27 Things To Do in the Manavgat District [City]

Last Updated by Heike on June 18, 2021
27 Things To Do in Manavgat District in Antalya Turkey

If you like nature and the local lifestyle, Manavgat is the ideal place to stay in the Antalya Region. Manavgat is 70 kms from Antalya city center and offers you a different experience.

In Manavgat, there are shopping options, various sport options, boat cruises, historical sites to visit, and incredible resorts with great service at affordable prices.

In this article, you will find a complete guide to the best things to do in the Manavgat district. We have also included popular day trips departing from Manavgat's beach resorts and city center.

Enjoy!

1. Visit the Manavgat Bazaar

There is a market every day in Manavgat.

The open-air market in the this small district town is one of the largest in the region. The fixed, covered bazaar in the town center takes place every day. Leather, jewelry, clothes, souvenirs, spices, hand-woven carpets, and much more are sold here.

Every Monday and Thursday, an additional market is set up in the side streets, which is divided into two areas. In one, you will find mainly clothes and textile products.

Here you can find many famous labels imitation products, whose import into Germany is prohibited. In the other part, farmers sell their regional products. In this part, everything is about fruit and vegetables.

2. Manavgat River Cruise

The Manavgat River, one of the most important in the Mediterranean, flows through the middle of the city and then empties into the Mediterranean Sea.

Boat trips across the river start from the center of town. They take about 3 to 4 hours and also take you past the impressive waterfall.

Here, the water plunges from 5-meter-high cliffs into the river creating an impressive spectacle. Read more information about it in our guide to Manavgat River cruises.

3. Manavgat Waterfall

The Manavgat River carries a relatively large amount of water all year round. Therefore, the waterfall can be admired in any season.

The waterfall, which is about 4m high and 30m wide, is located in a small park north of Manavgat. It's surrounded by a small forest and, in addition to its natural beauty, offers a pleasant place to cool off on hot summer days. 

At the waterfall, there are small cafés and restaurants, "Gözleme", which is thin, mostly spicy filled flatbreads, are said to be particularly good.

It's possible to join a day tour organized by tour operators to see waterfall. This type of excursion usually includes a Manavgat River Cruise, which ends at the waterfall.

4. Manavgat Yörük Museum

Yörüks are nomads who once migrated to Anatolia from Central Asia. They lived in the Taurus mountains in Antalya in the summer and spent the winter along the coast.

Many of them served as warriors for Turkish sultans in their conquests. By the time the Ottoman Empire reached its peak in the 16th century, the Yörüks had penetrated as far as Southeastern and Central Europe.

Today most of them are settled, some still practice high alpine farming in the summer. The life of these nomads was arduous and strenuous.

On an area of 4000 m2, the open-air Yörük Museum, shows 3 original tents that the nomads used, as well as numerous other everyday objects to give you an understanding of their traditions and customs.

5. Stay at a Beach Resort in the Manavgat District

With seaside resorts in Side, Kumköy, Colaklı, and Evrenseki, Manavgat is one of the most important tourist regions in Turkey. The entire coast of the Manavgat district is one long sandy beach. The best resorts are in Side and Kumköy, some of which are among the best-rated 5-star hotels in Turkey. Barut Acanthus, Cennet Side, and Barut Hemera resorts currently have the best guest ratings out of all the hotels in the Manavgat district. As a rule, the resorts are run with an all-inclusive concept.

6. Upside Down House

Upside down house in Antalya in Turkey

Up is down, everything is upside down, the whole house is turned on its head. Due to the 6 percent inclination with which the building is constructed, it looks as if it fell from the sky and then came to lie on the roof.

Inside, you practically walk on the ceiling of the room instead of the floor. All the furnishings, sofas, kitchen furniture, plants, and paintings are upside down and hanging above you, so it's easy to think you are walking on the ceiling.

Ters Villa or Upside Down House is located in the center of Manavgat near Nova Mall. The staff is very helpful and happy to give tips on the best photo spots. An exceptional experience...

7. Nova Mall

Nova Mall shopping center is located in the center of Manavgat. The range of goods includes clothing, cosmetics, toys, leather goods, shoes, jewelers, and much more.

120 brands are displayed in the shops and you will find well-known Turkish labels alongside internationally renowned labels. 

If you are tired from all the shopping, sit down in one of the cafés on the roof terrace and relax there for a while. Maybe you'd like to go bowling for a change?

