Located on the Turkish Riviera, Antalya is Turkey’s largest international sea resort area and a famous tourist destination. Filled with ancient and modern wonders, pristine beaches, and wonderful hotels, cafes and shops, Antalya is a must-see destination for anyone visiting Turkey.
Ancient Wonders That You Cannot Miss
If you enjoy visiting ancient ruins and immersing yourself in history, Antalya is home to many wonderful structures. One of the places that you absolutely must visit is the ancient city of Phaselis. This town was once a great trading town under the rule of Alexander the Great. It is an ancient Lycian town that was first established nearly 4000 years ago. While the area is no longer complete, the ruins are breathtaking and you can still feel its splendor.
The rock cut tombs are very beautiful to visit when you are out exploring ancient sites. These tombs, cut into living roc in the side of a mountain, are nearly as old as the pyramids and are the resting place of some of the lost race of Lycians. These types of tombs are only found in a few places around the world.
Aspendos, located in the Belek region of Antalya, is home to a wonderful Roman amphitheater. This is a very well preserved ancient monument and is still used during the summer months to host the Aspendos Ballet and Opera Festival.
Another ancient wonder is located in the Gulluk Dagi National Park. This park has many wonderful things to enjoy and the scenery is absolutely stunning. While visiting, make sure that you wear good walking shoes because you will want to explore the Ruins of Termessos.
There are many other ancient sites that you can visit in this area. Make sure to stop at the Antalya Archeological Museum to see some incredible exhibits that have been taken from sites in this area.
Before you stop visiting historical sites, you need to visit two other places in Antalya. The first is Kaleici, or Old Town. This historical Ottoman city has retained most of its original appearance and structures. These stone structures still retain the classic Ottoman architecture. Stroll through the cobblestone streets and enjoy art galleries, unique shops, and great cafes.
The other must-see is the Church of Saint Nicholas. Nicholas once was mayor of this area and was well beloved. Most people now know him as Santa Clause.
Antalya Outdoor Adventures
You have never experienced a beach until you enjoy a day of sun and fun at Lara Beach. The beautiful Mediterranean water is perfect for swimming, diving, and all other water sports. The beach is impressive and clean and you can enjoy a full day worshiping the sun. During summer, sandcastle artists come to this beach to make their large and beautiful creations.
The geography of Antalya is filled with beautiful waterfalls. Two of the more popular waterfalls are the Manavgat Falls and Duden Falls. Each area is very scenic and has nearby tea gardens, cafes and shops.
The Chimaera is a wonder that you cannot miss. Eternal fire burns from these large stones. Burning for as long as anyone can remember, and even recorded in ancient documents, the fire comes from gasses pushing up from the earth between the stones. The gas ignites when it hits air. The fires cannot be extinguished.
Koprulu Kanyon National Park. This beautiful national park was formed by the Kopru River and is one of the finest places to go river rafting in Turkey. Koprulu Kaynon is the longest canyon in Turkey. The park is filled with wildlife and the river is brimming with trout for those who enjoy fishing. Deep within the park are the ruins of the ancient city of Selge.
There are also many hiking trails, horseback riding opportunities and water adventures that you can enjoy while you are visiting. There are also golf opportunities and a fabulous water park that you can spend the afternoon enjoying.
Other Points Of Interest
Depending on the time of year that you visit Antalya, you can enjoy many different festivals. The city holds a yearly film festival, many different cultural festivals, the Ballet and Opera at the Roman Amphitheater, triathlon events, volleyball tournaments, and even a Saint Nicholas festival in December.
There are many different scenic tours that you can take to different ruins, national parks and cultural centers in and around the area. Day trips are also available for exciting visits to places outside of the city.
There is a lot of entertainment in and around the port area, including some of the most fantastic resorts you could ever imagine. Many of these resorts have their own forms of entertainment for their clients that can add to your overall excitement.
There are many different areas where you can enjoy fine or casual dining. Make sure that you stoip into a traditional Turkish diner for some fabulous ethnic food and follow it with the world’s best coffee and dessert.
There are also many trendy and traditional shops that you can enjoy. The area is filled with craftsmen and artisans that have very unique creations. For those who enjoy hunting through open air markets, Antalya will be pleasing.
You will find that when it is time to leave Antalya you will already start making plans to return. This beautiful historical town offers so much that it could take a full lifetime to fully explore everything that it contains.