Manavgat Holidays – A beautiful riverside town
An authentically Turkish town dating back to 200BC, Manavgat straddles the banks of the Manavgat River, surrounded by pine forests and overlooked by the Taurus Mountains. The resort is located a few kilometres inland from the coast, next to her sister resort of Side. An attractive riverside setting with restaurants, tavernas, cafes and bars makes this an increasingly popular holiday choice. What’s more, there are a number of beautiful Mediterranean beaches nearby just a short dolmus or taxi ride away.
The town itself has a vibrant nightlife scene, or for a change visit the coastal villages of Kumkoy and Llika which also have lively evening entertainment. Manavgat makes a great base for exploring some spectacular sites of natural beauty; particularly the local waterfalls. For those interested in history, neighbouring Side has an impressive ancient Amphitheatre and magnificent temples, and trips can be arranged to the ruins at Seleukeia and Aspendos.
Take a cruise down Manavgat River to the ‘Trembling Lake’, or enjoy a host of activities including golf, white water rafting, paragliding, canyoning, mountain biking and jeep safaris – there’s plenty to do here to suit all tastes.
When to go
Unlike many other resorts, Manavgat’s attraction does not solely rely on a beach, making it a good destination to visit all year round. Having said this, the busiest and most expensive period will still be the peak summer months of June-August. Spring and autumn are probably the best times to visit for active holidaymakers, with cheaper prices and cooler weather that it more suited to cycling, hiking and other outdoor pursuits. For those who are all about the sun and sea, summer sees the hottest temperatures.
July sees the annual Manavgat Tourism Festival, with traditional Turkish dancing, folk music, Whirling Dervishes and food stalls. Visit in early September and you’ll see the Side International Culture and Art Festival, with theatre and performance art taking part in ancient venues such as the Temple of Apollo and Side’s Amphitheatre.
The weather in Manavgat
Manavgat tends to be a degree or two cooler than resorts to the west such as Belek and Antalya. Having said this, during peak summer the mercury can still hit the 40’s on particularly hot days. Spring (April-May) sees average temperatures of 21-25C and 9-11 hours of sunshine a day. The summer starts in June at around 30C, and continues to heat up through the months of July and August to a sizzling 33C, with up to 13 hours of sunshine daily. The beginning of September isn’t much cooler at 31C, before autumn sets in towards the end of the month and through October with averages of 27C. November-March is considered the winter period, but temperatures remain pleasantly warm on average – between 15-21C. There is an increased chance of rain over this season however, so anyone thinking of taking winter sun holidays should pack a light waterproof jacket and warm top.
Getting the best deal
To get the best deal on peak season Manavgat holidays, it’s wise to book as early as possible. The best-priced rooms in the most popular hotels will sell out fast during peak season. If you decide to travel ‘off-peak’ during spring or autumn, you will see lower prices and some fantastic last-minute holiday offers – which are generally not available in peak season due to increased demand.
Avoid school holiday periods such as Easter and half term. Booking all-inclusive holidays to Manavgat can be a good way of managing your money, with the majority of holiday spending accounted for upfront. Find the best prices we have to offer by looking at the deals below or alternatively by visiting our late deals offers here.
Airport and transport need to know
Holidaymakers on their way to Manavgat will fly into the Antalya International Airport (AYT). You can fly here from a number of UK hubs including London Gatwick, Luton and Stansted, Manchester, Leeds Bradford and Cardiff, as well as smaller regional airports such as Newcastle and Bournemouth. It takes around 4 hours to reach here from the UK.
When you arrive, you’ll find a large, modern airport with plenty of shops and restaurants servicing the Arrivals, Departures and lounge areas. Many of the main shops are open 24 hours. The airport has 3 terminals – T1 and T2 are for international flights, T3 is for domestic traffic. There are cash points at T1 and currency exchange bureaus at both T1 and T2.
You can catch a taxi to Manavgat from outside the Arrivals halls at Terminals 1 and 2. There will be a queue of taxis waiting and a large sign indicating the price to each destination. It takes just over an hour to reach the resort, and you should expect to pay up to £60 for the vehicle. Alternatively, you can pre-book a shared taxi (usually a minivan), which will cheaper at around £16, but can take a lot longer as other passengers are dropped off at resorts along the way. Companies such as HolidayTaxis.com provide this service.
The cheapest option is to take a public bus - this is also the longest however. You should catch the number 600, Terminal-Otogar bus from outside terminal 3. This bus will take you to the main depot in Antalya, where you can pick up a connecting bus to Manavgat. The whole journey should cost you under £5, and it can take up to 3 hours.
Cars can be hired for the duration of your holiday and picked up at the airport. A number of companies provide this service, including the reputable Argus Car Hire company. You should expect to pay around €25-40 for a day, depending on the size and type of car. You must be over 21 to drive, and you should drive on the right hand side of the road.
The best beaches in Manavgat
While the town of Manavgat is not on the coast itself, there are still a number of beautiful beaches easily accessible in the near vicinity, either by taxi or dolmus. Nearby Side boasts two beautiful sandy beaches that lie on either side of a peninsula. The East Beach is long and wide, with golden sands that run the length of the coast before reaching the mouth of the Manavgat River. You’ll find plenty of amenities here such as sun loungers and parasols, as well as a variety of watersports including water skiing and parasailing. This beach has warm water but rougher waves than the West Beach, so it is the less favourable of the two for those with small children. The beach can get very crowded during the peak season.
Side’s West Beach stretches on for 30km, all the way from Side to Colakli. Small restaurants, cafes and beach bars overlook the long golden sands, and the water is warm, shallow and calm, making it a popular choice for families. There are also watersports available on this beach, including water skiing, parasailing, diving and snorkelling, as well as boat tours. Further along towards Colakli there are small coves where turtles nest.
Around 23 miles away from Manavgat is the picturesque coastal village of Colakli. Here you’ll find a huge golden sandy beach running for miles, with an attractive promenade behind full of beach bars and cafes – a fantastic place for couples to take a romantic stroll. There are watersports in abundance here, including scuba diving, jet skiing and parasailing.