Belek is a busy, modern tourist hotspot on the Turkish Riviera, some 20 miles east of Antalya. It offers most things that you would come to expect from a popular Mediterranean seaside resort – along with a few you might not.
For pure relaxation, you can make the most of Belek’s family-friendly beaches, where you can spot sea turtles on the 2.5km stretch of sand. In the category of tourist resort staples you’ll find a good number of luxury hotels, holiday villas and most importantly lush, green golf courses.
In the more surprising bracket, you won’t be able to miss the town’s collection of Roman architectural replicas of aqueducts and arches, which give a sly nod to the wider region’s ancient Roman heritage.
Go for Golf
Belek was definitely built with golfing in mind. The resort has benefitted from a major golf tourism drive in recent years. This seems to be paying dividends, as in 2012 Belek played host to Turkey’s biggest ever golfing tournament to date, the Turkish Airlines World Golf Final with the area helping Turkey to now rival the Algarve as a serious European golfing destination.
If you’re planning to play a round in Turkey then our Club Med Belek resort brings a clear advantage, being right next to the region’s famous Lykia Links. Lykia is rated among Europe’s top 100 Golf Courses by Golf World magazine and with challenging ‘punch and run’ style fairways modelled on world-class Scottish courses, not to mention stunning natural landscapes and ocean views thrown in for good measure, it’s not hard to see why.
Being so close to this thriving tourist infrastructure, the Kurşunlu Waterfall Nature Park has its share of surprises too. A tributary of the Asku River, the waterfall provides a stunning pine forested backdrop and habitat to over 100 species of bird, while its hidden cave provides the ideal spot to stow away for a quiet, romantic picnic.
For those of you who prefer to sample some slightly more authentic history, a day trip to the nearby Hellenistic city of Perge is a must, even rivalling that of Ephesus. The awe-inspiring, horseshoe shaped Aspendos Ampitheatre is both the world’s best preserved Roman amphitheatre and also the largest in Asia Minor, with capacity for 12,000 visitors.
The theatre was built during the reign of Emperor Marcus Aurelius in the 2nd century AD by the Roman architect Zeno. It’s a suitably epic setting in which to watch some of the classical music, opera and ballet spectaculars that are staged there today.
According to legend, the ancient city of Aspendos was colonised by settlers from Argos on their return from the Trojan War. The city was one of the few in the region to mint silver coins as far back as the 4th century AD, reaching its peak during the Roman era.
Once you’ve exhausted Perge, there are also the ancient cities of Side and Termessos awaiting your discovery. Both are easily reached with our tailored discovery excursions from Belek.
If you care to venture a little further afield, the historic city of Antalya is a little over an hour away, as is the River Küprücaythe, where you can learn canyoning under expert supervision.