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pearl of the Turkish Mediterranean coast

Antalya, a town on the Mediterranean waterfront of Southwestern Turkey, is the great global sea resort of Turkey and is situated on the Turkish Riviera. For the favorable situation created by Antalya to enhance tourism, in 2012, it proved itself to be the most looked forward town in the world.

The Taurus summit of southern Antalya extends collateral to the Mediterranean in the east-west direction, which consequences the emergence of narrow littoral plains encircled by lofty mountains from three sides, sea forming the fourth side. Geographically, Antalya is located on a plain where the mountains retreat from the seashore, which comprises of twin flat zones, composed of travertine stone (35m high).

If you are planning a trip to Antalya, be sure to visit these tourist attractions:

Kaleici

Kaleici is the most popular part of Antalya, It is a rustic part of the old city where historic Turkish and Greek houses are under protection.

Old houses separated by narrow cobblestones are turned into hotels and tourist shops. Kaleici can be freely translated as "inner fortress". The ancient walls of this historical center preserve the treasure of history, and the most significant historic buildings date from the Hellenistic period are the Hadrian Gate and the Clock Tower.

Hadrian's Gate

Antalya is definitely best known to history buffs for Hadrian's Gate, which is still proudly built in the city walls in honor of the famous Emperor Hadrian.

The triumphal arch was built with three arches and four pillars, and is framed on both sides by two towers. The south tower, also known as Julia Sancta, dates from the Roman period, but is believed to have been built independently of Hadrian's Gate.

The foundation of the north tower was built in Roman times, but the upper part was extended during the Seljuk dynasty and contains inscriptions in Arabic. In addition to the four pillars, which are built of granite, the gate is made entirely of white marble.

Clock Tower

On Saat Kulesi Square there is an Ottoman clock tower and an 18th century mosque whose interior is decorated with beautiful tiles.

Old port

The old port of Antalya contains many boutiques, beautiful cafes, bazaars, yachts

Selcuk and Tuzcular

Selcuk and Tuzcular are basically full of touristy stores and rows or restaurants along the street sides.

Kilincarslan

The Kilincarslan is very gorgeous, irrespective of it being a bit quiet section. You shall find various gates to enter into exit from Quarter, but it is recommended to enter via Hadrianus Gate. This old quarter includes different areas, but one of the most liked areas includes the Fluted Minaret and Yivli Minaret, where the famed mosque and 125 feet high fluted minaret is situated.

Moreover, the Clock Tower and secured Roman port Yat Limani are other two sections of the Quarter admired by most of the visitors.

Other attractions include Broken Minaret Mosque (Kesik Minare), which is alluring remains of an ancient temple, which was consequentially transformed to a Christian Church and later to a mosque.

Hidirlik Tower

Hidirlik Tower (Hidirlik Kulesi) is a steeple on the extremity of the walls of the city with picturesque scene of the harbor and the marine. The tower probably once served as a guard post or lighthouse across the oncoming harbor.

Today it is a fantastic place to watch the sunset. There are great cafes nearby, if you need a recovery from sightseeing.

The home of Ataturk

The home of Ataturk (Ataturk Evi) is the residence where the foremost president of Turkey lived.

Other than the historic temples, towers and mosques at Antalya, you shall also discover some gorgeous beaches around. Antalya is still best known for its beaches

Konyaalti Beach

Konyaalti Beach is one of them, which is situated west of the town. Some segments of this beach include Aqua land, which features a gigantic structure of Beach Park and waterpark, Migros MMM, which is a titanic shopping mall, Antalya Aquarium, with the largest passage aquarium of the world and Aktur Luna park, which offers various fun rides.

Lara Beach

Lara beach is very long - about 10 kilometers in length. The part of the beach that is closest to the city is free. Furthermore, a series of various cafes for tourists begins, with paid deck chairs, and even further, somewhere in the last 3-4 kilometers of Lara beach, there are hotels. This part of the beach is the most comfortable, so if everything described below seems a bit wild, you just need to book one of the hotels on Lara beach, with its own dedicated space, where everything will be clean and well-groomed. The width of the beach line is about 45 meters. The entrance to the sea is shallow, the depth starts farther from the surf line than on Konyaalti beach, which is an advantage for families with children. The beach is marked with the Blue Flag of international quality for environmental friendliness.

