Antalya

Turkey’s leading tourism centre, Antalya, is now a metropolitan city. Tourism plays a dominant role in the city’s economy and that of the surrounding province, which bears the same name. Antalya is also one of the provinces of Turkey that has experienced a large flow of internal migration. The wealth created by tourism makes its presence felt in central Antalya in the tall multi-storied buildings and modern business centre. However; like Istanbul and Ankara, the city’s outskirts are ringed by slum housing and shanties. Contradictions characterise the development of Antalya, as they do in other big Turkish cities.

THE HISTORIC CENTRE AND THE OLD QUARTER

Visitors to the city should begin their tour of Antalya from its historic centre. The Hadrianos Gate, the Hidirlik Kulesi (Tower), the Yivli Minare (The Fluted Minaret), the Kesik Minare (The Truncated Minaret), the narrow, winding streets and historic houses in Kaleiçi (the Old Quarter) and the ancient port – now a modern yachting marina – are all located within a one km diameter. You can tour all of these sites by simply strolling. The Hadrianos Gate was built during the reign of the Roman Emperor Hadrian. (117-138 AD) to serve as the main entrance to Antalya. The massive structure still stands in all its magnificence. You must see it. According to Evliya Celebi, a 17th century Ottoman traveller, the city was surrounded by a 4.5 km long wall. The walls and towers of the city were repaired and strengthened during the era of the Seljuk Turks. The walls surround the ancient port and Kaleici (the Old Quarter). The Hidirlik Tower, on the south eastern edge of the walls, is a rotund 14 metres high, two-story edifice believed to be the tomb of a Roman senator. The Hidirlik Tower is located at the end of Hesapçı Sokak (Street), facing the sea. You can reach it by entering the Hadrianos Gate and walking south on Hesapçı Sokak. Another site one immediately sees upon entering the Old Quarter is the Fluted Minaret, or Yivli Minare in Turkish. Antalya’s symbol, the 37 metres high tower is constructed of red bricks. The Selçuk Sultan Alaattin Keykubat I built the minaret in 1230 next to a mosque that was destroyed and replaced in 1373 by the Alaaddin Mosque. The Truncated Minaret, or Kesik Minare, is another interesting structure in the Old Quarter. Originally built in the 5th century as the Church of the Virgin Mary, it was transformed into a mosque by the Ottoman Prince Korkut, the son of Sultan Bayazit II. The mosque was destroyed by fire in the 19th century and its once wooden minaret became known as the Truncated Minaret.

Now is the time to walk down the narrow streets of the Old Quarter to the port. The Old Quarter can be visited at all hours, but the best time in summer is the late afternoon or early evening. Authorities have restored and transformed most of the historic houses and mansions in the Old Quarter into hotels, pensions, bars and gift ‘shops that cater to tourists. Many have inner courtyards and it always a good option to have ice-cold drink in one of these courtyards, sitting under the orange trees, with many of the cafeterias, bars, and restaurants located along the walls of the Old Quarter also having scenic views of the old port. We leave the choice to you.

During the 1980s, the renovation of Antalya’s old port won a Council of Europe Golden Apple Award. The port, now a modern marina, is usually lined by many sailing boats and yachts. You can rent motorboats and small yachts in the marina for a tour of the Big and Small Waterfalls that plunge from Antalya’s dark-coloured cliffs into the sea. The short, tour takes one to the Small Waterfalls. The grand tour is to the Big Waterfalls that plunge 40 metres into the sea south of the Duden Waterfalls. We suggest a boat ride to Big Waterfalls. During the spring months, when there is a greater flow of water over the falls, the site is spectacular. Droplets from the cascading water will cool you down while you snap pictures of the falls with your camera. You can also take day tours or longer yacht trips from the marina. Travel and yachting agencies in the marina offer information and can reserve a place for visitors on the yachts. While touring Antalya, you will notice the city is one of the cleanest metropolitan areas of Turkey, with its clear unpolluted waters.

THE CLIFFS AND PARKS

Antalya is well known for its oppressively hot summers. The best way to escape this heat is to spend a leisurely afternoon at one of the city’s many parks. The Karalioglu Park, which surrounds the Hidirlik Tower, is one of these. You can sit in its coffee houses on the sea side of Cumhuriyet Meydani (Republic Square) and have your drinks. Another choice is Ataturk Park, facing the sea along Kenan Evren Boulevard.

