Antalya, Turkey’s finest

The gateway to Turkey’s south Mediterranean region. Famously called ‘Pamphylia’ in ancient history, it is now known as the Turquoise Coast for its blue waters. Antalya awed us with its rich culture melange, archological wonders, landmarks, and beautiful bays and harbours. There are more than 20 waterfalls around Antalya, and Duden Falls and Manavgat are particularly stunning. For golfing enthusiasts, Belek is the golfing capital of Turkey. It has hosted players like TigerWoods. Antalya is also favoured destination of Bollywood filmmakers. Antalys holds the world record for having the highest number of ‘Blue Flag‘ certified beaches across the world. Just across Antalya Museaum is Konyaalti,a shingles beach against the backdrop of the Taurus Mountains and it is one of the myriad Blue Flag-certified beaches in Antalya.

Kaleici, the old Quarter, the historic city center in Antalya is a great place to base yourself as you explore the city and surrounding area. As we ramble around the winding streets, alleyways, and the cobblestones roads in Kaleici, we passed by picturesque Ottoman-styled vills and houses with wooden bay windows framed by geraniums and incarnations. Kaleici is an utterly delighful maze of steep narrow curving down to the ancient harbor. When the Roman emperor Hardian visted the city in 130AD, he entered the city via a Roman triumphal arch ( now known as Harian’s Gate ), built in his honor. Today, the renovated arch marks the entrance to Keleici – literally ‘within the castle’. It is flanked within the remains of walls which of the structures dating from the Romans, Byzantines, Seljuks and Ottomans give one a sense of the scale of their settlement and their importance. Antalians are fiercly proud of the old city of Kaleici which is punctured with other attractions like the imposingly magnificent Yivli Minare, the 18th centuary clock tower, the captivating ancient Roman ruins of Kesik Minare and the Hidrilik Kulesi fortress that overlooks the Mediterranean harbors. A stroll downhill takes us to Antalya’s Roman Barbour, built in the second century BC, and now a glitzy Marian home to yachts and an array of excursions boats, particularly private-themed. Locals and holidaymakers frequently the old harbor front, a popular eating and watering hole. Tourist usually opt to hop on to a large wooden yacht and sailed on the turquoise waters surrounding Antalya. In the distance, we see the crumbling remains of the giant stone walls that once enriched the town and fortified its inhabitants.

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