Antalya is one of the country’s most dynamic cities and certainly one of the leading beach resorts on Turkey’s Mediterranean coast. Nestled deep within the Gulf with which it shares its name and sheltered by the Beydaglari mountains, the resort really does have a lot going for it, thanks largely to its rich historic past and its long, fine sandy beaches.
Of course, the first thing any visitor to the city should do is visit the old town. Kaleici, as it is known, is simply bursting with cultural treasures and a great place to enjoy a stroll around its narrow streets, its bazaar and its fragrant gardens. Founded by Attalus II (King of Pergamon) in 150 BC, the city was both sought-after and subsequently occupied by the Romans, the Byzantines and the Seljuqs in turn before falling into the hands of the Ottoman Empire. It is accessed via Hadrian’s Gate, which was erected when the Emperor visited the city in 130 AD and marks the boundary between the historic centre of the city and the modern part. The Old Town runs along a steep cliff, at the bottom of which lies the old port, which was restored in 1988 and is now a modern marina.
Whilst Antalya is undoubtedly a great place for bathing and for lazing around on its long, fine sandy beaches, there is also plenty here to keep watersports enthusiasts happy, including scuba diving trips to explore the seabed. Head further inland for rafting and canyoning opportunities, or if history is more your thing, the archaeological sites at Termessos and Aspendos are also just a few kilometres outside of the city. Termessos lies at an altitude of some 1500m amid an unspoiled mountainous landscape at the heart of a natural park and is home to various remains, some of which date back to 12000 BC. Aspendos, meanwhile, is a former Asia Minor city that is particularly well known for its Roman theatre, which is the best preserved in the region and still hosts various performances every summer.
LuxairTours offers packages to Antalya with up to 3 flights per week.
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