BEACHES

One way to cool down in the summer heat is spending the daylight hours swimming and tanning at Antalya’s various beaches while leaving a tour of the town to the late afternoon or early evening. You can swim anywhere in Antalya by taking the many staircases down the shoreline cliffs to the sea, but if you are seeking beaches we can recommend two locations in Antalya: Konyaalti Beach, west along the road to Kemer, and Lara Beach on the eastern side of the city. Both have fine sand and offer many restaurants, coffee houses and buffets. Konyaalti Beach has become a beautiful site following environmental enhancement work undertaken in 2001. Half of the beaches and marinas in Turkey that qualify for the “Blue Flag” cleanliness and quality certificates are in Antalya. Among the 130 Turkish beaches and 12 marinas that hold the “Blue Flag” in 2003, 63 beaches and three marinas are in Antalya. Konyaalti the entertainment town as part of a major project, the Konyaalti coastline, which until recently only had a beach, a few restaurants and buffets, is being converted into the Konyaalti Seaside Complex.

ANTALYA BEACH PARK

A new beach complex has come into service at Konyaalti woods in Antalya. The Beach Park Antalya complex has almost everything for swimming, entertainment, eating and drinking, water sports, and shopping. Its long sandy beach has blue flag certificate. The facilities on the beach can be used for a fee. Arranged parallel to the beach are restaurants offering different tastes from all kinds of cuisines, bars, nightclubs, and shopping venues.

The ones who like activities like paintball and golf can do these sports in the woods just behind the facilities.

The water sports schools can be utilized during the day. The biggest Aqua Park in Antalya serves in the park area of the complex. Water and amusement combine particularly for the children. The breathtaking shows of the cute dolphins, white whales and seals fascinate the viewers, particularly the children, at the Dolphin Land that is one of the most favorite locations of the Beach Park.

Many restaurants, pubs, cafes, fast-food restaurants and bistros, where many alternatives appealing to every palate are offered, are at your service to provide the best…

The activities and shows that go on all day long continue during the night as well; open-air concerts, bars with live music, street shows and animations liven up the nights.

Antalya Beach Park

Dumlupinar Bulvari, Konyaalti Korulugu

Tel: 0.242. 249 09 00, Fax: 0.242. 249 09 09

 

 

 

 

SAKLIKENT AND GEYIK PINARI

If you go to Antalya in winter, you can also ski. While it doesn’t snow in the city in winter snow blankets the 2,200 metres high Saklikent (Hidden City) in the nearby Bey Mountains, where it is possible to ski for three months of the year. A regular shared taxi dolmus service operates to Saklikent, 48 km from Antalya, every day from the new bus terminal, the trip taking 1.5 hours. The Saklikent Ski Centre is situated at an altitude of 1,900 metres. Two ski lifts, one 750 metres long and the other 850 metres, serve visitors. The different ski runs are between 750 metres and 3,000 metres in length and are graded for skiers of varying levels of ability. Skis can be rented at the centre and there are also instructors giving classes’ for beginners. A cafeteria is situated next to the ski centre, but accommodation is scarce. In March, it is possible for hardy visitors to ski at Saklikent in the morning and swim in the Mediterranean in the afternoon.

ANTALYA MUSEUM

One of Turkey’s richest museums in terms of objects of antiquity, the Antalya Museum was the recipient of Council of Europe Special Jury Award in 1988. A visit to this significant museum is a must for all those coming to the city. Located on Konyaalti Caddesi (Street), you can reach it by walking along Cumhuriyet Boulevard. You can also take a bus or a dolmuş (shared taxis) from Kaleiçi (the Old Quarter). Objects found during archaeological excavations at the ancient cities of Side, Perge, Karataş-Semahöyük, Arykanda, Xanthos Lmyra, Patara and the tumuli of Elmalı and Bayındır are on display. The museum has several sections, including a children’s section where ancient toys are displayed. It also has sections on natural history, prehistory, Phrygian objects, the gods, small objects, underwater discoveries, emperors, funeral culture (sarcophagi), mosaics, coins, icons, and ethnology in thematic and chronological order.

