Antalya is the largest city and year round Holiday resort on the Turkish Mediterranean coast. The Gulf is surrounded by the Taurus mountain range to the North and offers over 200 KM of beaches coves, bays, valleys, forests and picnic sites to explore and enjoy. Antalya is also one of those unique places in the world where it is possible in the same day to Ski on Snow in the Morning and Sunbathon the Beach in the afternoon (without the aid of an aeroplane).
DON'T LEAVE WITHOUT
- Visiting the Antalya Museum
- Walking up the gorge at Saklikent
- Seeing the ruins at Perge and Termessos
- Walking through Kaleici and the old houses of Antalya
- Taking pictures of the snowdrops in Akseki
- Buying a Dosemalti carpet
- Tasting the local jams and jellies
The City itself is well worth exploring from its award winning modern marina, through the enchanting narrow winding streets of the old quarter (Kaleci) or along the modern Palm Lined boulevards this city caters to all tastes.The region around Antalya are also well worth a visit, the resorts of Kemer, Beldibi, Belek, Kalkan, Kas, Side and Alanya are all within easy reach of the city as are the exquisite waterfalls of Manavgat or you can Antalya also boasts a host of Restaurants, Bars, Cafes, Aqua Parks and of course Discos ensuring that all the family is entertained from dawn and well into the night, making this an ideal spot for your vacation, no matter how old or young.
MUSEUM, HISTORICAL AND CULTURAL ITEMS
Antalya Museum :
Founded in 1922 by Süleyman Fikri Erten and housed first in the Alaaddin Mosque in the old city and then in the Yivli Minaret, the museum was later moved to its current location. The museum consists of 12 exhibit rooms and its gardens and open galleries. In these halls the history of Antalya is given in a chronological and instructive fashion starting with the first humans and continuing without interruption to the modern era.
Today the historical old city of Antalya known as Kaleici (the inner castle) is surrounded by two walls, most of which have fallen down. The inner wall encloses the harbour in a semicircle. As a result of restoration, Kaleici has turned into a major tourist centre with guest-houses, bars, shops and restaurants, and the Roman harbour has been turned into a modern, well-equipped marina. As a result of the restoration work, the Ministry of Tourism was awarded the Golden Apple (Tourism Oscar) in April 1984 by FIJET.
Hadrian's Gate :
The only city gate to have survived until the present day is the most attractive of the Pamphylia: Uckapilar (Three Gates), also known as Hadrian's Gate, which is guarded by one tower on either side. Built to honour the emperor Hadrian's visit to the city in 130 AD, the whole gate, except for the columns, is made of pure white marble. The reliefs and carvings are extraordinary.
The City Walls :
What remains today are a few bastions inside the city as well as Hadrian's Gate and its towers, the large tower facing the harbour and a few pieces of the harbour walls. One of the walls surrounds the yacht harbour and the other the city, almost like horseshoe. One of the remaining towers in the Castle Gate Square is now used as a clock tower. There are four gates in the city walls, which form entrances to the city.
Old Houses of Antalya :
With its hot summers and mild winters, the houses in Antalya are designed to provide protection not against the chill of winter but against the merciless heat of summer. The stone overhangs and courtyards help provide air circulation. The houses in Antalya can be divided into three types based upon the design of the main hall, which also serves as a storage area. The three types are I halls, L halls and U halls. In the design of these houses, great attention was paid to meeting the necessities of daily life, while also providing harmony with nature and the environment.
Situated 18 km east of Antalya, Perge is in the city limits of Aksu Bucagi. Because of its location on the Cilicia – Pisidia road, it was a vital part of the province of Pamphylia, and was founded around the same time as the other cities in the area (7th century BC). It was an important city for Christians of Perge who had worshipped the mother goddess Artemis. St. Paul and Barnabas visited the city and wealthy benefactors like Magna Plancia had a number of important memorials built here. Other structures include the necropolis, city walls, gymnasium, Roman Baths, memorial fountain and the Greek and Roman gates.
