Antalya is the second most popular destination for holiday-makers to Turkey.
Within its boundaries are important historical and modern landmarks reflecting its beginnings in 133 BC, its time under rule of the Roman, Byzantine, Seljuk and Ottoman empires and present day, where it has achieved a reputation as a cosmopolitan hub of Turkey, and a pivotal point of the Turkish Riviera.
From Hadrian’s Gate in the old city centre to coastal resort hotels, its growth as a major province of Turkey involves a constant evolution of improvement to cope with the demands of visitors and citizens that include foreigners who purchased property in the area.
9 Prominent Landmarks and Sites of Antalya
Historical Sites and Landmarks
The glorious site of Aspendos always wins admiration. The pride of the ancient Greco–Roman city is the large and well-preserved theatre seating up to 7000 people. During the day, it receives a mass of visitors but at night, it is equally impressive when annually the Antalya Ballet and Opera society perform a series of professional shows. Near the theatre are the remains of a basilica and Roman aqueduct.
Thirty kilometres northwest of Antalya is Termossos, another ancient city. Historians are unsure of its founding date but they do know Alexander the Great, targeted it on his campaign to conquer the region. Landmarks within Termossos include rock tombs, the theatre and the ancient agora.
Lastly visit Perge, the former capital of ancient Pamphylia (the Antalya region during the reign of the Hittites and Romans.) As well as the agora and the stadium, visitors can tour the Hellenistic city gates and the Roman baths.
The biggest and best natural landmark of the Antalya region is Mount Tahtali. A cable car transports visitors 2365 metres up to the viewing platforms for an amazing panoramic view of the jugged coastline and backing Taurus Mountains. During winter, visitors ski down the mountain while in summer, adrenaline seekers love to paraglide from the top. If paragliding is something you want to attempt, tickets can be bought for a first-time tandem ride with a professional pilot.
The Burning Flames of Chimaera in ancient times were a story of magic. A monster called the Chimaera, who had the body of a lion and head of a goat, burned roaring flames into the night sky and this prevented sailors from venturing into the area. Science however can take the credit for the flames burning 24 hours a day, seven days a week because of natural gases oozing from cracks in the rocks. It is a long hard and hard trek to the mountain top situated in Olympos Park, but once there toasting marshmallows and sipping hot chocolate, around the make-shift camp fire, rewards your efforts.
The most modern and impressive sites of Antalya are its large shopping malls and luxury hotels. Antalya Migros holds an impressive 96 department stores and a large supermarket with 30 cash desks. This is especially popular with expats looking to furnish their newly bought homes in the area. Otherwise Deepo on the Antalya-Alanya highway is a combination of shop and play. After shopping, children test their skills at the ice rink, while parents indulge in restaurants serving a variety of International food.
Antalya is the place to be if luxury hotel accommodation is a high priority. Mardan Palace had the honour of receiving people like Paris Hilton for its opening party. The swimming pool is so big, so gondola boat rides are offered as well. Alternatively the Dome Kempinski name is renowned with luxury and this is seen in its Belek hotel, an establishment aiming to please and pamper if you have the dosh!