On the edge of the Mediterranean Sea, Lara is an Antalya district located east of the city centre. Luxury hotels, water sports centres and restaurants line its sun-drenched stretch of sand and it famously hosts one of the most popular sand sculpture competitions in Turkey.
Things to do in Lara
Take the time to relax on Lara Beach, which has been awarded Blue Flag certification for its environmental management and safety. In addition to swimming in the warm waters of the Mediterranean Sea, you can rent beach umbrellas and sun loungers from the kiosks or grab a bite to eat at one of the cafes and restaurants that back the sands.
Lara is famed for its annual sand sculpture festival, which takes place at the open-air Sandland. Each year, a different theme is selected and artists create magical sculptures using nothing but sand. There’s an on-site museum where you can learn about the process of making sand sculptures and the creations are magnificently illuminated with LED lights after dark.
Want to swim with dolphins? Head to the Aksu Dolphinarium, which is home to not only friendly dolphins but also seals and sea lions. Trainer-led shows are held throughout the day where these intelligent creatures show off their skills. Afterward, you can jump in the water to swim alongside the bottlenose dolphins while learning about their lifestyle and communication abilities. Dolphin therapy sessions are also available.
Getting around Lara
Lara is around 25 minutes’ drive from the centre of Antalya and 20 minutes from Antalya Airport, which has flights to destinations across Europe and North Africa. Buses connect Lara to districts across Antalya while the beachfront area is ideally explored on foot.