Antalya coastal view of the mountainsThe city of Antalya sits directly on the Turquoise Coast and is a must-see during your travels to Turkey.

Antalya Province
is located on the southwest coast of Turkey between the Taurus Mountains and the Mediterranean Sea. You can easily spend several days here to get a small taste of what this region has to offer.

The city doesn't have a big-city feel at all. The old town harbor area is easily walkable with gorgeous views of the mountains to the west. The harbor shelters many historical old boats offering cruises and tours. There is an elevator that lifts visitors from the harbor to the old city for more spectacular scenery, shopping, and dining.

Antalya was first settled around 200 BC by the Attalid dynasty of Pergamon. The city has changed hands several times, from the Roman's, then the Byzantine, the Seljuk Sultanate in 1207, and the Ottoman Empire in 1391. Ottoman rule brought relative peace and stability for the next five hundred years. The city was occupied by Italy for three years in the aftermath of World War I, but was recaptured by a newly independent Turkey in the War of Independence.

Old City Kaleiçi

Old Antalya is a small historic section called Kaleiçi (KAH-leh-ee-chee), located at the center of the modern city of Antalya. Kaleiçi surrounded and protected the beautiful old Roman harbor, which dates back to the times of the Romans. The harbor was an outlet for produce from the planes at the base of the Taurus Mountains.

Antalya park near Hadrian's GateToday you will still find massive stone walls that once protected the city, meandering streets, and picturesque old houses built so close they often overshadow the narrow lanes. There are many charming boutique hotels, that in themselves offer stories of a long history of change over centuries of time. Luxury and fine dining in an old-town atmosphere are also available, as well as budget pensions.

Today Kaleiçi is a protected district, with strict requirements on any new buildings. The goal is the preservation of historic buildings found everywhere in the area.

Antalya3There are several entrances to Kaleiçi, but the most convenient is Kalekapısı, and the most picturesque and historic is Hadrian's Gate. Hadrian’s Gate or Üçkapılar is a triumphal arch built in the name of the Roman emperor Hadrian, who visited the city in the year 130. It is the only remaining entrance gate in the walls that surround the city and harbor.

Yivli (fluted) Minarette or Alaaddin Mosqueis a historical mosque built by the Anatolian Seljuk Sultan Alaaddin Keykubad I. The mosque is located in the old town centre. The mosque's fluted minaret called the Yivli Minare, decorated with dark blue tiles, is a landmark and symbol of the city.

 Less than 8 miles from town you can visit the upper waterfalls at Düden Park. The stream of water ends where the waters of the Düden River drops off a rocky cliff directly into the Mediterranean Sea at the Karpuzkaldıran Waterfall. This waterfall is the largest falls in the Antalya area, falling approximately 80 feet to the Mediterranean Sea below. The lime-rich waters empty into the Mediterranean Sea, mixing with the sea waters below to create a beautiful turquoise color at the base of the falls. Surrounding the falls is a new park and tea garden, entertainers, ice cream vendors, and families enjoying the beautiful area.

Zultanite - The Rare Gemstone That Changes Color

Named after the Sultans, rulers of the Ottoman Empire, Zultanite is a rare gemstone that changes color in different light sources. High-quality Zultanite is currently mined at only in the Anatolian Mountains of Turkey, 1,200 meters above sea level. The mine is located near the Turkish village of Selimiye. The mining of this gem began there in the mid-1980s.

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The beauty and fascination of this gemstone lies in its colours, its exceptional brilliance and its chandelier. The Zultanite changes its color from kiwi green (in sunlight) to raspberry red (under artificial light and candlelight) depending on the light sources. It can also produce khaki green, cognac pink, pink champagne tones and ginger tones.

Antayla Tour