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 Antalya Sights & Attractions

 

 
Theatre of Aspendos
Theatre of Aspendos – image courtesy of byzastoursturkey.com

Top attractions in Antalya


Just a short drive from Antalya lie an arresting choice of must-see sightseeing attractions, including:

Chimaera, Antalya

The Chimaera


Discover several so-called ‘eternal flames’ that flicker amid the rocky slopes that overlook the ancient city of Olympos.

This fascinating natural phenomenon consists of a dozen flames that are continuously fed by natural methane gas seeping from this particular patch of rocky hillside – a natural wonder that has occurred unabated for thousands of years.

To reach Chimaera, follow a rough stone path from the modern village of Çirali or take the longer 7km pathway from Olympos Beach.

Perge, Turkey

Perge


Walk in the footsteps of St Paul (who once preached here) and ponder the massive Hellenistic–Roman gate towers in the ancient city of Perge, which dates back to 1500 BC. Admire finely carved marble reliefs in the Graeco–Roman hilltop theatre and enjoy panorama vistas overlooking the ancient ruins.

Other impressive sites include the Roman acropolis, stadium, baths and agora. From Perge you can also start the St Paul Trail, which leads north up to the Anatolian plateau. Perge is located 17km from Antalya.

Termessos, Turkey

Termessos


Located on a plateau 1050m above sea level, the walled city of Termessos is the only settlement not to have been conquered by Alexander the Great; although he tried in 333 BC.

Hire a guide at the park entrance (Gulluk Dagi National Park) and allow at least half a day to explore the extensive ruins there, which include a (monumental gateway) dedicated to Emperor Hadrian and the goddess Artemis, five ancient cisterns, rock-cut tombs, sarcophagi, a colonnaded street, the magnificent Corinth Temple and a Greek Theatre that offers panoramic views across to Antalya and beyond.

A rocky, uneven footpath winds its way through the ruins. Termessos is located 38km from Antalya.

Phaselis, Turkey

Phaselis


Explore the ancient Lycian city of Phaselis, which dates back to 700 BC. Stroll the ancient, 24m-wide main street running through the middle of the city and lined with ancient marble and stone ruins including the Roman baths, agora, theatre, sarcophagi and the soaring remains of the ancient limestone aqueduct.

Cool off with a swim from one of the small pebble beaches that line the three small bays of this once prosperous port city. Phaselis lies between the Bey Mountains and the forests of Olympos National Park, around 16km west of Kemer and 42km west of Antalya.

Aspendos, Turkey

Aspendos


Admire one of the best-preserved ancient theatres in the world – the 2000-year-old Theatre of Aspendos, which is still used today for the annual opera and ballet festival held here from mid-June to mid-August. Also admire the aqueduct and less impressive remains of an agora, basilica and stadium.

Aspendos is a starting-point for the St Paul Trail, leading north up to the Anatolian plateau. Aspendos is located 47km east of Antalya.

Belek, Turkey

Belek


This purpose-built luxury beach and golf resort sits on a coastal plain between the towering Taurus Mountains and beautiful Belek Beach. The resort offers a choice of 30-plus 4- and 5-star hotels and more than 10 championship golf courses.

Take lessons at the international tennis school, see more than 100 species of bird at the nearby Kursunlu Waterfall and enjoy a wide array of water sports on Belek Beach. Most of the hotels run shuttles to the beach, golf courses and into Antalya.

There are also plenty of dolmus (shared taxis) and taxis and you can also hire bicycles to get around the resort. The ancient cities of Perge and Aspendos are a short drive away from Belek, which is located on the south coast of Turkey, around 36km east of Antalya.

The Lycian Way, Antalya, Turkey

The Lycian Way


This spectacular walking route stretches for 400km from the resort of Ovacik to the city of Antalya. Hike through soaring mountain peaks, deep lush valleys and secluded coves fringed by sand and pebble beaches.

The route follows ancient Roman and Ottoman roads, mule tracks and nomad trails. Choose a short section to walk or allow up to 40 days to complete the entire route.

Along the way, see rock-cut Lycian tombs and free-standing sarcophagi, remote Byzantine churches, domed Ottoman cisterns, beachside Roman ruins at Patara and the massive theatre at Myra.

April, May and September are the best times to walk, with pleasant warm weather and fields of wildflowers, with stands of cedar of Lebanon dotting the high passes.

Latest update on this honeymoon destination: 15 August, 2017
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