Antalya Highlights

Antalya is rich in natural and historical beauty. There are a number of sightseeing places, old town streets, historic monuments, beaches and ruins.

Zorhan Mokoele | TDO local expert from South Africa


By Sehrish Irfan

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Ood Town
The Kaleici neighborhood is the old town of Antalya that is the major historic center. The architecture and culture belongs to the eras of different dynasties like Romans, Byzantine, Seljuk, and Ottoman empires. Some areas belong to the late 18th and 19thcentury. There are perfectly restored whitewashed houses with red roofs belonging to the Ottoman times among the labyrinth of cobblestone roads. Some Ottoman mansions are changed into boutique hotels, art galleries, souvenir shops and restaurants. The main entrance is the old fortress gate and stone clock tower from the 18th century. Tekeli Mehmet Pasa mosque is the stunning tile interior and the other historic monument is the Kesik minaret. The minaret was destroyed by fire and later converted into Roman Temple then Byzantine church and after that a mosque.

Old Harbor
The old harbor of Antalya is a stunning landscape with the lines of boats, yachts and ferries in the Mediterranean water among the hills. The relaxing environment remained the important trade hub from 2nd century to the mid-20th century. There are many cafés, boutiques, bazaars and restaurants alongside the harbor. The main activities are sightseeing, excursion boat swim tours, trying foods and enjoying the surroundings.

Antalya Museum
The fascinating museum is the display of Turkish history items taken excavated from the ancient sites near the Turkish coast. The main purpose is to make the Turkish rich history more understandable through the huge archeological section. The ruins of the nearby areas are displayed in the section of Bronze Age to Byzantium. The galleries have the displays of mosaics from Seleukeia, Aspendos silver hoard display and statues from Perge. This is must visit site to know about the Turkish historical roots.

Yivli Minaret
Yivli minaret was built by the Seljuk sultan Alaeddin Keykubad is a major landmark and a very typical portrait of Seljuk style of architecture. The octagonal drum is attached with the fluted shaft with a square base. A 14th century mosque is also attached with the structure that is still in use today. It is located beside the old city Kale entrance and opposite to the clock tower. There are some 14thcentury tombs near the minaret.

Hadrian Gate
The Kaleici district has a very dramatic entrance that stretches into the Hellenistic and Roman town walls. The eastern side is the preserved old town. The gate dates back to the 130 AD and the Emperor Hadrian visited the place. Three arched marble gateway, imposing towers, preserved carving in the ceilings and the sculptural decorations makes the place more fascinating to visit.

Roman Fortress
The fortress is located at the edge of the Karaalioglu park overlooking the old harbor. The height of the tower is 14 meters, and it belongs to the 2nd century. The main tower and lighthouse justifies the purpose, but nobody knows the actual function behind building the fortress. The most beautiful thing is the panoramic views and sunset from the fortress. You can enjoy wonderful coffee from one of the cafés at the harbor.

The archeological site was once an old town with a building used as a Roman empire that is among the best preserved historical sites of the world and one of the important tourist attractions of Turkey. The town dates back to the 2ndand 3rd century with rebuilt ruins. Along with the theater with 15,000 seats for people there are many other surroundings to see. There are Aspendos Perge, manavgat waterfalls, Roman ruins and many other attractions. The place can be explored in one day through a sightseeing tour provided by companies in Antalya.

Perge is filled with a lot of historical sites like half destroyed temples, rubble filled stadium, huge colonnaded Agora portraying the past glory of Turkey. The ancient capital of Pamphylia remained under the rule of Greek and Romans. The ruins are not well preserved and they are located near the turquoise coast of Turkey. The most interesting areas are Roman baths, Hellenistic gate and Acropolis.

Olympos and the Chimaera
The twin villages are located 84 kilometers from Antalya near the beautiful coastline. The attractions are overgrown ruins are of Lycian city, the chimaera and the eternal flames out of the rocky cliff. Olympos become very lively at night because of the young backpackers whereas Cirali is best for the beach fun. These attractions are perfect to enjoy the beach holiday, tourist resorts and historical attractions.

Konyaalti Beach
The amazing sweep of sand with the mountains in the background. During summers the areas become filled with the local and foreign visitors. They enjoy a lot of water activities and beach fun with a lot of facilities. The lounges and umbrellas are available for rent along with the toilet and showers. There are plenty of shops, restaurants and cafés where you can enjoy a lot of foods and beverages.

Karst Springs
The limestone areas have sinkholes, springs and waterfalls. They belong to 1.5 to 2 million years ago; the travertine deposits make the springs more beautiful. There are both upper falls and lower falls. These are amazing natural historical attractions.

Lara Beach
The soft white sand beach is filled with a lot of family friendly facilities, cafés and restaurants along with a plenty of interesting activities. Jet-ski and paddle boats are available at the spot for rentals. Beaches are totally filled with crowds of people during peak summer seasons.