• Istanbul

    The god and human, nature and art are together in there, they have created such a perfect place that it is valuable to see." Lamartine’s famous poetic line reveals his love for Istanbul, describing the embracing of two continents, with one arm reaching out to Asia and the other to Europe.

    Istanbul, once known as the capital of capital cities, has many unique features. It is the only city in the world to straddle two continents, and the only one to have been a capital during two consecutive empires - Christian and Islamic. Once was capital of the Ottoman Empire, Istanbul still remains the commercial, historical and cultural pulse of Turkey, and its beauty lies in its ability to embrace its contradictions. Ancient and modern, religious and secular, Asia and Europe, mystical and earthly all co-exist here.

    Its variety is one of Istanbul’s greatest attractions: The ancient mosques, palaces, museums and bazaars reflect its diverse history. The thriving shopping area of Taksim buzzes with life and entertainment. And the serene beauty of the Bosphorus, Princes Islands and parks bring a touch of peace to the otherwise chaotic metropolis.

    Districts Adalar, Avcılar, Bagcılar, Bahcelievler, Bakırkoy, Besiktas, Bayrampasa, Beykoz, Beyoglu, Eminonu, Eyub, Fatih, Gaziosmanpasa, Kadıkoy, Kâgıthane, Kartal, Kucukcekmece, Pendik, Sarıyer, sisli, umraniye, uskudar, Zeytinburnu, Buyukcekmece, catalca, Silivri, sile, Esenler, Gungoren, Maltepe, Sultanbeyli, and Tuzla.

    The Bosphorus Golden Horn: This horn-shaped estuary divides European Istanbul. One of the best natural harbours in the world, it was once the centre for the Byzantine and Ottoman navies and commercial shipping interests. Today, attractive parks and promenades line the shores, a picturesque scene especially as the sun goes down over the water. At Fener and Balat, neighbourhoods midway up the Golden Horn, there are entire streets filled with old wooden houses, churches, and synagogues dating from Byzantine and Ottoman times. The Orthodox Patriarchy resides at Fener and a little further up the Golden Horn at Eyup, are some wonderful examples of Ottoman architecture. Muslim pilgrims from all over the world visit Eyup Camii and Tomb of Eyup, the Prophet Mohammed’s standard bearer, and it is one of the holiest places in Islam. The area is a still a popular burial place, and the hills above the mosque are dotted with modern gravestones interspersed with ornate Ottoman stones. The Pierre Loti Cafe, at the top of hill overlooking the shrine and the Golden Horn, is a wonderful place to enjoy the tranquility of the view.

    Beyoglu and Taksim: Beyoglu is an interesting example of a district with European-influenced architecture, from a century before. Europe’s second oldest subway, Tunel was built by the French in 1875, must be also one of the shortest – offering a one-stop ride to start of Taksim. Near to Tunel is the Galata district, whose Galata Tower became a famous symbols of Istanbul, and the top of which offers a tremendous 180 degree view of the city.

    From the Tunel area to Taksim square, is one of the city’s focal points for shopping, entertainment and urban promenading: Istiklal Cadesi is a fine example of the contrasts and compositions of Istanbul; fashion shops, bookshops, cinemas, markets, restaurants and even hand-carts selling trinkets and simit (sesame bread snack) ensure that the street is packed throughout the day until late into the night. The old tramcars re-entered into service, which shuttle up and down this fascinating street, and otherwise the street is entirely pedestrianised. There are old embassy buildings, Galatasaray High School, the colourful ambience of Balik Pazari (Fish Bazaar) and restaurants in Cicek Pasaji (Flower Passage). Also on this street is the oldest church in the area, St Mary’s Draperis dating back to 1789, and the Franciscan Church of St Antoine, demolished and then rebuilt in 1913.

    The street ends at Taksim Square, a big open plaza, the hub of modern Istanbul and always crowded, crowned with an imposing monument celebrating Attaturk and the War of Independence. The main terminal of the new subway is under the square, adjacent is a noisy bus terminal, and at the north end is the Ataturk Cultural Centre, one of the venues of the Istanbul Theatre Festival. Several five-star hotels are dotted around this area, like the Hyatt, Intercontinental and Hilton (the oldest of its kind in the city). North of the square is the Istanbul Military Museum.

