What to see in Turkey
Tourist attractions Antalya
Antalya, situated on Turkey’s ‘Turquoise Coast’, is a haven of sandy Mediterranean beaches and palm-fringed promenades. An eternally popular resort town, Antalya’s well-preserved old town and yacht-filled Roman-era harbour offer all the romance necessary for a blissful getaway on the Turkish riviera. Although many who travel to Antalya barely leave the comforts of their all-inclusive beach hotels, there’s many a historic and cultural gem to be uncovered in the oldest parts of the city, known as Kaleici, some of which dates back to Roman and Ottoman times. Take a stroll through the winding streets of Kaleici and you’ll feel as if you’ve stepped into another world compared to the tourist-centric resorts which typify this region of Turkey.
Naturally endowed with stunning landscapes, you can enjoy the tranquillity of the Taurus Mountains and the sea breeze of the Mediterranean coast on a holiday to Antalya. The Duden Waterfalls are just one example of the natural abundance of the region. From the atmospheric red-brick walled harbour of Kaleici to the hedonistic resorts of Lara Beach, Antalya is a fantastic choice if you want to combine the charms of Turkish culture with some well-deserved rest and relaxation. Tasty Turkish cuisine, sunset views and long stretches of sandy beaches make Antalya a holiday paradise.
If you choose a holiday to Antalya you’ll find there are a number of things to see if you tire of lounging on the beach. Your first port of call for a slice of authentic local culture is the old town of Kalieci, where elegant mosques and Ottoman monuments rub shoulders with crumbling Roman ruins. The Fluted Minaret Mosque is among the most recognisable icons of Antalya’s old town. Also known as ‘Aladdin Mosque’, its fairy-tale fluted minaret, decorated with blue tiles, dates back to the 14th-century. Today, the mosque houses an interesting Ethnographic Museum. From Islamic to Roman architecture, Hadrian’s Gate is a classical-style marble and granite arched gateway, erected for the Roman Emperor’s visit in 130 AD. Still standing at the eastern entrance to Kalieci, this imposing triple-arched gateway is one of the most impressive things to see in Antalya. A trip to Antalya is incomplete without enjoying the views from the old town’s Roman Port. Antalya rose to prominence on the Mediterranean due to its accessible natural port, and today, this yacht-filled harbour is still the heart of the city, surrounded by a smorgasbord of bars, cafes and restaurants. It’s the perfect place to enjoy a late-afternoon cocktail, as well as the starting point for boat trips around the scenic Gulf of Antalya.
Once you’ve explored the narrow alleys and historic relics of Kelieci be sure to visit the Antalya Archaeological Museum, one of the largest museums in Turkey. The collection of more than 5000 works of art tells the story of human civilisation in Turkey from pre-history to the modern-day, including exquisite Roman statues, church artefacts and Hellenistic pottery. You can’t miss out on exploring this museum if you travel to Antalya as it’s considered one of the country’s finest!
A holiday to Antalya is sure to include a considerable amount of beach-lounging and both Lara Beach and Konyaalti Beach are the most popular stretches of sand for visitors and locals alike to plot upon for a day’s sunbathing. Whilst Lara Beach is strikingly glamorous, filled with luxe resorts, restaurants and beach clubs, Konyaalti is well-known for its lively nightlife and bars and it’s also home to a family-friendly waterpark.
If you’re feeling refreshed from all that beach lounging and looking for more things to do in Antalya, a good day-trip destination, just 20-minute drive from the old town, is the ancient ruins of Perge, where you can discover the fascinating heritage of this region of Turkey. This well-preserved ancient Greek city is sure to whisk visitors back to the days of antiquity. An acropolis on the site is thought to date back to the Bronze Age, so history buffs will be in their element.
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