The ruined city of Termessos, lying 34km west of Antalya in a rugged mountain valley, was founded by the Solymi people, from the interior of Anatolia. Among the important remains are the 4200-seat theatre and the Roman stele that Augustus had built at the beginning of the first century AD. The Odeon, the covered meeting hall, has seating for 600 people. The five inter-connecting underground cisterns were used for the storage of water and olive oil.
Lying between Kemer and Adrasan is the ancient harbour village of Cirali, the ruins of Olympos and the site of the Chimaera. The history of Olympos dates back to the 2nd century BC when it was an important Lycian city, although it was empty by the 6th century. The Olympians worshipped Hephaestos (Vulcan) the god of fire, probably connected to the eternal flame, or Chimaera, which still emerges from the mountain. Known also as Yanartas (burning stone), the flame is caused by the burning of natural gas emerging from the mountain. Apart from the ruins, Olympos is well known for its simple treehouse camps, where most tourists stay, and a natural environment thanks to forests and vineyards near to a beautiful beach.
The ancient remains of Ariassos, around 50km from Antalya, are located on a slope and contain baths and rock tombs.
On the coast, 60km south of Antalya, Phaselis was founded by the Rhodians in the 7th century BC, and was known as the most important seaport in Eastern Lycia. On the west of the city is Hadrian's Gate, with shops and baths on either side. The city is accessible both by road and sea.
Believed to have been in existence since the 5th century, Limyra is still in existence despite a massive earthquake in the mid 19th century although was emptied in the 7th and 9th centuries after the Arab invasions. The city, which is 11km south, composes of three section; the acropolis, areas of settlement, and necropolis.
Excavations of this city reveal that it probably existed from the 5th century BC, and controlled much of the Arycanda valley. Having survived a destructive earthquake in 240 AD, the city maintained its prominence until the 11th century, and its most important structures still survive today
Demre (Myra) :
Demre was one of the most important cities of the Lycian civilisation. 25km west of Finike and 48km east of Kas, Demre was a place of settlement from the 5th century BC. The city was deserted in 9 A.D after the invasions of the Arabs. Rock tombs, theatres and the Church of St. Nicholas (said to be the original Santa Claus) are the most interesting sites in the town today.
Simena (Kale) :
Receiving its beauty from its history, sea and sun, Simena is accessible from Ucagiz. The submerged city and the ancient remains at the opposite island of Kekova island, make it a worthwhile trip. There are traces of Roman and other civilisations in Simena, the history of which dates back to Lycian civilisation. There is a small theatre carved into the rock, and Roman city walls.
The ancient city, 48km east of Antalya, is most famous for its theatre, probably the best preserved in Asia Minor. It is still in use today, and stages the annual Aspendos Opera and Ballet Festival every summer. It was the scene of a huge bloody battle between the Persians and the Greeks in 469 BC, and then ruled by the Spartans 120 years later. The city became part of the Seleucid kingdom after the death of Alexander the Great, and then became part of the Roman province of Asia in 133 BC. The famous theatre was built in the 2nd century AD, using a Roman design, and it is still intact. Ataturk was responsible for much of the restoration, who after visiting it declared that it should be used as a theatre rather than simply a museum. In addition to the theatre, there is an acropolis on a hilltop, of which the nymphaeum and basilica are still fairly intact. Opening hours: Summer 08.00 – 19.00; Winter 08.00 – 17.30.
It is between Kaş-Demre. It is an ancient submerged city 500 m far from the Üçağız Village in Mediterranean.
It is on Kalkan-Fethiye road,nearly 10 km before Kalkan and is located at the south.. The colorful ceramics in the center of the city reveal that the history of the city reaches back to 5 B.C. Besides its being the birth place of St. Nicholas,it was one of the most important seaports during the times of Alexander the Great. Three gated city walls,one of which leads to Patara, was constructed by the governor Modestus in 110 . One of the most important remnants is the theater currently buried under the crystal clear sandy beaches of Patara.
