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, Kaleici, narrow, winding streets and old wooden houses abut the ancient city walls. Since its founding in the second century B.C. by Attalos II, a king of Pergamon, Antalya has been continuously inhabited. The Romans, Byzantines and Seljuks successively occupied the city before it came under Ottoman rule.

At Antalya, the pine-clad Toros 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 sunbathing and swimming and of sporting activities such as windsurfing, water skiing, sailing, rafting, mountain climbing and hunting. If you come to Antalya in March and April, you may ski the mountains in the mornings and swim in the warm waters of the Mediterranean in the afternoons. Important historic sites and beautiful mosques await your discovery amid a landscape of pine forests, olive and citrus groves and palm, avocado and banana plantations. Perge, 18 km from Antalya along the east coast, is an important city of ancient Pamphylian. It was originally settled by the Hittites around 1500 B.C. The city features the remains of a theater and a handsome city gate.

Also east of Antalya, the town of Aspendos features the best-preserved theater of antiquity. The Aspendos Theater, with seating for 15,000, is still in use today. Nearby stand the remains of a basilica, agora and one of the largest aqueducts in Anatolia.

The Turquoise Coast is Turkey's tourism capital. Its full range of accommodations, sunny climate, warm hospitality and variety of excursions and activities make it a perfect holiday spot and popular venue for meetings and conference

The Antalya Region, offering all the mysticism of past in our day, is now called the "Turkish Riviera" due to its archaeological and natural beauties. Antalya is the place where sea, sun, history and nature constitute a perfect harmony and which also includes the most beautiful and clearest coast along the Medditerranean. The city still preserves its importance as a centre throughout history in the south coast of the country, in addition to its wonderful natural beauties. The mythological city which housed the Gods and Goddesses now exhibits all its secrets and marvels to mankind.

Antalya is located in the west of the Medditerranean region. In ancient times it covered all Pamphylia which means "the land of all tribes". The land really deserves the name since it has witnessed many successive civilizations throughout history. In 1st century BC the Pergamum king Attalus ordered his men to find the most beautiful piece of land on earth; he wanted them to find "heaven on earth". After a long search all over the world, they discovered this land and said "This must be 'Heaven' " and King Attalus founded the city giving it the name "Attaleia". From then on many nations kept their eyes on the city. When the Romans took over the Pergamene Kingdom, Attaleia became an outstanding Roman city which the great Roman Emperor Hadrian visited in 130 AD; an arch was built in his honour which is now worth seeing. Then came the Byzantines, after which the Seljuk Turks took over the city in 1207 and gave it a different name, Adalya, and built the Yivli Minaret. The Ottomans followed the Seljuks and finally within the Turkish Republic it became a Turkish city and an important port. Antalya has been growing rapidly since 1960 and its population is 1,146,109 acccording to the 1990 census.

The climate of the province is typical Medditerranean: hot and dry in summers and temperate and rainy in winters. Sunshine is guaranteed from April to October and the winters are pleasantly mild. The humidity is a little bit high, about 64%, and the average water temperature is 21.5 °C. Antalya is really a heavenly place where the summer season is about 8-9 months long.

You may reach Antalya from almost every city of the country, and even from little towns, coach companies going to Antalya are available.

Antalya has an international airport which may connect you to major cities. It has modern facilities including waiting rooms, restaurants, cafebar, and a shopping centre.

When traveling by sea, one can use the AntalyaVenice Ferryboat line.

Touristic Attractions
Antalya and its surrounding is an important and noteworthy touristic centre on the Mediterranean Coast with its perfect climate and splendid harmony of archaeological, historical and natural beauties, throughout the year. Daily tours to surrounding touristic areas like Side, Alanya and Termessos are available, in addition to longer tours to Pamukkale or Cappadocia or anywhere you would like to go. Proffessional tourist guides are also available.

City Walls: The memorial Hadrian Arch and The Clock Tower are remarkable and date back to Hellenistic era.
Kaleici: This is the nucleus of a city which embraced many civilizations during time. It is now restored and has became a most attractive touristic centre with its hotels, restaurants, shopping and entertainment facilities. Kalei,ci retains all the original ancient Turkish archaeological characteristics. The port's marina has been completely restored and is wellworth visiting. The restoration activities in Kaleici won the Golden Apple Prize, the Oscar of tourism.
Antalya Museum: A prize winning museum and one of the most notable archaeology museums, of the world. It is also the only museum in Turkey with a children's department exhibiting ancient monuments appealing to children.
Hadrian's Gate: This ornamental marble arch was constructed in 2nd century BC by the Romans in honour of the Emperor Hadrian. It is the most amazing area in the whole ancient Pamphylia region.
Kesik Minaret (Broken Minaret): Once a Byzantine Panaglia church, later converted into a mosque.
Yivli Minaret: This fluted minaret of 13th century was built by the Seljuks. Decorated with dark blue and turquouise tiles, the minaret eventually became the symbol of the city.
Karatay Medresesi, Hidirilk Tower, Ahi Yusuf Mescidi, Iskele Mosque, Murat Pasa Mosque, Tekeli Mehmet Pasa Mosque, Balibey Mosque, Musellim Mosque, Seyh Sinan Efendi Mosque and Osman Efendi Mosque are other places to be visited.
"Han"s are Seljuk or Ottoman inns which have architectural significance. Some worth visiting are the Evdir Han, Klrkoz Han, Alara Han and Castle and Sarapsu (Serapsu) Han.

