The Turks are not so happy to mention it, but the city of Antalya was built by Greeks, as almost all the old city-fortress in south of Turkey.
Of course the Romans were developing the entire area as part of their flourishing imperium.
With a history going back for more than 2200 years, Antalya is still a focal point in the Mediterranean area.
Now a city inhabited mostly by Muslim population, Antalya was on the Christianity path, the locals being Christianized in the 2nd century.
You can still see here the early signs of the spreading new religion in the year 200 AC, for an archaeologist, following the sea side should be amazing.
You can find here the tracks of the Greeks, Romans, and after the 13th century, the Turks.
Being one of the most important touristic sites in Turkey the city is fast developing.
The population is now double than in 2000, which is probably telling you a lot about the power of tourism.
Of course, the tourism is developing fast a country but it is so easy influenced by the politics.
After the last events in Turkey, all what I hope is that next year I can go back to Antalya as this is for us the best place to spend our summer holiday.
After so many years visiting Turkey, we have finally discovered the Old Antalya.
It is of course newly renovated but you can still feel the soul of the old Antalya.
In my opinion to see the old Antalya is a must for anyone.
It was un-doubtfully a nice surprise, after the one we had last year visiting Side.
The country is rising and people are rising together with the country.
Turkey is not anymore the exotic country we have visited first time in 2004 now it is purely a new European Country.
The show of the street is now less aggressive, everybody is speaking English and German, Russian or even Romanian which was amazing for us.
I hope that they'll stick on the path and we can go there every year, as we did from 2004 until now.
August 2011 we stayed in "The Alp Pasa Hotel" for 16 days. Although it is a pretty place, with old decoration, we can´t give the Hotel any good caracters, then the old owner of The Hotel was treating his staff like they were all slaves under the worst circumstances. He was angry with them all day long, it was terrible to watch. The poor staff worked so hard and long, they deserved better!
Our doubleroom was very tiny, 8m2, did not at all look like on the photos online, very dark, and the aircondition and the noise from the rest of the place was very loud. The pool was in the middle of the Hotel, a very crovded tiny place, then the restaurant was the same place. Being in the Pool made us feel like a bird in a cooking Pot.
Instead, we this year look forward to stay in one of the many pensions in Kaleici, much cheaper, still pretty and with pools, and hopefully with a much more kind owner.
Probably the top reason why I made a stop-over in Antalya is to see the Kaleici. That's why I booked a pension within the Kaleici for my stay. I like the charm of any old city's old or historical part. Between modern high-rise hotels along the coastline versus pension houses in Kaleici -- I would definitely go for the old town.
Kaleici is 2 words combined which means "inside the castle" or fortress, because in olden times, Antalya is confined within the walls of Kaleici.
Walking along the cobbled street, getting lost amongst it's narrow alleys - in fact I got lost the first night I was looking for a ministore to buy a bottle of water - is really fascinating.
There are a lot of things to see - old mosques, churches, historical hammams, seemingly haunted mansions, dilapidated wooden houses, bazaars, curio shops, the neighborhood clay-toy maker, the quaint cafes at night, the dramatic yellow lightings along dark alleys, the parks overlooking the marina, old medrese, etc.
Walking tour of the Kaleici starts at the clock tower beside the Tekeli Mehmet Pasha Mosque going down the cobbled street lined with shops, or the Hadrian's Gate.
Having had a great hamam experience in Istanbul, I thought I'd treat myself to another on my last day in Turkey. Sefa Hamam was located close to my hotel, so I dropped by late one afternoon. I didn't really understand how things worked at Sefa. They didn't seem busy and their female employee seemed to be busy watching TV. I felt kind of guilty that I made her leave her shows to come scrub me down. I asked if it would be possible to also get an oil massage, and I was told sure- their male masseuse would be happy to massage me. I told them I wasn't comfortable with that (everything I'd ever read said no Turkish woman would consent to a massage from a man in a hamam) and the male owner started back-pedalling... he told me a female masseuse could be available. I felt really weird, and it ended up being a half-hearted massage from the same older woman who'd just half-heartedly scrubbed me. In the end I just felt awkward, and I think I could have performed an equally effective spa treatment on myself in my hotel bathroom. The building is beautiful and historic, so that was nice, and it was much cheaper than a similar package in Istanbul... but the whole vibe was just off.
