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Izmir or Antalya?

Providence, Rhode...
Level Contributor
38 posts
3 reviews
Izmir or Antalya?

Planning a vacation of about 16 travel days in Turkey for the end of the summer. We want to spend roughly half the time in Istanbul and then in another town/small city easily accessible from Istanbul. The first half in Istanbul would be a "City Trip" spending time seeing cultural events, mosques, historical sites, etc. The second half is the "Beach Trip" where we are a little bit more relaxed. However, while I like swimming and going to the beach, my husband has a skin condition that is aggravated by ocean water, and while he's happy to spend some time relaxing in the sun we're looking at places that have a little more to them than just a nice coastline.

For this reason, I'm thinking of Antalya or Izmir. Antalya seems to have the best beaches and might be a prettier place to visit in its own right, but Izmir seems more interesting historically/culturally and it's not horribly far from some nice beaches (though not nearly as close or as nice as those near/in Antalya it would seem). Really would like to stay in an area with an airport close by in order to reduce total travel time.

Thoughts or preferences?

Thank you!

-Ashley

Aberdeenshire...
Destination Expert
for Fethiye
Level Contributor
19,888 posts
149 reviews
21. Re: Izmir or Antalya?

Fethiye is a Turkish Working Town, with many Nationalities visiting it. Lately lots tourists have come from Turkey, particularly Istanbul. The Turkish people are also buying property there. There are lots of resorts near Fethiye too. We have neighbours from Turkey, Holland, Scotland and Germany. Visitors also noted this year, a lot of Chinese people, in fact the Hotel we had B.&.B in Fethiye had noodles on for breakfast as well as the usually food.

I have been to Antalya and to the town centre, it is very nice. I know it is very popular with German visitors and lately lots of Russians. This is all good for the economy of Turkey and I am please to see it.

Antalya, Turkey
Destination Expert
for Antalya
Level Contributor
10,291 posts
29 reviews
22. Re: Izmir or Antalya?

Thank you Josephine. I lived and worked there for over 7 years until this summer so I do sort of know the area! I am also familiar with the areas that do not have AI hotels, which actually really are small pockets within the region. There are so many beautiful hotels in Kaleici that really tend to get forgotten about sometimes. I was lucky enough to stay in one this summer.

Antalya has a wealth of attractions to suit everyone which I guess is what makes it a popular destination with travellers from all over the world.

Kayakoy, Turkey
Destination Expert
for Istanbul
Level Contributor
9,728 posts
71 reviews
23. Re: Izmir or Antalya?

Josephine H, that is an odd remark, and quite misleading imho....

Both places are catering for tourism, Antalya gets more tourists than any other place in Turkey for that matter and Kaleici exists only out of and for tourism. As the rest of Antalya Fethiye is a normal working town and as any other place in Turkey tries to get an income out of tourism, that is not dirty, that is a way to make a living that everybody just needs a job somehow, right? You see a good mix of tourists in Fethiye and there are quite some expats loving Fethiye making it into their hometown from eg Germany, the Netherlands, the UK...

I cannot comment on expat life in Antalya since I do not know the facts. Cheers!

Antalya, Turkey
Destination Expert
for Antalya
Level Contributor
10,291 posts
29 reviews
24. Re: Izmir or Antalya?

To be honest the ex pat life is pretty similar! Lots of nationalities, a mix of ages and employment!

Kaleici though is much more than a tourist trap. It is like any other coastal town/city centre. Shops, bars, restaurants, hotels and the added bonus of some amazing architecture and good old Hadrian's gate!

Cheshire, United...
Level Contributor
895 posts
26 reviews
25. Re: Izmir or Antalya?

I have spent a lot of time in Fethiye over the years, and know several expats living there. In fact my friend wil be moving back to the UK after living there for 10 years or so. The area has been absolutely ruined by the British taking over. It used to be lovely 20 years ago, but the surrounding areas, especially Calis and Hisaronu are dreadful. Tatty and totally lacking any Turkish character whatsoever. I haven’t been to Izmir, but it sounds and looks lovely. As is Antalya. Fethiye sadly no more.

Istanbul
Level Contributor
2,797 posts
26 reviews
26. Re: Izmir or Antalya?

I would prefer the Fethiye area for a summer holiday. There is so much around to see and do, and it's easy to get around using public transport or tours if you don't have a car. I go to the area every summer and have done so for ten years and am not bored.

I've been to Antalya many times too - the Kaleici area is nice but it IS a big city - very hot in summer - the resorts are out of town and of the somewhat soulless all inclusive variety. Hotels in Kaleici tend to be small, with small rooms (at least the few I've stayed in).

I don't agree with Jospephine. Well, Hisaronu is a bit naff, but easily avoided (and fun for a night out and for children). I spent a month in Koca Calis this summer and wouldn't say it lacked Turkish character at all. The number of Turkish holiday home owners has been increasing and we spent many days having Turkish breakfast in the countryside, fish and raki on the beach and drinking in tea gardens. Felt pretty Turkish to me!

27. Re: Izmir or Antalya?

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