- Visiting the
- Walking up the gorge at Saklikent
- Seeing the ruins at Perge and Thermessos
- 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
located in an area called Pamphylia, was founded by Attalus II,
King of Pergamum, as a port city in the 2C BC. The name of the
city, Antalya is derived from its founderís name.
Antalya had been a small city until very recently. Tourism has
made Antalya one of the largest beautiful spots. Parallel to
increasing tourism in the city, the population grows very fast
Kaleici, which means "inner castle" in Turkish, has tourism to
thank for its survival. Careful conversion of old houses into
dwellings or pensions has subsequently maintained the original
appearance of these fine buildings. Modern houses are not
permitted. The walls of Antalya were built in the Hellenistic
period but later restored and enlarged in the Roman and
Byzantine periods. The impressive Roman structure of Hadrianís
Gate was built by citizens of Antalya to commemorate the visit
of the Emperor Hadrian in 130 AD. Located in Ataturk Street, it
was made of marble and originally had two stories. It has three
arched entranceways separated by piers with Corinthian columns
in front of each. The gate is flanked by two 2C BC towers. After
entering through Hadrianís Gate, a little further away in the
old town center is the ruin of a mosque, Kesik Minare (Truncated
Minaret). This building was originally a Roman temple which in
the 5C AD was converted into a Byzantine church and finally in
the 13C made into a mosque. The Hidirlik Kulesi, a 2C AD round
tower, is thought to have been the burial place of a local
dignitary. The Yivli Minare (The Fluted Minaret) which became
the symbol of Antalya, is part of a 13C Seljuk period medrese
and mosque complex.
Except for these few places in the center of the city and the
Archeological Museum on the western edge of town, there is not
much to see in the city. It must be noted that the Archeological
Museum is one of the top five in the country, and not to be
Set in a scenery of sharp contrasts, Turkey's principal holiday
resort centre of Antalya is an attractive city with shady palm
lined boulevards and a prize-winning marina. In the picturesque
old quarter of Kaleici, narrow, winding streets and old wooden
houses abut the ancient city walls. Since its founding in the
second century B.C., Antalya has been continuously inhabited.
The Romans, Byzantines and Seljuks successively occupied the
city before it came under Ottoman rule. At Antalya, the pine
clad Toros (Taurus) Mountains sweep down to the sparkling clear
sea forming an irregular coastline of rocky headlands and
secluded covers. The region, bathed in sunshine 300 days of the
year, is a paradise of sun-bathing, swimming and sports
activities like windsurfing, water skiing, sailing, mountain
climbing and hunting. If you come to Antalya in March or April,
in the mornings you can ski the slopes and in the afternoons
swim in the warm waters of the Mediterranean. Important
historical sites await your discovery amid a landscape of pine
forests, olive and citrus groves, and palm, avocado and banana
plantations. The Turquoise Coast is the tourism capital of
Turkey. Its full range of accommodations, sunny climate, variety
of excursions and activities, and its warm hospitality make it a
sought-after venue for meetings and conferences. A Culture,
Exhibition and Congress Centre was opened in 1996 in the
Konyaalti Quarter. The Congress hall itself is in a glass
After Alanya, Akseki is the oldest district in the province of
Antalya, and has an appearance that befits its location in the
rugged Taurus mountains, in a forested and very rocky area. The
history of Akseki extends back to the Roman era, when it was
known as Marla (Marulya), and has been continually inhabited
until the present day. The developments in the tourism sector in
the Antalya region in recent years have been seen in Akseki as
well. The area is well known for the snowdrop flower, and every
years sees local and foreign visitors coming every winter to see
these flowers breaking through the snow, as the first sign of
In the Giden Gelmez Mountains, goats are protected and limited
hunting is available year-round with the purchase of a license.
Another spot frequented by visitors is the trout farming
facilities in the villages of Sinan hoca and Gumusdamla. The
primary game in the area is mountain goat, rabbit, bear and fox.
Other areas worth visiting are the Goktepe Highland, Giden
Gelmez Mountains, Cimi Highland, Irmak Valley and the 340-metre
deep Bucaklan Cave, which has only recently been discovered.
Buildings of interest are the Ulu Camii and medreses.
The exact founding date of Elmali, which is located within the
borders of ancient Lycia, is unknown. Excavations to the east at
Karatas near the village of Semahoyuk, and to the west in the
village of Beyler indicate that the area has been inhabited seen
the Bronze Age.
Throughout history it has suffered the rising and falling
fortune of the Lycian region, being ruled respectively by the
Persian, Greek, Roman, Byzantine, Seljuk and Ottoman empires.
Tumuluses There are several tumuluses in nearby villages. The
first is west of the city in the village of Mugren, on top of
which sits a small fortress dating back to the Roman era.
Surface-level archaeological research indicates that the area
was inhabited in the Bronze Age by various civilisations.
