In Antalya, the pine-clad Toros (Taurus) Mountains sweep down to the sparkling clear sea forming an irregular coastline of rocky headlands and secluded coves. The region, bathed in sunshine for 300 days of the year, is a paradise of sun bathing, swimming, and sporting activities like windsurfing, waterskiing, sailing, mountain climbing and spelunking. If you come to Antalya in March and April, you can ski the slopes in the mornings and in the afternoons swim in the warm waters of the Mediterranean. Important historical sites await your discovery, amid a landscape of pine forests, olive and citrus groves and palm, avocado and banana plantations. The Turkish Riviera is Turkey's tourism capital. Its full range of accommodations, from tourist-class to deluxe hotels, and the hospitable people of Antalya will make your holiday comfortable and enjoyable.
Rafting in Belek
Set amid amazing scenery of sharp contrasts, Antalya, Turkey's principal holiday resort, is an attractive city with shady, palm-lined boulevards and a prize-winning marina. In the picturesque old quarter, Kalei?i, narrow, winding streets and old wooden houses abut the ancient city walls. Since its founding in the second century BC by Attalos II, a king of Pergamon, who named the city Attaleia after him, 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. The Karatay Medrese (theological college) in the Kaleici district, from the same period, exemplifies the best of Seljuk stone carving. The two most important Ottoman mosques in the city are the 16th-century Murat Pasa Mosque, remarkable for its tile decoration, and the 18th-century Tekeli Mehmet Pasa Mosque.
Neighboring the marina, the attractive late 19th-century iskele Mosque is built of cut stone and set on four pillars over a natural spring. The Hidirlik Kulesi (tower) probably was originally constructed as a lighthouse in the second century. The Kesik Minaret Mosque attests to the city's long history in its succession of Roman, Byzantine, Seljuk and Ottoman renovations. When Emperor Hadrian visited Antalya in 130 AD a beautifully decorated three-arched gate was built into the city walls in his honor. Near the marina the two towers ranking the gate and other sections of the walls still stand. The clock tower in Kalekapisi Square was also part of the old city's fortifications. In the Ataturk and Karaalioglu Parks, with their colourful exotic towers and the bay's shimmering water in front of you and the mountains behind, you will have no doubt why Antalya has become such a popular resort. An Aqua Park, on the eastern coast, has every kind of water sport, including many, interesting water-slides. The award-winning Antalya Kaleici Marina and Leisure Center is considered one of the loveliest marinas in Turkey This center can well meet every tourist's need with 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 Archaeological Museum, with remains from the Paleolithic Age to Ottoman times, offers a glimpse of the area's rich history. This museum was awarded by the European Council in 1988 as the best museum of the year. You'll have the chance to explore these places of interest with our professional guides. The Ataturk Museum displays objects used by the founder of the Turkish Republic. (Both open weekdays except Monday) The Antalya Altin Portakal (Golden Orange) Film and Art Festival, field in the autumn, attracts both participants and visitors. The ancient theatre in Aspendos makes an impressive setting for some of the festivals plays and concerts. Antalya also hosts annual jewellery fairs.
What could be more appealing than dreamlike landscapes, grandiose mountains and the magnificent colors 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 Duden Waterfalls, 14km Northeast of Antalya. On the way to Lara Beach, The Lower Duden Waterfalls and Nilufer Lake 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 Nilufer Lake, both 18km from Antalya, are two more places of superb natural beauty. The sandy Lara Beach lies about 12km 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 Topcam Beach provide more splendid vistas. Sican 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 restaurants on top of Tunektepe Hill. Saklikent, 50km from Antalya, is an ideal winter sport resort on the northern slopes of Bakirli Mountain at an altitude of 1750 to I900 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 & mountain goat ? in Duzlercami Park north of Antalya are under a conservation program . One the way you can stop at the astonishing 115 meter deep Guver Canyon. On the eastern - side of Can Mountain 30km from Antalya, the Karain Cave, which dates from the Paleolithic Age (50,000 BC), 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 Gulluk Mount, a national park north- west of Antalya, is perched on a 1,050-meter high plateau on the west face of Gulluk 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.)