told the driver we wanted to go to Tünektepe Teleferik Tesisleri, which is a cable car that takes visitors to see the Gulf of Antalya, the city skyline & peaks of the Taurus Mountains. The driver told us there is a better cable car ride, two hours away. We were good with closer one, as we could overlook the city, so he drove us the thirty-minute ride, said he would turn off the meter and he would wait while we went up and explored.
There is nominal fee to take the cable care up, traveling 1700 meters (or about 5,600 feet) above sea level. Pictures below: On the way up, and arriving at the top.
It is true, the views are pretty spectacular once we reached the top (and we came for spectacular views).
There are multiple tiers to view the city, sea and mountains from, a sit-down restaurant and a couple self-service bars. Jesse and I had a beer and then we walked around, then had another beer because why not? and there is not much else to do at the top.
So after an hour or so, we made our way back down to the taxi driver, waiting for us, and he took us back to the hotel. *A note about the taxi drivers; we have been told in Istanbul the drivers try to rip off westerners, but in Antalya, every driver turned on the meter, and we never felt unsafe (in terms of crime, taxi drivers do certainly drive aggressively, but that’s true of most taxi drivers, regardless of country). So if you visit Antalya, I would not be too concerned with drivers ripping off westerners; just make sure to pay in Turkish Lira.
Since the walk to Düden Waterfall was so hot during the daytime (yet so nice to walk along the water) we decided to wait until dusk and try again. We ate a big dinner at a nearby restaurant, which was served family style, and we picked and pointed at a bunch of different foods behind glass and ate until we were way past full; then took the walk toward the Falls. We stopped at a couple places along the way for drinks, until finally reaching the Falls. The night time view was a different experience and one we really reveled in.
Another day we decided to head down to the harbor, and take a boat cruise. On the way, we stopped for some Turkish Ice cream, where the sellers have a lot of fun with the tourists (and the ice cream is quite flavorful).
The boat took us all along the same coast we had walked days earlier (on our way to the Düden Waterfall); but seeing the city from this perspective, with the wind in our hair, cutting through the turquoise blue water, was a worthwhile and calming experience.
The boat turned around at, you guessed it, the Düden Waterfall, and took its time, so everyone on the boat could get their selfies and couples’ pic in front of the falls. We weren’t the only boat there, either, so had to be quick with the picture to get a clear view of the falls from the boat.
We often walked through the Old Town, which is near the harbor (and where we set sail for our boat tour). Its streets have an old-world European feel to them, and they are also quite lively in the evening time, with many bars, clubs, and restaurants. Also, the vendors there are much less aggressive than the ones in the Bazaar, so if you’re looking to shop under a bit less pressure, this is the area for you.
Jesse and I had a great stay in Antalya, and recommend it to all visitors looking for some fun in the sun, as well as Turkish goods, a great museum, waterfalls, lookouts, beaches, Roman ruins nearby, and just a fun and lively city. We also took a day and swam in the Mediterranean, renting a chair and towel from a hotel near ours. They brought us drinks and food, and we made a fun day of it, and one should do it when in Antalya, as it is reasonably priced and there are many places to do this off the coast.
On our last full day we went to a Turkish Bath, or Hammam, which we had been really wanting to do. The Bathhouse picked us up at our hotel, and brought us to the bath. First was a 15 minute steam, then ten-minute sauna, followed by being rinsed off by my attendant with bowls of cool water. Then a scrub with a brillo-like pad to remove all the dead skin, followed by a soap scrub, then more rinsing. Finally an oil massage, then relaxing with a glass of tea. It was so nice, and I felt very good afterwards. I had never had a massage before, and this was a great first one!
We did so many fun things and explored a lot of great places, and felt very welcomed by all we met. So, we say good bye to Antalya for now, but not forever!
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