Another village to the west, Semahoyuk, has a tumulus but due to
the fact that an Ottoman cemetery is located on top of it, no
research has been done. The third and largest tumulus is in
Beyler, south of the city on the Elmali - Kas road. Excavations
conducted here show that the area has been continuously
inhabited from the Bronze Age right up to the present time. The
items unearthed in the excavations are exhibited in the Antalya
East of the city 6 km from the village of Elmali near the
village of Bayindir, there are several tumuluses side by side.
Artifacts dating back to the 7th century BC were unearthed
during the excavations. Now on display in a special section of
the Antalya Museum, these findings represent a cross-section of
life during that era. A statuette of pure silver and two of
ivory bear witness to the fact that the art of sculpture in
ancient Anatolia had reached a level of some sophistication.
Memorial Tombs There are tombs in Karaburun and Kizilbel. The
walls of the King's Tomb in Karaburun, on the Antalya - Elmali
road, is decorated with frescoes of scenes of hunting and war.
The tomb in Kizilbel is west of the city on the Elmali - Yuvayol
road, and is a single room made of limestone blocks.
Define Described as the Treasure of the Century, this was
discovered in 1984, just north of the Antalya - Elmali road
between the King's Tomb and the village of Gokpinar. Consisting
of 190 pieces of ancient silver coins, the treasure was smuggled
to America by antique treasure thieves. It is still on display
in the Boston Museum of Fine Arts as part of a private
collection. The Athens Decadrachme, 14 pieces each worth
US$600,000, is said to be the world's most valuable treasure
Mosques The most interesting mosques in the area include
Selcuklu Camii, Kutuk Camii, Sinan-i Ummi Camii, Omer Pasa Camii
Located 67 km from Antalya, Korkuteli is surrounded by Antalya
on the east, Burdur to the north, Mugla to the southwest and
Elmali and Kumluca to the south. The effects of the
Mediterranean climate can be felt here in this region of lakes
but the further one goes inland, the more continental the
climate becomes with cold winters and hot summers.
3 km west of Korkuteli is the Alaaddin Mosque, only the door of
which is still standing. In the same area is the Seljuk
religious school which bears the name of its founde,r and was
built by El Emin Sinaeddin of the Hamidogullari dynasty in 1319.
There are numerous ruins of ancient cities in the district
of Gundogmus, 182 km from Antalya. The important ruins are those
of Hagiasophia city, 7 km north of Guzel Bag Bucagi, but no
excavations have been conducted here. There are also the ruins
of Asar at Sumene (7 km from the city centre), Kese (2 km east
of the village of Senir) and Gedfi (11 km southwest of Gundogmus).
Other places to visit in the area include the Cem Pasa Camii;
the ruins on top of Sinek Mountain, 15 km east of the city
centre between Gundogmus and Pembelik; and the ruins of Kazayir
at Tasagir, on the Gundogmus - Antalya highway.
Situated 180 km
from Antalya, Gazipasa is a charming little town with a beach 10
km long, beautiful forests and turquoise blue coves. Iskele, the
site of the Koru and Kahyalar beaches, is an important breeding
ground of the caretta caretta turtles. Mostly undeveloped up
until the present time, Gazipasa is on its way to being an
attractive tourist centre with accommodation, recreation
facilities, an airport and yacht harbour still under
construction, as well as the natural and historical treasures of
Antiocheia Ad Cragum 18 km east of Gazipasa, and within the
village of Guney, these ruins gets its name from the Commagene
King Antiochus IV, and are found on the three hills that stretch
out towards the sea. It has the ruins of a castle dating back to
the Roman and Byzantine era, a column-lined boulevard, agora,
baths, victory arch, a church and the city necropolis. The
barrel-vaulted memorial tombs with their pre-entrance porticoes
are well preserved and reflect a style peculiar to the region.
Adanda (Lamos) This ancient city is located 15 km northeast of
Gazipasa, and was founded 2 km north of the present-day village
of Adanda, on top of a high and steep hill. It is a walled city
with a large tower south of the city gate, and among the ruins
are a fountain carved into the living rock and two temples.
Other significant ruins are the tombs in the necropolis made of
single pieces of carved stone. These remains are a good
representation of the culture and art of the mountainous
Nephelis This ancient ruin can be reached by going through the
village of Muzkent 12 km out on the Gazipasa-Anamur road and
taking the gravel road south for about 5 km. The southern area
is surrounded by the sea and steep cliffs. The city consists of
the acropolis and the remains of dwellings spread out in an
east-west fashion. The only standing structures date back to the
Roman and Byzantine periods and include a Medieval Castle, a
temple, a musical hall, irrigation system and the necropolis.
