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Turkey Vacation Package

The Highlights of Antalya
By Seif Kamel

The Taurus Mountains, the shores of the Mediterranean Sea, and the ancient history of the region, made Antalya, or the Turkish Rivera, one of the most famous touristic destinations in Europe.

Many travelers coming to spend their vacations in Turkey nowadays visit Antalya for a day or two. This is besides the wonderful weather of the city and the beaches that stretch over more than 600 kilometers.

Antalya is located to the South West of Turkey, to the south of Istanbul, overlooking the Mediterranean Sea    

The city was established during the 15th century BC and it was named after Attalus, a king of Pergamum in 159 BC.

Antalya has prospered during the Roman and Byzantine periods before it fell under the Ottoman control in 1390.

 For a very long period Antalya has been of interest to several invaders from all around the world because of its significant geographical location. 

 Many travelers who spend their vacations in Istanbul, usually desire to visit Antalya as well for its marvelous historical diversity and its wonderful beaches


The number of people living in Antalya has increased rapidly after the city became a major touristic destination beginning of the 1980s and now the city is one of the most favorable Turkish resorts visited by many tourists as part of their private tour to Turkey.

In this article we will shed some lights on the most important places to explore during a trip to Antalya.

Antalya Archeological Museum  

This museum is located on a cliff to the west of the city and it displays many exhibits demonstrating the history of Antalya and the whole region.

The museum displays a collection of Roman marble statues dating back to the second century AD and most of them were found in the nearby ancient city of Perge.

Other displays include Bronze Age urn burials, relics from the Christian site of Saint Nicholas, and early Byzantine Church silver.

The Antalya Archeological Museum is one of the most remarkable museums in Turkey and it is recommended for all tourists to explore it when they visit the city as part of their trips to Turkey.

The Fluted Minaret

This marvelously designed minaret date back to the 13th century during the period of Seljuk Sultan Alaa El Dine Keykubad and it has become a landmark of Antalya.

The red bricks of the minaret were once richly decorated with turquoise.  The adjoining mosque is still used by the locals and there is also a Fine Arts Gallery above it.

The Clock Tower of Antalya

This is one of the local landmarks in Antalya. The clock Tower was built in the 1244 and it marks the upper limit of the old town of Antalya. It seems, because of the looks of the tower, that it was part of the defense system of the city in the beginning of the 13th century.

Hadrian's Gate

This structure was built in the honor of the visit of the Emperor Hadrian to Antalya in 130 AD. It consists of a three arched gateways fronted by four large columns.
The structure was buried for years in the Seljuk city walls and it wasn't discovered until the 1950s. The Hadrian Gate has witnessed comprehensive restoration and the pavement between the arches stripped back tot the Roman level, showing the wheel ruts cut into stones.

The Hadrian Gate is one of the most important highlights of Antalya and many travelers visit it when they have a tour in Turkey

The Yacht Harbor

During the 1990s Antalya had a new harbor built 10 kilometers to the west of the city to replace the old historical harbor of the city that has become overcrowded.

The new Yacht Harbor is now acting as the fish market of Antalya and the old harbor only serves as the a transit  point of the Gullet cruises.

The waterfronts are lined with many restaurants and it has become a touristic attraction in the past few years and it is included in many Turkey private tours . 

The Aqualand
This is an amazing themes park that is water based and it was established in partnership with a Spanish company. The park has large colored chutes, slides, and a marvelous swimming pool. 

This park also hosts a disco, some restaurants, and a nice baby play area. A visit to the Aqualand is recommended for families who have babies and children from different ages.  This park is also recommended for tourists coming to enjoy their Turkey vacation packages

The Truncated Minaret
The Truncated Minaret has become a landmark of the city  because of its location maybe in the middle of a Greek Temple, the Church of Saint Peter, and a mosque

Unfortunately, the minaret was badly damaged by fire in 1851. However, many of its architectural elements are still clear. Entrance to the minaret is forbidden as the railings surround the site, but it is always worth taking a look at.
Located 18 kilometers to the North East of Antalya on the Aksu River, Perge was once a wealthy city but it declined during the reign of the Byzantines and it was totally abandoned by the 7th century. However, the site of this historical city is still impressive.

The theatre of the city has undergone a long period of restoration and it is now open for public. There is also a huge stadium that is in a fine preserved condition

At the entrance of this ancient town, there are tow Hellenistic towers and afterwards there is a courtyard with a fountain. There is also a bath with underground heating system situated to the left of the fountain.

A water canal leads from another fountain located on the acropolis directing the guest to the columned main street.

Plancia Magna, the benefactress of the city, was buried outside its walls. There is a marvelous statue of her on display in the Antalya Archeological Museum.

Perge is one of the most important historical sites located near Antalya and it is included in many Turkey private tours.


Located on the Koprulu River, 50 kilometers to the East of the city of Antalya, Aspendos was once the east most city of the kingdom of Pergamum. The city became an important trading point during the period of the Romans

Today Aspendos hosts one of the finest preserved roman theatres in Europe. The theatre can host up 12 thousand people and it was built in 162 AD by Zeno, one of the most famous architects at the time.

The structure of the theatre is enclosed by a stage building that once had a timber canopy. The theatre of Aspendos hosts the Aspendos Opera and Ballet festival held in the summer every year. The city also has many remarkable remains until today.

Many travelers organizing a tour to Istanbul usually add other regions like Izmir, Kusadasi, and Antalya to their packages. 


Termessos was built on the Greek shipping rout of the Aegean. Because of its geographical location and natural conditions, Alexander the Great, who conquered the whole region, never thought of trying to attack Termessos to save his men and his army

The remains of this historical city today includes a wonderful Roman theatre, the Gymnasium , the defensive walls below the Gymnasium, the ruins of the temples of Zeus and Hadrian, an Odeon, some cisterns, and the Temple of Artemis.

Many escorted tours to Turkey include a visit to the ruins of Termessos which are now a part of the Gulluk Dag Natural Park that has a collection of wild goats and deer. The area is also famous for its collection of beautiful butterflies.

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