Children are thrilled by the small rides in the children's land on the top floor and adults can have fun on the slot machines.

The food court offers a wide range of food and drinks for your culinary needs.

8. Visit a Restaurant

Even if you are staying in an all-inclusive resort, you should not miss the opportunity to eat outside the hotel complex from time to time.

In Manavgat and the surrounding area, there are countless restaurants and eateries that are worth a visit and provide an authentic atmosphere.

For example, we recommend Sultan Sofrası, which is located directly on the banks of the Manavgat River, or Q Beach Club Restaurant & Bar, a beach club with restaurant.

9. Stroll Through Side's Old Town

Side Old Town in Manavgat in Antalya

Side is primarily known for its beaches, but the old town is something you shouldn't miss. More than 3,000 year old ruins can be found here. The most famous is the Temple of Apollo, whose 6 white columns are the landmark of the city.

Also worth mentioning are the Roman theater, with more than 10,000 seats, and the ancient agora. If you are looking for a souvenir, just stroll down the main street in Side, where mainly leather, jewelry, textiles, and souvenirs are sold.

Everyone will find something here.

10. Take a Tour to Ormana

Tour to Ormana in Manavgat in Antalya

The village of Ormana is located in the foothills of the Taurus Mountains, about 95 kilometers from Manavgat and is famous for its button houses, built only of stone and boards without nails or cement.

Would like to go mushroom picking in the mountains? Here, you might find the morel mushroom. It's the second most expensive edible mushroom in the world after the truffle.

From here, you can go to Altınbeşik Cave. It translates to "Golden Cradle" and is 5.5 kilometers long, the largest underground sea cave in Turkey and the third largest in Europe. You can go inside the cave in rubber dinghies.

We recommend renting a car to get to Ormana. If you don't want to do that, you can join one of the organized tours that leave from Manavgat or Side.

11. Green Canyon Boat Tour (Oymapınar)

Wooden tourist boat sail in green canyon Alanya in Turkey

Near Manavgat is Green Canyon, which is one of the few canyons in Turkey that offer boat trips in the canyon.

The cruise takes you along a rugged rocky landscape over the Olymapınar Dam, which is one of the largest dams in Turkey, covering 470 hectares. The impressive canyon with its natural beauty and the Taurus Mountains provides the perfect backdrop. 

At the various stops you can jump into the crystal clear water, swim in the emerald green lake, and cool off. Usually, food and drinks are also included on these boat trips.

12. Side Archaeological Museum

Side Archaeological Museum

This museum mainly displays artifacts found during excavations in Side in the mid-20th century.

On display are collections of ancient coins from the Greek, Roman, and Byzantine periods, as well as statues and sarcophagi from the Roman period, a collection of weapons, jewelry, and utensils from different periods in history.

The museum's special feature is that it's housed in the city's ancient Roman bath, which were restored in the early 1960s.

13. Taurus Mountains Jeep-Safari

Jeep-Safaris are among the most popular tours in Antalya.

A full-day excursion in the Taurus Mountains offers a welcome change from beach and seaside holidays. In the province of Antalya, these excursions are organized everywhere, and your hotel will certainly be able to help you find one.

In a small group, you ride into the mountains in an open jeep. The vehicle moves slowly through the narrow and dusty roads between the pine forests, where some hidden villages are nestled in the mountain range.

The safaris take you 900 meters above sea level. When a river bed is crossed, children especially enjoy the "water fights" between the jeeps. Lunch is served at a trout farm. Depending on the tour, there are also short breaks for swimming.

14. Rafting in Köprülü Canyon

rafting at Köprülü Kanyon in Antalya

Turkey's largest rafting center is 70 kilometers from Manavgat, in Köprülü Canyon, a 366 km2 canyon and national park in Antalya. Here, you will find white water and rapids of all sizes and levels of difficulty. 

Rafting on 12 kilometers of ice-cold spring water under the scorching heat of the sun is a wonderful experience. Also, you can raft here all year round.

Within Köprülü Canyon lies Tazı Canyon, also called Eagles Canyon. It's a natural canyon formed by streams. To get there, you have to hike about 11 km through steep rocks, high in the mountains to finally be rewarded with a fantastic view.

In recent years, Tazı Canyon has become a popular Instagram motif. Pictures with the large boulders bordering the 300-meter-high cliffs are the most popular.

