ITTN’s own Allie Sheehan recently spent a few days in Antalya, Turkey, as part of a FAM trip organised by Turkish Airlines and Go Turkey. With the memories of rakki, ancient monuments and all-inclusive hotels still fresh, here’s Allie’s report on Antalya.
I have never been to Turkey so of course jumped at the opportunity.
We had a wonderful group on the fam trip: Onur Gul (Turkish Airlines), Mehmethan Kelkit (Go Turkey), Gearóid Mannion (Travel Counsellors), Imelda McCarthy (Travel Counsellors), Madison Connolly (Selective Travel Management) Bernie Roche (Club Travel), Sonya O’Brien (Club Travel), Andrea Holmes (Sunway), Leah Parmeshwar (Travel Department), Jonathan Millar (Bryan Somers Travel), William Jarrett (Golfbreaks.ie), Annette Hynes (Fahy Travel) and Shane Cullen (Travelbiz).
On 1 April 2022, Turkish Airlines will have a direct flight from Dublin to Antalya so this was a great opportunity to bring some of the Irish travel trade over to experience the culture, food and shopping.
Direct Flight details
- Direct flights starting date 01st April 2022 end date: 28th October 2022. 3 times a week Monday, Wed, Friday.
- Total journey 4hrs 45 min
- Turkish Airlines carry the first golf set free of charge.
- Inflight service, food and drink, entertainment on board, wide seat selection, wifi etc.
The Royal Seginus Hotel
Antalya is famous for its golf, culture, and nightlife and most of the hotels operate on and all-inclusive concepts.
We were very lucky to stay in the Royal Seginus hotel.
The hotel opened in 2017 and was built on an area of 70,000 m2. This is evident in the huge lobby, restaurant area, outdoors and our rooms.
The view from my room was my favourite, giving me Vegas vibes with the lights at night-time.
To make sure we experienced as much as possible, we tried the extensive lists of cocktails, paid a visit to the spa for a Turkish Bath and took a dip in the sea.
The hotel is so big that there’s a shuttle to bring you to the beach, but you can also stroll down which will take you about 10 minutes. There’s also lots of activities, games, bingo and band performances that take place throughout the day and night and to make sure you’re fully entertained, there’s also waterslides at the hotel.
We had a very actioned packed itinerary which made sure we got the full Antalya experience.
We visited two beautiful cities, Side and Aspendos. Side is one of the best-known ancient cities in Antalya, it includes a modern town with shopping and restaurants and ancient ruins dating back to the 7th century.
After a stop for Turkish ice-cream, we went to Aspendos and were ready to climb the steps of the theatre of antiquity.
This theatre dates to the 13th century and can hold 12,000 people and is still used today.
Lunch on the first day was in Lara Balik, with stunning views and amazing seafood. For dinner we went to the old town of Kaleici which is the city centre of Antalya.
The structures of this town come from Roman times.
On day two we started the day with a presentation from Dr. Elif Balci Fisunoglu on Antalya.
As well as the history and culture there is beautiful sun, nightlife, and lots of activities to do in Antalya.
Activities include rafting, safari, water sports, an aquarium and entertainment for children day and night.
In the afternoon we headed to the city of Perge, an ancient Greek city in Anatolia, which was once the capital of Pamphylia.
The ruins in this city were magnificent, you could see the marks from the chariots on the ground.
We visited the stadium and the amphitheatre as well as stopping for some great photo opportunities amongst the history.
Before heading for dinner we stopped at the Duden Waterfall, which has to be the most instagrammable place in all of Antalya.
After dinner, we returned to hotel for a nightcap by the pool. The hotel has had mainly Russians, Bosnians, and Germans visit, so the entertainment was quite interesting.
We gave our best interpretation of the dancing as we could.
Our final day in Antalya we made sure to visit some of the other hotels in the region.
As I mentioned earlier, Antalya is famous for golf and the Belek region has the most amazing golf courses.
The first stop was to the Cornelia Diamond Hotel, which offers a 27 hole championship golf course, designed by Nick Faldo.
One of my favourite hotels that we viewed was the Regnum Carya.
Not only was there a golf course, which you can play at any time of the day as they have lights for the night time, but they have a huge concert venue which has had celebs like J-Lo and Rita Ora perform.
We ended the day with a visit to the Land of Legends, this is the Disneyland of Antalya. The sweet cart in the reception is just the beginning, there are themed rooms, a shopping centre, countless restaurants and an actual theme park part of the hotel.
This trip gave us an incredible insight into Antalya. The best time recommended for us Irish to visit would be April, May or from September as it’s not too hot.
The weather was approx. 28 degrees each day which was fantastic for October. I would recommend Antalya for some winter sun. After the 28th October you can still travel through the new Istanbul airport with Turkish Airlines.