Antalya - a tourist destination of incredible natural and historic gifts

Only twenty five years ago, Antalya was a tumbledown fishing village crowded around a harbor against the background of Roman and pre-Roman ruins and Byzantine ramparts. Today, Antalya is a thriving tourist destination, welcoming numerous visitors from around the globe, who come to pamper in warm waters of the Mediterranean any season of the year and explore magnificent treasures of the past.
Antalya and the surrounding region stands for a remarkable tourist center on the Mediterranean Coast with its ideal climate, unusual natural beauty and splendid legacy of archeological and historical sites. Antalia is located on one of the clearest coasts along the Mediterranean and creates an unusual architectural landscape, built at thirty nine meters on a rocky coastline next to the majestic Taurus Mountains, rising to three thosand and eighty six meters above this coastline. Steep cliffs interlace with sandy beaches and caves located close to the sea.

The sight of especial beauty is created by small and large streams of water, descending from the Taurus to the Mediterranean, cascading, falling down and murmuring on their way. Another remarkable phenomenon is an enormous amount and variability of cactus species that, in fact, constitute only a small part of diverse and unique Antalya's flora.

The climate is wonderful throughout the year. The summers are hot and rainless, while the other months are warm and often rainy with a mean annual temperature of 18.7 ?C. During the last forty years, the highest recorded temperature was 44.6 ?C. It is very rare for the temperature to drop below zero and it is a great sensation if it starts snowing (last time the snow fell in 1985 for the first time in sixty years).

Called the "Turkish Riviera" due to its wonderful archeological and natural beauties, Antalia is an amazing place that harmonically combines the mystic past and natural ambiance with high-tech present. The architectural beauty of Antalya starts with Kale Ici (Inner Bailey), an ancient city center that has housed many civilizations and residents. The district is restored and stands for the most attractive tourist centre in Antalya with its hotels, restaurants, shopping and entertainment facilities. However, the architecture of the Inner Bailey still reflects Antalya's history, living habits, customs and social ways of ancient inhabitants.

Next to Antalya, at the height of one thousand and fifty meters in the Taurus Mountains, lies Termessos, the most interesting ancient city in Antalya region. The city was abandoned in the fif th century A.D. Today's remains of Termessos, including the walls, the Hadrian's triumphal arch, the cisterns, the giant theater, the gymnasium, the agora, the Odeon and the Heroon, represent notable architectural treasures in Turkey. Among the tombs, which are found everywhere, are those of Alcates, Agatemeros and the Lion decorated sarcophagi.

Other ancient cities scattering throughout Antalyan region are Perge, which was built by three heros from Troy according to the legend; Sillyon dating back to the fourth century B.C; and Aspendos, one of the most important Pamphilian cities.

From Antalya you can take a trip to Izmir, another special city in Turkey. Izmir is Turkey's third largest city and second most important port; it is a modern city that still keeps traces of its ancient, Ottoman and Levantine past; and it is the city with the history enveloped with a shadow of legend. In addition, Izmir is the city of wonderful hotels, first class resorts, incredible beaches and special Aegean cuisine.
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