THE JOURNEY TO THE TURKISH RIVIERA

By plane to Turkey

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The Turkish Riviera in the southwest of Turkey is known as the Turquoise Coast. It stretches along the Antalya Gulf on the sandy shores of the Mediterranean Sea. After spending a week in Alanya in Turkey 2019 on Cleopatra Beach, this time we visited Konakli, staying at the fully equipped Nox Inn Deluxe Hotel right by the beach. We booked the vacation through the travel agency ╚edok, which included flights from the airline Smartwings, travel insurance from ERV European Insurance, air-conditioned bus transportation from the airport to the hotel and back, accommodation including Ultra All Inclusive, and last but not least, the services of a delegate. After high-altitude hikes in the JesenÝky Mountains 2023, this time we decided to primarily relax and only go on trips to the nearest surroundings of our hotel and admire the stunning Taurus Mountains from a sufficient distance.

The departure was scheduled for 3:55 AM. This time we decided to drive and park at the airport. At 0:30 AM, we began our journey to Asia, where the Turkish Riviera is located. The roads and highways were almost empty, so we easily reached Brno-Tu°any Airport in a short time. At the entrance, we picked up a parking ticket and started looking for a parking spot. It was full. Some cars were parked outside designated parking spaces, obstructing smooth passage. Eventually, after driving through many aisles repeatedly, we managed to find a spot in the sixth row. With our luggage, we headed to the departure hall, where boarding for our flight QS3804 was about to begin shortly. The departure hall was crowded because around the same time, a plane was departing for Zakynthos and a slightly delayed flight to Marsa Alam, both operated by Smartwings.

Check-in for flight QS3804
Check-in for flight QS3804
Boarding the Airbus A320-232
Boarding the Airbus A320-232
Belgrade
Belgrade
Turkish island G÷kšeada
Turkish island G÷kšeada

At the check-in counter, we presented our passports. Gradually, we placed our luggage on the conveyor belt, which the staff weighed and tagged. Subsequently, we received back our passports with boarding passes and baggage tags. We proceeded to the security check, where we placed our carry-on luggage, electronics, and metal objects on the conveyor belt. After passing through the security scanner, we retrieved our belongings. Then, we could purchase drinks and snacks for the flight. We went through passport control and then made our way to the departure gate, which was numbered 7 for our flight. After settling down for a moment, the staff checked our passports and boarding passes. We boarded the bus that took us to the aircraft. Upon climbing the stairs, we reached the door and entered inside. At the door, we were greeted by the crew, mainly composed of Heston Airlines employees, with whom Smartwings collaborated on this flight.

Our aircraft was an Airbus A320-232 from the year 2005. With 30 rows, it had a total of 180 seats. After the initial safety briefing, we took off into the night sky at 4:37 AM. We mainly flew at an altitude slightly above 10 km with a speed of over 800 km/h. We passed over Slovakia, Hungary, Serbia, and Bulgaria. Along the way, we spotted Szeged, Belgrade, the winter resort of Markudjik, and the Beli Iskar Dam in the Rila Mountains. Things became interesting as we flew over the Thracian Sea. Below us were the Greek island of Samothrace and shortly after, the Turkish island of G÷kšeada. We crossed the Dardanelles Strait, with wind turbines visible below us. Passing over the Edremit Gulf, we transitioned over land permanently. We saw many dams and the panorama of the Western Taurus Mountains. The dominant peak was Tahtali Dagi (2366 m), also known as Lycian Olympus. We began our descent towards Antalya Airport, where we landed at 7:58 AM local time.

Western Taurus Mountains
Western Taurus Mountains
Tahtali Dagi (2366 m)
Tahtali Dagi (2366 m)
Arrivals hall
Arrivals hall
Nox Inn Deluxe Hotel
Hotel Nox Inn Deluxe Hotel

After passport control and collecting our luggage, we received information from a representative of ╚edok at the travel agency booth in front of the arrival hall, and then boarded the bus bound for Konakli. We took the familiar route from 2019 along the four-lane D400 highway, running alongside the Antalya Gulf through Aksu, Serik, and Manavgat to Konakli. Before ăolakli, we made a stop at the same non-stop bistro for refreshments and restroom use. The prices for drinks on the bus were slightly higher than in 2019. Along the way, we admired the panoramic views of the Taurus Mountains, constantly present in front of us and beside us. In Konakli, passengers were dropped off at their respective hotels one by one. We were the third and final stop. The bus conveniently brought us directly to the entrance of the Nox Inn Deluxe hotel, so we didn't have far to go with our luggage to reach the reception.

Photo gallery: The journey to the Turkish Riviera