The Broken Minaret (Kesik Minare) is found at the Korkut Mosque (Korkut Camii) in Kaleici. There wasn't always a mosque on the site, but when one was built its minaret stood tall for almost one thousand years, until it was destroyed by fire in the 1800s. While the mosque is now in ruins, the remains of the minaret remain even today.
My guidebook said that Kaleici (Old Town) had some of the best-preserved examples of traditional Ottoman architecture. I felt like the neighbourhood was at its best at dusk, when the street lights were turning on and you could imagine how the narrow lanes might have looked hundreds of years earlier. Some buildings were eerily abandoned, others appeared so but were actually occupied, and most were well-maintained and occupied by inhabitants who eyed curious tourists with equal curiosity. The narrow streets of Kaleici are definitely worth exploring, armed with nothing more than a camera.
The Kaleici Museum is a small collection of everything and anything that has to do with Antalya's most historic district. Located in a former home and church, exhibits range from mannequins depicting a traditional wedding to photographs documenting the changing face of Antalya at the dawn of the twentieth century. Entrance was a mere two lira, and while the exhibits themselves aren't particularly interesting, the restored Greek Orthodox Church of St. George (Aya Yorgi) is gorgeous and architecturally worth a visit. While I was there I didn't encounter any other visitors, and on a hot afternoon it was lovely to be able to sit in the cool church and relax in silence. Pure zen.
olympos (history 4*, forest 4*, beach 5*, night life 5*) (70 km west of antalya)
kemer (beach *3, night life 4*) (45km west of antalya)
gokbuk karstic canyon (amazing natural virgin beauty) (110 km west of antalya, when you come to finike, you can go to north 15 km for coming gokbuk small town)
i lived more than 20 years in antalya, and absolutely know every meter squere..
finaly i can say
west of antalya is the best
east of the antalya is disappointment..
i think, don't prefer east (for ex. alanya)
prefer west for stay (kemer, olympos, cirali, kas...)
if u need to first class hotel, u can stay realy first class in kemer..
but u prefer warm and active trip, absolutely i suggest olympos tree house.. olmpos have fantastic beach & history & night life & forest & nature.. and cheapest hotels (you can stay 15-30 dolars per night in tree house - tree house is very romantic and comfortable.)
I loved walking around the Kaleici area, which is filled with old restored Ottoman houses that now serves as pensions, hotels, restaurants or souvenir shops. Many tourists stay here, but we were staying way off on the other side of town so just came here for a tour by ourselves which we enjoyed tremendously. The best thing for me was to discover the little back streets and see where they lead and what they have to offer. You always discover interesting things when you get lost, but somehow one always finds your way back to the main streets.
The formation of traditional Antalya houses is based on the following principles;regard to life,nature and environment,importance to function rather than style.Sincerity,wisdom,flexibility and practicality,as well as these,the concept of the rooms conform to the traditional Turkish house.Antalya summers are very hot and winters are cool.The main onjective in the houses is to avoid the heat and to provide cool air rather than cold.To benefit from the gentle breeze which wafts from sea to land during the day and land to sea during the evenings is the subject of daily conversation and is the pride of traditional Antalya houses.For this reason shadowy paved courtyards,high ceilinged rooms,and courtyards are specific features of Kaleici houses..
The history of the city walls surrounding Kaleici,the ancient nucleus of the city of Antalya,a district which cannot fail to remind the visitor of a cultural garden of a thousand flowers adorned with the choicest buildings from the Roman,Byzantine,Seljuk,Ottoman and Republican periods,is in effect,identical with the history of the city itself.
An examination of the defence walls reveals the whole historical development of the city and the opening up of the city and the opening up of the coastal cities to the outside,while at the same time it allows one to breathe an atmosphere of freedom.These walls,provide the sources for the history of Antalya,and it is by examining the stones,touching the mortar and reading the inscriptions,that you can get to know the cultural and historical identity of the city..
"the history of the city walls is the history of Kaleici and even of the city of Antalya itself"
Kaleici can be called the center of Antalya.It is one of the liveliest parts in the city with its hotels,pensions,restaurants and entertainment facilities,
The streets of Kaleici extend to the old harbor,which is used as an international yacht marina today.
When driving to the town of Antalya and also in suberb of it , it's noticeable many new built residential quarters. On their roofs, there are sort of water heaters. We were told, that there are 300 sunny days a year in Turkey. Therefore...
As you walk around Antalya town you come to many fascinating monuments. The most famous is the Arch of Hadrianus. It is very impressive and interesting. I am not much of a history buff but if you look up info on this arch I am sure you will find it here...