From the city you can reach the beach by buses number 06, 07, 08. From Kaleici, from Ataturk Avenue, use bus number 38. The journey from the center of Antalya to Lara will take about 30-45 minutes.

In addition to the above attractions and sightseeing, Antalya is also full of plenty of fun things to do. It gives opportunity to all tastes of visitors to make their vacation a memorable part of their lives.

Antalya Museum

The Antalya Archaeological Museum is one of the best museums in Turkey, dedicated to the history of the region. It shows a wonderful collection of ancient objects from the Bronze Age to the Romans and Byzantines, which were found during excavations. One of the most important interesting exhibits of the museum are the ancient sculptures of Perga and Selective mosaics.

Mount Tahtali

From the top, you will get an opportunity to be amused by the scenic views of the Taurus summit and the Seacoast. If you are making your travel at winter, ski all the way down, or even paraglide!

If you are visiting Antalya in summer, don’t miss the sand festival, where skilled artists creates life size sculptures. The fantastic sand sculptures are made only with water and sand (by using approximately 10,000 tons of river sand). These works are not permanent, they are destroyed after the end of the festival. The festival is also organized in a different theme each year.

You can take part in the festival by making your own sand sculpture with the help of one of the sculptors around. There is also a children’s playground and workshop program for kids.

Near Antalya, you can visit several interesting ancient cities with impressive old ruins.

Phaselis

Other thing you can do is to visit the remains of Phaselis and the beautiful beaches out there. For your knowledge, Phaselis was once directed by Alexander the Great, and is a momentous trading location. It is located between the Bey Mountains and the forests of the Olympos National Park, 16 km west of the tourist resort of Kemer and 57 km from the Antalya-Kumluca road.

Demre

You can also have a three-hour drive to the metropolis of Demre from the center of Antalya town. You wont regret visiting this place, as you will love the majestic Lycian ruins of Myra and the church of St. Nicholas.

The ancient city of Aspendos

The ancient city of Aspendos is one of the main tourist attractions in Turkey. This archeological site is home to the Roman theater which is considered to be the best preserved in the world.

Termessos

Aspendos may have picked up most of the tourist fame, but Termessos is more popular. Neither the Greeks nor the Romans managed to tame the Pisidians, who protected their independence from the mountain peaks of Termessos. If you want to explore this location, wear good shoes and get enough water.

Perge

This was once the capital of ancient Pampilia, which was first imbued with the influences of Greek and then Roman rule.
Interesting to see are the Roman baths, the Hellenistic gate and the acropolis.

Olympus

Olympus, located between Adrasan and Kemer, is a place with archeological remains dating from the 2nd century BC.

Olympos was one of the most important cities of the Lycians. Be sure to visit Yanartas (Chimaera) where the eternal flame comes out of the mountain.

The region around Antalya is full of natural beauty.

Here are some of the best places to visit near Antalya.

Duden Waterfalls

Visit the majesty of Upper Duden waterfall which is located some 14 kilometers northeast of the city. On the way to the famous Lara beach there is Lower Duden waterfall which plunges directly into the sea. In its immediate vicinity there are many hotels with a great view of the waterfall, but still the most spectacular view is from the sea. So at any time you can jump on a boat that will take you to the waterfall itself and give you a good insight into its power. Opposite the Duden waterfalls only 18 kilometers from the city are the Kurunlu waterfalls and Lake Nulufer which are two places of supreme natural beauty and one of the most beautiful places in Turkey.

Manavgat Waterfalls

After all your excitements and sightseeing, relax at the tea gardens and on the Manavgat Waterfalls. You shall get your feet off and for your delight; the souvenir stores are open every time

Kursunlu Waterfalls

Kursunlu Waterfalls is located in the Aksu district. It is a destination ideal for family trips known for its large selection of entertainment and beaches

Karain Cave

The Karain Cave, near Dösemaltı, was inhabited by prehistoric man. Bones and teeth belonging to Neolithic man have been excavated here. If you want to relax from the city, this cave is ideal for you. It is recommended that you visit it when it is a working day and when you are less busy.