    Taksim and Beyoglu have for centuries been the centre of nightlife, and now there are many lovely bars and clubs off Istiklal Cadesi, including some of the only gay venues in the city. Beyoglu is also at the centre of the more bohemian arts scene.

    Sultanahmet: Many places of tourist interest are concentrated in Sultanahmet, in heart of the Imperial Centre of the Ottoman Empire. The most important places in this area, all of which are described in detail in the “Places of Interest” section, are Topkapi Palace, Aya Sofia, Sultan Ahmet Camii (the Blue Mosque), the Hippodrome, Kapali Carsi (Covered Market), Yerebatan Sarnici and the Museum of Islamic Art.

    In addition to this wonderful selection of historical and architectural sites, Sultanahmet also has a large concentration of carpet and souvenir shops, hotels and guesthouses, cafes, bars and restaurants, and travel agents.

    Ortakoy: Ortakoy was a resort for the Ottoman rulers because of its attractive location on the Bosphorus, and is still a popular spot for residents and visitors. The village is within a triangle of a mosque, church and synagogue, and is near Ciragan Palace, Kabatas High School, Feriye, Princess Hotel. The name Ortakoy reflects the university students and teachers who would gather to drink tea and discuss life, when it was just a small fishing village. These days, however, that scene has developed into a suburb with an increasing amount of expensive restaurants, bars, shops and a huge market. The fishing, however, lives on and the area is popular with local anglers, and there is now a huge waterfront tea-house which is crammed at weekends and holidays.

    Sarıyer: The first sight of Sarıyer is where the Bosphorus connects with the Black Sea, after the bend in the river after Tarabya. Around this area, old summer houses, embassies and fish restaurants line the river, and a narrow road which separates it from Buyukdere, continues along to the beaches of Kilyos.

    Sarıyer and Rumeli Kavagı are the final wharfs along the European side visited by the Bosphorus boat trips. Both these districts, famous for their fish restaurants along with Anadolu Kavagi, get very crowded at weekends and holidays with Istanbul residents escaping the city.

    After these points, the Bosphorus is lined with tree-covered cliffs and little habitation. The Sadberk Hanim Museum, just before Sariyer, is an interesting place to visit; a collection of archaeological and ethnographic items, housed in two wooden houses. A few kilometres away is the huge Belgrade Forest, once a haunting ground of the Ottomans, and now a popular weekend retreat into the largest forest area in the city.

    uskudar: Relatively unknown to tourists, the suburb of uskudar, on the Asian side of the Bosphorus, is one of the most attractive suburbs. Religiously conservative in its background, it has a tranquil atmosphere and some fine examples of imperial and domestic architecture.

    The Iskele, or Mihrimah Camii is opposite the main ferry pier, on a high platform with a big covered porch in front, often occupied by older local men watching life around them. Opposite this is Yeni Valide Camii, built in 1710, and the Valide Sultan’s green tomb rather like a giant birdcage. The Cinili Mosque takes its name from the beautiful tiles which decorate the interior, and was built in 1640.

    Apart from places of religious interest, Uskudar is also well known as a shopping area, with old market streets selling traditional local products, and a good fleamarket with second hand furniture. There are plenty of good restaurants and cafes with a great views of the Bosphorus and the rest of the city, along the quayside. In the direction of Haydarpasa is the Karaca Ahmet Cemetery, which is the largest Muslim graveyard in Istanbul. The front of the Camlica hills lie at the ridge of area and also offer great panoramic views of the islands and river.

    Kadıkoy: Further down to the south along, the Bosphorus towards the Marmara sea, Kadıkoy has developed into a lively area with up-market shopping, eating and entertainment making it popular especially with wealthy locals. Once prominent in the history of Christianity, the 5th century hosted important consul meetings here, but there are few reminders of that age. It is one of the improved districts of Istanbul over the last century, and fashionable area to promenade along the waterfront in the evenings, especially around the marinas and yacht clubs.

    Bagdat Caddesi is one of the most trendy – and label-conscious – fashion shopping streets, and for more down-to-earth goods, the Gen Azim Gunduz Caddesi is the best place for clothes, and the bit pazari on Ozelellik Sokak is good for browsing through junk. The Benadam art gallery remains in Moda district with many other foreing cusines, restaurants and cafes.

