Belek: Everything You Need to Know(Tips, Things to Do, Photos, Maps)

Belek is a small resort town in the Serik district in Antalya. It is known for its golf courses, beautiful sandy beach, crazy nightlife, and being in the middle of the lots of attractions in the region.

Do not let the name “town” fool you, because Belek includes lots of places for you to accommodate, including five-star hotels. Despite it is a small town, in the summer months it is transformed into a big tourism center.

You can do various kinds of activities in Belek, which helps you to enrichen your trip to Antalya. Belek’s population varies between 750 and 10,000 depending on the time you are visiting. In the low season, the population can be around 750 and in the high season, the population can rise to 10,000 people. It is a huge difference, yet it is what it is.

Where is Belek Located on the Map of Turkey?  

Belek is on the south side of the map of Turkey, on the Mediterranean coast. It is located 40 kilometers east of Antalya city center.

Getting to Belek

By Plane

The distance between Antalya Airport and Belek is 30 kilometers, which is the equivalent of 50 minutes of driving.

Antalya International Airport is one of the busiest airports in Turkey, especially in the summertime. You can fly to Antalya Airport from various cities of Turkey, including Istanbul, Izmir, Ankara, Adana, and more. In addition, you can find direct flights to Antalya from lots of European and Middle Eastern countries in the summer months. If there is no direct flight to Antalya from where you are, generally a connecting flight via İstanbul is a good choice.

If you do not want to rent a car to drive to Belek from Antalya Airport, you can find services that would take you to Belek from Antalya Airport. If you want to take a taxi from Antalya Airport to Belek, it will cost you around 190 Turkish liras(30 USD as of March 2021).

Another option is taking the bus named 600 from Antalya Airport to take you to Antalya Bus Terminal, and then taking Belek minibusses that depart every 30 minutes from here.

By Bus

Besides planes, you can find direct buses that will take you to the Belek directly from various cities of Turkey. Bursa, Ankara, and some cities have direct buses to Belek in the summertime.

The road to resort town of Turkey, Belek
The road to resort town of Turkey, Belek

In addition to getting Belek from different cities by bus, you can find buses that will take you to Belek from Antalya and Serik. You can find minibuses that depart from Antalya Terminal to Belek, every 30 minutes. The road trip from Antalya Terminal to Belek takes around 1 hour.

Even though there are no direct buses from some cities to Belek, you can always get to Antalya Terminal first from other cities with intercity buses and get to Belek from there easily.

The following are some of the approximate road trip durations from cities to Antalya:

  • From Ankara – 8 hours – 480 km (300 miles)
  • From Bursa – 7 hours 50 minutes – 550 km (340 miles)
  • From Burdur – 2 hours 25 minutes – 130 km (80 miles)
  • From Denizli(Pamukkale) – 3 hours 30 minutes – 200 km (125 miles)
  • From Istanbul – 11 hours – 700 km (435 miles)
  • From İzmir – 6 hours 30 minutes – 460 km (290 miles)
  • From Konya – 4 hours 30 minutes – 300 km (190 miles)
  • From Nevşehir(Cappadocia) – 8 hours – 530 km (330 miles)

Top things to do in Belek

To have a nice and unforgettable trip in Belek, there are some things to do that will enrichen your trip. There are lots of activities to do and lots of places to see in Belek, and if you have enough time trying as much as you can is strongly recommended. There are lots of options to choose from whether if you are going alone, with friends or family.

Golf

Aerial view of a golf course in Belek, Antalya
Aerial view of a golf course in Belek

Golf is an important and popular sport in Belek, with various facilities for you to play golf. Belek has different golf courses that are of international standards. Since some of the golf courses have the properties of international standards, various international tournaments were held in Belek.

There are 16 golf courses in Antalya and 15 of them take place in Belek. Most of the courses have 18 and 27 perforated. From 2015 to 2017, there were approximately 940.000 golf games were played in the golf fields of Belek.

Golf facilities and golf courses are important factors that help Belek to have tourism activities all year long. Besides, the tournaments held in Belek are important for introducing Turkey to the world.

