If you have a desire to buy property in Turkey you just need to read this article and learn more about Antalya, one of the most prestigious places to buy property in Turkey.
Anyone who wants to explore the historical sites in Antalya will be surprised by its huge number of ancient ruins and old sights. Located on the Mediterranean coast of Turkey, the region covers a large territory from Gazipasa in the east to Kas and Kalkan in the west. All these areas boast places that attract curious vacationers from all over the world.
We always say that quality, not quantity, and with Antalya, the diversity of ancient buildings and cities portray outstanding moments of its history in time. From the first settlement of the Attalia dynasty, followed by the Romans, the Seljuk empire and the Ottomans, everyone who visits these places goes on a journey through time, exploring various destroyed cities and buildings.
Since most of them are located in open areas, the best time to visit is during the cold months, such as April, May, June, October and November. You can sign up for a day excursion at a local travel agency or get there by public transport, but we often travel for four or five days in order to see it all at our leisure according to our own plans.
People also like hiking, which is not surprising if you look at the ancient Lycian way, as one of the best options for hiking. This route, spanning the coast of Antalya all the way to Fethiye, covers many of the ruined cities and also offers the best of the region’s scenic landscape.
1: Kaleici and Hadrian’s Gate
In the center of all of them is Kaleici and the famous Hadrian’s Gate, which is a diverse collection of buildings and attractions left by various empires. The gates of Hadrian, built in 130 AD in honor of the visit of the Roman emperor of the same name, are a milestone in the old city center, called Turkish Kaleici.
Narrow cobbled streets have more interesting buildings, such as the 18th-century Tekeli Mehmet Paz Mosque and the Broken Minaret Mosque, which was a Roman temple, and the Byzantine Church before it was transformed in the 13th century. Our favorite buildings are old Ottoman houses, some of which are now boutique hotels and gourmet restaurants.
2: Historic Aspendos: the pearl of Antalya
As another famous ruined city of Antalya, Aspendos is very admired and has the glory of an ancient theater of the 2nd century. Currently, it can accommodate up to 15,000 people. The festival of opera and ballet is annually held here. Other nearby attractions include the aqueduct, basilica, nymphaeum, agora and the boulevard where the local council held meetings.
3: Termessos: a place of intrigue
This historic city, built on a steep hillside, is not suitable for people with disabilities, but it is worth a visit anyway. Often called one of Turkey’s best-preserved cities, its nickname “Eagle’s Nest” means that it is located in the wilderness, at an altitude of 1000 meters above sea level. Among the architectural monuments scattered among the pine forest you can find agora, gymnasium, theater, city walls, a necropolis and water tanks. Given the importance of Termessos, it has been on the UNESCO preliminary list since 2000.
4: Phaselis: Ancient City and Beaches
What sets these ruins apart is its magnificent location among two beaches. Here you can spend the perfect day exploring such iconic buildings as the agora, aqueduct, houses and theater before heading to the beach to enjoy a delightful trio of sun, sea and sand. Located in the Kemer region of Antalya, Phaselis dates from the 7th century BC, and during its heyday it was a major commercial sea port, although it attracted pirates. Abandoned in the 3rd century AD, Phaselis is delightful to explore in the summer because of its location in a dense forest.
5: The ruined city of Olympos
Similarly, the Olympus add-ons in the dense forest give weight to the fabulous atmosphere, and this is another city located next to the magnificent beach, so you can combine the study of historical ruins and sunbathing in one day. Olympos was another member of the ancient Lycian League, a collection of powerful cities that controlled the southwest coast. Like Phaselis, the commercial status of the seaport also attracted pirates, but the city was successful in subsequent years, so Roman and Byzantine structures still survive. Buildings worth seeing include houses, churches, and temple gates.
6: Side: Old Ruins and Temple of Apollo
History buffs should book two nights in Side, which stands out for a new city built around old ruins, providing a surreal setting. The most famous and enthusiastic architectural monument is the old theater, but among others worth visiting, the main gate, the Byzantine hospital, the agora and baths. This is a very good place to end the day on the coastline where the Temple of Apollo is located. When the sun sets over the horizon, prepare your cameras for the perfect picture.
7: Alanya: Castle and Red Tower
Throughout history, Alanya Castle with 6-kilometer city walls hosted the Hellenistic, Roman, Byzantine, Seljuk and Ottoman communities. Dominating the skyline and overlooking the Mediterranean Sea from the top of the hill, we recommend spending a whole day here to explore everything at your leisure. Buses stop at the main gate from which you can begin to explore the inside of the fortress with delights such as the 12th-century St. George Church. End your day by going down the hill to the harbor and the Red Tower, one of Alanya’s famous buildings.
8: Perge: The Ancient City
Dating from the 12th century BC, Perge is another gem of Antalya. Ruled by the Persians and surrendered to Alexander the Great, the city also flourished under Roman rule. Christian history has never been as important as here, because St. Paul preached and began his journey here to spread the word from Perge. Explore restored structures, including city walls, gymnasiums, fountains, agoras, baths, a necropolis and a theater. Perge is another of the historical cities of Antalya, included in the preliminary list of UNESCO.
9: Ancient Myra Ruins
Located in the Demre district of Antalya, the ancient ruins of Myra are different from others. While the ancient theater is much admired, the Lycian tombs buried in the side of a hill are the center of attention among tourists. Situated at that angle for easier access to the afterlife, they easily become the main travel photograph among those seeking ancient ruins. While there, also visit St. Nicholas Church. Being the most distinguished bishop of Myra and known for his kindness, today he is better known as Santa Claus.
We also recommend:
If you have extended your time in the center of Antalya, we also recommend that you go to the museum. Detailing the history and showing artifacts from many historical places of Antalya, this is one of the best museums in Turkey. If this is your first time visiting this region, our Antalya guide will also help you get started.