In Antalya, the pine clad Toros (Taurus) Mountains sweep down to the sparkling clear sea forming an irregular coastline of rocky headlands and secluded coves. The region, bathed in sunshine for 300 days of the year, is a paradise of sunbathing, swimming, and sporting activities like windsurfing, water skiing, sailing, mountain climbing and caving. If you come to Antalya in March and April, you can ski in the mornings and in the afternoons swim in the warm waters of the Mediterranean. Important historical sites and beautiful mosques await your discovery, amid a landscape of pine forests, olive and citrus groves and palm, avocado and banana plantations.
The Turkish Riviera is Turkey’s tourism capital. Its full range of accommodations, from tourist class to deluxe hotels, and the hospitable people of Antalya will make your holiday comfortable and enjoyable. Set amid amazing scenery of sharp contrasts, Antalya, Turkey’s principal holiday resort, is an attractive city with shady palm lined boulevards and a prize winning marina. In the picturesque old quarter, Kaleici, narrow, winding streets and old wooden houses abut the ancient city walls.
Since its founding in the second century B.C. by Attalos II, a king of Pergamon, who named the city Attaleia after himself, Antalya has been continuously inhabited. The Romans, Byzantines and Seljuks successively occupied the city before it came under Ottoman rule. The elegant, fluted minaret of the Yivli Minareli Mosque in the center of the city, built by the Seljuk sultan Alaeddin Keykubat in the 13th century, has become Antalya’s symbol. The Karatay Medrese (theological college) in the Kaleici district, from the same period, exemplifies the best of Seljuk stone carving.
The two most important Ottoman mosques in the city are the 16th century Murat Pasa Mosque, remarkable for its tile decoration, and the 18th century Tekeli Mehmet Pasa Mosque. Neighbouring the marina, the attractive late 19th century Iskele Mosque is built of cut stone and set on four pillars over a natural spring. The Hidirlik Kulesi (tower) probably was originally constructed as a lighthouse in the second century. The Kesik Minaret Mosque attests to the city’s long history in its succession of Roman, Byzantine, Seljuk and Ottoman renovations.
When Emperor Hadrian visited Antalya in 130 A.D. a beautifully decorated three arched gate was built into the city walls in his honour. Near the marina the two towers flanking the gate and other sections of the walls still stand. The clock tower in Kalekapisi Square was also part of the old city’s fortifications. In the Ataturk and Karaalioglu Parks, with their colorful exotic flowers and the bay’s shimmering water in front of you and the mountains behind, you will have no doubt why Antalya has become such a popular resort. And Aqua Park, on the eastern coast, has every kind of water sports, including many interesting water slides. Renowned for its unspoilt landscape and flora and fauna, the Goller Bolgesi (Lake District) lies in a mountainous area 150 km north of Antalya.
Main events in Antalya
October: International Film Festival.
Major Sights, Things To Do Places To See in Antalya
Archaeology Museum, Hadrian’s Gate, Old Harbour, Upper and Lower Duden Waterfalls, Truncated Minaret, Fluted Minaret, Aspendos, Perge, Side, Termessos and Phaselis.
Access Antalya by Air: Antalya International Airport, 10 km from the city centre.
Access Antalya by Road: Direct bus connections from all the main cities.
Access Antalya by Sea: Port of call for Mediterranean cruises, ferry service to and from Venice in the summer