Golf course in Belek, Antalya. Green grass on field. Blue sky, sunny day
Golf course in Belek

Belek is considered the most important golf tourism destination in Turkey. Such that, in the year 2008, the International Association of Golf Tour Operators choose Belek as the Best Golf Area of ​​the Year in Europe. More than 50 national and international tournaments are held in Belek each year. Some of the important golf tournaments that Belek hosts can be listed as follows:

  • Turkish Airlines World Golf Cup, which is the most important amateur golf tournament in the world.
  • Turkish Airlines Challenge, which brings together the most talented golfers in Europe.
  • Turkish Airlines Open, which is one of the 8 series of European Tour Rolex Series. Turkish Airlines Open is held by the participation of the best golfers of Europe and broadcasted live on more than 50 countries’ television. 

Visiting the Beach

Belek has a wonderful sandy beach that is 16 km long. Belek beach is a popular beach among all beaches in the Mediterranean Region. You can find lots of activities to do in addition to services that you can only find in 5-star hotels.

You can rent a sunbed and an umbrella in the beach and it will cost you about 10 Turkish liras.

There are some rules you need to take into consideration since Belek beach is one of the rare places where sea daffodil grows. It is illegal to picking sea daffodils or taking them away somewhere else. The sea daffodil species is about to extinct, so the sea daffodils in Belek are quite valuable and need to be taken care of. Some prohibitions regarding saving the sea daffodils include entering the beach by car, burning fire, bringing a pet to the beach, and using sunbeds near to sea daffodils.

Belek beach includes so many things that you can enjoy your day at the beach without even leaving the beach. The beach facility is run by Serik Municipality, and you can find services such as gym, café, market, restaurant, and go-cart track. In addition to those services, there are toilets that you can use (with accessible toilets as well), showers with clean water. There is also a lifeguard and first aid.

Aspendos Ancient City

Aspendos Ancient City is 17 kilometers away from Belek, and you will miss a lot if you leave without visiting the Aspendos Ancient City. Aspendos Ancient City is famous for its well-preserved theatre. In fact, the theatre in Aspendos Ancient City is the most well-preserved Roman theatre of the whole Mediterranean world.

This city was built on a flat hill, next to the Köprüçay River, which is one of the biggest rivers in the area. Aspendos was a valuable city back then since it has a river next to it, which allows easy transportation and fertile soils. Today, Aspendos Ancient City is mostly visited for the theatre and the waterways in it, yet there are also others remaining in the Aspendos Ancient City.

It is known that the Battle of the Eurymedon took place in Aspendos Ancient City, near to Köprüçay River.

At one point in history, Aspendos was under the rule of Alexander the Great. People of Aspendos tried their best to not get to under the rule of Alexander the Great yet they eventually had to.

After the death of Alexander the Great, Aspendos Ancient City lived through its brightest period with the Romans ruling this city. The most famous structures of Aspendos Ancient City including theatre and waterways were built while the city was under the rule of the Roman Empire.

Köprülü Canyon

Köprülü Canyon is a national park that is located next to the Köprüçay River and takes place in the Manavgat district of Antalya. Köprülü Canyon has the feature of being one of the longest canyons in Turkey.

If you like nature, hiking, and want to take some cool pictures, Köprülü Canyon is the best option to visit. Besides, various water sports could be done in Köprülü Canyon, in addition to rafting. Köprüçay River has a high flow rate which makes it optimal for rafting.

One of the most interesting parts of the Köprülü Canyon is the conglomerate rocks. Due to their looks, they have lots of nicknames since they remind people of different things. You can wander around the conglomerate rocks in the Köprülü Canyon.

Additionally, Köprülü Canyon and its surroundings offer you some historical destinations to visit. You can visit the Ancient City of Selge and the Saint Paul Trail. Saint Paul Trail is quite a bit longer and only a part of it takes place in the Köprülü Canyon, yet it is worth visiting. Also, the beautiful Ancient City of Selge is waiting for you to explore it in Köprülü Canyon, with its history.

The fauna and flora of the Köprülü Canyon are unique and wonderful. You can see lots of animals and plants living in Köprülü Canyon, and some of them have the feature of only being able to live in this area in addition to those species that are about to be extinct, which makes them unique.

