Antalya is located on the southwest coast of Turkey and is quickly becoming popular for its ancient history and modern Turkish culture. The town has quickly become a hot spot for tourists, seeking sun, with its Mediterranean climates. Not only the warm temperatures draw in the tourists, the well preserved Roman-Ottoman quarter of Kaleici, offering heart-stopping views of the surrounding mountains, as well as the Roman style harbour.
Although this city has been populated since the earliest times, it is unknown when the city was first inhabited. The oldest artefacts have been found in the Karain Cave and date back to the Palaeolithic period. It is thought that Antalya was founded by Attalos II, the King of Pergamon in the 1st century BC. It was first named after this founder, Attalia and used to base his powerful naval fleet.
Attalia became a Roman city when King Attalos III of Pergamon willed the kingdom to Rome upon his death. At this point, the city grew and prospered, with Christianity spreading through the region in the 2nd century. Emperor Hadrian visited and an arch, known as Hadrian’s gate was built in his honour.
Antalya became a major city in the Byzantine Empire until the Seljuk Turks from Konya snatched the city. In 1391 the Ottomans got back the city and this control lasted until the First World War, when the allies divided the Empire, giving Antalya to Italy. However, Ataturk’s armies put an end to these foreign holdings and took Antalya back when the Turkish republic was founded in 1923.
PLACES TO VISIT IN THE PROVENCE OF ANTALYA
Aspendos is 47 kilometres outside of Antalya and possesses the best preserved Roman theatre of the ancient world. Aspendos was an ancient city in Pamphylia, founded around 1000 BC by Greeks. Coinage from Aspendos was widely spread, indicating that in the 5th century BC Aspendos was the most important city in Pamphylia, deriving great wealth from salt, oil and wool.....more info
Termessos is 30 kilometres from Antalya and was once a Pisidian city, built on Mountain Solymos, at an altitude of more than 1000 metres. The city is surrounded by rugged mountains, making the ancient city very unique in appearance. Today, it is one of the best-preserved ancient cities of Turkey.....more info
Perga was once the capital of the Pamphylia region and lies 15 kilometres from Antalya. Perga was founded in 1000 BC and was set up inland, as a defensive measure to avoid pirates. Perga was also home to the great mathematician Apollonius, who studied under Archimedes.....more info
It is believed that Karain Cave was continuously occupied for 25,000 years. Archaeologists have discovered both human and animal bones and tools including stone hand axes. People can wander through the cave and there is also an onsite museum, featuring many of the discoveries.
Kemer is located 40 kilometres west of Antalya, on the Mediterranean coast of Turkey. The name originates from stone walls, which were built to protect the town from flooding, by the mountain stream. The town was only accessible by boat until the 1960’s when a road was built and major infrastructure was sponsored by the World Bank.....more info
CHIMAERA / YANARTAS
The town and national park of Chimera is known by several names, including Yanartas (flaming rock) and Burning Rock. These names all relate back to a cluster of flames that blaze spontaneously from crevices on the slopes of Mount Olympos, at around 250 metres above sea level. It is unknown the exact cause of spontaneous flames, but it is thought they are a result of methane emissions. It is thought that these flames have been burning since the 4th century and sailors used them as beacons to navigate their ships.....more info
Cirali is a small rural village, with beaches packed with mountains, rivers and creeks. The area is protected by the WWF since it is a nesting place for Caretta Caretta, also known as Loggerhead Sea Turtles.....more info
Olympos is a valley, located 90 kilometres from Antalya. The early history of Olympos is unknown, but the city was founded in the Hellenistic period, sharing its name with the nearby Mount Olympos. In the second century BC, the city became one of the six leading cities in the Lycian federation. During this period the Olympians worshipped Hephaestus, the god of fire. Olympos was then invaded and settled by the Cilician Pirates in the 1st century BC until the city was added to the Roman Empire around 78 BC.....more info
Finike is located on the south of the Teke coast, about 90 minutes outside of Antalya. Finike, which was formally known as Phoenicus was founded in the 5th century and used as a major trading port for Lycia. However, this port was always under attack from forces in Syria, Egypt and Rhodes, until the Byzantine Empire took hold of the port. Unfortunately even they could not contain control and eventually the Seljuk Turks took hold of the area in the 13th century, until the mid 14th century when the Ottoman Empire took over control.....more info
Kekova is an uninhabited area, only ever temporarily inhabited by Italians, before the population exchange in 1923. The small region encompasses the island of Kekova, the villages of Kalekoy and Ucagiz and four ancient towns; Simena, Aperlae, Dolchiste and Teimioussa.....more info
KALEKOY / SIMENA
Kalekoy is located on the Mediterranean coast between Kas and Demre. In ancient Lycian times, the town was known as Simena. Access is only possible by sea. This popular yachting destination sits amidst a Lycian necropolis, which is partially sunken. Kalekoy sits below crenulated ramparts of a small Byzantine castle on the hill, which was originally built to combat pirates in Kekova.....more info
Dolchiste was an ancient town destroyed by an earthquake in the 2nd century. The site was rebuilt during the Byzantine period until it was abandoned because of Arab incursions. Now the ruins are partly sunken.
TEIMIOUSSA / UCAGIZ
Ucagiz, meaning three months, representing the three openings to the open sea, is a tiny village on the Mediterranean coast. Ucagiz is off-limits to development and has become an exclusive hideaway, with prices to match.....more info
DEMRE / MYRA
Demre, also known as Myra in ancient Lycian times, is on the Mediterranean coast of Turkey, in the province of Antalya. The town was important enough by the 4th century to have its own bishop and was the home of Saint Nicholas of Myra, the original Santa Claus. Before the tourist boom began in the early 1980’s Demre was and still, the party is dependent on agriculture, with pomegranate, citrus fruits and vegetables being grown year-round in greenhouses. Local handicrafts, including rug making and the annual camel wrestling festival, also increase income for the town.....more info
Kas is a small fishing village in the Antalya Province of Turkey. Kas is surrounded by mountains, that are said to mimic human figures in a laying position, for example, Yatam Adam, meaning ‘sleeping man’. With a typical Mediterranean climate, Kas not only survives by its small sailing marina but its high yielding year-round agriculture. The crops range from lemons, oranges and bananas to cut flowers, honey, almonds and pine forests.....more info
Located on the Mediterranean coast Kalkan averages 300 days of sunshine a year. Being the only safe harbour between Fethiye and Kas, Kalkan survives off tourism, mainly brought in by boat cruises. The old fishing village is famous for its whitewashed houses on the small hilltop, which overlooks the bay. There are narrow winding streets, which are scattered with brightly coloured flowers.....more info
For our dedicated Antalya day tours follow the hyperlink provided here. Antalya Turkey tourism is a great way to explore eastern culture in Turkey. With Alaturka you can be certain that your trip to Antalya Turkey will be a holiday to remember. Chose us for your travels to Antalya Turkey.