Antalya is a city where the sea, sun, history and nature commune in harmony. Ancient cities, the sea, sun, beach, forest ... all are parts of this integrity.
Antalya is one of the most visited cities in the world and of course there are dozens of reasons for this. Those who love the sea, sand and sun and those who want to get lost in nature can find dozens of options in Antalya with the 640-kilometer coastline stretching from west to east on the Mediterranean coast, the Toros Mountains surrounding the city parallel to the coast.
In the far west of the city, on the Teke Peninsula there is an Ancient City called Patara one of the most important cities of the Ancient Lycian Civilization. As you move east, you can find nature in the bays of Demre and the traces of ancient civilizations at every corner. Kaş is one of the few diving centers in the world. Kemer is home to many luxury resort hotels and the magnificent Tahtalı Mountain (Tahtalı Dağı). Kaleiçi, which forms the center of the city of Antalya, brings together the ancient city of Attaelia, one of the most important medieval ports in the Eastern Mediterranean, the traces of the Seljuks and the natural wonder cliffs.
The Ancient City called the Perge is one of the important stops of St. Paul and the important port city which belonged to the Pamphylian civilization. It is an impressive historical center with its magnificent buildings. Belek is one of the important golf centers of the world with its specially designed courses. The Belek region is also prominent with amazing resort hotels, services, nature and facilities. When you move a little north from here, you will reach one of the best-preserved ancient theaters in the world, the Aspendos Ancient Theater (Aspendos Antik Tiyatrosu).
There is also the Manavgat Waterfall (Manavgat Şelalesi), which joins with the river with foams flowing meandering through the forests, the Temple of Apollo (Apollo Tapınağı) and the Ancient City of Side (Side Antik Kenti), right next to the sea, are home to a cultural asset that a day is not long enough to explore. Fascinating with its pine forests and waterfalls, Alanya is in the far east of the city with its historical castle extending into the Mediterranean.
Come and discover with your senses Antalya the historical city of the Mediterranean surrounded by the Toros Mountains (Toros Dağları), by seeing, hearing, tasting, feeling and listening!
Kaleiçi is located in the city center of Antalya and is home to boutique hotels, historical artifacts, museums, specially designed stores, stylish cafés and restaurants, Kaleiçi is surrounded by walls inside and outside in the shape of a horseshoe. Walls are known to be the common work of the Hellenistic, the Roman, the Byzantine, the Seljuk and the Ottoman periods. There are about 3000 houses with tile roofs inside the walls. The architecture of Kaleiçi outside the walls, on the other hand, bears the traces of the Ottoman architecture. The characteristic structures of the houses not only give an idea about the architectural history of Antalya, but also reflect in the best possible manner lifestyle, traditions and the customs in the region in the best possible manner.
It is possible to enter Kaleiçi through Hadrian's Gate (Hadrian Kapısı). This gate is one of the best-preserved historical buildings in Antalya. The building is a Roman work which was built during 130 CE in the name of the Roman Emperor Hadrian.
Perge is located 18 km east of Antalya city center. Aksu (Kestros) River (Aksu Nehri) was a factor that made the geographical location of the city unbelievably valuable in ancient times. It was also the life water of agriculture in the city.
Located 30 km northwest of Antalya, Termessos is one of Türkiye's best preserved ancient cities. The city was included in the scope of a National Park due to its natural beauty and historical artifacts.
Remembered for the strong defense of the Termessians against the siege of Alexander the Great, Termessos is in the section called Milyas in the Pisidia region. It is known that the Solym, one of the oldest peoples of Anatolia, founded the city. Under the Byzantine period and after the sources provide no information about the city.
Located 18 kilometers southwest of Kemer and about 58 kilometers southwest of Antalya, Phaselis is known to be founded by the colonists of Rhodes in the seventh century BCE. The geographical location of the city shows that it is an important port city. The city has three harbors, one in the north of the peninsula, the other in the northeast, and the third in the southwest coast.
Welcoming Alexander the Great with a golden crown in 333 BCE is one of the most important milestones of the city’s history.
Olympos is the second important port city after Phaselis on the southern coast of Antalya. It is located 85 kilometers southwest of Antalya city center and 45 kilometers from Kemer district center. The city is named after the 2,375-meter-high Tahtalı Mountain (Tahtalı Dağı), that is 16 kilometers north of it and is one of the western extensions of the Toros Mountains (Toros Dağları). It is within the boundaries of Beydağları-Olympos National Park (Beydağları – Olympos Milli Parkı). The exact foundation date of the city is unknown.
The temple gate is an important visible structure of the city located 150 meters west of the river mouth. The most interesting of the remains is the Tomb of Captain Eudomus (Kaptan Eudomos Mezarı), which was discovered during the diggings carried out by the Antalya Museum.
Located 200 km southwest of Antalya city center and 45 km southeast of Kas, Myra Ancient City (Myra Antik Kenti) was established within the borders of today's Demre district, on the plain of the same name with it.
The Ancient City of Myra is especially famous for the Lycian Period rock tombs, the Roman Period theater and the Byzantine Period Saint Nicholas Church (Aziz Nikolaos Kilisesi) (Santa Claus).
St. Nicholas Church and Museum
The respected religious personality of Saint Nicholas, who was born in Patara in the second half of the third century AD and became a bishop in Myra, made him a saint after his death. Saint Nicholas became the most popular saint in many European countries, especially in the former Russian Empire.