The Land of Legends Theme Park

Animators and actors in beautiful clothes on the alley among the trees in the Land of legends Park in Turkey in Belek

Animators and actors in the Land of Legends Park in Belek 201142520 © Krivosheina ElenaDreamstime.com

 

The Land of Legends theme park is a wonderful theme park in the Serik district of Antalya. You can find different activities to do in The Land of Legends theme park and have an unforgettable time. There are activities that are proper to almost every age group, so do not worry if you have younger ones or older ones than you you to get to the Land of Legends theme park. Everyone can have fun there.

The Land of Legends Theme Park won the awards of Europe’s Best Water Parks 2018 and Europe’s Best New Coaster 2018. Besides, The Land of Legends Theme Park has various certificates including verified pool, verified customer satisfaction, food safety, and clean pool certificates. The entrance fee for The Land of Legends Theme Park is 280 Turkish liras for adults and 200 Turkish liras for children. This fee is valid for both aqua park and theme park.

The following are some of the activities that you can do and some of the services that The Land of Legends theme park offers to you:

  • Shows and activities that you can participate in. There are dance and DJ performances, dolphin and whale shows, you can watch in a stadium for 1800 people.
  • An aqua park where you find lots of different options for you to enjoy the water.
  • Pubs and restaurants where you can find lots of delicious food and get a drink (or two).
  • Lots of accommodation options that are unique.
  • Various stores for you to enjoy shopping.
  • You can safely keep your belongings in the boxes they offer there to not worry about your belongings on your fun day.

Turkish Bath

Turkish bath, (also as known as hammam) is a one-of-a-kind experience that you must try in Turkey. Different from your normal spa days, a Turkish bath is a unique experience. The services you will get in a Turkish bath could vary, but typically in a Turkish bath you can find pouch service, massage service, and massage with soup is present in every Turkish bath. The environment in Turkish baths is a type of environment where you feel like you are in a different place.

Perge

Ruins of Perge Ancient City

Perge is an ancient city that was the capital city of the Pamphylia region at some point. Perge ancient city is considered among the most beautiful cities of the ancient world. The history of Perge could be divided into 3 main categories in it, and the first bright period Perge ancient city lived is in the Hellenistic period. In the Hellenistic period, the city was planned in detail and the Hellenistic Period Towers which are still sturdy today were built to the memory of this bright period.

Even though the Hellenistic period is considered a bright period in the history of Perge ancient city, it lived its golden period while it was under the rule of the Roman Empire. Those periods were the periods the city had a complete richness and peace. Most of the important structures such as theatre, stadium, city gate, agora & macellum, hammams, monumental fountains were built in this period.

The last bright period of the Perge Ancient City was in the Byzantine period. At those periods, Christianity was on the agenda, and Perge Ancient City was a popular place among priests. St. Paul path was built in the Byzantine period, and basilicas were built.

The excavations in the Perge area were initially started in the year 1946 and still continues today. While you are in Belek, Antalya, do not forget to visit Perge, it will not disappoint you.

Side

Temple of Apollo in Side

Side is a neighborhood that is a part of the Manavgat district of Antalya, and it is one of the most popular destinations to get while you are in Antalya. The population of Side is approximately 12000 in the wintertime, whereas this number can rise to over a million in the summertime.

 According to some sources, the history of the Side neighborhood goes back to Hittites, whereas some sources point out the before 7th century as the establishment of Side. The history of Side is quite interesting, and you can feel the history to your bones while you are in the Side neighborhood.

The only good thing about Side is not its history, of course. Side has lots of things to offer you including natural beauties, nice beaches, and entertainment activities. Some of the places I mentioned earlier including Köprülü Canyon takes place in the Side neighborhood of Manavgat district.

Kurşunlu Waterfall

Kurşunlu waterfall is one of the beautiful waterfalls of Antalya and is a place that is worth visiting. It has a rich flora. In the Kurşunlu waterfall, you can see 7 ponds are connected with tiny waterfalls.

Kurşunlu waterfall flows from 18 meters height, passes through a canyon that is 3 kilometers long, and has an area of 33 hectares. The waterfall among pine trees creates a scene that feels like a canvas. Kurşunlu waterfall was opened to visitors in the year 1986.

