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Antalya

Antalya

Legendary Anatolia, or Asia Minor is one of the countries surrounding the Mediterranean Sea which was eventually the birth-place of a bold and unsurpassed civilization for centuries. This peninsula of the Turkish Republic has the coastline on the Mediterranean Sea, almost half of which is the border of Antalya City. The expansive Gulf of Antalya stretches from Kas in the east to Alanya in the west. Sun-drenched coves with fashionable beach clubs and azure waters are set against the formidable bulk of the Taurus Mountains. These combine to make this the heart of the Turkish Riviera. Antalya is so much more than coastline and après beach cocktails. Venture inland to experience the region’s beatific charm. Clusters of squat, whitewashed houses sit next to tumbledown shops with glassfronted cupboards crammed with bread. Like its coastal neighbors, historical wonders abound. The oldest human remains were uncovered at the Karain Cave. Alexander the Great suffered his lone defeat at Termessos on the austere peak of the Taurus Mountains. In downtown Antalya, the archaeological museum is one of the best in the country. And adventure is never far away. Horse safaris and trekkers cross orchid- filled meadows with Roman and Byzantine ramparts. Locals say it is possible to ski on the higher ridges even when the sun is blazing on the beach.

Hittite tribes have tromped across the harsh Pamphylian plain since Prehistoric times. Remains uncovered in the Karain Cave offer proof of a settlement here since the dawn of humanity. When the Hittites went in search of a more hospitable terrain, the region became a series of independent city-states, until the Persians rode in. Alexander the Great expunged them. In 159 BC, Pergamon King Attalos II arrived to capitalize on the chaos that ensued following Alexander’s death. Attalos called his newly claimed city Attaleia. The city later passed into Roman hands along with the rest of Pergamon. In 130 AD, a visit by Emperor Hadrian was marked with the building of the triple-arched Hadrian’s Gate.

Attaleia continued to be an important commercial and military port as it passed back and forth from the Byzantines to the Seljuks. The Crusaders used the harbor during their deadly mission to Palestine. Modern Antalya was built over the top of old Attaleia, erasing much of its ancient past.

Antalya sits in the middle of two long, sandy beaches: Lara to the east and Konyaalti to the west. The old quarter of Kaleiçi with its harbor is in the center of the city. The busy main thoroughfare of Cumhuriyet Caddesi turns into Konyaalti Bulvari as it winds down to Konyaalti Beach. In the opposite direction, Atatürk Caddesi morphs into Isiklal Caddesi, a wide palm-tree lined boulevard packed with cafés and stores. Continuing south along this road, Lara Caddesi leads to the beach.

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Mesihpaşa Caddesi No: 9 Kat: 4 Laleli / Istanbul
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