A world class touristic destination thanks to its bays embodying the spectacular beauty of the Mediterranean, its rivers, waterfalls and forests; Antalya is waiting for you with its antic cities and historical artifacts.
Surface area : 20.723 km2
Population : 2.328.555
The leading tourism destination of Turkey, Antalya is almost a heaven on earth. With its unique bays, natural beauties, the city that is the no. 1 holiday center in Turkey houses a good part of the tourists coming to the country. Another feature that helps Antalya attract tourists is its cultural past and its richness in historical artifacts. Antalya is a location that is also preferred for sports tourism in addition to those who visit the city for vacation purposes. Antalya welcomes around 3 thousand sports clubs every year by standing out with its climate advantages, accommodation opportunities and facilities. It also has enormous golf facilities and houses many international events in this field accordingly. Antalya is also the no. 1 congress region in the country; it hosts nearly thousand national and international congresses every year especially in winter months. Another feature of the city is the fertile agricultural fields along with its favorable climate.. Antalya is the most important agricultural production point in Turkey.
Antalya is a tourism city located at the south of Turkey with its center on the Mediterranean coast. It is neighbored by the provinces of Burdur, Isparta, Konya to the north; Karaman and Mersin to the east; and Muğla to the west. The southern part of the city is surrounded by the Mediterranean all along. Antalya coast, namely the Turkish Riviera is 630 km. long.
The city is accessible by land, air and the sea. Antalya Airport, which is open to international traffic is located inside the city.
Under the influence of Mediterranean climate, Antalya has warm and rainy winters, hot and dry summers.
The city of Antalya and the surrounding area was called Pamphylia, meaning “very fertile” and the western part of the city was called Lycia in the ancient times. People who immigrated here from the West coast of the Aegean Sea as of VII. Century B.C. established cities such as Aspendos and Side. Attalus II, King of Pergamum who reigned in mid 2nd century had besieged Side. The King, who could not take hold of Side, nearly 75 km to the east of Antalya, came to where today’s city center is located and established a city. The city was named after him as Attelia. In time, the city was called Atalia, or Adalia. Archeological excavations have proven that people were living in Antalya and its surroundings 40 thousand years ago. As of 2000 B.C., Antalya has fallen under the reign of Hittite, Pamphylia, Lycia and Cilicia city states and Persia, Alexander the Great and his continuation Antigonos, Ptolemaist, Selevkos and the Kingdom of Pergamum. It was later reigned by Roman Empire, Seljuk Empire, and during Anatolian Beyliks , under the Hamitogullari branch of the Teke clan. The center of the Sanjak of Teke in the state of Anatolia during the Ottoman period was the city center of today’s Antalya. At that time, this place was called the Sanjak of Teke. The current name of the province is actually a slight alteration of the name it had in the ancient era, and was granted during the Republican period.
KALEİÇİ (Old City): A big part of it was demolished and destroyed, it is surrounded by city walls in the shape of a horse shoe from the inside and the outside. The walls are a joint product of Hellenistic, Roman, Byzantine and Ottoman eras. The walls have 80 bastions. There are around 3 thousand houses with tile roofs within the city walls The characteristic structures of the houses do not only give us an idea of the architectural history of Antalya, but they also reflect the lifestyle, customs and traditions in the region in the best way. In 1972, Antalya Interior Port and Kaleici neighborhood was taken under protection as an archeological site by the “Higher Council for Immovable Historic Antiquities and Monuments” due to its authentic texture. The Ministry of Tourism was awarded with the Golden Apple Tourism Oscar by the World Federation of Travel Journalists and Writers (FIJET) on 28 April 1984 for its restoration efforts entitled “Antalya – Kaleiçi Complex”. Today, Kaleici has become an entertainment center with its hotels, pensions, restaurants and bars.
OLD ANTALYA HOUSES: In Antalya, the focus in the construction of old houses was more on preventing the sun rather than the cold, and ensuring some freshness since it is very hot in summer and warm in winter. Shadowy entrances and courtyards are features that facilitate ventilation. It is constructed as three storey, building with the ground floor serving as a warehouse and lobby.
YİVLİ MİNARE (FLUTED MINARET) : The first Turkish structure in Antalya. It is in the center, close to the port. According to the inscription on it, it was constructed during the reign of the Seljuk Sultan Ala ad Din Kaykubad (1219 – 1236). Its body, woven with tiles, is composed of eight half cylinders. If there had been a mosque adjacent to this minaret, it must have been demolished. Because the mosque next to the minaret dates back to a later period, to 1372. It was build by an architect named Balaban, during the reign of Hamitogullari, a Turkish Beylik.