 

Düden Şelalesi (Duden Falls):

One of Antalya’s most important public parks is located in the district of the Düdenbaşı. Duden Falls and its picnic areas are 12 km north of Antalya. Bus and minibuses operate to the site. The waterfalls aren’t the only attraction at Düdenbaşı. Narrow steps lead down to a cave where the verdant surroundings will greet visitors. Don’t forget to bring your camera. Visitors can enjoy eating at the area’s many riverside restaurants.

 

Kurşunlu Şelalesi (Kurşunlu Falls):

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Kurşunlu Şelalesi (KurşunluTalls):

Another major picnic area is the Kursunlu Falls. Located in a valley, it is surrounded by a thick pine forest. Numerous waterfalls, ponds, lakes, observation terraces, and hiking trails are to be found along the river in what is a national park. Go to the Kursunlu Falls when the summer heat gets to you. Stroll along the various fish ponds, surrounded by water lillies, and walk down to the caves behind the falls to be sprayed by cool water, and view the golden sun glistening on the cascade. Hike along the paths that run parallel to the river, walk through the dense foliage, climb trees whose trunks lie partly immersed in the water and cross the many bridges. And if you are still not satisfied, take the long tour along the river. After the tour, you can have a meal or drinks at one of the numerous coffee houses.

 

How to Get There?

Drive along the Antalya- Alanya highway. About 17 km away from Antalya, take the new Isparta highway and turnoff at the sign for the Kursunlu Falls and continue seven km along the narrow asphalt road. There is a small entrance fee.

Perge

Perge is one of the most significant ancient cities near Antalya. It is located 17 km from Antalya, just off the Antalya-Alanya highway. Take the turnoff to the left at Aksu, and follow the Perge sign. The ancient city is two km north of the main highway. A Pamphylian city, Perge is believed to have been founded in the 12th or 13th centuries BC. After Lydian and Persian rule, Perge surrendered to Alexander the Great in 334 BC. The city reached its zenith during Roman limes (2nd and 3rd centuries AD). The remains of the city visible today date back to this period and Turkish archaeologists are continuing excavations at the site. Entrance to the ancient city is through the Monumental Gateway, located near the stand where entry tickets to Perge are sold. A Byzantine basilica is situated on the right, followed by the agora, the city’s market place, with its many shops and stalls. You can see a public bath to the left on the southern side of Perge. As you continue walking along this path you will next come to two parallel walls. Symbols of Perge, the walls, which face the agora, date back to the 3rd century BC. The towers and gate were constructed during the Hellenistic period. A 300 metres long colonnaded street lies beyond this gate and ends at the Nymphaion under the acropolis. The well preserved Palestra, or training centre for athletes, is located immediately on the street’s left. The building was dedicated by Julius Cornutus to Emperor Claudius (41-54 AD).

The acropolis hill is at the northern end of the city on a flat plateau. The amphitheatre is one of the most magnificent sites in the city, with an estimated seating capacity of 15,000. The stadium, located immediately behind, is one best preserved of its kind, and is the second largest in Anatolia after that of Aphrodisias.

Düzlerçamı – Güveruçurumu

Take the Burdur highway from central Antalya. After Kepezustii, turn toward the Korkuteli. The Duzlercami Forest Picnic Area is located 17 km from the turnoff. Duzlercami is excellent for strolling in a cool atmosphere among the pine forests. The park area has a deer breeding farm to the right at the entrance. Some 20 deer are protected by high fences. The most striking part of the forest is the Guverucurumu Kanyon (Canyon). The 4.4 km long canyon has two observation terraces. A stream runs through the second observation terrace. The deepest part

of the canyon, through which a river runs, is 110 metres. From Guverucurumu, you have a panoramic view of Antalya. The canyon was formed through the erosion of the mountainside by the torrential river. The sign at the entrance to the canyon says it came was carved out of the rock one million years ago. A dirt road follows the canyon for 4.5 km. You can hike or drive to the last observation terrace.

