The city of Antalya stretches along the bay bearing its name, and is built at 39 meters
Small and large streams emerging from the west side of the Taurus water the plains
|BRIEF HISTORY OF ANTALYA
Evidence of human habitation dating back over 200 000 years has been discovered
in the Carain caves 30 km to the north of Antalya city. Other finds dating back to Neolithic times and more recent periods show that the area has been populated by various ancient civilisations throughout the ages. Records from the Hittite period (when the first recorded political union of Anatolian cities was set up calling itself the Lycian league) refer to the area as the Lands of Arzawa and document the lively interaction going on between provinces in 1700 BC. Historical records document how cities developed independantly, how the area as a whole was called Pamphilia and how a federation of cities was set up in the province.There is also a record of the migration of the Akha clan to the area after the Trojan war.
The reign of the kingdom of Lydia in west Anatolia came to an end in 560 BC
In 1207 A.D. the Selchuk Turks conquered Antalya and then Alanya in 1220 A.D.This
|OLYMPOSIt is located between Kemer and Adrasan. After passing Phaselis on the
Antalya- Kumluca road, signpost leading to Olympos and Çirali will be seen and
Olympos can be reached by following either route. Çirali is the name of the village
near Olympos, which was a port city established in the 2 nd century B.C.
and abandoned in the 6th century A.D. The famous myth of Bellerophontes fighting
the Chimera took place here. The antique city is on both sides of a beautiful valley.
A sandy beach is found where the town and the valley meet the sea, into which a
mountain stream flows. 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 is reached one km after turning left 57km along the Antalya-Kemer highway.
|THERMESSOSTermessos is perhaps the most interesting ancient city in Antalya region.
It is a Psidian city built at a height of 1050 meters in the Taurus Mountains.
Termessos constitutes an unusual synthesis of a large number of rare plants and
animal species, which are under protection in the Termessos National Park. When
turning off the Antalya-Burdur highway (11 km.) in the direction of Korkuteli,
the Termessos signpost will be seen 14 km. further on, and Termessos itself is a
further 9 km.
A visit to this site requires time and the stamina to walk uphill, because Termessos
is built entirely on a mountainous area difficult to access.
The inhabitants of Termessos were known as the Solyms but unlike those of other cities
|PERGEThis city was built 18km east of Antalya between the Düden 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. It was settled in 1200 B.C. In 332 B.C. Perge,
like Side, reached an agreement with Alexander and thus did not go to war or
suffer the usul ravages. It lived through the Hellenistic, Roman and Byzantine epochs.
Its 15,000 spectator theatre was built in the 2nd century A.D. and the nearby stadium
could hold 12000. With the exception of the Aphrodisias stadium, it is the best
preserved in Anatolia. There are 30 rooms, believed to have been used as shops,
underneath the stadium seats. 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.
After passing Serik on the Antalya-Alanya highway, you turn north and continue for
|SIDESide 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. The city was constructed on a peninsula and was a Hellenistic and Roman town,
protected by city and sea walls. One’s attention is particularly drawn to the city gates
and walls, as well as the many remains of aqueducts which brought water from the
Tauros mountain foothills and surrounding country. The old baths have been restored
and turned into a museum, in which are exhibited some of the statues and art
treasures found in Side. 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 storey 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, harbour, baths, fountains, cisterns, aquaducts, temples and a agora.
|KEKOVAAfter leaving Kas one sails past Uluburun and sets a course for Kekova, a spot that is
like heaven on earth. One first encounters the Sicak peninsula at the end of which
are two islands: Toprakada and Karaada. Kekova island stretches out from here and it
is because of this island that the whole area is called Kekova. Passing among the
islands and arriving at Kekova, the safest anchorage is Üçagiz, which is a good,
all-round harbor.people of different religions and beliefs for peace,
friendship and brotherhood.
|MYRASituated between Finike and Kas, Myra is 25 kms. from Finike and 48 kms. from Kas.
It was one of the most important cities among the other six Lycian cities. It was
settled in the 5th century B.C. Although it was originally a coastal town, it has
retreated from the sea because of the alluvium from the Demre stream. It was
abandoned in the 9th century A.D. after the Arab invasion. The rock tombs,
the theatre and St. Nicholas Church have survived to make it a place worth visiting.
St. Nicholas, born in 245 A.D. in Patara near Fethiye (known variously as St.Nicholas,
As the Bishop of Demre, by his religious and social work, he solved the problems of
It was in the years 1951-55 that it was realized St. Nicholas was Santa Claus
|XANTHOSThis is the oldest and the largest city of the mountain province of Lycia, settled
in the valley of the Xanthos river. Until the Persian invasion it was an independent
state. When the people of Xanthos,who had bravely tried to defend their city,
realized that they could not repulse the invasion, they first killed their women
committed mass suicide by throwing themselves into the flames. About 80 surviving
families and people who immigrated there rebuilt the city, but a fire which broke
out about 100 years later razed it to the ground. In spite of this, the city was
again rebuilt and, as a result of establishing good relations with the west,
was considered as an important centre. However, Xanthos again met with an unfortunate
end. As a result of resisting the taxes the Athenians wanted to impose on them in 429
B.C., the city was largely destroyed and the inhabitants were drawn into a war.
And thus Xanthos became “a city of disasters”. 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 edifices of the theatre’s
western shoreline. Of these the most famous is the Harpy Monument, which is a family
sarcophagus situated on a rock. The original of this relief-decorated sarcophagus
is in the British Museum, and a very good copy of this is in its place. Close by
can be seen very interesting Lycian sarcophagi from the 6th and 1st centuries B.C.
|PATARAAt about 10 kms. beyond Kalkan on the Kalkan-Fethiye highway you turn south and
continue 10 kms. along the road to Patara. The painted ceramics found in the
acropolis prove that the city existed in the 5th century B.C. Patara opened its
doors to Alexander the Great, thereby earning the status of an important harbour city,
in addition to having been the birthplace of St. Nicholas. The triple gateway
through which one enters Patara is thought to have been built in 100 A.D. One of
its most important edifices is its theatre which is now buried in sand.
|KASToday’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
theater are well worth seeing. Kas today is a small and charming coastal resort.
This is reached by sea from Ucagiz. The beauty of Simena lies in its blending of
|ALARAHANAlarahan, known as the Pamphilia region is within the frontier of Antalya province
of Alanya district, Okurcalar city, Çakkallar village.30 km from Alanya
(towards Antalya ) there is a turnoff to Alarahan.You will travel for 9 km after
this turnoff from the sea towards the forest passing little settlement areas,
and arrive to the region which has given it’s name “Historic Alarahan.”
Alarahan, one of Turkey’s limited “historic places to gain function” with it’s