Located at the Southernmost tip of Turkey on the border with Syria, Hatay is historically one of the cultural hearts of Turkey. The gateway opening Turkey to the middle east, Hatay was once known as the cradle of Turkey. Opening the middle east to the world over the Mediterranean, those taking to the roads eager to discover, those walking in the footpath of history are all heading to Hatay, a soothing stop on their journey. Hatay is Anatolia's the centre of tolerance, where people of many religions and ethnicities have been living peacefully for centuries. Hatays history dates from 9000 BCE, having remained under the sovereignty of Hittites, Assyrians, Persians, Macedonians, Romans, Byzantines, Seljuks and Ottomans. Hatay was annexed to the territory of the Republic of Turkey in 1939. If you are interested in visiting the nearby workshop and quarry for the vast majority of statues and sculptures for the entire Hittite empire, visit our Yesemek destination page.
With its Antique cities, Museums, faith tourism centres, natural resources, plateaus, and savoury cuisine is today one of Turkey's most important tourist destinations. Hatay is easily accessible through direct flights from Istanbul, Ankara, Northern Cyprus, and also connected by railway and sea via Iskenderun which is the leading port in the region. Hatay is on the Syrian border, entry into Syria is easily possible through daily trips to Aleppo, which is only 45 kilometres from the border gates.
There is a broad spectrum of accommodation in Hatay from boutique hotels to 5-star luxury residences to family boarding houses and motels. The very first stop in Hatay for most visitors is most likely the Hatay Museum of Archaeology, a famous museum displaying findings from various historical periods. Exhibits are often being interchanged, in the district of Antakya. Ranking second in the world in terms of mosaic collection, and third, in terms of coin collection, the museum is often crowded with visitors from all over the world coming to see what is on display. Nearby to the museum you can find traditional chilling spots like the bazaar, restaurants selling traditional cuisine like Kebabs or deserts like ‘Kunefeh’, you will be blown away by the amazing cuisine there. St Peters Church is one of the biggest tourist attractions in Hatay, be sure to explore this magnificent temple while visiting Hatay.