Antalya, Turkey’s principal holiday resort in the Mediterranean region (ancient Pamphylia), is an attractive city with shady palm-lined boulevards and a prize-winning marina on the Mediterranean. Kaleici’s narrow winding streets and old wooden houses lean on the ancient city walls.
Lately, many foreigners have bought (and continue to buy) property in and around Antalya for their holidays or for the retirement. It became a popular area, especially for the German and Russian nationals. During the winter months its population is around 2 million, but in the summer times it doubles.
Within the wide boundaries of Antalya there is history, natural beauty and a rich variety of local lifestyle to be discovered. As the fourth most visited city in the world, Antalya offers you a peerless holiday experience.
The History of Antalya
Antalya was once the territory of the first tribes living in Anatolia and shaping the Anatolian culture. In the early ages of the Iron Age, the region hosted the Korykos people. In the Stone Age, the native tribes of Anatolia lived in four ancient regions: Klikya, Pamphylia, Pisidia and Lycia from east to west. There are many caves from the Stone Age, where indigenous tribes lived, and among them, Karain Cave has a very special value.
The region of Antalya passed through Persians in 546 BC. In this period, the Kingdom of Kyros spread all over Anatolia. This dating is based on the taxation system used until the arrival of Alexander the Great. This famous Macedonian king came to Pamphylia over Lycia and invaded all cities other than Sillon and Termesos. Just as in Anatolia, the Hellenistic Age was a fusion of cultures in Antalya.
After the Apameia Agreement (188 AD), the Romans left the entire region outside of Lycia to the Kingdom of Pergamon. Immediately after this period (159-138 AD), II. Attalos established Ataliay as a paradise on earth and gave it this name.
In 43 AD, Claudius declared Lycia a Roman province and in 74 AD Vespasian established the Lycian-Pamphylian province by extending the boundaries of the province to Pamphylia and to the east of Lycia.
The general governor of the region was living in Patara, the capital of the Lycian League. Cities such as Side, Selge Aspendos, Syllion, Perge, Termessos, Phaselis, Olympos Aryekanda, Limyra, Myra, Kyaneai, Apollonia, Phellos, Patara, and Xanthos lived their golden age during this period.
The period of the collapse of the Empire began in the 3rd century and affected this region as well. The Arab attacks and the search for the booty of the Arabs constituted the last sad events of the Middle Ages. The people were starting to leave ancient cities in distress. Myra Bishop Santa Claus, who lived and died here, was like a last gift to the people of the region at the beginning of this age. In 1207 AD, Gıyaseddin Keyhusrev annexed the region to the Seljuk lands. In particular, Alanya and Antalya have existed as Turkish cities, which are indicative of antiquity since this date.
The region today is a tourism paradise that presents natural wonders and all the mosaics of various cultures. With adventurous activity options and historical riches, Antalya offers such an exceptional holiday that visitors can spend their entire time with pleasure.
Old Town (Kaleici)
Antalya Antique City is protected by two thick walls in the shape of a horseshoe. One of these walls is on the seashore and the other is on the land side. In addition to these walls, there are also walls separating the various settlements from each other. On the outer walls, there is a tower about fifty steps away. The construction date of these walls goes back to ancient times. The Romans laid the foundations of these Hellenistic walls. Then, the Seljuks expanded and repaired them.
When the walls were built, many stone blocks with ancient inscriptions were used and they were very well preserved until the 19th century. Today, however, remains of walls such as Hidirlik Tower, Hadrian Gate, and Clock Tower can only be found. The ancient cities and walls covered by the sea are now called Kaleici. The streets and buildings are still filled with many signs reflecting the history of Antalya. The characteristic buildings of the houses not only give an idea about the architectural history of Antalya but also reflect the lifestyle, traditions and customs of the region in the best way.
Narrow streets within the city walls run along the wall up the harbor. Yivli Minare (Grooved Minaret), Keyhusrev Madrasa, Karatay Madrasa, Iskele Mosque and Tekeli Mahmut Pasa Mosque are some of the important historical monuments within the city walls. The breathtaking landscape of the old city and the yacht harbor have been an inspiration to international painters, poets, and writers for a long time
When to go?
Tourism Paradise Antalya is a frequent destination for vacationers coming from both domestic and abroad with its natural beauties, historical and cultural items as well as holiday centers and beaches.
Antalya has plenty of sunshine, peerless beaches, orange gardens and unique streets to see.
Since the temperatures in Antalya are very high in summer and the humidity is too high, if you plan to make cultural and historical vacation, you can opt for the autumn months when the weather is cooler. The city enjoys the warm weather in most of the year and mild weather in winter. Watch out for the rains in winter!
How to go?
You can reach Antalya by land or air. Antalya Airport is located in Muratpasa region. In addition, buses to Antalya are organized from almost everywhere in Turkey. The sea buses also serve in the line of Antalya-Kemer and Kemer- Antalya.
Within the city, you can travel by public transport using the Antalya Card. You can also use Antray, bus, sea buses and nostalgia tram for city transport.
Things to Do in Antalya
Things to do in an important tourism center like Antalya do not end with count. You can enjoy entertainment and cultural activities in this city, home to one of Turkey’s most luxurious hotels.
- After strolling in Kaleici’s streets, go to the harbour and watch sea.
- Get on the nostalgic tram.
- Drop by Zeytinkoy.
- Make a pleasant yacht tour by going down to Harbour. Lots of tour options will be waiting out there.
- Do not forget to watch the sunset in the cliffs.
- Rent a bicycle from Kaleici and enjoy the city all day long.
- Have breakfast on Dim Creek.
- When it’s getting dark, step up to the Alanya Castle for Turkish coffee.
What to eat?
Bean Salad with Sesame Oil
Where to Shop?
Antalium Shopping Mall
Forsa 2000 Shopping Center
Jolly Joker Pub
Lobby & Lounge Bar
Havana Club Antalya
Popular Restaurants in Antalya
Antalya Fish House
Akdeniz Ice Cream
Kanatci Ali Asker
Natural Beauties (lakes, waterfalls, plateaus)
Molla Deligi Cave
Gulf of Antalya
Cave of Lovers
Mount Cebel-i Reis