Antalya is one of the most popular regions for people holidaying in Turkey. It is a large, energetic city that is nested along Turkish Riviera on the Mediterranean coastline. Millions of people are attracted with the beautiful and historical features of the city. With numerous resorts and restaurants, swimming and sailing to mountain climbing Antalya offers something for every visitor.
Old Town, which is enclosed in ancient city walls, has narrow, is picturesque old quarter in the center of present day Antalya. In Old Town, narrow winding streets greet you with Ottoman style hotels, historic wooden houses, bars & restaurants. Old down was built at the Roman period to protect the harbor from the west and the passage of produce from the east. Today there are only two walls and one gate- Hadrian’s Gate- in Old Town, but originally several gates and huge stone walls surrounded Kaleiçi. Hadrian’s Gate is the best place to start to visit the Old Town. It was glorious example of Roman architecture and constructed in 130 AD to honor Emperor Hadrian’s visit to Old Town. Tekeli Mehmet Pa?a Mosque is one of places you must visit to see its stunning interior tile work. Kesik Minare, which was destroyed by fire in 1800s, is a place worth seeing. It was build as a Roman temple, was converted into a Byzantine church and finally became a mosque.
The Antalya Museum, which is located about a mile west of central Antalya in Konyaalti, improves your knowledge and understanding of these ancient civilizations, their Gods, culture and icons. More than 12000 artifacts related to history of Mediterranean and Pamphylia regions in Anatolia are exhibited in Antalya Museum, which is also known as the Antalya Archaeological Museum. The museum has 13 exhibition galleries and also open-air galleries that display prehistory, pottery, mosaics various statues and ethnographic collections. The museum has the best-preserved findings from the ruined ancient cities of Anatolia.
Aspendos Ruins and Theater
Aspendos was located about 25 miles from the modern city of Antalya and an ancient Greco-Roman city founded around 1000 B.C. Although it built in 155, it is one of the best well-kept theaters from antiquity. The theater is still functional and
Aspendos International Opera and Ballet Festival holds annual productions in the theater in the spring and summer.
Near the theater, there are ruins of a basilica, the agora, a nymphaeum, and more than nine miles of a Roman aqueduct and Eurymedon Bridge.
Temple of Apollo
Temple of Apollo is located outside of Antalya and not too far from the modern town of Side, which is a popular resort town. Many Greek and Roman ruins are placed in Side. The Temple of Apollo was near the ancient harbor but it is about 15 miles away from the sea today. There are 6 Corinthian columns on front and back of the temple, and 11 Corinthian columns on each side of the temple. The temple was built in honor of the God Apollo who was the god of light and truth.
If you are seeking for beauties of nature, you can visit Manavgat Waterfalls located along the Manavgat River just outside the town of Manavgat and six miles from Side. Manavgat River flows through Manavgat and out to the Mediterranean Sea. This makes the area very vertile for growing crops. The falls are not high but wide and the water flow so powerful that it cause an impressive sound as the water crashed over the rocks. You can find restaurants, cafeteria, and souvenir shop near the falls. In addition, there are boat trips that will take you along the river to explore the area further.
St Nicholas Church
St Nicholas who is also known as Santa Claus was a bishop in the church in Antalya where his dead body was laid to rest. The church was destroyed in an Arab raid and Constantine IX built a new St Nicholas Church later. However, Italian merchants stole the rest of St Nicholas in 1087. Today, the church is one of Turkey’s most important Christian pilgrimage places and the stunning Byzantine frescoes and mosaic tile floors are worth to visit.
Thanks to it is wonderful location on the coast; Antalya is a popular city for swimming, boating and a lot of marine activities. The marina has the bigger commercial harbor and port as well as the old harbor, which is called Kaleiçi Marina. At Kaleiçi Marina, there are boat trips to see the coastline which run anywhere from one hour for a quick look around to a full day tour that involves lunch, snorkeling, and swimming. There are also several smaller cafes, souvenir shops and restaurants in the marina. Additionally, it is a popular place for yacht owners with plenty of mooring space. The area is great to soak up the atmosphere of Antalya's waterfront, and take pictures of the magnificent scenery.
Konyaalti Beach, which is located on the western side of the city, is one of the most popular beaches of Turkey with 4,3 miles long. There are restaurants, cafes, snack stands and other facilities (such as toilets, showers and dressing cabins) in the beach.
The Kursunlu Waterfall is 20 minutes away from the center of Antalya and an perfect place for walking activities along the Aksu river. The area formed as botanical garden and there are 7 ponds connected by the formation of waterfalls and a pine forest that is an exceptional beauty. Also the riverside is perfect for a lovely picnic for refreshment.
Köprülü Canyon is a national park covering forested wilderness for hikers, canyoneers, rafters, horseback riders and campers alike. The canyon is more than 400 meters deep and it is famous for rafting experiences in Turkey. Rafting trips start at Oluk Bridge, which was constructed in Roman times and located 27 meters above the gorge, which is the perfect spot for viewing the canyon and turquoise waters of the Köprü.