Founded on the Xanthos river basin,Xanthos is the biggest and the most ancient city of Lycia. Having being remained independent till the invasions of the Persians in 4292 B.C,Xanthos tried hard to defend against the invasions;however, upon realizing the remote victory the people of Xanthos first murdered their women then commited suicide as a whole.Afterwards 80 family imigrating to the region refounded the city but approximately 100 years later the city was totally destroyed by a great fire. Reesatblished city thenceforth strengtened its connection with west and became an important center.Still the city can not be saved from misfortune. Upon resisting to the taxes of the Roman Brutus, the city was ruined and the people were dragged into war. And Xanthos became the city of catastrophe. The city was founded around center of Lycia and outside it were the remnants of Roman city center. Roman theater and the findings at the west side of the theater still attracts the visitors. Harpy memorial on the rocks is one of the most important traces. Only the duplication of the work of art, the original of which is on exhibit in British Museum in England,can be seen in the region.
Kaş (Antiphellos) :
One of the Lycian towns,Kaş took its name from the Greek word "Phellos" meaning stony place. With its well preserved rock tombs and theater, Kaş is a wonderful town on the Mediterranean coast. Important mosques in the area are Yivli Minaret Complex, Kesik Minaret Camii, Bali Bey Camii, Muratpasa Camii, Iskele Camii, Karatay Medrese, and Ahi Yusuf Camii and Tomb.
The first stopping point on the road leading north from Antalya is the Evdir Han, lying 18km from the centre of Antalya, a rectangular structure made of cut stone and rubble. Its most interesting feature is the sharply pointed portal. Keykavus I had the han built between 1210-1219 AD.
Kirkgoz, 30 km from Antalya, is extremely well preserved, and although built by one of the sultans departs from the traditional style of their usual hans. It is made from cut stone and rubble.
YİVLİ MINARET (Alaaddin Mosque, Center):
It is in the city center of Antalya. It is the minaret of Alaaddin Mosque, which was converted into a mosque in 1230 by Seljuk Sultan, Alaaddin Keykubad.Catching one's eyes at the first look, Yivli Minaret considered as a symbol of the city. As its structure is cut up into slices by bricks, and constructed with 8 pieces of semi – cylindrical shape, it is named as Yivli Minaret. Very thick body had gained an aesthetic structure due to these grooves. Turquoise and dark blue colored Allah and Mohammad words are written to every direction of the floor.
Kesik Minare Mosque (Korkut Mosque – Cami – i Kebir, Center):
Seljuk Period piece of art, the mosque was previously constructed as Panagelia Church in the name of Virgin Mary by Byzantium during 5th A.D., and turned into a mosque by Şehzade Korkut during Bayezit II. It is also known as Korkut Mosque or Cami-i Kebir due to this reason. It is renamed as Kesik Minaret as the mosque was destructed after the a fire in 1851.
Kale Mosque (Sultan Süleyman Mosque, Alanya):
It is at west side of the shipyard of Alanya. It was constructed by Seljuk Sultan, Alaaddin Keykubad I. As it was re-constructed by Sultan Süleyman between 1530 and 1566, it is also known as Sultan Süleyman Mosque.
Saint Nicholas Church (Kale – Demre):>
Myra (Demre) is known as the place where Saint Nicholas, known as Santa Claus (Father Christmas) in Christianity world, had performed his duty as a bishop. Moreover the church was constructed during 6th century as a memorial to Saint Nicholas after his death. Some remnants of Saint Nicholas tomb which has been stolen to Bari city by Italian sailors during the second half of our century are currently exhibited in the Antalya Museum. International Santa Claus (Father Christmas) Festival organized every year in Kale(Demre) and Kaş between December 6-8 turn into a symposium where foreigners have also participated in Antalya recently.
Aya Yorgi Church (Alanya):
It is thought that the church within the Alanya Castle, was constructed by Byzantium during VIth century A. D.