Situated at the end of the Gulf to which it has
given its name, Antalya is spread over a green
plateau that plunges dramatically into the sea.
Its glorious sandy beaches, Konyaalti in the west
and Lara in the east, are several kilometers long
and are lapped with crystal clear waters.
Antalya is a festival of colors with its blue
sea, its luminous sky, the ever changing color
of its mountains and its lush green vegetation.
The city was founded in 158-138 BC by Attalus
II, King of Bergama, and was later bequeathed
to the Roman Empire and encircled by strong protective
walls. Antalya has witnessed a turbulent history,
marked by numerous attacks and invasions until
it was annexed by the Ottoman Empire.
When the Turkish Republic was founded, Antalya
was a small town with a population of only 15,000.
Today, it is one of the world's best-loved touristic
resorts, with numerous five-star hotels, holiday
villages and entertainment establishments. The
proximity of a great number of archaeological
sites and ruins enhances its appeal, as does the
possibility for skiing in the mountains and then
descending to the shore for a swim. Tourism has
now become the region's major economic activity.
Kas & Kalkan
Kas was just a sleepy fishing village, built
on the site of the ancient city of Antiphellos,
until a few years ago. Now hotels, restaurants
and shops have mushroomed and the streets are
crowded night and day. The Greek Meis Island,
also known as Castellorizo, is only a few miles
Kalkan is once a small fishing port on the Mediterranean.
It has become a stopover for pleasure boats and
yachts and is rapidly becoming a major tourism
Fifteen years ago, Kemer was a small Mediterranean
town, surrounded by orange groves. Today it rivals
Antalya as Turkey's leading Mediterranean tourism
destination, and has witnessed phenomenal growth
and development. Its marina is one of the largest
on the coast and has become a regular stopover
for luxury yachts and cruises. The streets hum
with restaurants and cafes and shops all open
late into the night. The beaches, set against
the magnificent background of the Taurus mountains,
are very popular and the shores are lined with
international holiday villages. The resort town
of Belek is blessed with manicured golf courses,
and its cedar forests are home to many species
of rare birds.
In antiquity, the plain situated between the
Gulf of Antalya and the Toros mountains was known
as Pamphylia, considered to be one of the oldest
settlements in Anatolia. The murals discovered
in the grottoes in Karain, Belbasi and Beldibi
indicate that the first settlements started as
far back as the Paleolithic era.
Pamphylia was part of the Hittite Empire (1900-1400
BC). Many people migrated to settle here, founding
prosperous city states. Gradually, because of
the coexistence of peoples from all races, this
area became known as Pamphylia meaning "peoples
of all races".
for photos from Mediterranean