15. Spend the Day in Alanya

Alanya is located about 56 kilometers from Manavgat on a small peninsula.

The best way to explore the town is directly from the harbor. Here you will find the 33-meter high Red Tower, the landmark of Alanya. From the top you have a fantastic view of the surrounding area.

Nearby is the Seljuk Shipyard, which tells about the history of shipbuilding in Alanya. On the way to Alanya Castle you pass many traditional houses as well as Damlataş Cave, which is a fascinating beauty with its stalactites and stalagmites.

If you want, you can take the 900-meter-long Alanya Sky Tram up to the castle and enjoy the view of the famous Damlataş and Cleopatra beaches on the way.  

16. Take Your Kids to the Land of Legends

50km from Manavgat, near Belek and a bit off the coast, is a huge entertainment center called the Land of Legends.

Upon entering the resort, you are taken into the world of fairy tales, and the concept continues throughout the entire facility. It's not for nothing that the resort is called the Disneyland of Antalya.

The huge water park offers a total of 55 water slides and an attractive adventure park with all imaginable rides, including gondola rides on the canal, popcorn, donuts stands, and fairy tale characters wherever you look.

A true paradise for children. Especially worth mentioning are the shows every evening with lights and lasers and the amazing shopping mall with more than 100 shops.

This activity attracts millions of visitors each year and has been the #1 activity picked by tourists since it opened.

17. Ancient City of Lyrbe (Seleucia)

Lyrbe is about 12 kilometers northwest of Manavgat.

To visit the ancient site of Lyrbe, you have to walk through dense pine forests. The ruins are scattered over a very wide area and overlook the plain of Manavgat.

Lyrbe was surrounded by fortress walls on three sides at the foot of the Taurus Mountains and not very densely populated.

The ruins include city walls, monumental gates and towers, baths, temples, libraries, cisterns, churches, and tombs. The Agora, which was the commercial and administrative center of the city, is the best preserved in the region.

18. Visit a Hamam

Hamams were originally public baths used for cleaning the body. The interior is usually made of marble, and you pass through three rooms in which the temperature and humidity gradually increase.

In the middle of the third room is the Göbektaşı, a heated place to lie down. On the wall are small bowls that are filled with cold water and poured over the body to cool down.

Here the body is rubbed down with a kind of terry glove that peels off the dead skin and then you are washed with soap. Those who wish can have a massage.

Hamams for men and women are separate. Right at the beginning, the you will take off your clothes, shower, and wrap a towel, called a "Peştamel", around you body. Those who want can wear swimwear underneath.

An interesting experience...

19. Olympos Teleferik Cable Car

In 10 minutes, the red cabins of the cable car go from the beach in Kemer to Tahtalı Mountain, better known as Olympos.

With a length of 4,350 meters, the Olympos Teleferik cable car is one of the longest cable cars in the world. The ride up the 2,365 meter high mountain takes about 10 minutes. The panorama is stunning, even the ancient remains of Phaselis can be seen.

From the top of the mountain, in good weather, you can even see Alanya.

In addition to the fantastic view, various sports activities are offered at the summit, including paragliding.

20. Visit Antalya City Center

Visiting Antalya, just 75 kilometers from Manavgat, for a day trip can be a great option to escape the beach-hotel routine. Explore the city starting from the old town in Kaleiçi, the historical center. 

Hadrian's Gate, Hıdırlık Tower, Yivliminare Mosque, Kesik Minaret, and Kaleiçi, with its narrow streets, historic houses, and ancient marina, covers an area about 1 km in diameter. It's quite easy to explore all of it on foot. 

Don't miss Düden Waterfalls (Lower Düden Waterfall and Upper Düden Waterfall), and if you have time and feel like it, go to the Antalya Aquarium afterwards. Here, in a total of 64 tanks and 40 themed aquariums, you can see around 5,000 fish and underwater creatures. Particularly impressive is the world's largest tunnel aquarium. A 131-meter-long and 3-meter-wide tunnel passes under the tanks and makes you feel as if you are swimming with the sharks...

21. Aspendos, Perge, and Side Day Trip

This tour leads to Perge, one of the largest and richest cities of in ancient world. It's about 52 kilometers from Manavgat.

