It’s official and it’s no surprise to those of us who live here: Antalya had a record-breaking 15.7 million visitors in 2023!! After not getting out as much as we would have liked in 2022, 2023 was a full year! We actually crossed off four of the five places we desired to visit this past year and saw some lesser known ruins, too!
Read on to learn about our top five experiences/discoveries of 2023:
1. Döşemealtı Carpet Field
This visual stunner more than delivered on “wow” factor and was just as incredible in person as it appeared in pictures we had seen on-line. It was sweltering hot when we visited, but still such an incredible experience! If you are in Antalya during the summer months, it is a must see. Read more about the carpet field here.
2. Mount Olympos
After living here for almost six years, we finally had the opportunity to visit the Mount Olympos Teleferik just before the new year. It was exhilarating to ride through the clouds, and the freezing wind at the look-out on top took our breath away. Read more about it in next week’s post.
3. Spring Flowers & Lavantalya
Number three is a tie between two wonders of nature. After an unusually warm and dry winter, spring brought cooler temperatures than normal and so much rain. Fortunately, there were breaks in the rain that provided enough sun to create a magical flower wonderland. Vibrant colors from wildflowers in every field and on every corner were incredible to behold, as were the strking red poppies that took over the fields around our house. Check out our Instagram reel to see a wild poppy field in all its glory.
Just as awe-inspiring was our visit to Lavantalya. This family-owned lavender farm is less than 45 minutes from city center and is every Instagram lover’s dream. With its heavenly purple rows just begging for selfies and photographs, it is also a must see in June and July. Read more about it here.
4. Syedra Antik Kenti
This majestic ruin east of Alanya has been on our list of sites to see for a couple of years. It was full of all the things we love: room to roam and explore, ruins aplenty, and a view of the Mediterranean that is unbeatable. Read more about it in our upcoming post.
5. Selfie Park
It sounds silly, but we were honestly surprised at how much we enjoyed Selfie Park. It was a perfect way to spend a couple of hours on one of the hottest days of the summer. We left with more fun pictures and videos than we needed and laughed almost the entire time. Read more about our experience here.
Top Five Places We Want to Explore in 2024
1. More lesser known ruins
We can’t ever get enough of ancient cities, which makes Antalya the perfect place for us to live. There are still more to be explored and we hope to cross a few off our list this year; including Ancient Trabenna, Ancient Naula, and Aydapınar.
The farthest east we have gone in Antalya is just past Alanya. This year we want to go where we haven’t before and see what Antalya’s easternmost city, Gazipaşa, has to offer.
4. Uncover Kepez
Kepez is one of the three districts in Antalya’s city center. Compared to its flashier cousins, Muratpaşa and Konyaaltı, Kepez is more conservative and decidedly Turkish, but it is full of lovely people. Whether it is restaurants, coffee shops or parks, we hope to spend some more time uncovering the treasures it holds.
5. Adam Kayalar
Still unvisted, we are bringing this wish back again, too. A Cappadocia-like area with rocks that look like giant men is on our short list. We love exploring all the rock formations in Cappadocia and are excited to see Antalya’s version (not to be confused with the ancient carved figures also called Adam Kayalar in Mersin) up close. Maybe 2024 will be the year it happens!