• © TanjuBerk
Amy Adejokun
Amy Adejokun Expert destination Turkey

With its one million inhabitants, nine million annual tourists and its oppressing traffic, Antalya can be suffocating. Even so, there is a quiet district full of shady streets that is an ideal alternative when the days are hot: Kaleiçi. It consists of an old fortified town dominated by the minaret of the Yivli mosque, the oldest in the city. To enter, go through Hadrian's Gate where you can still see the traces dug by the chariots that supplied the city in the past. Here, a maze of streets leads to the city's marina.

The souk is of course one of the places that you have to visit. It is an ideal place for finding souvenirs, but watch out for counterfeits. There are many shops selling fake brand items. Even though the prices are really attractive, the fine you will have to pay if you get caught with any such items at customs may dissuade you!

Apart from these imitations, which incidentally are not always of a very good quality, you will find most of the traditional Turkish products, like tea, bitter orange, cherry and pomegranate jams and also embroidered fabrics, traditional dress, beauty products made with olive oil etc. In short, you could say that compulsive buyers will be delighted in Kaleiçi.

Aside from the commercial aspect of the souk, it is in this district that you will find the oldest houses in the city. The architecture of the houses, which resemble Roman villas, is actually something you can find throughout the Mediterranean. With their shaded patios and vegetation exuding the fresh scent of jasmine and mint, they are responsible for the city's charming essence.

The terraces that overlook the old port are amazing viewpoints where you can pleasantly linger and watch the incessant comings and goings of the boats traveling to the magnificent Karpuzkaldiran waterfall.

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