Kurşunlu waterfall and its surroundings contain a rich flora and fauna. You can do lots of activities in Kurşunlu waterfall while you are in nature and spend some quality time with your loved ones, or just by yourself. Going hiking around Kurşunlu waterfall is strongly recommended, with the company of cute animals.

Waterfall picnics are one of the most popular picnic types among all. If you have never sat by a waterfall and enjoy some delicious food with your loved ones, it is highly recommended for you to try it out. Kurşunlu waterfall has areas for picnic purposes, and there are some terraces for you to see the view fully. Do not miss out on anything at Kurşunlu waterfall.

Manavgat Waterfall

If you want to escape from the crowd and noise of the city and want to be one with nature, then you must go to Manavgat Waterfall. Manavgat waterfall’s water starts from the west Taurus mountains and falls into the Mediterranean Sea. Manavgat River’s source comes from underground, and by falling from 5 meters long cliffs, creates the Manavgat waterfall.

Manavgat waterfall area hosts various species of birds and fishes since it has rich fauna and flora. Besides the natural beauties that Manavgat waterfall offers you, you can engage in various water sports here including rafting and canoe.

You can also find recreative areas including cafes, restaurants, small shops, toilets, terraces, and other facilities. You can find everything to spend a day in the Manavgat waterfall. Keep in mind that waterfalls are one of the best places to take pictures, so make sure that you have a good camera or phone with you to document your journey in the Manavgat waterfall.

Düden Waterfall

Düden waterfall is another waterfall of Antalya and takes place in the Kepez district. Some sources refer to the Düden waterfall as “Iskender waterfall” or “Upper Düden waterfall”. The source of Düden waterfall’s water is from Kepez Hydroelectric Central, and the water comes from here comes up to earth in a place called Düdenbaşı.

The water comes to earth from Düdenbaşı splits into two streams. Both of those streams end up in the Mediterranean Sea. Like in other waterfalls, you have the chance to be within nature and enjoy calmness. Do not forget to get to the terraces to see the amazing view. 

Zeytintaşı Cave

Zeytintaşı cave is a karstic cave and is one of the natural beauties of Antalya. Your trip to Antalya would be so much richer after you visit this wonderful place.

The downside of the Zeytintaşı cave is 97 meters long, whereas the upper side of the cave is 13 meters long. One of the most important features of the Zseytintaşı cave is its spaghetti stalactites. They got the name spaghetti because they look like pieces of spaghetti since they are so thin and long.  

The downside of the Zeytintaşı cave is not open for visitors since it could be dangerous. The upper side of the Zeytintaşı cave is open for visitors since the year of 2002.

Day Trips from Belek

Even though Belek is an amazing place in Antalya, there are still so many more things you can do around while you are accommodating in Belek. Keep reading and see some of the day trip options from Belek to have a different experience.

Antalya City Center

While you are in Antalya, leaving back without exploring the Antalya city center would be quite sad. You can get to Antalya city center in the morning, and you can do lots of activities to the evening. Since there are lots of options to choose from in Antalya city center, preparing a to-do list would make things so much easier. The following are some of the places you can visit in Antalya city center:

  • Antalya Museum
  • Kaleiçi District
  • Karaalioğlu Park
  • Antalya Toy Museum
  • Murat Pasha Mosque
  • Iskele Mosque

Alanya

Alanya is one of the most touristic districts of Antalya. It is considered as one of the most significant districts of Turkey which has a shore. You can find various historical and natural beauties in Alanya. The distance between Belek and Alanya is around 104.3 kilometers, which is equal to one and a half hours of driving. Since the driving duration to Alanya is not that long, you can easily get there in the morning and come back to Belek in the evening.

In Alanya, there are so many places to see and so many activities to do. Preparing a to-do list before your day trip to Alanya is strongly recommended since you might be indecisive about where to go once you get there. The following are some of the places you can visit on your day trip in Alanya:

  • Alanya Castle
  • Alanya Archeology Museum
  • Laertes Ancient City
  • Sapadere Canyon
  • Kızılkule (a historical tower)
  • Alanya Tersane (shipyard)
  • Dim River

If you would like, you can spend your day trip in Alanya by participating in the boat tours.

Phaselis Ancient City and Cove

Phaselis is an area in Antalya that is around 99.5 kilometers away from Belek and is a good area to spend your day trip in. Phaselis Ancient City has a quite rich history with various legends, and ready to amaze you with all of its properties.

