The following post is sponsored by Thomson.co.uk.
A well-planned cruise holiday can be a great vacation. Cruise holidays are gaining popularity year after year, and it is estimated that 34 million people around the world go on a cruise every year. There is a cruise for every occasion, but Mediterranean cruises are an ideal option as they offer an unrivalled combination of history, natural scenery, nightlife, culture, and gastronomy.
Most Mediterranean cruises call at well-known international cities like Barcelona, Rome, Montecarlo or Athens. However, some Mediterranean cruises come through Southern Turkey and stop at Antalya, the capital of the Turkish Riviera. Antalya’s beaches, framed by the Taurus Mountains, are some of the most beautiful in the world.
Be sure to visit Antalya’s harbour in the old city of Kaleici. This is the most beautiful part of the city. But for a panoramic view head to Tünek Tepe, a mountain west of Antalya and rising 2,000 feet above sea level. The views of the mountains and the rugged coastline are spectacular, and you can dine in the rotating restaurant.
Turkish food is known for its extensive use of fresh vegetables and spices. Antalyan cuisine makes use of locally grown products which give local signature dishes an undeniable Mediterranean flavour. Specialties of Antalya include the local fish (levrek and cipura), various aubergine dishes, the local bean salad, and kabak tatlisi, a dessert made of pumpkin, nuts, and sesame paste.
As in the rest of Turkey, tea is the drink of choice and is served after every meal. Other non-alcoholic drinks include ayran (made of yoghurt, milk and salt), salgam (fermented carrot juice), andvishne suyu (sour cherry juice).
Antalya’s nightlife is mostly at bars. You can try smoking apple-scented tobacco at a traditional nargile (hookah) bar,or go to a meyhane for some mezes (appetizers) with your Efes (the local beer), or raki, the Turkish anisette-flavoured spirit. There are many seaside bars at the beaches, some with live music, but the area around the marina is the place to go to find late-night action, including Antalya’s nightclub, Club 29.
A cruise stop at Antalya will give you an introduction to the city, but you’ll have to come back to really appreciate Antalya.
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