Founded over 2,000 years ago, the modern Turkish resort town of Manavgat still exhibits the beauty and intensity of the major ancient port. A warm climate and prime location under a mountainous backdrop on the Mediterranean shores make the town a popular holiday destination for Turks and foreigners alike. Come bathe in the sea or river, experience high-excitement waterfront thrills and activities, explore the trails and waterfalls, and journey back in time with immersive Greek and Roman ruins. When the day is done, few things are better than sitting back in a beachside restaurant for some fresh seafood and cool drinks. There’s truly something for every visitor in Manavgat.
Location: Gentle Plains Along the Mediterranean Coast
Manavgat straddles the river of the same name, on the central southern coast of Turkey’s Antalya Province. A bit to the north, the Taurus Mountains loom high, but most of the region immediately around the city is a flat plain. Most visitors arriving by air will land at the Antalya International Airport (AYT), roughly 70 km to the north-west of the Manavgat city center. Frequent buses provide access to Antalya and Marmaris, from which ferries to other Aegean destinations can be found.
Culture: A Mediterranean Port Throughout the Ages
The influx of tourists to Manavgat means that the city has shed some of the traditional Islamic culture found elsewhere in Turkey, and as a result, visitors will find plenty of bars and beachfront nightclubs, much like many other Mediterranean destinations. Try the local cuisine–made with fresh fish and olive oil, the food can’t be beat–and explore the region’s ancient Greek and Roman heritage. Just a few kilometers to the south-east, the nearby town of Side is one of Turkey’s best-known classical sites, home to many ruins, including those of a Temple of Apollo, a Temple of Dionysus, and a large Roman theater–one of the best-preserved examples today.
Activities: Exploration and Relaxation in the Flowing Waters
Most visitors, after having their fill of the city’s fascinating culture, are drawn to the warm waters of the Mediterranean. Boating and water sports reign supreme in Manavgat, and 64 km of sunny beaches invite tourists and locals alike to relax and mingle in the sands. Inland, the wide, powerful waterfalls of the Manavgat River are a sight to behold, and a swim at the river’s mouth–where fresh water flows into the salty sea–provides an odd but fun experience.