Where to Visit in Antalya, Things to do in Antalya, Antalya Attractions
Antalya is the largest city on the Turkish Mediterranean coast, and is one of the hubs of the so-called Turkish Riviera. Because of the archaeological and natural riches of the area, Antalya is also known as the Turkish Riviera. The sun, sea, nature and history combine to form a very popular resort, highlighted by some of the cleanest beaches in the Mediterranean. The 630km shoreline of the province is liberally scattered with ancient cities, harbours, memorial tombs and beaches, secluded coves and lush forests, many of which are easily accessible from the city.
With its palm-lined boulevard, internationally-acclaimed marina, and old castle with traditional architecture, all set amidst a modern city, Antalya is a major tourist centre in Turkey. In addition to the wide selection of hotels, restaurants, bars, nightclubs and shops, the city also plays host to a number of sporting events throughout the year, like international beach volleyball, triathlon, golf tournaments, archery, tennis and canoeing competitions. The Cultural Centre, which opened in 1995, hosts cultural and art events in the fields of music, theatre, and creative arts. The main area of interest in the city is central old quarter within the Roman walls, known as Kaleici, and there are many good museums.
Kumluca and the many coves between Antalya and Finike are home to some of the most famous holiday resorts in Turkey, like Kemer, Camyuva, Belek, Cirali and Adrasan. Closer to the city, Konyaalti is 3 km on west of the city, and Lara beach is 10 km on east and well connected by minibus.
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.
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.
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 declared that it should be used as a theatre rather than simply a museum after his visit.
In addition to the theatre, there is an acropolis on a hilltop, of which the nymphaeum and basilica are still fairly intact.
The cave is found inside the borders of Yağca Village which is at 5 – 6 km. distance to the old Antalya – Burdur highway, 30 km northwest of Antalya. The Karain cave which is one of the greatest natural caves of Turkey, is 150 m high from the travertine valley in front, ve430-450 m. high from the sea.
The cave stands in the period of the beginning of the history of the mankind, as the cavern was continuously accommodated by early humans during the prehistoric and classic periods starting from lower Paleolithic, medium and high Paleolithic, Neolithic, Calcolithic and Ancient Bronze stages. As a natural result of this, the cavern contains a thick cultural layer which can be 11 meters. But the longest and most important accommodation period of the cave is relevant with the Paleolithic period.
The usage at the classical period is more likely as an Offering Cave(Temple) and there are Greek inscriptions and niches at the cave exterior walls and ceiling. The archeological findings discovered from the archeological excavations done inside Karain Cave are displayed at the Antalya Museum and at the Karain Museum which is just near the cave.
Don’t Leave Antalya 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
You can detailed information about Antalya at http://www.kultur.gov.tr/EN/belge/2-20090/antalya.html