Ancient Cities
Termessos: It is a Pisidyan city with remnants of an agora, theatre and an odion. It has a reputation of being the most magnificent necropolis on the Mediterranean, 35 kms northwest of Antalya.
Perge: 18 kms northeast of Antalya. The ruins are spread on two hills, the theatre on one and the acropolis on the other. According to the legend the city was built by three heros from Troy.
Sillyon: 34 kms from Antalya on the Alanya direction. It is situated between Aspendos and Perge and dates back to 4th.century BC.
Aspendos: One of the most important Pamphilian cities. It is situated on the point where the Kopru River meets the sea. Once an important port and a commercal centre, it has a reputation for raising the best horses on earth. The odeon, basilica, galleria and fountains are worth seeing.
Limyra (Turuncova, Zengerler): According to tomb inscriptions, Limyra was first known as Zemu-ri, a Lycian name. It is an ancient Lycian site dating back as far as the fifth century B.C. The ruins of Limyra are spread out across a plain and the surrounding rocky slopes, which widen like triangles as they descend southward from the hills of Mount Tocak. The first building one encounters here, just at the foot of the hill, is a theatre of medium size in a good state of preservation. Its cavea, divided in two by a diazoma, has sixteen tiers of seats below and more than sixteen above, though the exact number has not been firmly fixed. At the ends of these tiers are vaulted galleries, typically Roman in character, that take the form of semicircles which open onto the diazoma. The real entrances to the vaults are located on both sides of the diazoma. The stage building is too ruined to provide any idea of its original appearance. Limyra's theatre must have ben damaged in the major earthquake that occured in 141 A.D., since after the quake it was rebuilt with 20.000 denarii in aid from one Opramoas of Rhodiapolis.
Olympos (Finike): Olympos is one of the six major cities that Strabo describes as having had three votes each in the Lycian League. It is certain that the city took its name from the 2377 metre-high Mount Olympos (Tahtalı Dağ) 15 km. to the north. Existing records and remains indicate that Olympos was founded in Hellenistic times, and that its people were of an ethnic make-up different from that of the Lycians. The oldest record we have of the city is its League coinage dating to the secont century B. C. While Olympos was an important city, having won the title of metropolis around the beginning of the first century B.C., the captain of the Cilician pirates, Zeniketes, who had taken control of the area, captured Olympos and used it as a base. After a war that lasted four years, one Servilius Vatia, who in 78 B.C. assumed responsibility for eradicating the pirates from the area, having surrounded the castle with Zeniketes inside, put it to the torch. As punishment for their alliance with Zeniketes, Olympos and Phaselis were expelled from the Lycian League, made subject to the Cilician state, and their entire treasuries were confiscated. After half-an-hour's walk north-west of Olympos, one arrives at a hill about 300-400 metres in altitude. On top of it is a natural gas flame that has been burning for thousands of years. Described in some ancient sources as extraordinary and astounding, it is known today in the surrounding area as "Yanartaş" or "Burning stone". This unextinguishable flame is mentioned in Homer's epic poem The Iliad, as the spot where the heroic Bellerrophon killed the Chimaera, a firebreathing mythical beast with the head of a lion, the body of a goat, and tail in the form of a serpent. The only trace the monster left on the face of the earth was his fiery breath, which has continued to spew forth its flame for centuries.
Phaselis: Phaselis was founded in 690 B.C. by colonists from Rhodes. According to one version of its founding, on the colonists' arrival in the area their leader Lacios came across a local shepherd named Cylabros at this spot. Liking the place and deciding to settle there, Lacios asked the shepherd whether he wanted barley, bread or dry fish as payment for the land. Cylabros chose fish. Thereafter it was the custom among the Phaselisians to offer dry fish every year as a blessing for this strange shepherd. From this tale we can deduce that there was a settlement at Phaselis before the arrival of the colonists. Following a two hundred-year period when it was under Persian rule, Phaselis was restored to independence by Cimon, an Athenian general in 449 B.C. Shortly afterward it entered the Athenian maritime federation known as the Delian League. In the course if its history, the city assumed a strange attitude toward the Lycians and had a political structure different from theirs.
Termessos: Termesos is one of the best preserved of the ancient cities of Turkey. It lies 30 kilometres to the north-west of Antalya. It was founded on a natural platform on top of Güllük Dağı, soaring to a height of 1.665 metres from among the surroundig travertine mountains of Antalya, which average only 200 metres above sea level. Concealed by a multitude of wild plants and bounded by dense pine forests, the side, with its peaceful and untouched appearance, has a more distinct and impressive atmosphere than other ancient cities. Because of its natural and historical riches, the city has been included in a National Park bearing its name.
Ariassos: Ariassos was founded in a narrow rocky valley in the Taurus mountains to the north-west of Antalya. The earliest known coinage of Ariassos dates to the first century B.C. ; these coins have the head of Zeus on the obverse and on the reverse, a humped bull. Strabo mentions the city, calling it Aarrossas; it is known in other sources as Areassos and Ariassos. The site is entered via a colonnaded street running east-west from this gate. In Byzantine times, buildings of unknown function were erected on this street, entirely destroying its character. The nature of other principal buildings cannot be determined because they consist now of nothing more than heaps of stone.
Selge: Selge was an important Pisidian city. It lies on the southern slopes of the Taurus in a naturally fortified spot difficult of access. It is reached by a forest road that climbs past cliffs, rivers, and small waterfalls, then passes over a Roman bridge. Thanks to its natural and historical treasures, it has been included in the Köprülü kalyon (Bridged Canyon) National Park.