Once ground tread famously by Christian missionaries like Saint Peter and dynastic emperors like Hadrian, Antalya and its Mediterranean surroundings have become in modern times one of the most popular destinations in Turkey. Sadly, most of those who fly into the Antalya Airport do so as part of holiday packages, cramming into private beaches and treating true adventure as an afterthought. Forgive our astonishment, but most travelers, instead of kicking up dust on the same mountain paths as the Greeks, the Persians, the Hittites, the Romans, and the Ottomans, would rather deepen their tans? Instead of trekking the long-distance Lycian Way and the St. Paul Trail through true Turkish wilderness (goat crossings, anyone?), people are choosing the same comfortable circumstances of a day at the beach with other tourists? Luckily, Embark traveler, you're here wanting more.
Hikers have landscape options in spades. If elevation trekking is your flavor, locations like Mount Tahtali, the gorgeous city views of Mount Tunc, the sea views of Mount Çalbalı and Mount Ovacik sit south of Antalya within a stone's throw of the coast. Then again, there are a constellation of cascades that surround the city, with both Duden Falls locations (one of which spills directly into the Mediterranean), the Manavgat Waterfall located just north of the city of the same name, and the excellent Kursunlu Waterfalls just northeast of Antalya. Not all of these include much in the way of extensive hiking, but they're an opportunity to stretch your legs in some beautiful natural surroundings. Even taking a few short tramps like that from Lara Beach to Duden Falls or those located west along the coast near Fethiye, Oludeniz, or Faralya (where the Lycian Way originates) will provide for some very attractive day or multi-day adventures.
For those who need a little more interaction with the water elements, there is white water rafting in Turkey's longest canyon and kayaking among ancient ruins, while reputable scuba diving operators may be found exploring the Mediterranean from Alanya and Kalkan.
And that isn't even all. You see what these resort-goers are missing? How about some of Turkey's best rock climbing in one of its most unique locations? How about treks to ancient ruins that include Selge and Aspendos and even the incredible mountain-top amphitheater of Termessos? Adventure is the word in Antalya. We just wish there were more travelers like you out there willing to take advantage of it. Then again, it wouldn't be half as wonderful if these places didn't still remain for immersive, experiential travelers.