Things To Do In Antalya
Antalya is one of the highly developed cities in Turkey and visitors from far and wide are finding it a marvelous blend of extraordinary sunny shores and Turkish culture that is truly interesting to discover. The "Watts castle” in Pamukkale is a natural wonder that attracts tourists especially during the autumn months. The dazzling white calcareous (travertine) castles are formed by carbonate deposits from the thermal springs, which also create the beautiful stalactites here. The Duden Waterfalls are highly recommended for all ages, the blue-green colors are really lovely to photograph and the area is a paradise for nature lovers. Antalya is a nice city with beautiful sights and you can enjoy shopping at the Turkish bazaars in Kaleici, the Old Town that is located in a charming quarter around the harbor.
When To Go:
Travelers usually come to Antalya all year round because it is a spot with a generally mellow climate, known for being sunny more regularly than not. What ought to be known by visitors is that the summer months (June to September) can get uncomfortably hot. The normal summer temperature is normally around ninety degrees; however, the humidity can make it feel hotter. The normal temperature of Antalya's waters around then is nearly eighty-five degrees. Tourists mostly explore during the early morning to avoid the heat in the middle of the day and later on spend the rest of the afternoon swimming or simply being laid back on the beach while people-watching and enjoying the sun.
The cold season occurs in the winter months from October until March. Guests who favor dry explorations ought to make a point to keep away from the rainy winter months, especially since a downpour will generally last for something like three weeks once the stormy season hits. In Antalya it does not snow, however, so voyagers won't need to stress unnecessarily over the winter climate other than the downpour. The rainy season happens in the months of March and April, which are therefore not the best months to visit Antalya. The coldest months are January and February and if you prefer to explore in this tolerably cold weather, bundle up with layered clothes and a jacket.
These are the top things to do when in the city of Antalya:
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Antalya Archaeological Museum
The Antalya Archeological Museum is located on a mountain in the western part of the city. It has more than a dozen themed rooms: prehistoric baby animals, natives with primitive tools, various statues, pottery and other utensils, etc. -- something for everyone. You can use the audio guide but it comes with a fee. It is worth spending half a day to visit this wonderful museum in Antalya. It is not quite in the city center but you can easily find it from the old town, along the promenade to the tram called "Nostalgia".
Everything here has lots of historical value. If you need to see items recovered from the ruins, you can also find those here. They have assigned a room for well-preserved sculptures and sarcophagi. The museum has huge cool halls, lighting for the statues, and abstracts in English that are also pleasing to the eye. Inside there is a cafeteria and gift shop. In the lush garden area you can walk and see the part of the exhibitions that has been put up in the street. There is also a petting zoo for children, with peacocks and roosters.
The old and ruined city of Termessos has the most dramatic story of all the ancient cities in Turkey. Located high in the mountains and an hour's drive north of Antalya, this fortress city now forms part of the national park that is under government protection. Spend at least half a day and do not forget to bring your camera and something to eat. The park opens up early during summer and runs until 6:00 pm. Immediately after the entrance you will find a restaurant, a cafe and a small kiosk with snacks, but as in all tourist areas, the prices are more expensive than in the city. There are toilets and a small museum. Also on the site you can hire a guide if you want a more detailed description and interesting stories. Next to the parking area, you will see a few picnic tables, a temple dedicated to the Emperor Hadrian and the goddess Artemis, an ancient cistern, Necropolis -- and on the hillside path, the tombs and sarcophagi.
Then go way up the hill to the top, where you can see the city gates, gymnasium, and sauna. After a few minutes of walking you will see the famous theater that stands on the edge of the cliff, as well as the Agora, Odeon, monumental tombs, the colonnaded street and Corinthian Hram. Try to climb higher and you'll see a tower on the peak of the mountain. Reaching it is hard, but you will find a reward: a breathtaking panorama of mountains, forests, valleys and Termessos itself. From Antalya is easy to get here in a rented car from the bus station. Just follow the signs to Burdur and drive up to the road leading to the park marked with a brown sign that says "Termessos". This is truly one of the most interesting places in the Antalya region.
The gorgeous natural landmark of Pamukkale is situated on a huge mountain with numerous small pools and covered with layers of limestone. When the sunlit surface dries, it seems that everywhere around is snow. Down in the valley there is an iron-rich thermal springs where most families usually gather.
The Pamukkale is really a miracle of nature and its travertine limestone formation is something quite fantastic. Even when approaching from afar, this "snowy" mountain is immediately noticeable. It looks very nice and you will feel nature itself has created a truly unprecedented beauty. These “cotton castles” were not only formed by the deposits of calcium salts in saturated pools, but also because of the water flowing from the slopes of the mountain.
At the peak of the mountain, which is more than three miles away from Pamukkale, are the ruins of the ancient city of Hierapolis. Near the town is the pool named Cleopatra, a bath with mineral water whose temperature is about 95 degrees. When you're in it, your body is going to feel a lot of small bubbles, like being in a glass of champagne. Make sure to bring your swimsuit, camera and wear comfortable shoes. To enjoy both attractions in one mountain, it is best to spend two days because it takes a very long time to get to Pamukkale.