It is known that Phaselis Ancient City and Cove became under the rule of different empires in history. Phaselis Ancient City was an important center for trading activities. The Athena Temple in Phaselis Ancient City and Cove (which is known to be here but is not found yet) adds a lot of mystery to the area. Phaselis Ancient City and Cove occupy a big area, which makes it great for spending your day trip there.

You can find a buffet in the surrounding area of the Phaselis Ancient City and Cove, which makes your day trip even better. Also, you can go on long walks in this Ancient City with your loved ones. In any way, you can spend some quality time in the area.

Olympos

Olympos is an ancient settlement area that belonged to the Lycian Union. It is approximately 85 kilometers away from Antalya and 128 kilometers away from Belek. Olympos is a protected area since Caretta carettas give birth here.

Olympos is an area that is typically preferred by students, young people, and tourists. It has an amazing view, and it is away from the noise and crowd of the city. One of the most interesting features of Olympos is the treehouses. Treehouses add a different vibe to the area. Besides, there are lots of space for camping as well. 

On your day trip to Olympos, you can go hiking or have a picnic in nature. If you want a calm, relaxing day trip to get some rest, then Olympos is strongly recommended.                              

What to eat in Belek?

You can find food from all kinds of cuisines in Belek, and it might be difficult to choose from. You can find traditional Turkish food in addition to relatively light Mediterranean food. Belek food typically contains fish and citrus. Besides, there is some food in Belek that you must not leave before trying them out.

Kulak Soup

Kulak soup (kulak means ear in English) is considered the “traditional dish of Belek” and is made from chickpeas, meat, and Turkish ravioli. Kulak soup is quite popular in Belek and surrounding villages, and you can find this soup in most of the restaurants in Belek.

Kulak soup includes cubed meat, chickpeas, and Turkish ravioli in it with various spices. Do not get fooled by the name “soup” since it has lots of ingredients, it can make you full of only one bowl. Kulak soup is typically preferred at lunch, yet it can be preferred as dinner as well.

Bean Salad

Bean salad is an important part of Antalya cuisine, and Belek is one of the places in Antalya that you can find duly made bean salad. Bean salad includes beans, eggs, and tahini. Bean salad is typically not considered as a whole meal since it will probably not make you full by itself, so it is typically eaten as a side. Since it includes tahini, it might seem like you will feel a lot of weight on your stomach after you eat it but serving it cold decreases the degree of weight you will feel after you eat it.

Jams

Since Antalya is one of the most popular places to buy and eat jam, Belek is the optimal place to eat some jam. Bitter orange, which cannot be consumed as a fruit, is transformed into a jam in Belek and waiting for you to try it out. Isn’t it wonderful to find a way to eat this “forbidden” fruit? Besides the bitter orange, you can find other interesting jam flavors including watermelon jam and bergamot jam in Belek.

Jams are typically consumed in breakfast, yet you can always eat them as a snack or some sort of dessert. Make sure to try as much as jam flavors as you can. Also, since jams have a long storage life, you can buy them in small jars as a gift to your loved ones. It would be a great gift instead of buying typical things from souvenir shops (souvenir shops are still great). Afiyet Olsun to all of you!

Fish and sea products

Since you are in one of the best parts of the Mediterranean Region, how can you leave without trying out some fish from the Mediterranean Sea? Belek has a very wide scale in terms of fish options. Besides fish, you can find a variety of fish products including octopus, shrimp, and crab.

There are different restaurant options where you can enjoy your fish (or octopus) and watch the beautiful sea view of Belek. Trying squid in a Belek restaurant is strongly recommended since it is one of the most popular fish in Belek to eat. Keep in mind that there are lots of different fish that you can choose from.

Hibeş

Hibeş is an appetizer that is popular in Antalya, and you must try it on your trip to Belek for sure. It is not only consumed as an appetizer, but you can also see hibeş at the breakfast table in Belek as well. Habeş is made from tahini, lemon juice, garlic, and various spices. It has a quite dense flavor.

