|Since its founding
in the second century B.C. by Attalos II, a king of Pergamon, who named
the city Attaleia after himself, Antalya has been
continuously inhabited. The Romans, Byzantines and Seljuks successively
occupied the city before it came under Ottoman rule. The elegant, fluted
minaret of the Yivli Minareli Mosque in the center
of the city, built by the Seljuk sultan Alaeddin Keykubat in the 13th century,
has become Antalya's symbol.
Antalya The award-winning Antalya
Kaleiçi Marina and Leisure Center is considered one of the
loveliest marinas in Turkey. This center can well meet every tourist's
need worth its many souvenir shops, friendly cafes and restaurants as
well as yacht moorings and services. Sail in the morning and enjoy the
restful peace of the marina in the afternoon. The old city walls, lit
at night, lend an atmosphere of serenity and timelessness.
The Antalya Altin Portakal (Golden Orange)
Film and Art Festival, held in the autumn, attracts both participants
and visitors. The ancient theatre in Aspendos
makes an impressive setting for some of the festival's plays and concerts.
That could be more appealing than dreamlike
landscapes, grandiose mountains and the magnificent colours of the sea
and plants? Then contrast the lively holiday life with the quiet of ancient
ruins and you have a perfect vacation. Near Antalya are many things to
see and do; below are some suggestions for day-trips. You can walk behind
the cascade, a thrilling experience; at the Upper Düden Waterfalls,
l4 km northeast of Antalya. On the way to Lara Beach,
the Lower Düden Waterfalls plunge straight into the sea. The nearby rest
area offers an excellent view of the falls; the view is even more spectacular
from the sea. Kursunlu Waterfalls and Nilüfer
Lake, both 18 km from Antalya, are two more places of superb
The sandy Lara Beach lies about 12 km to
the east. Closer to Antalya, but to the west, the long, pebbled Konyaalti
Beach offers a view of the breathtaking mountain range.
A little further, the Bey Daglari (Olympos)
National Park and Topçam Beach provide more
splendid vistas. Siçan is a lovely nature island.
There are camping grounds at the north end of the park should you decide
to linger amid the natural beauty. For a panoramic view of the area drive
to the holiday complex and revolving restaurant on top of Tünektepe
Saklikent, 50 km
from Antalya, is an ideal winter sports resort on the northern slopes
of Bakırlı Mountain at an altitude of 1,750 to 1,900 meters. In March
and April you can ski in the morning, eat a delicious lunch of fresh fish
at Antalya's marina and sunbathe, swim or windsurf in the afternoon. The
wildlife - deer and mountain goat in Düzlerçami Park,
north of Antalya are under a conservation program. On the way, you can
stop at the astonishing 115 meter -deep Güver Canyon.
On the eastern side of Çan Mountain, 30 km
from Antalya, the Karain Cave, which dates from
the Paleolithic Age (50,000 B.C.), is the site of the oldest settlement
in Turkey. A single entrance, lit by the morning sun, opens onto three
large interconnecting chambers. Although the little museum at the entrance
displays some of the finds, most of the artifacts are housed in various
museums throughout Turkey.
The ruins of the city of Termessos,
set inside Güllük Mourn, a national park northwest of Antalya, is perched
on a 1,050 meter high plateau on the west face of Güllük Mountain (Solymos).
A wild and splendid landscape surrounds the monumental traces of this
city. (A nature and wildlife museum is to be found at the park entrance.)
Renowned for its unspoilt landscape and flora
and fauna, the Göller Bölgesi (Lake District)
lies in a mountainous area 150 km north of Antalya. Burdur is known throughout
Turkey for its beautiful lakes, as well as for its carpets and kilims.
The city preserves excellent examples of Ottoman regional architecture,
in particular the Taşoda, Kocaoda (also known as Çelikbaş), and Mısırlılar
Konaks, or mansions. Dating back to the 17th century, both the interior
and exterior decorations reveal much of the Ottoman aesthetic, (Open weekdays
except Monday). The Burdur Archaeological Museum houses some very important
artifacts from around the region. (Open weekdays except Monday)
Burdur Lake, with
nice beaches for swimming, is a superb location for water sports. A climb
to the top of Susamlık Hill gives you a panoramic view over the city and
lake. The Insuyu Cave, 10 km south on the road
to Antalya, is 597 meters long, with nine distinct pools, and chambers
filled with stalactites and stalagmites. A hundred kilometres southwest
of Burdur, in Gölhisar (Cibyra), are ruins,
mostly from Roman times, of an important ancient northern Lycian city
with a stadium, lower and upper agora, theatre, necropolis and large aqueducts.
Also in the region, trapped in the mountains 1,050 meters above sea level,
is beautiful Lake Salda, an ideal location for
relaxation and cooling off on the sandy beaches or in the lakeside cafes,
hotels and restaurants.
The mountains of the Toros
(Taurus) Range is up immediately behind the coast, the whole length -
from Konyaaltı Beach to the Kırlangıç Peninsula
- is a national preserve, the Bey Dağları (Olympos) National Park. The
history of this area, the ancient Lycian Peninsula, can be traced back
to the Neolithic Age to the settlements at Beldibi.