Thursday, November 8, 2012

Amazing Antalya: The Best Guide to Turkish Riviera

Clock Tower
On your first day here, seeing this is a must: Antalya is a city on the Mediterranean coast of southwestern Turkey. It was the world's third most visited city by number of international arrivals in 2011, displacing New York. It is Turkey's biggest international sea resort. The first place to be seen in Antalya is the Old Town (in Turkish Kaleiçi). The name Kaleiçi means "Inside the Kale" or "Inner Kale" (Kale itself means castle or fortress).  It is the historic city center of Antalya.  It has structures dating from the Roman, Byzantine, Seljuk, Ottoman and modern Turkish republican eras. The Kaleiçi area is located in the centre-eastern portion of the city along the Mediterranean coast fronted by the yacht harbor that dates to the Roman era.  The Clock Tower is Roman architecture. People are meeting under clock tower, it is like the symbol of Antalya. But the real symbol of the city is Yivli Minare (Fluted Minaret) which is built by the Seljuks and decorated with dark blue and turquoise tiles. 
Hadrian's Gate
Especially, people must see the Hadrian’s Gate, Roman Clock Tower, Hıdırlık Tower, The fluted (Yivli) minaret, Mermerli beach and the marina in the Old Town. Hadrian's Gate: constructed in the 2nd century by the Romans in honor of the Emperor Hadrian.

Hıdırlık Tower
Hıdırlık Tower is a landmark tower of tawny stone in Antalya, where Kaleiçi meets Karaalioglu Park. It is believed that the ruling Roman Empire built this in the second century CE on a square plan. It has since been used as a fortification or a lighthouse.
Kaleiçi-Old Town
Old Town

The famous Mermerli Beach is Antalya’s oldest beach. The little pebbly beach belongs to the Mermerli restaurant and is situated east to the marina. Deck-chairs and umbrellas must be paid. Its meaning is Marble Beach, and for good reason. It is all coral and marble at this tiny beach area, sometimes only accessible by steps and more steps going down 50 ft cliffs.

Saklıkent Ski Center
Most people don’t know this, but to get a true taste of Antalya…. You’ve got to do a day trip to Saklıkent. The meaning of Saklıkent is hidden city. It is a winter resort in Antalya, 45 kilometers from Antalya and 60 kilometers from Antalya Airport. It is open for skiing from November to May. Because of its proximity to Antalya, one can ski and then one hour later swims in the Mediterranean Sea.

For a glimpse of daily life, I recommend this form of transportation: Antalya has a transport system which is developing with each passing day. In this transport system, there are light rail (antray), the nostalgic tram, a modern public buses (Antobus), minibuses and taxis. Payment for public transportation was made in cash until the launch of a public transportation card, Halkkart. It is managed by A-Kent Smart City Technologies under the control of Antalya Metropolitan Municipal government. Passengers can use identified cards to take buses or trams. The tram system runs from Antalya Museum and the Sheraton Voyager and Falez hotels, along the main boulevard to the city center at Kalekapisi.  In December 2009, a 11.1 kilometers (6.9 mi) light rail line Antray was opened from one of the main city public bus hub northwest to the Zoo and beyond to suburban areas. With its long, open roads, surrounding mountainous terrain and gorgeous sandy beaches, as well as a generally mild climate, Antalya City provides the perfect setting to exercise. So, walking is the best way to get around the petite city center year round.

Old Town - Kaleiçi

Best place to find artisan handicrafts: In Antalya, you’ll likely see the same types of handicrafts just about all over. Turkish Jewellery making, which shaped the heritage of thousands of years inherited following the Ottoman Empire and Seljuk Empire, is shaped on such a splendid tradition and carries the traces of different cultures through the experience of thousand years. In addition, you can buy handmade carpets of Yörüks, especially Döşemealtı Nomad carpet of Antalya. The Yörüks are a Turkish group of people, some of whom are still nomadic, primarily inhabiting the mountains of Anatolia around Antalya.


Piyaz (Antalya Bean Salad)

The meal at this local eatery had me salivating for days: Antalya’s signature cuisine includes Piyaz, spicy hibeş with mixed cumin and tahini, şiş köfte, tandır kebap, domates civesi, şakşuka, börülce salatası, kabak çiçeği dolması, kabak çintmesi, börülce çorbası, şiş köfte, laba, and various cold Mediterranean dishes with olive oil. One local specialty is tirmis, boiled seeds of the lupin, eaten as a snack. "Grida" (also known as Lagos or Mediterranean white grouper) is a fish common in local dishes. You should try Piyaz (Antalya Bean Salad) when you visit Antalya. In Antalya, a beautiful city with magnificent beaches and historical places on the Mediterranean coast, piyaz is made differently than the rest of Turkey. The difference is tahini and garlic, which enriches the taste incredibly. 

Side - Temple of Apollo
Side Festival
Local celebration not to be missed: Antalya is the city of culture and art in Turkey. Throughout the year, many cultural and art festival held in Antalya. I recommend Side Festival. Side International Culture and Art Festival is the result of enthusiastic and persistent efforts of the Municipality of Side since 2001. Side owns outstanding Roman and Hellenistic heritage and today is an important Mediterranean resort town, distinguished with the quality standards of its tourism facilities. The Festival presents impressive performances by renowned interpreters at magnificent venues such as the Ancient Theatre of Side and the Temple of Apollo.

Favorite pastimes: Turkey is a country where you can do all sports and activities you can imagine. You can o scuba diving in Antalya, rafting in River Köprüçay, yachting in the blue coastal line. You can also play golf, explore caves, ski on the mountains, visit hot springs and spas, enjoy the national parks, view the wild life or travel the green plateaus of Antalya.

Konyaaltı Beach
For a more bucolic/green setting I escape here: Antalya will host EXPO 2016 which is the next scheduled A1 Horticultural Exposition. From 9,160 botanical species growing in Turkey about 3,300 are endemic. 630 of these 3,300 plants grow only at the Mediterranean Sea and 500 of those only grow in the province of Antalya. Antalya Cultural Park is located in the heart of Antalya's cultural and touristic area of the Konyaalti district. The park is my best relaxing place. Long walk in early morning when the city was sleeping is the best thing in Antalya. It is look like a paradise. You should see the great and fascinating view of Konyaalti beach and Toros Mountains from this park.

Other Antalya Photos:

Antalya Variant
Beach Park
Antalya Cultural Park
Antalya Lara Lighthouse
Antalya Harbor


  1. Hi Tulpar! I wanna visit your place, it is just amazing! And makes me miss the summertime! Best regards!! xo

  2. @Lilli, thnaks. Antalya is waiting for you!

  3. A very nice, content along with very good information and it is very useful and helpful.Thanks for sharing


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