Classical Turkish Cuisine

Even though you are in Belek, remember that you are in Turkey and there is a delicious, big cuisine in front of you. Do not forget to eat some deliciousness of Turkish cuisine while trying the best dishes of Belek. I know there are a lot of options to choose from, but with a wisely planned eating schedule, you can try everything you want to try.

The following are some of the must-tries from Turkish cuisine:

Do not forget to try some Turkish drinks like raki and ayran with those dishes.

Nightlife in Belek

Tourists and actors on the street of the city of Belek at night with beautiful color lighting before Christmas.

A Christmas party in Belek Photo 206030865 © Krivosheina ElenaDreamstime.com

 

As I mentioned earlier, Belek has various hotels in it and the nightlife is mostly very alive in those hotels. You can find various shows, concerts, and clubs in hotels. In addition to the nightlife in hotels, there are different pubs and nightclubs in the center of Belek. Those pubs and nightclubs have a quite live nightlife where you can have so much fun. If you do not like being in too loud and crowded areas, there are places where you can spend your night relatively calmly when you are still having fun. 

There are various parties with themes, game nights, animation shows, discos, and live music options that you can choose from to spend your night in Belek. You do not need to worry about finding an activity to do at night in Belek, the only thing you might worry about is the fact that you might not have enough time to attend all of the events.

Shopping in Belek

Since Belek is a popular place that attracts thousands of tourists each year, of course, there are malls that you can go and shop. But if you want to buy some stuff that you can only find in Belek and want to get the most unique gift to your loved ones, then visiting the local bazaars that are open every Saturday is strongly recommended.

In those Saturday bazaars, you can find lots of interesting items that are not available in big shopping malls. You can find beautiful carpets, some handmade accessories, and even some traditional food. Of course, you can always get to the shopping center and buy some stuff that you need but do not leave before visiting the local Saturday bazaar at least once, or you can miss a lot of things.

Where to stay in Belek

Aerial panoramic view of resort at Belek, Turkey.
Aerial panoramic view of a resort hotel in Belek

Even though Belek is a small area, there are lots of options for your accommodation in Belek. Regardless of your expectations from a hotel, you can find a hotel that works best for you in Belek. If you want a comfortable stay where you do not want to worry about anything, you can choose one of the hotels where everything is included. Those hotels where everything is included have beaches, pools, big restaurants, and entertainment activities where you can reach without even leaving your hotel.

Besides, the accommodation options in Belek offer you a range according to your budget. If you do not want to spend much on your accommodation and instead you want to explore the area, you can find a place for that as well. There is a full pension, half pension, and only room facilities where you can have a much cheaper stay. If you want a place of your own, you can rent an Airbnb for your stay in Belek. 

Questions and answers about Belek

Belek is an impressive area in the beautiful city of Antalya. The following are some questions and answers about Belek that you might be curious about.

Is Belek a district of Antalya?

Belek is a smaller unit than a district. It is considered a neighborhood.

How far is Belek from Antalya?

The distance between Belek and Antalya is around 30-40 kilometers.

Which airport is closest to Belek?

Antalya Airport (AYT) is the closest airport to Belek.

What is Belek like?

Belek is one of the most lively, cheerful, modern, and fun places in Antalya. If you want to spend some quality and fun time, you must consider Belek as a destination point. Also, there are lots of activities to do depending on your interests as well.

What sea is Belek on?

Belek is on the Mediterranean Sea.

Is Belek beach good?

Belek beach is considered one of the best beaches in Turkey, so the answer is yes.

What is Belek known for?

Belek is typically known for the golf facilities and golf fields.

Is Belek safe for tourists, female travelers, and families?

Yes, Belek is safe for tourists, female travelers, and families. Belek is one of the most modern places in Antalya and Turkey, so getting in trouble due to surrounding factors is not common. Also, there are no reported terror cases in Belek.

What are the famous foods of Belek?

Citrus and jam are the most famous foods of Belek in addition to Kulak soup and Hibeş.

Is it wise to come to Belek with children?

There are lots of activities to do with your children in Belek, and you can find various facilities with a special children section.

İsmail Çamönü

Hi! I am Ismail. I am a digital nomad from Turkey. I lived in many cities around Turkey during my life and I am passionate about traveling. At Nomad's Guide to Turkey, I share travel tips for nomads, expats, and tourists who would like to visit Turkey.

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