- Antique landmarks
- Religious buildings
- Antalya waterfalls
- Where to go with children?
- Note to shopaholics
Do you dream to indulge in beach pleasures and fully experience the benefits of an all-inclusive service? Go to Antalya, but do not forget about the active and educational component of your vacation, because in Turkey there is always something to see and where to go.
In Antalya, despite its resort nature, there are several ancient architectural rarities, a museum with a fascinating historical exposition, an aquarium with hundreds of marine life and beautiful natural attractions in the immediate vicinity.
Don't forget shopping! In Turkey, it has always been profitable and varied, and the ability to bargain correctly in an oriental bazaar can bring significant savings to the family budget.
And gourmets also go to Antalya. All the delights of the varied Turkish cuisine will be gladly offered to the guest in hotel restaurants, in city catering establishments, and in small cafes on the seashore.
In the first days of their stay in Antalya, tourists who have vowed not to leave the beach and enjoy a "seal" rest after strenuous office work, exactly follow the planned program. But there comes a moment when the soul begins to demand cultural and educational joys, and not just the sun, sea and cold beer. This is how the idea of excursions to attractions arises, since there are not many travel agencies in Antalya, but too many.
The list of the oldest architectural monuments of the region invariably includes the ancient city of Perge. It appeared even before the onset of a new era and the most significant objects preserved in it are dated to the 3rd-1st centuries. before the birth of Christ. The Perge amphitheater looks very impressive. Its stands could accommodate thousands of spectators, and the seats were installed in more than 40 rows. Hellenistic portal of the 3rd century BC NS. was restored by order of the priestess of the sanctuary of Artemis in the II century. The Baths of Perge are considered the largest in the region. In the II century. they were richly decorated with stone carvings. To look at the ruins of Perge, you will have to drive a dozen kilometers from Antalya as part of a group excursion or on your own by public transport.
Another ancient city in the vicinity of the resort is well known to pilgrims. Mira served as the center of early Christianity thanks to the efforts of the saint, who later became the prototype of the Christmas wizard. Saint Nicholas is still revered in Mir, where in memory of him in the IV century. a church was built. It is no less interesting to go to the Lycian tombs in Mir. The routes of excursions from Antalya are always included in the mausoleums carved into the rocks. The tombs were traditionally placed on a dais. People believed that such a situation would help the deceased to be in heaven sooner.
Having conquered the lands of ancient Lycia, the Romans were faced with a choice: it is easy to cede new territories to the enemy who encroached on them, or to build defensive fortifications. Imperial ambitions prevailed, fortress walls rose around Antalya, and the city became a fairly safe residence of Emperor Hadrian. The preserved antique gate of Hadrian is dated to the 2nd century. They represent a triple arch, decorated with columns and bas-reliefs.
Around the same time, a tower was erected in the south of the Antalya Bay, which is now called Hidirlik. Historians are not sure of its purpose and their hypotheses are very different. It is believed that Khidirlyk served as a lighthouse. Other researchers believe that it looks more like a small fort and in the past it was faced with defensive tasks. Finally, the most unexpected version is an ancient tomb. One way or another, you will undoubtedly want to go to the coast of the bay in Antalya and look at the 13-meter antiquity.
Top 10 attractions of Antalya
There are a great many examples of Islamic architecture in Antalya, because the main religion of the Turks is Islam. Nevertheless, some mosques attract special attention: both for their antiquity, and for the grandeur of the project, and for the extraordinary solution of the interior decoration.
- One of the most famous objects of this kind is the Yivli minaret, which is certainly present on tourist guides as a visiting card of the resort. Once in Antalya, be sure to go on an excursion to the Great Mosque, which houses the minaret. Yivli was built in the XIII-XIV centuries. It is immediately remembered due to the unusual fluted shape of the tower. Its height is four dozen meters, and a spiral staircase leads to the very top. The interior color of the minaret is blue. Hundreds of its shades are present on mosaics in niches and on the floor.
