Attalia

Antalya is a major city of Turkey's Golden Coast. It is a land of history, sun and sea with 300 days a year of sunshine. Not only the city but the surroundings are splendid. The name Antalya derives from the ancient city of Attalia founded by the Pergamene King Attalos II Philadelphus, who founded the city on the Pamphylian seacoast around 150 BC Paleolithic finds discovered in the nearby Karain and Beldibi caves and early Bronze age finds discovered at Semah?y?k show that settlement of Antalya and its environs stretches back to the dawn of humanity.

In 133 BC the Roman Empire took over Antalya together with Pergamon’s other possessions in Asia Minor. As indicated in the Bible St. Paul set sail from Antalya (the ancient Attalia as in the Bible) together with Barnabas on his first missionary journey. “They passed through Pisidia and reached Pamphylia. After proclaiming the word at Perga they went down to Attalia and from there sailed for Antioch (Acts xiv 24-26). In 130 AD during Byzantine times Antalya was an archbishop?s diocese. Following the Seljuk capture of the city, Antalya continued to be an important commercial and military port.

Antalya and its environs enjoyed a golden era in the first and second centuries A.D.,
reflected in the magnificence and multitude of cities to be found at that time of which Side and Aspendos in the east and Phaselis, Olympos and Xanthos in the west are just a few.
Those days of glory began to fade however during the Byzantium period at the turn of the 3rd century A.D. with the fall of Constantinople as the capital of East Rome.

Later the Arab invasions with their plundering and pillaging signaled the final demise of these great cities. And in 1207 the regions of Antalya and Alanya came to be associated with the Selchuks.

Today the city of Antalya is again reliving a golden age.

It has been transformed into a cultural and touristic hub, as well as a popular conference and congress center. It has much on offer to satisfy the discerning visitor - whether here on holiday, on business or taking part in an important conference - whatever it is Antalya has it all.

Termessos

Gόllόk Dagi is another national park, 4km to the northwest of Antalya. The ancient city of Termessos, set inside the park, is located on a 1050 meter high plateau on the west side of Gόllόk Mountain (Solymos).

Ariassos

At a distance of 8 km along the Antalya Burdur highway and before arriving at the Dag, turn left, and Ariassos is reached 1 km further on. A village of antiquity, Ariassos was built on a hillside and could survey its surroundings. The gate, baths, rock tombs and mausoleum are worth seeing.

Olympos

It is located between Kemer and Adrasan. After passing Phaselis on the Antalya- Kumluca road, signpost leading to Olympos and Ηirali will be seen and Olympos can be reached by following either route. An hour’s walk from Olympos brings you to the natural phenomenon of the Chimera. Known by the inhabitants as the “burning mountain”, it is a result of escaping natural gas, whose flames have been shooting heavenwards for centuries. The path to the Chimera is narrow and steep but is well marked.

Phaselis

Phaselis is reached one km after turning left 57 km along the Antalya-Kemer highway. This was settled by the Rhodians in the 7th century B.C. and for many years was claimed to be the most important port city of the eastern Lycian seaboard. On both sides of the avenue are sidewalks and shops. Close to these can be seen the public places like baths, theatre and agora. It is reached by road and also from the sea.

Limyra

Known to have existed since the 5th century B.C. it is located on the Kumluca-Finike road 11 km after Kumluca. While suffering extensive damage from an earthquake in 141 A.D. Limyra bloomed again, but, unable to withstand the Arab invasions in the 7th and 9th centuries A.D. the inhabitants abandoned the city. It consists of three main parts, the acropolis, the settlement and the necropolis.

Arycanda

Is located 26 km from Turuncova on the Finike-Elmali Highway it is necessary to walk about 1km. It is not known exactly when Arykanda, which dominated the Akarcay valley and its surroundings, was established. Known as Aalanda in Byzantine times, it was built on terraces; many of the buildings are in a good state of preservation. The theatre is especially spectacular and has beautiful views.

Myra

Situated between Finike and Antiphellos, it is 25 km from Finike and 48 km from Antiphellos. Although it was originally a coastal town, it has been separated from the sea because of the alluvium from the Demre stream.

St. Nicholas Church

St. Nicholas born in 245 A.D. in Patara near Fethiye (known variously as St. Nicholas, Father Christmas, Santa Claus, Pιre Noel) and died in 363 A.D., having spent his life in Anatolia. After he died he was buried in Demre and a church was built there in his memory.

