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Antalya Travel Guide: 733 reviews and 2,059 photos

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Antalya:
Although founded about 2000 years ago, Antalya does not have much historic ruins and inheritage left except the Old Town (Kaleici). Many high-rises along the coast are being built. Amazing blend of nature and history can be found in the surrounding regions about 1 hour drive away from the city center, such as Termessos, Olympos, Phaselis, Perge and Side. Green of the forests, grey of the mountains, blue of the sea, and cream color of the
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<BR>Roman marbles make the area a wonderful place to visit.
Beaches in the city are not spectacular but will do good after a long day of expedition. 4 and 5 hotels do have pools to have you refreshed if immediate access to a beach is not available.

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The Old Town surrounded by Roman walls guard the harbour which was the trade center for milleniums. Kaleici with its renovated Ottoman architecture small houses, Roman Harbour, Yivli Minare, and Antalya Museum are the major places to visit in the city itself.

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Konyaalti beach is public beach, particularly crowded on weekends.

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About half an hour drive from the city high on a hill, is the Karain cave, a paleonthologic site where excavation is still going on.

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Termessos
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Termessos, an ancient city about 30 minutes from Antalya has witnessed thousands of years of history. The remains of city are on top of the mountain in the Tauruses and is cooler than Antalya, burning under summer sun.
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<BR>Once you get there you have to climb about 2 km (1.4 miles) following the King Road. The ruins are mostly hidden in bushes and trees. And since it was one of the biggest capitals of the ancient times it is widely dispersed. The biggest surprise of the site is the theater one can reach following a small path in the bushes.
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<BR>The theater located on top of the hill shines grey under the sun, offers an eagle's eye view of the valley below. The rocky grey of the mountains in the background mixes to the green of the pine forests.
Termessos is located about half an hour drive north of Antalya.

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Kemer - Beldibi
Beldibi is located on the way from Antalya to Kemer, a scenic drive passing through the forests the sea on you left, the mountains on your right. It is about 45 minutes drive from Antalya. It offers camp sites, guest houses and hotels along the coast, some of them luxurious.
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Kemer is about 1 hour drive from Antalya. It is one of the tourist centers of the region. The city itself is small and newsly built and full of shops, bars, hotels. It has a nice yacht marina. Very nice hotels and vacation villages are spread to the area.

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A small park separates the marina from one of the most beautiful cove beaches in the region. The park, called Yoruk parki, for its steppe theme and people with their original mountain outfits offers a nice relaxation place under the shade of the pine trees.
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<BR>You can also eat gozleme (a dough filled with meat or cheese, cooked on a steel plate) and ayran, the famous Turkish drink made with mixture of yogurt, water and salt. It is very nice refreshment and a nice way to cope with the heat in summer months.

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Down the park, you will see one of the most beautiful beach sceneries in Turkey. Though it is crowded, it is very nice beach. You can also try water sports for a fee.

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Phaselis and Olympos
Beaches melting into historic villages 2500 years old are amazingly beautiful. Two of them Phaselis and Olympos are within daily excursion limits of Antalya, about 1 hour and 90 minutes drives from the city center respectively.
Covered with pine trees, Phaselis ruins, dating back as early as 6th century BC is one of the most enjoyable ancient cities in Turkey. The city is built on a very small peninsula, two small coves on each side . One of the coves is quite small while the larger is a mooring spot for boats cruising the Lycian coast. The coves have small gravel beaches, and are separated by a 5 minutes walk through the ruins and under the shade of pine trees.

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Olympos ruins, on the other hand, may be reached after a 3 kilometers (2 miles approx.) drive on a bumpy road. A jeep is strongly recommended for a better ride. The ruins are scattered on a small hill and around the river crossing the city. In summer time the river is dry.

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The ruins are mostly hidden among the trees and the entrance to the beach is through a path covered by trees and through the ru├żns of the ancient city. The beach is a "small gravel" beach and the water is crystal clear.
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<BR> It is possible to reach this beach through Chimera (the legendary eternal fire visible at night) exit on the Antalya- Kas road and you would get better driving conditions but you should walk about 10 minutes along the beach to the ancient city of Olympos.

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An interesting lodging facility in the area are the "tree houses" with no roof, like the ones you would find in old, Robinson-Crusoe-type novels. The accomodation is free if you eat at the restaurants who built the houses. The site is isolated from "modern life" except that there are many tourists visiting the beach during day time. Still, it may be a good place to relax, sleeping to the sound of crickets at night time.

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  • Intro Written Sep 11, 2002
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