- The Church of St. Nicholas, now known to the whole world as the prototype of Christmas Santa, was built in the 4th century. Almost immediately it was destroyed by a devastating earthquake, and then the rebuilt temple found itself in the path of Arab soldiers. It was decided to restore the basilica again only in the 8th century, but it was also buried under a mudflow due to a natural cataclysm. Today, the church reclaimed from the elements serves as a museum. Its most important rarity is the sarcophagus, which kept the relics of St. Nicholas before the Italians kidnapped them and transported them to the saint's homeland in Bari.
Natural attractions of the popular Turkish resort can be found right within the city limits. The Duden waterfalls consist of two cascades, and represent the picturesquely overwhelming waters of the Duden River. In the suburbs of Antalya, the upper cascade is located in the park. The park is ideally equipped for the needs of tourists: you will find there are platforms for watching waterfalls, picnic areas and other infrastructure needed for long walks. The lower cascade falls a little further - 13 km from Antalya. The height of the stone ledge of the Duden river bed is about 40 m there. The waters fall directly into the sea, and therefore it is most convenient to view the waterfall from the board of a pleasure boat.
The noise of the waterfall in Kursunlu, which is 22 km from Antalya, is heard long before this beautiful natural landmark is in the sight of a tourist. However, its appearance will also not disappoint a photographer who dreams of unique shots: the multi-stage waterfall system and several lakes below it look very impressive. Dozens of hiking trails have been laid around the reservoirs in the Kurshunlu Park.
Where to go with children?
Antalya has many children's playgrounds and water parks, some of which are "docked" directly to the hotels. Children enjoy the special location of hotel animators and restaurant waiters. Two more objects will help parents to entertain young tourists.
The Mini-City miniature park will introduce you to the sights of all of Turkey at once. Mini-copies of the most famous architectural structures and natural attractions of the country are collected in the open air and are available for research by young travelers. In the park you will find Istanbul mosques, stone formations in Cappadocia, the white baths of Pamukkale and many other world famous objects.
The underwater tunnel of the Antalya aquarium is designed so that visitors find themselves in close proximity to marine life. The hosts and guests are separated only by glass partitions, behind which not only harmless fish, but also dangerous predators defile. There is a souvenir shop at the aquatic center selling T-shirts and albums, calendars and toys with marine symbols.
More about holidays with children in Antalya
Note to shopaholics
You can also go to shopping centers for souvenirs. The selection of goods in them is impressive even for those who are known by sight in Milan and Parisian department stores:
- Ozdilek is a four-storey shopping center where everything that is fashionable, relevant, modern and necessary is concentrated. You will find here not only clothes and shoes from the best world brands. Ozdilek has a gastronomic department where it is profitable to buy olive oil, Turkish sweets and oriental spices. A good help for parents who come to this hyper-department store with children - specialized staff ready to entertain the baby while the elders are busy shopping.
- Children will also be satisfied with their shopping trip at Migros. The huge family recreation area in this shopping center includes attractions, a cinema with several halls and a cafe, whose menu always includes ice cream and oriental desserts. The assortment of goods presented on the counters of "Migros" is no less impressive.
- A street in the old center of Antalya with the cute name Gulluk is a local shopping paradise. Stores with goods from Turkish manufacturers are concentrated on it. In boutiques on Gulluk you will find leather and fur products, ceramics, baby products and wonderful accessories for a cozy home - lamps, carpets and dishes.
- Shops on Ishiklar Street cannot be called shops - they offer too chic things to customers. Here you will be offered excellent quality fur coats, handmade carpets and jewelry with precious stones.
- On the contrary, shopping at the city clothing market looks inexpensive and angry, where all guests of Antalya should definitely go. It is very profitable to buy children's knitwear, bags, products and accessories for summer holidays at the bazaar. An important argument in favor of shopping in the city market is the opportunity to bargain and significantly reduce the price of the goods you like.
An outlet with a traditional set of branded stores is open near Antalya airport. Deepo Outlet AVM is best served during sales, which start in Antalya in late autumn and mid-summer. Discounts on products of famous world fashion designers can reach 70-90 percent, and the only outlet in a Turkish resort successfully refutes the opinion that quality shopping is never inexpensive.