ANTALYA – THE PEARL OF THE MEDITERRANEAN
ANTALYA – THE PEARL OF THE MEDITERRANEAN, Emir Can Kılıç | 20.06.2016
Antalya is one of the first cities that come to mind when tourism is mentioned in the world. Due to the fact that Antalya is on the shores of the Mediterranean and located in a region that has quite a warm climate with plenty of sunny days throughout the year, it is possible to swim in the sea and get tanned in every season. However, the characteristics of the city which make it attractive from a tourist perspective don’t end with the sea-sand-sun triumvirate. Many waterfalls which carry the waters of the melted snow from the peaks of the Toros Mountains, famous caverns, and canyons are amongst the natural beauties of Antalya. Also, there are many open air and ancient city museums in the region, which has been home to many civilizations throughout history.
My one and only trip to Antalya was at the end of September 2014 for a weekend break. After a 1 hour 30 minute flight from Istanbul on a Friday night, pleasant summer weather welcomed me in Antalya.
I first went to Side, which is a holiday destination 75 km away from Antalya’s city center. After breakfast on the Saturday morning I threw myself onto the famous beaches of Side without wasting any time. The town of Side, with its crystal clear sea and beaches, is a place that must be seen and where you simply have to sample the sea.
After enjoying a swim and the sun thoroughly I continued my trip with Side’s town center. While walking along the coast, the view of the Mediterranean on one side and the Temple of Athena and Apollo on the other was magical. This temple, which dates back to 150 AD is one of the most popular attractions in Side.
After visiting the temple I walked towards the ancient city of Side. There are many ruins of buildings from antiquity to walk around. The Ancient Theater in particular can take you back in time. Side Museum is also a popular place to visit. Many archeological finds from excavations made in and around the ancient city are on display in the museum.
After seeing all I wanted to in Side, I headed towards the Manavgat district 10 km away. The notable attractions here are the Manavgat Falls and the Manavgat River. The Manavgat Falls with their high flow rate are truly a sight to behold. You can enjoy refreshments while taking in the views. The noise of the falls also gives you the feeling of being left alone in nature.
After Manavgat I went on to Antalya city center. Kaleiçi, which is one of the hotspots of the city, is the first place you should visit. Kaleiçi is perfection with its walls, yacht marina, and old houses; photography enthusiasts in particular shouldn’t miss this spot. A walk along Konyaaltı Avenue offers wonderful views of the Mediterranean. You can also see the famous Konyaaltı Beach from here.
The Antalya Aquarium, which is located just above the Konyaaltı Beach and is one of the largest Aquariums of the world, is another popular place in the city. Besides boasting the biggest tunnel aquarium in the world, the many interactive exhibits make the Antalya Aquarium an activity center that attracts many families.