Among the important remains are bath complexes, four fountains, colonnaded streets, an agora, two basilicas, Hellenistic towers, palaces, a theater, a stadium, and a temple dedicated to the goddess Athena.

Aspendos is famous for its Roman theater from the 2nd century AD. It is considered to be one of the best preserved in the world and is still used as a venue in the summer months.

The coastal town of Side is primarily known for its beaches, but the old town, with ruins dating back more than 3,000 years, is well worth a visit. The most famous is the Temple of Apollo, whose 6 white columns are the town's landmark.

Full-day tours are offered from Manavgat, which take about 9 hours.

22. Quad Safari

A quad safari into the desert terrain of the Taurus Mountains is a special experience not to be missed. Drive the small four-wheelers on dirt roads, over sand dunes, and through the pine forests. By the way, the name Quad is a short form of "Quadricycle", which means four-wheeler.

Quad safaris are organized along the Turkish Riviera and you are usually picked up directly from your hotel. No previous experience is required and after a 10-minute briefing you can get started.

On average, the quad safaris last about three hours. An adventure in which you get dusty and dirty, but is an unforgettable memory.

23. Visit the Ancient City of Selge

Selge, once the most important city in the ancient region of Pisidia, is located about 80 kilometers from Manavgat at an altitude of 1,250 meters. According to legend, the city was founded after the Trojan War. Today, among other things, the remains of the city wall, the theater, and the agora can be visited.

Selge is located in Köprülü National Park. A narrow, winding road leads to the town.

24. Tazı (Eagle) Canyon in Köprülü National Park

tazı canyon in antalya in turkey

Within Köprülü Canyon lies Tazı Canyon, also called Eagles Canyon. It's a natural canyon formed by streams. To get there, you have to hike about 11 km through steep rocks, high in the mountains to finally be rewarded with a fantastic view.

In recent years, Tazı Canyon has become a popular Instagram motif. Pictures with the large boulders bordering the 300-meter-high cliffs are the most popular. But be careful, weeds grow on the rocks, making them very slippery in some parts. 

By the way, Tazı means "greyhound" and not "eagle"...

25. Nightlife in Side's Old Town

Side's Old Town at Night

Side is one of the few seaside resorts in Turkey with a vibrant nightlife outside the hotels, although there are many all-inclusive resorts in Side and the surrounding area.

The promenade is particularly popular, with many open-air clubs, bars, and restaurants lined up, offering everything from delicious cocktails to wine and ice-cold beer. Both locals and tourists like to spend their time here in the evening.

Consult our nightlife in Antalya guide and spend memorable nights in the best clubs, bars, and restaurants in the region.

26. Day Trip to Myra, Kekova, and St. Nicholas Church

With an organized tour to the ancient city of Myra, Kekova, and St Nicholas Church, you can spend an interesting day.

Myra is famous for its Lycian rock tombs, Roman theater, and the Church of St Nicholas, dedicated to the man who became the inspiration for Santa Claus. Later sainted, Bishop Nicholas of Myra is said to have been very active in helping the poor and needy.

Afterwards, enjoy a boat trip across the sea to the island of Kekova. Under the clear water you can see the remains of Simena, a city devastated by earthquakes about two thousand years ago.

Myra is approximately 150 kilometers from Manavgat. Day trips from Manavgat take about 10 hours.  

27. Excursion to Pamukkale

Travertine Terraces in Pamukkale in Turkey

Pamukkale is famous for its hot springs and white limestone terraces. Hot, calcium-rich water springs from the earth and pours over a cliff.

As it cools, dramatic travertines of hard, brilliant white calcium form pools. Pamukkale gets its name from these natural formations; translated, it means "cotton castle". The terraces are 2,700 meters long and 160 meters high.

Right next to the travertines is the ancient city of Hierapolis, whose ruins mostly date back to Roman times. Hierapolis and Pamukkale have been UNESCO World Heritage Sites since 1988.

Pamukkale is about 240 kilometers from Manavgat in the province of Denizli. Day trips from Manavgat take about 12 hours, with 3 hours spent at the travertines.

During this time, there is the possibility to swim in various thermal baths.

Here's a map to locate these things to do in Manavgat.

(Link to the map)

You are now set to discover Manavgat in the best way. What are the things you already did or the things you want to do in Manavgat? Let us know in the comments below.

If you liked this article, mention it in the comments below and make sure to check other towns and things to do in the Antalya Province:

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