Güllük Dağı (Gulluk Mountain)

(Mountain) – Termessos Milli Parki (National Park) After continuing 24 km along the Korkuteli turnoff, one comes to the turnoff for the Karain Cave to the right and the entrance to the Gulluk Mountain and Termessos National Park to the left. The Karain Cave is located 11 km from the turn. There is a small admission fee charged to enter the Termessos National Park. A picnic area surrounds the entrance to the park while the nearby museum exhibits examples of local flora and fauna in glass cases. The ruins of Termessos are a further 8.5 km up a winding mountain road. We advise | you to drive the distance. You won’t have any energy left to visit the ruins if you walk to the very top. You will notice various ruins as you drive up. These are the remains of the city walls and the so-called Royal Road. Termessos, perched like an eagle’s nest at an altitude of 1,050 metres, lies between the twin peaks of Gulluk Dagi, which is part of the Bey Daglari mountain range. The town | is spread over a wide area and is one of Turkey’s most | protected archaeological sites. When the city was founded is uncertain. Tablets discovered mentioned the citizens of Termessos as being members of the Solim clan, a tribe from ancient Pamphylia that spoke a Pisidian dialect. Because of the stubborn and heroic defense put up by its people, it became only city in Anatolia that Alexander the Great couldn’t conquer in 334 BC. Historical accounts had Alexander lifting the siege of the city, leaving its brave people and moving his army into the interior of Anatolia. During the Hellenistic and Roman periods, the city enjoyed great prosperity. No information exists of the city during the Christian era. You should speed up your tour of the city because of the steep trail that must be taken to city. The ruins are spread among the maquis and pine trees. We continue along western edge of the agora. The structure at the western end of the agora is the remains of the stoa of Attalus II, what was once a covered walkway built in the Doric style by the Pergamene King Attalus who ruled this area. Another stoa is situated on the eastern side of the agora, a gift to the city by a citizen named Osbaras. At the southern edge of the agora is a bouleuterion with ten metre thick walls. South of this structure is a temple dating from the 2nd century BC with a column in the Doric style. According to inscriptions that have been found, the temple was consecrated in honour of the city’s main goddess, Artemis. Another temple next to the Temple of Artemis was constructed in the late Roman period. Behind the bouleuterion is the Temple of Zeus Solymeus. The Pamphylians who lived in this part of Anatolia described themselves as Solimians. Zeus’ name here is important as it shows the roots of the local inhabitants. The 4,200-seat capacity amphitheatre, located on the edge of the cliffs, was constructed during the Hellenistic era. Shaped like a half circle, the seats had a view of the cliffs, one of the world’s most astounding settings for any theatre. Instead of returning the same way you came up, hike down the sharp trail between the gymnasium to the cliffs on the western side of the city. This will take you back to the Temple of Hadrian, but you will see numerous rock cemeteries. In short, Termessos is one of the most interesting cities of antiquity and must be visited.

 

Karain Cave:

To reach the Karain Cave, one must return to the Korkuteli Road and turn in the opposite direction from the national park’s entrance. After driving 11 km (turn right if approaching from Antalya), you reach the cave, located in the village of Yagca, in Dosemealti County. The cave is a settlement from the early Stone Age. Located on Sam (Katran) Mountain, facing the Mediterranean, it has a narrow entrance and passages linking three chambers. The chamber at the entrance served as a living room. The second chamber was used as a burial place, while the third because of its narrowness – probably served as a shelter and as a burial ground. You can view stalagmites and stalactites in the smaller second and third chambers, which progressively deepen. The Karain Cave is one million years old and is believed to have been inhabited from the Palaeolithic (Stone) Age to the Iron Age. From the inscriptions on the walls and the artefacts discovered inside, it is understood that the cave served as a religious centre during the Hellenistic and Roman periods. Excavations and scientific studies are continuing at Karain. Some of the artefacts that have been uncovered are on display at the nearby small museum.

Lara Beach and Kundu Tourism Centres

A new tourism center full of luxurious hotels is rapidly growing close to Antalya. Construction of new facilities and infrastructure works are being done in this region. At the moment, five facilities having approximately 9,500 beds are open. After completion of the construction works of the other facilities, the number of beds will increase up to 30,000. Aksu is one of the beautiful rivers that start from the Toros Mountains and flow into Mediterranean Sea, and is the closest to Antalya city center. Aksu district takes its name from this river. Aksu is right beside Perge, which is one of the most important antique cities of the region. The coasts of Kundu village that takes place at the point where Aksu River flows into the sea have magnificent beaches in front of the pine forests combined with the beach of Antalya-Lara. Kundu-Lara Tourism Center uses the advantage of its nearness to Antalya city center and to the airport, and is developing rapidly. The important factor that differs the new tourism center from the other tourism centers of the region is that the hotels being built are theme hotels. The hotels are open in summer and also in winter.