ULU MOSQUE : It is also known as Kesik (Broken) Minaret. It was actually constructed as a basilica in the V. Century. A very little part of the original building remained intact, and altered in the Byzantine era. The monument was repaired during the Ottoman era, a part of it was used as a dervish lodge, and it was later opened for service as a mosque.
KARATAY MADRASA: It is one of the most important Turco-Islamic structure in the center of the province. It was build in mid XIII. century.
EVDİR INN: Up until the 20th century, transportation was available in the form of on horses and camels, commercial commodities were delivered using these animals. Caravans used to lodge at inns and caravanserais while on the road. Evdir Inn is one of them. It is located on the road that travels north from Antalya. It is 1 km to the east of today’s Antalya-Korkuteli road and 18 km to the city center. The most intriguing part of it is the lancet arched portal. It is a Seljuk work of art, built in early 18th century.
KIRKGÖZ INN: The second stop on the old Antalya – Afyon road is Kırkgöz Inn. It is situated in Pınarbaşı, Kırkgöz, at a distance of 30 km from Antalya. It is in good condition.
DÜDEN WATERFALLS: Located at around 10 km distance to the North-east of Antalya city center, this waterfall is one of the natural beauties that symbolize the city. The water falls from 20 m height. Its main source is the Kırkgöz district. The lower Düden waterfall is on the road to Lara beach. Situated to the southeast of the city centre, it floods into the sea from 40 m high cliffs. It is one of the natural wonders that symbolize Antalya.
KURŞUNLU WATERFALL: It is situated on the 7th km after you take the turn to Isparta at the 24th km of the Alanya road towards the east of the provincial center. This natural wonder is also one of the most visited places. The waterfall is like something out of a fairy tale. It is in a deep green valley. It takes about half an hour to walk around the whole surrounding area. The water forming little lakes is home to a lot of fish. It is also remarkable for its rich fauna. Düden, Kurşunlu and Manavgat Waterfalls have been featured in numerous Turkish movies. All of them are conveniently accessible by bus
LARA-KONYAALTI BEACHES : The natural wonder Lara Beach located at 10 km from Antalya provincial center and the Konyaaltı Beach on the west coast of Antalya city center are the most beautiful coasts of the city.
PERGE: It is 18 km to the east of Antalya, close to the Aksu district. It is a significant Pamphylia city since it is located on the trade route between Cilicia and Pisida. Its establishment dates back to the same time as other Pamphylian cities (VII century B.C.). Perge was an important city for Christians. Saint Paulo and Barnabas came to Perge. Wealthy people such as Magna Plancia added important monuments to the region. A theatre, stadium, Sütunlu Cadde (Columned Street), and an Agora are among the city ruins uncovered in Perge, where excavations first started by Istanbul University in 1946.
KARAİN CAVE: The ruins uncovered in Karain Cave, located at 27 km to the northwest of Antalya within Yağcılar district, pertain to the Paleolithic, Mesolithic, Neolithic, and bronze ages. This cave is a must-see.
ARIASSOS: It is situated at 1 km from the left turn off from Antalya-Burdur highway at the 48th km. Established on the slope of a mountain, it is worth seeing for its Turkish baths, and rock graves. At the entrance of the valley leading to the the city of Ariassos rises the most magnificent ruin of the city, the entrance door. This monument that dates back to the Roman era is called the “three doors” by the local people since it had 3 arches and therefore 3 entrances. A surprising characteristic of the city is that three quarters of the city is made up of the ruins of necropolis that is the extraordinarily flamboyant mausoleums.
WHAT TO EAT AND DRINK
What underlies the nutrition style of Yoruk people are the foods derived from animal husbandry and wheat. Fresh vegetables are produced at the coast line at a small amount, whereas going inwards, wheat and dried vegetables come to prominence. It is possible to find the whole world cuisine at the touristic hotels and restaurants in Antalya. But the local delicacies are as follows : sac kavurma (braised lamb on wok), tandir kebab, kölle (boiled wheat, beans, chickpeas, and broad beans), tomato cive, hibeş, arap aşı.
The information used in this section is taken from Antalya Provincial Directorate of Culture and Tourism. For more detailed information on Antalya, you can visit antalyakulturturizm.gov.tr website.