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Antalya is one of the major ancient cities of the Mediterranean and, throughout the ages, has been likened to heaven from various experts. With historical significance and world-renowned natural beauty, Antalya is an unforgettable city. Throughout history, the province and its surrounding area came under the domination of several Anatolian civilizations and was called Lycia during the Roman era, which means “nation of light”. The Lycians adapted to several different political constitutions over the ages and even, at one time, succeeded in forming their own federate unions. The Lycian heritage and their relics still exist in Antalya today and are open for viewing. The Antalya International Airport in the city is one of Turkey’s busiest destinations and a major choice for many airlines. The Antalya Port is also a big favourite with visiting cruise ships and regular port calls bring thousands of tourists to the city every day.
Turkey has over ten million tourists visiting each year and Antalya receives around half of this number due to its name as one of Turkey’s best tourist destinations with its world-class hotels, resorts, culture and natural beauty. If you visit Antalya, do not leave without visiting the streets within the historical Kaleici district, the Hadrianus Gate, the Yivli Minaret Mosque and the Antalya Museum. Many more places to see include the Perge Ancient City, the Termessos Ancient City, the Amphitheatre and, of particular significance to Christianity, the Saint Nicholas Church which is named after Saint Nicholas who is remembered every Christmas. The ancient cities of Side, Perge, Phaselis and Demre are also not to be missed as well as the Alanya Castle with its 83 towers and 140 cisterns. If you ever get tired of history, you can head down to the modern city centre and enjoy some shopping and leisure time at the Bazaar.
The amount of natural beauty to see in Antalya is immeasurable. There are a lot of natural beaches along the coastal towns of Alanya, Kemer, Tekirova, Olympus, Kumluca, Finike and Kas. In addition to the famous beaches of Konyaalti, Lara, Karpuzkaldiran, Belek and Kundu Resat Island, there is also the long coast of fine sand and its gorgeous beaches stretching all the way to Side and Gazipasa to enjoy. You can also go to Alanya’s Cleopatra Beach, Damlatas Beach, Keykubat Beach and Portakal Beach to make the most of the Mediterranean Sea. For a really exhilarating day, there are the amazing water parks Aqualand and Dolphinland in Antalya for you to have a fun time out. Aqualand is built on 48,000 square metres on Antalya Beach Park and contains the city’s biggest water slides, a jacuzzi bar, wave pools and grassy areas for relaxing and sunbathing. At Dolphinland, you have the chance to watch shows with dolphins, white whales, sea lions and other sea animals.
Nonetheless, Antalya’s natural beauty is not just about pretty beaches. One of Turkey’s most incredible waterfalls, the Duden Waterfall, is also located here and is popular with tourists and locals for its picnic and green recreation areas. The Manavgat Waterfall is well worth viewing for its very high flow rate makes it an incredible sight. Antalya also has some amazing opportunities for cave enthusiasts and there are many excursions available which are led by professional expert teams. These include some incredible sights which will take your breath away, such as the Karain Cave which was used as an ancient dwelling place, a temple in the Middle Ages and has some incredible Ancient Greek engravings on the walls. The Damlatas Cave is a dazzling sight with its stalactites and stalagmites. Dim Cave is nestled amongst forests and picnic areas while the 2500-metre long Altinbesik Cave leaves a lasting impression on visitors. Last but not least, the Trio Islands in Kemer are perfect for diving enthusiasts and the diving center is a good addition to an extensive tour program.