Protected on one side by the Taurus Mountains, bathed on the other in the blue waters of the Mediterranean, the region of east Antalya has in a few years become the flagship destination for seaside tourism in Turkey. People travel to Antalya for its beautiful sandy and pebble beaches, bordered by particularly clear water, as well as modern and varied tourist facilities. Fans of relaxation will find a setting and service to their measure. Sporty people will be able to practise a variety of water activities here, as well as being engaged in the pleasures of hiking, golfing or climbing. As for the curious, they can discover many natural and historical sites.
Occupying a central place in the bay, Antalya is a city that is pleasant to stroll around. Its major public parks planted with palm trees, its marina and its Roman walls give it a very charming Mediterranean charm. Its old city is full of beautiful wooden houses of the XVIII and XIX centuries, arranged for the neccessities of tourism, in accommodation or souvenir shops. There are however very few tourist hotels in Antalya itself. The majority are found on the coastline stretching over 93 miles either side of the city. They often have the benefit from direct access to the sea and a spectacular setting.
The Antalya region enjoys a particularly mild climate. It is said here that the sun shines 300 days a year, and even in mid winter it is rare that the temperature falls below 15 °C. The bay of Antalya offers a succession of beach resorts popular with German and Russian customers.
Termessos, a city built on a mountainside, is especially known for its theatre, revealing a spectacular panorama of the surrounding area. Among the ruins, there are still old walls, water tanks, the necropolis or the tomb of Alcetas, the general of the Army of Alexander the Great.
To the east of Antalya, the site of Pergé offers some beautiful relics, including one of the best preserved arenas of the eastern Mediterranean. Not far away are the ruins of Sillyum, impressive with their agora perched on the heights, also deserving of a visit.
Do not miss Aspendos, located near the village of Belkiz. Its theatre of exceptional acoustics is one of the most beautiful and best preserved of the ancient world. It also serves as a setting, each year in October, for the International Akdeniz Akdeniz singing contest, bringing together artists from the entire Mediterranean area. Finally, the village of Sidé, whose spas are particularly well preserved, is an open history book.
Nearby, you will find the historic site of Side, the former Anatolien site of Perge, the ruins of Aspendos or Myra which houses the tomb of St Nicholas. Occupied successively by the Romans, Byzantines, Turks and Greeks, the region contains many ancient relics. There are frequent scheduled from most hotels.
Car rental is not necessarily more expensive than organised trips and allows you to explore places off the beaten track where you will discover the authentic hinterland.
Hotels in livelier areas do not always offer the peace needed for a relaxing holiday. If you want calm, avoid hotels in the city.
From the famous Turkish kebab, to berek, Baklava or the mezze, many local specialties will delight your palate.
Many small shops allow you to bring back some souvenirs such as objects with the lucky eye, hand painted pottery, local desserts and spices.
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