Gulluk Dagi National park

Moreover, explore the Gulluk Dagi National park. You will need few hours to scrutinize the entire park, so import some of your time. Also be ready with your best cameras to get marvelous clicks of some out of the world scenery and landscapes.

Chimera Mountain

At the top of the mountain, a fire comes out of the ground. This phenomenon is known as the eternal flame of Chimaera, and it is the fire that has been burning since ancient times. Local legend says it is a fire that comes from a monster, partly a goat, a snake and a lion. Today, however, it is known that it is a gas that comes from the depths of this mountain, but not from fossil fuels, but from a chemical reaction in the rocks.

Other things to see and do

Festivals

If you are visiting Antalya in summer, don’t miss the sand festival, where skilled artists creates life size diagrams to impress, so make yourself ready with your camera. Buy a ticket to Aspendos Ballet and Opera fiesta, which is played in the middle of June and July, in the Roman theatre in Antalya’s Belek region.

Food culture in Antalya

Since Antalya is a tourist region, you can find almost all kinds of world cuisine in restaurants. But if you opt for a local dish, iskender, tandoor kebab, meat stew, hibes and arapasi can be recommended.

Tandir kebab

made from lamb, thyme, salt and butter. A tandoor is a type of furnace made by digging holes and covering them with stones on the sides. Since the meat was baked in this oven, the name of the dish was "tandir", which means Tandoori. Today, however, they cook meat in different ways.

Meat stew

It contains diced lamb or veal, tomato, paprika, onion, salt, pepper, chili pepper and thyme. The meat stew is cooked in a clay pot and then the top is covered to keep out the heat.

Antalya is famous for its famous fresh fish and seafood specialties. Some of the best can be tasted in the Arma restaurant, located in the marina in the old town of Kaleiçi. Wide white terraces decorated with pink flowers are located just above the dark blue sea

7 Mehmet, the restaurant has nurtured its tradition since 1937. The restaurant offers on its menu almost 650 types of modern Mediterranean dishes and traditional Turkish cuisine, all in a beautiful courtyard by the sea, while sitting surrounded by palm trees and white umbrellas.

Shopping and souvenirs

Popular souvenirs are carpet rugs, eye charms (Nazar), leather products, ceramics and glass products, shoes, aromatic herbs. On the coast there are many shops with replicas of famous brands. When buying, we recommend bargaining. Negotiation can sometimes reduce the cost of goods by 40-50%. One large modern shopping center TerraCity is located on the road to Lara (resort area 10 km east of Antalya), the other called MarkAntalya is located not far from the old town.

Not far from TerraCity are the smaller Laura and Shimall shopping malls. In each shopping center you will find cafes and restaurants for every taste. In addition to the large shopping malls in the Lara area, there are also many boutiques of well-known brands of clothing, footwear and accessories. Branches of large retail chains Migros, Kipa, Carrefour, Macro are located in all districts. Not far from the shopping center Laura every Saturday since early morning there is a bazaar that spreads over several city streets. Although not as big as the Grand Bazaar in Istanbul, the offer is just as varied. There is a very large selection of clothing on the market at extremely affordable prices. In addition to vegetables and fruits, there are also cheap clothes and shoes of good quality, textiles, household items, bags and wallets, sunglasses and jewelry. The Güzeloba area also has markets on Fridays and Sundays.

A different view of vacation

A creative refreshment from luxury accommodation is Olympos Bay, a bay where young people from all over the world come to rest in wooden houses they have built themselves.

Probably the most famous complex of such houses are Kadir’s Tree Houses, where you can realize a child’s dream of sleeping in a tree house. Relaxation and a kind of hippie way of life are unsurpassed here, you can spend the day barefoot, lounging in hammocks or churning in natural river and sea pools.

The resort is surrounded by a white pebble beach overlooking the magnificent Olympos. The top, at 2365 meters, can be reached by cable car. The ride takes about 15 minutes, and the panoramic view from the gondola to the whole of Antalya, the surrounding nature and the sea is unforgettable. If you are looking for an adrenaline rush, you can embark on an adventure called bungee jumping at over 2000 meters.

A little over an hour’s drive takes you to arrive in a whole new setting. This is another treat for adrenaline lovers. Rafting on the river Koprulu is something you really have to experience. Driving towards the starting point of rafting, you will see a fast and wavy river through the window.

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