In a region overflowing with a rich cultural heritage, it’s not surprise that the archaeological museum in Antalya is a treasure-trove of artifacts. Spread out over 14 huge halls are over 5, 000 items on display, with everything from prehistoric tools from the oldest inhabited cave in Turkey, to magnificent statues of the Greek pantheon, to an entire room devoted to coins. This is the best place to appreciate the sheer length and scope of Antalyan history, and definitely a must-visit attraction!
Opening Hrs: Open Tuesdays to Sundays, from 9am to 6pm
Pricing: USD 10
Belek is best known as a golfer’s paradise, as it sports six world-class 18-hole golf courses, which regularly attract golfers from around the region to try their skill on the links.
The city’s most famous relic from the days of the Roman Empire is an exceptionally well preserved amphitheatre. Capable of sitting up to 20, 000 spectators during its heyday, the amphitheatre is still used for its original purpose today, as concerts and recitals are still regularly held here.
Located a little less than 20 kilometres away from Belek are the remains of an ancient Roman town. Though the buildings have been continually damaged by earthquakes, most of it is surprisingly intact, including the baths and the stadium. Perge is also said to have been where St Peter preached one of his first sermons; you can find out more of Perge’s interesting history from the tour guides available onsite.
Kemer’s biggest attraction is the natural beauty of its surrounding landscape, as the sprawling town is framed by the deep blue waters of the Ionian on one side, and the sharp-edge mountains of the Caspian on the other. Tours, solo 4WD expeditions and hiking trips are all popular ways to explore the compelling countryside around the town.
As befits a coastal town, Kemer is known for its lovely beaches. The two most popular are the main town shingle beach, which has restaurants, cafes, boat trips, and a nearby sand/pebble beach. Beyond the town however, is a long stretch magnificent coastline, along which are little coves which offer more privacy.
The Ruins of Phaselis & Olympos
Two of the more accessible, though rather less well known, historical ruins in Turkey are located about 2 hr’s 4WD outside the town, and within easy reach of each other. The Phaselis ruins, which are set on a picturesque peninsula at the foot of Mt. Tahtali (or Mount Olympus in ancient days), date back to the 6th century BC, when it was an important port. Today, visitors can still see the remains of agoras, baths, a theater, an acropolis, among other structures. Nearby on the southern side of Mt Tahtali is the ruined city of Olympos. Once one of the leading cities of the Lydian Federation, the city has been abandon since the 15th century, but it is still popular for the ruins which still stand, and its scenic views.
The Yoruk Park (Yoruk Parki)
This charmingly rustic park in the town is popular as a recreational spot not only for its lawns and shady trees, but also because it designed to showcase the nomadic culture of the Turkish plains. Visitors can meet actors dressed in the nomadic costumes and even taste some of the traditional Turkish delicacies, such as gozieme.
Tumbling over a low crescent-shaped break in the river, the milking foaming waters of the Manavgat waterfall are framed on by the thick greenery along the riverbanks, creating a charming scene. These falls are one of the most famous in Turkey, and a popular tourist activity is a cruise along the Manavgat river between nearby Side and Manavgat to see the waterfall, followed by a visit to the colourful local outdoor market.