Antalya, Turkey's principal holiday resort in the Mediterranean region (ancient Pamphylia), is an attractive city with shady palm-lined boulevards, a prize-winning marina. In the picturesque old quarter, Kaleici, narrow winding streets and old wooden houses abut the ancient city walls.
Since its founding in the second century B.C. by Attalus II, a king of Pergamon, who named the city Attaleai after himself, Antalya has been continuously inhabited. The Romans, Byzantines and Seljuks in turn occupied the city before it came under Ottoman rule. The elegant fluted minaret of the Yivli Minareli Mosque in the center of the city built by the Seljuk sultan Alaeddin Keykubat in the 13th century has become the Antalya's symbol. The Karatay Medrese (theological college) in the Kaleici district, from the same period, exemplifies the best of Seljuk stone carvings. The two most important Ottoman mosques in the city are the 16th century Murat Pasa Mosque, remarkable for its tile decoration, the 18th century Tekeli Mehmet Pasa Mosque. Neighboring the marina, the attractive late 19th century Iskele Mosque is built of cut stone and set on four pillars over a natural spring. The Hidirlik Kulesi (tower) was probably originally constructed as a lighthouse in the second century. Today a church, the Kesik Minaret Mosque attests to the city's long history in its succession of Roman, Byzantine, Seljuk and Ottoman renovations. When Emperor Hadrian visited Antalya in 130 A.D. a beautifully decorated three arched gate was built into the city walls in his honor.
Nature; The region around Antalya offers sights of astonishing natural beauty as well as awesome historical remains. You can walk behind the cascade, a thrilling experience, at the Upper Düden Waterfalls, 14 km northeast of Antalya. On the way to Lara Beach, the Lower Düden Waterfalls plunge straight into the sea. The nearby rest area offers an excellent view of the falls; the view is even more spectacular from the sea. Kursunlu Waterfalls and Nilüfer Lake, both 18 km from Antalya are two more places of superb natural beauty.
The sandy Lara Beach lies about 12 km to the east. Closer to Antalya, but to the west, the long, pebbled Konyaalti Beach offers a view of the breathtaking mountain range. A little further the Bey Dagi (Olympos) National Park and Topcam Beach provide more splendid vistas. There are camping grounds at the north end of the park should you decide to linger amid the natural beauty. For a panoramic view of the area, drive to the holiday complex on top of the Tünektepe Hill.
Although the little museum at the entrance displays some of the finds, most of the artifacts are housed in various museums throughout Turkey. The ruins of the city of Termessos, set inside Güllük Dagi, a national park northwest of Antalya, is perched on a 1050 meter high plateau on the west face of Güllük Mountain (Solymos). A nature and wildlife museum is found at the park entrance.
The Archaeological Museum, with remains from the Paleolithic Age to Ottoman times, offers a glimpse of the area's rich history.
Other historical sites around Antalya are: Perge, Aspendos, Side, Termessos, Phaselis, Olympos, Chimeira, Kekova, Simena, Patara, Xantos, Letoon, Pinara, Tlos, Kas, Kalkan, Aperlai, Myra and Sillyon.