 

The Antalya Golden Orange Festival

Antalya Golden Orange Film Festival is the longest established film festival in Turkey. The series of conceits and plays that were staged in the historical Aspendos amphitheater in the mid-1950s were converted to the “Antalya Golden Orange Film Festival” in 1964. The symbol of the region, the orange, is intertwined with the sea, the area’s historical heritage and a status of Venus. The core mission of the festival is to support the Turkish cinema sector financially and spiritually, to encourage Turkish film makers to produce quality works and lay the foundations for Turkish cinema to open up to the world. The festival gained an institutional nature with the establishment of the Golden Orange Culture and Art Foundation in 1995 under the patronage of the Antalya Municipality.

 

Food and Drinks

 

Turkey’s world famous cuisine is a source of interest and delight for the tourists who come to the country. All visitors to Turkey try to sample as many different dishes as possible from this, one of the most famous and richest of world cuisines. The main reason for the wealth of Turkish cuisine is undoubtedly the Ottoman Empire, which expanded to encompass vast ethnically diverse areas. This multi-culturalism greatly influenced Turkish cuisine.

Modern Turkish cuisine differs greatly from region to region. If you consider the huge area Turkey covers and its diverse geographical nature, this should come as no surprise. Certainly tastes unique to various regions influence each other and during your visit you will sample an assortment of dishes in district to district areas.

In Antalya you can find restaurants serving dishes from many different regions. The cuisine of the Aegean region and the southern coast of Turkey are similar. As is the case in all Mediterranean countries, olive oil plays a major part, with other basic ingredients being supplied from the plentiful range of fresh fruit and vegetables. The variety of stuffed foods, the sauces based on garlic, olive oil and lemon or garlic yoghurt served with main dishes are an important element of Turkish cooking in the Aegean or Mediterranean regions. When you look at Turkish cuisine the importance of bread will immediately be apparent to you. One reason for this is the sacred significance attributed to bread in the Islamic faith. Bread accidentally falling the floor would instantly be retrieved by a Turk, who would regard it as sinful or immoral to treat on it.. In other countries dishes that are accompanied with pasta, potatoes or rice would rely on bread in Turkey.

A favourite food, one of many using dough, is borek (thin flat layers of dough stuffed with different fillings rolled or shaped and baked in the oven). It is impossible to leave Turkey without trying boreks, either homemade ones made with yufka (thin dough) or ready-made ones packed with various ingredients. Another bread like dish is gozleme (a thin flat round piece of dough with topping, folded over and cooked on an open grill), accompanied with ayran (yoghurt drink). Though both are served as authentic “fast-food” at holiday resorts, they are certainly prepared using 100 percent homemade ingredients by village women.

One of the most important features of the Turkish cuisine is fish. In a country surrounded by sea on three sides, areas that attract the most tourists, there is a wide range of fish, the price of which is very reasonable. In coastal areas you will find numerous fish restaurants and you can pick the one you like the most and maybe try a fish you have never tasted before, accompanied by either white wine or the traditional Turkish alcoholic drink raki (made of aniseed). Turks usually prefer to drink raki with their fish meal, but as it is rather strong we advise you not to drink too fast.

The Turks love desserts. The rich variety and beauty of Turkish desserts and sweets are world famous. This is how the concept of “Turkish delight” emerged. One should not forget Turkish tea, drunk from a special tulip shaped glass without milk. When prepared traditionally, the whole process of serving it seems like a ritual to foreigners, from its preparation to presentation its serving is like a ritual for foreigners! If you prefer non-alcoholic drinks we definitely advise ayran, lightly salted diluted yoghurt, especially refreshing in the hot summer when it acts like a restorative for your body after a long day’s wandering under the sun!

In most tourism centres but especially in Antalya international cuisine is widely available. You will have no difficulty in finding restaurants serving Chinese, Russian and Italian cuisine In Antalya.

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