Antalya And Environs

Antalya was a sleepy agricultural town just 30 years ago. Today it is a highly touristy town even sometimes beat Istanbul with its tourist numbers.

Antalya and around offer Greco Roman sites, waterfalls, ski resorts, trekking paths, off roads, rafting, beaches and sea excursions. The area has incredibly well preserved ancient sites. In ancient time, the region was called Pamphylia that means multi race people. The Greek settlers came to the area after the Trojan War and mixed with the earlier people that were Luwians, part of the Hittites.

Seashore civilization of Pamphylia was surrounded in the west by Lycia that are indigenous Anatolian people and in the north by Pisidia and in the east by Cilicia. All these city state civilizations were invaded one after the other by Lydians, Persian, Macedonians and Romans. Macedonian and Roman rule caused Hellenization of the area more and more towards inland.

Today’s ancient site destinations were important Roman trade towns: To the eastwards of Antalya: Aspendos has the best-preserved ancient theatre in the world. Perge has the most picturesque street in the world ever constructed. Side has a well-preserved Roman bath that the tubs of it even ready to enter! To the westwards of Antalya: Phaselis is partly sunken under the sea and partly invaded by the forest. Myra is where St Nicholas was the bishop in 4th century A.D. Italian raiders from Bari robbed his coffin that even they Latinized his name as Santa Claus!
A defense wall surrounds Antalya old town and Hellenistic-Roman towers are still visible today. One city defense tower is used as clock tower today and there is the beautiful Hadrian Gate in a few minutes distance. Old town is a perfect place lazily to walk around without any cause. Sitting on a restaurant or cafeteria and overlooking to marina that you can see symbol of Antalya -that is the fluted minaret, 13th century Selcuk monument- Taurus Mountains and certainly Mediterranean. If you get bored this way, you can take a boat down to marina to have an excursion in the sea to the nearby Duden waterfall.

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