Selinus Located on the slopes southwest of Hacimusa Creek by
Gazipasa Beach, the ancient city of Selinus is one of the most
important cities in the mountainous Cilician region. On top of
the hill is the acropolis as well as the walls and towers of a
medieval castle, which are fairly well preserved. In the
Acropolis, a church and cistern have survived the ravages of
time. The other buildings of Selinus are near the beach and on
the slopes, among which are the baths, agora, Islami Yapi
(mansion), aqueducts and the necropolis. Most of the bones in
the Alanya Museum were brought from the Necropolis and allow the
workshop in the museum to exist.
Situated on the plane formed by the silt carried down from
the mountains by Alakir Creek and Gavur Brook, Kumluca is
surrounded by the towns of Finike and Elmali. In the upper
reaches of Alakir Creek fed by the springs coming from Onemli
Mountains and the Beydaglar Mountains, there are trout and
WHERE TO VISIT
Antalya Museum : Founded in
1922 by Suleyman 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 2 km further east. The
museum consists of 12 exhibition rooms and its gardens and open
galleries. In these halls the history of Antalya is given in
chronological order, starting with fossils, through the Stone
and Bronze ages, then through the classical and Hellenistic
periods. There are mosaics, the Gallery of the Gods, Phrygian
ornaments, and a room with Christian art that includes pieces of
the skull and jawbone of St Nicholas, the original Santa Claus.
The ethnography section has a collection of Iznik ceramics,
household implements and weapons.
Museum Tel:(+90-242) 238 56 88-89
Kaleici : 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.
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.
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.
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.
Perge : 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.
The first excavations began in 1946 by Istanbul University and
they resulted in many important discoveries: The theatre
consists of three main sections: the seating, orchestra and
stage. It held 12,000 spectators, with 19 rows of seats on the
lower section, 23 on the top section, and a 52-metre stage.
The stadium measures 34 square Meters, with 13 rows of seats on
top of the vaults. The eastern and western sides have 30 vaults
each and the northern side has 10. For every three vaults there
is an entrance to the stadium, and the other two were used as
The Agora was the commercial and political centre of the city,
with shops surrounding the central courtyard, some of which have
mosaics on the floor. The agora measured 76 square Meters, with
a circular structure in the centre with a diameter of 13.40
The colonnaded boulevard lies between the Hellenistic Gate and
the nympheum on the slopes of the acropolis. On both sides of
the street, 20 Meters in width, are porticoes, some up to five
meters high, behind which are shops. The street is divided into
two by a 2-metre wide water canal running through the middle.
Other structures include the necropolis, city walls, gymnasium,
Roman Baths, memorial fountain and the Greek and Roman gates.
: The ruined city of Thermessos, 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.
Other important remains include the Agora, with an open western
side and other sides colonnaded; the heroic memorial of Hereon
on top of a 6-metre high platform; the Corinthian-style temple,
the Temple of Zeus, the Lesser and Greater Temples of Artemis,
the gymnasium and the watch towers. In addition, there are more
than 1200 rock tombs.
Olympos : 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
Ariassos : The ancient remains of
Ariassos, around 50km from Antalya, are located on a slope and
contain baths and rock tombs.
Phaselis : 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.
Limyra : 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.
Arycanda : 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.
Aspendos: 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.
Kekova : It is between Kas-Demre. It is an ancient
submerged city 500 m far from the ucaðiz Village in
Patara : 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.
Xanthos : 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.
Kas (Antiphellos) :
of the Lycian towns,Kas took its name from the Greek word
"Phellos" meaning stony place. With its well preserved rock
tombs and theater, Kas is a wonderful town on the Mediterranean
Duden River :
Although it is one of the major rivers of the southern Anatolia
region, its length is not very long; 15 km / 9 miles. The water
which forms the river travels underground from sources 40 km /
25 miles far away. In Duden park the water surfaces and
continues till it reaches the sea. The water is used for
irrigation of most of the parks in Antalya.
Which in ancient Gr. means "land of all tribes" is
located on the Mediterranean coast of the Gulf of Antalya. By
looking at the meaning of the word, it is understood that
several tribes had been here at different times.
The northern and southern borders of Pamphylia were the Taurus
mountains and the Mediterranean Sea. The western border with
Lycia and the eastern border with Cilicia never stayed stable.
Four major rivers traverse the Pamphylian plain, each associated
with a city in ancient times. The Duden river was associated
with Attaleia, The Aksu river with Perge, the Koprucay river
with Aspendus and finally the Manavgat river with Side.
The histories of the cities of Pamphylia are similar with the
exception of Antalya, a later Hellenistic settlement.
EVENTS & MAIN SIGHTS & ACCESS INFORMATION
October: Altin Portakal International Film Festival
Main Sights in the Environs:
Arhaeology Museum, Hadrian's Gate, Kaleici Harbour, Upper and
Lower Duden Waterfalls, Truncated Minaret, Fluted Minaret,
Aspendos, Perge, Side, Thermessos and Phaselis.
Air: Antalya International Airport, 10 km from the city centre
Road: Direct bus connections from all main cities
Sea: Port of call for Mediterranean cruises, ferry service to
and from Venice in the Summer.