The first Father Christmas symposium ever was held between 5-7December 1983. This symposium is now held annually and is attended by people of religion and science from all over the world.

Simena (Kale)

Can be reached by sea from aηagiz. The beauty of Simena lies in its blending of history, sea and sun. Here one is fascinated by the remains of ancient civilizations lying under the blue and translucent waters of the Mediterranean.

Antiphellos (Kas)

Today’s Kas is a coastal city of the Lycians. “Phellos” is the Greek word for “stony place” and this name is very well suited to Kas. Its well-preserved rock tombs and theatre are well worth seeing. Kas today is a small and charming coastal resort.

Patara

At about 10km beyond Kalkan on the Kalkan-Fethiye highway you turn south and continue 10km along the road to Patara. Patara opened its doors to Alexander the Great, thereby earning the status of an important harbor city, in addition to having been the birthplace of St. Nicholas.

Xanthos

This is the oldest and largest city of the mountain province in Lycia, settled in the valley of the Xanthos river. The city itself consists of the Lycian acropolis and the parts remaining outside it, as well as the Roman acropolis. The most interesting building is the Roman theatre and the building west of the theatre. The most famous is the Harpy Monument, which is a family sarcophagus situated on a rock.

Letoon

To reach Letoon, you turn west one kilometre beyond the road from Kinik to Fethiye and continue 5 km. It is known to have been one of the most important religious centres of the Lycian region. Due to the rising water level, archeological digs have been suspended. The most important edifice is the Hellenistic style theatre, which has been preserved until today.

Perge

This city was built 18 km east of Antalya between the Dόden and Aksu streams. Is reached along the Antalya-Alanya highway, turning north at Aksu. As it was not on the coast, it was not subjected to raids by pirates and therefore continued its progress without interruption. A great many statues and other valuable items have been unearthed in recent digs, of which many are in the Antalya Museum. Some of the things worth seeing in Perge are the gates, agora, nymphaeum, the pillared streets, sarcophagi, basilica and acropolis.

Sillyon

About 35 km, along the Antalya-Alanya highway, you turn north and continue 8 km until Silyon is reached. It was built on an elipseshaped table like plateau rising above the flat plain. Due to its location the surrounding areas can easily be seen and in fact the view stretches as far as the Mediterranean. Some of its interesting sights are the stadium, gymnasium, turrets, Seljuk mosque and the sports arena.

Aspendos

After passing Serik on the Antalya-Alanya highway, you turn north and continue for 4 km. Aspendos dates back to the 5th century B.C. The Seljuks who used it as a caravanserai periodically repaired the theatre, which was built in the 2nd century A.D.. It is one of the best-preserved theatres to be found today. Today it is used for concerts, festivals and grease wrestling events. In addition to the theatre the agora, basilica, nymphaeum and 15 km of aqueducts are to be seen. The pressured aqueduct system is a feat of engineering from the Roman period.

Selge

Selge is located in the north of Manavgat, on the Antalya-Alanya highway, where the Selge signpost will be seen, after which it is further 55 km. The road is good until Kaprόlό Canyon, but for the last 12 km after the ancient bridge, a jeep type vehicle is recommended. It is particularly beautiful in the area of the Kaprόlό Canyon.

Side

Side is to be reached by turning right 3 km before Manavgat on the Antalya- Alanya highway. The exact date of its founding is not known. In the language of Anatolia, “Side” means Pomegranate. From inscriptions it appears that Side dates back to the Hittites. One of its most important buildings is its 15000-spectator theatre. The difference between this Roman theatre and other antique theatres in the region is that it is not built against a hillside. The 2-store theatre, built on a series of arches, is 20 m high. The orchestra and stage are in a state of ruin. Rainwater channels run under the theatre. Side has colonnaded streets, a triumphal arch, harbor, baths, fountains, cisterns, aqua ducts, temples and an agora.

Seleukeia

It is situated 23 km north east of Side close to Sihlar Kanό. Digs began here in 1972 and it is a particularly beautiful site because of the pine forests, which surround it.

Alanya

Is 135 km east of Antalya. Known in antiquity as Coracesion, it was sometimes considered to be in Cilicia and sometimes in Pamphylia. Until the Seljuk?s the city was not a flourishing one. The places worth seeing and which largely belong to the Seljuk era, are the fortress, shipyards, Red Tower, museum, Damlatas Cave, sea caves, traders’ market and lighthouse.

One day grandfather, one day........