This is the old part of the city of Antalya, where you will find its spirit of antiquity and historical heart. Explore the lovely narrow streets, old houses, a variety of shops, cobbled paths, and the iron and copper shops that are well preserved and have retained all the atmosphere and flavor of the past. Wander around and then go down to a small yacht harbor. From there, go and ride the pleasure boats. One of the top things to do here in this part of Antalya is to cross the sea (a 45-minute trip) to swim in the Lower Duden waterfall.
At Kaleici, it is also nice to go in the evening and see the beautiful sunset. The port has wonderful views of the sea and the surrounding mountains. The streets are lined with cafes and fine dining restaurants. The stairs are steep and the roads are paved with stones arranged in a completely parallel design rather than a perpendicular pattern. You can have seafood, drink beer, and have a taste of argileh (hookah) under the shaded trees in the yard while watching boats sailing in the busy harbor.
The Karaalioglu Park is near Kaleici and a pleasant place for walking with great views of its beautiful waterfront the sea. From the park you can get to the Antalya Marina, which offers scenic views of the mountains and the other side of town. The park looks small, but the waterfront offers stunning views of the Mediterranean Sea.
You can go to a cafe, you can just sit on the bench, or you can also walk straight down to the sea. On one side of the park, local Turkish women are often cooking the traditional homemade food. Relax and have a picnic with friends, or visit the old area near the port with many restaurants; from here you can also take a short excursion on a yacht. At night, there are "roving" musicians, so if you're lucky, you can listen to great Turkish tunes played on ethnic instruments.
The Perge is one of the most beautiful ancient cities in the Mediterranean region. It is a perfectly preserved city with a huge theater, the largest Roman stadium, beautiful streets, Roman baths, agora, towers, fountains and canals. The underground area holds many interesting discoveries, which are still being investigated and dug by a team of archaeologists. The Roman and Byzantine columns are equally remarkable, On one part of the ruins there is a preserved marble facade which gives an opportunity to see how beautiful the city was at the beginning of the first millennium.
Four hours is not enough to inspect everything (literally you need to “crawl under every stone"). The carved columns, spacious squares, and watchtowers will make this visit to Turkey’s historical past truly interesting, and everything can be touched and photographed. Just walking around you will discover thousands of details, from the inscriptions in Greek and Latin, to the mosaics that are partially visible on the ground and some bas-reliefs on the columns. If you go in the late afternoon you will find peace and silence as the masses of tourists on guided tours will already be gone and you will be free to wander around the ruins and breathe in the history that surrounds you.
The Duden Waterfalls consist of two parts, the Upper and Lower. The Upper Duden is located 8.5 miles from the center of Antalya near Varsak. The Lower Duden is located in Antalya near Fener and the district of Muratpaşa. The upper falls has several smaller view decks. These falls are not especially high, but instead the most important feature is that you can admire them from the inside. There are three special grottos under the waterfall itself. They are overgrown with a variety of trees and herbs thanks to the ceiling of dripping water. There are lots of benches in the park with a fountain, flowers, and lots of greenery, cafes and the scene of the falls’ great beauty. The splashing waterfall forms a beautiful rainbow. It is also surrounded by a large number of lookouts.
Yivli Minaret Mosque (Yivli Minare Camii)
The fluted minaret of the mosque (Yivli Minare Camii) is part of an interesting complex of structures, and dates from the reign of the Seljuk dynasty of Sultan Alaaddin Keykubad (1230). It is located in the Old Town (Kaleici), is one of the earliest examples of Islamic architecture in Antalya, and is absolutely necessary to visit. This is the oldest and most beautiful building in -- and symbol of -- Antalya.
The Yivli minaret complex also includes the mosque, which is converted from a Byzantine church and is located a few yards from the minaret; the Madrasa, which was named after the first conqueror Antalya Sultan Giyaseddina Keyhyusrev -- it is the building at the only entrance and served as an arch; another Seljuk madrasa, which has been restored as a small indoor marketplace; the Nigar Hatun Tomb -- for the wife of Sultan Beyazida II and mother of Prince Korkut, as evidenced by a plaque on the wall of this small mausoleum made in the shape of a hexagon tiling; the Mehmet Bey Mausoleum Zindzhirkirana, built of white marble in the form of an octagonal pyramidal Cone; and the Mevlevihane, a Dervish monastery which is now used as an exhibition hall. Besides historical and architectural value, it's just a fascinating place for a stroll.
The old city of Antalya was founded a little over two thousand years ago along with this gate. The gates were built in 130 as a triumphal arch specifically for the arrival of the Roman Emperor Hadrian, and for a long time after that they remained closed because they had no purpose after his visit. Perhaps this is why the gates are so well preserved and stand as a living testament to the old city.
Getting to site of the gates is pretty easy: go to the city center of Antalya where there is a clock tower and take a walk up the central street named Ataryurka, then turn right about 100 yards after the shops and you will see (hidden inside the arch created by houses and orange trees) the historic Hadrian’s Gate.
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