Shore Excursion and Port Reviews
The Commercial Harbor Outside of Antalya, Turkey
Language and Currency
What is Antalya Like?
What is the Weather Like?
Where Does the Ship Dock?
Where is the Shopping?
What is There to Buy?
What is There To Do?
Is There Anything of a “Don’t Miss Quality?
Are There Any Great Restaurants or Bars?
You will need a valid passport and also a visa is required to enter the country for all United States visitors. If you are flying into Turkey to board your cruise, visas are available right in the airport as a normal function of immigration. There is no need to acquire one in advance. If you are arriving by ship, the cruise line should offer to obtain one for you or help you obtain one.
The official language of Turkey is Turkish, but some English is spoken (especially in the tourist and shopping areas) in Antalya's walled section. The currency is the Turkish lira. I would strongly suggest converting dollars to lira and investing the time to become familiar with the lira currency. The exchange rate is outrageous and it is quite possible to be short changed both in the conversion of funds in stores and in the making of change. Taxi drivers are notorious for shortchanging/over charging tourist using dollars for payment. This is one country that will require some thought and a calculator to convert currency.
Antalya is a small port city that has grown around its original harbor and walled city that is located on the Turkish Riviera. It is wedged between the Mediterranean Sea and the mountains to its north and celebrates its ancient past in its refurbished walled Old City center.
Summers in Antalya can be downright hot so be sure to bring something cool to wear when tromping through the ruins. Winters are simply wonderful and resemble California's San Diego climate.
The ship docks in the commercial harbor some 25 miles from Antalya's historic center and small harbor. Transfers to the heart of Antalya are normally provided by the cruise line.
Antalya has three different types of shopping areas. First, the shopping within the walled Old City is wonderful. The maze of pedestrian streets are lined with shops selling everything imaginable. The Antalya flea market some 3 blocks to the east of the east side of the walled city is huge and offers tons of local crafts. Finally, the shops lining the ocean front streets and neighborhoods offer myriad shopping opportunities.
The Old City in Antalya features numerous shops and boutiques offering a myriad of products from Oriental carpets to designer clothing. The flea market and coastal chops round out the offerings to compliment the diversity of Istanbul's fabulous shopping.
One of the Gates Leading to Old Town Antalya
First, wondering around Antalya's walled Old City is fascinating. Its maze or cobblestoned twisting and winding pedestrian streets are almost fairytale like. The surrounding areas (including the flea market) are just as fascinating and the restaurants overlooking the Antalya Harbor, ocean and walled city are well worth the investment for a latte to sit and simply take in the beauty of the area.
Most ships will also offer an excursion to the ancient towns of Perge and Aspendos. Both offer ruins of ancient civilizations and are extremely interesting (as are the scenery on the drive to and from the towns.)
Yes, I would say that exploring Antalya's walled Old City is unique enough to meet this measure.
There are many fine restaurants lining the bluffs overlooking the Mediterranean Sea, Antalya's small harbor and the walled Old City, but one does not come to mind as being exceptional.