The tradition of Santa Claus, protector and delight of children in the northern countries of Europe, was integrated with the belief of Saint Nicholas and led to the creation of a semi-religious and extremely popular legendary character.
Located between Kaş and Demre districts, 195 km southwest of Antalya, ancient Simena, now known as Kaleköy, was a small Lycian coastal city. It was a strategic point inhabited from the fourth century BCE to the present. The ruin that reflects this feature most vividly is the castle that has remained intact until today. From this castle, it is possible to watch the best views of Kekova and its surroundings.
Located 108 km southwest of Antalya city center, within the borders of Finike district, Limyra Ancient City (Limyra Antik Kenti) covers the acropolis on the southern skirts of Toçak Mountain (Toçak Dağı), where the early period buildings are located, and the area within the Roman and Byzantine period walls, just south of it, on the plain that is now separated by road.
The name of Arykanda Ancient City (Arykanda Antik Kenti), located 30 kilometers north of Finike district center and 140 kilometers southwest of Antalya city center, is actually Ary-ka-wanda meaning "the place next to the high rock” in the Lycian language. The fact that the name of the city reflects the native Anatolian language in terms of philology indicates that Arykanda is one of the oldest cities in the region. It is difficult to trace the history of the city before the fifth century BCE, based on findings other than the stone ax dating to 2,000 BCE.
Xanthos – Letoon
It is known that Xanthos, whose history dates to 3000 BCE was the biggest administrative center and capital of Lycia in Antiquity. Letoon, which was included in the UNESCO World Cultural Heritage List in 1988 with Xanthos, is one of the most important religious centers of this period.
Located approximately 40 km west of Kaş, approximately 200 km west of Antalya city center, at the southwestern end of the Xanthos Valley, Patara Ancient City (Patara Antik Kenti) is one of the most important and oldest cities of Lycia. Patara Ancient City has been excavated since 1988 and is one of great importance not only for its archaeological and historical values, but also for being one of the rare beaches where the Mediterranean turtles Caretta-Carettas have laid their eggs for millions of years.
Sillyon is a city of Pamphylia. It was built on a flat hill with almost completely steep slopes. It is located 16 kilometers from Serik town center and 30 kilometers from Antalya city center.
Like all other Pamphylian cities, Sillyon is generally accepted to have been founded by heroes named Mopsos and Calchas after the Trojan War.
Located about 45 km east of Antalya city center, Aspendos is famous for having the best-preserved Roman Period theater not only of Anatolia but of the whole Mediterranean world. The city is established on a hilltop near Köprüçay (ancient Eurymedon), one of the largest rivers in the region. Today, theater and waterways are mostly visited spots in Aspendos, which owes its transportation and development with the Mediterranean to the nearby river and therefore to the fertile lands around it. Remains of other buildings belonging to the city are located on the plain of the hill where the theater leans.
The most important port city of Pamphylia in ancient times, Side is located on a 350-400-meter-wide peninsula, located 80 kilometers east of Antalya, seven kilometers southwest of Manavgat.
Side became a settlement in the seventh century BCE. In the sixth century BCE, the city was dominated by the entire Pamphylia and the Lydian Kingdom. Continued its existence under the rule of Alexander the Great for a while, however, the city changed hands between the Hellenistic Period kingdoms after the death of Alexander. The city was later ruled under the Kingdom of Pergamum, Rome and the Eastern Roman Empire.
Located 110 km east of Antalya city center and about 40 km northwest of Alanya, the castle sits on a sharp hill on the edge of the Alara Stream (Alar Çağı). It was rebuilt by the Seljuk Sultan Aladdin Keykubat in 1232, the Byzantine ruins in it were preserved and the castle gained its present appearance. The castle was built to protect the main trade route and Alara Inn (Alara Hanı). The merchant ships are thought to have arrived in front of the castle at that time. The castle contains inner and outer walls reinforced with towers. From the edge of the Alara Stream, you can reach the second wall with a ladder carved into the rock.
Located in the district center of Alanya, Alanya Castle (Alanya Kalesi) has been inhabited throughout history due to its difficult access from the sea, land and its natural shelter which is one of the best-preserved Medieval Age castles among hundreds of castles that are adorned in Anatolia. The castle looks like an open-air museum with its walls reaching 6.5 kilometers, 140 bastions, nearly 400 cisterns inside, magnificent, inscribed and decorated gates.
Antalya Museum (Antalya Müzesi) was founded in 1922 by teacher Süleyman Fikri Erten to protect the artifacts saved from the pillage of the occupation forces who came to the region after the First World War. The museum, which was first located in the Alaaddin Mosque (Alaaddin Cami) in Kaleiçi and later in the Yivli Mosque (Yivli Cami), has been moved to its current building of 1972. The Antalya Museum today consists of 14 exhibition halls on an area of 30 thousand square meters, open-air galleries where sculptures and various artifacts are exhibited, and a garden. The responsibility region of Antalya Museum is a significant part of Lycia, Pamphylia and Pisidia, three ancient cultural regions within the borders of Antalya Region, which is one of the spots with the richest history of Anatolian lands that have witnessed the history of humanity. Scientists from many countries conduct scientific excavations every year in Antalya, which is a unique open-air museum and an international excavation center with its archaeological richness. Numerous salvage excavations and landscaping works in the region are carried out by the Antalya Museum.
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