    Haydarpasa: To the north of Kadikoy is Haydarpasa, and the train station built in 1908 with Prussain-style architecture which was the first stop along the Baghdad railway. Now it is the main station going to eastbound destinations both within Turkey, and international. There are tombs and monuments dedicated to the English and French soldiers who lost their lives during the Crimean War (1854-56), near the military hospital. The north-west wing of the 19th Century Selimiye Barracks once housed the hospital, used by Florence Nightingale to care for soldiers, and remains to honour her memory.

    Polonezkoy: Polonezkoy, although still within the city, is 25 km. away from the centre and not easy to reach by public transport. Translated as “village of the Poles”, the village has a fascinating history: It was established in 1848 by Prince Czartorisky, leader of the Polish nationals who was granted exile in the Ottoman Empire to escape oppression in the Balkans. During his exile, he succeeded in establishing a community of Balkans, which still survives, on the plot of land sold to him by a local monastery.

    Since the 1970s the village has become a popular place with local Istanbulites, who buy their pig meat there (pig being forbidden under Islamic law and therefore difficult to get elsewhere). All the Poles have since left the village, and the place is inhabited now by wealthy city people, living in the few remaining Central European style wooden houses with pretty balconies.

    What attracts most visitors to Polonezkoy is its vast green expanse, which was designated Istanbul’s first national park, and the walks though forests with streams and wooden bridges. Because of its popularity, it gets crowded at weekends and the hotels are usually full.

    Kilyos: Kilyos is the nearest beach resort to the city, on the Black Sea coast on the European side of the Bosphorus. Once a Greek fishing village, it has quickly been developed as a holiday-home development, and gets very crowded in summer. Because of its ease to get there, 25km and plenty of public transport, it is good for a day trip, and is a popular weekend getaway with plenty of hotels, and a couple of campsites.

    sile: A pleasant, small holiday town, sile lies 50km from uskudar on the Black Sea coast and some people even live there and commute into Istanbul. The white sandy beaches are easily accessible from the main highway, lying on the west, as well as a series of small beaches at the east end. The town itself if perched on a clifftop over looking the bay tiny island. There is an interesting French-built black-and-white striped lighthouse, and 14th century Genoese castle on the nearby island. Apart from its popular beaches, the town is also famous for its craft; Sile bezi, a white muslin fabric a little like cheesecloth, which the local women embroider and sell their products on the street, as well as all over Turkey.

    The town has plenty of accommodation available, hotels, guest houses and pansiyons, although can get very crowded at weekends and holidays as it is very popular with people from Istanbul for a getaway, especially in the summer. There are small restaurants and bars in the town.

    Prince’s Islands: Also known as Istanbul Islands, there are eight within one hour from the city, in the Marmara Sea. Boats ply the islands from Sirkeci, Kabatas and Bostanci, with more services during the summer. These islands, on which monasteries were established during the Byzantine period, was a popular summer retreat for palace officials. It is still a popular escape from the city, with wealthier owning summer houses.

    Buyukada The largest and most popular one in Istanbul is Buyukada (the Great Island). Large wooden mansions still remain from the 19th century when wealthy Greek and Armernian bankers built them as a holiday villas. The island has always been a place predominantly inhabited by minorities, hence Islam has never had a strong presence here.

    Buyukada has long had a history of people coming here in exile or retreat; its most famous guest being Leon Trotsky, who stayed for four years writing ‘The History of the Russian Revolution’. The monastery of St George also played host to the granddaughter of Empress Irene, and the royal princess Zoe, in 1012.

    The island consists of two hills, both surmounted by monasteries, with a valley between. Motor vehicles are banned, so getting around the island can be done by graceful horse and carriage, leaving from the main square off Isa Celebi Sokak. Bicycles can also be hired.

    The southern hill, Yule Tepe, is the quieter of the two and also home of St George’s Monastery. It consists of a series of chapels on three levels, the site of which is a building dating back to the 12th century. In Byzantine times it was used as an asylum, with iron rings on the church floors used to restrain patients. On the northern hill is the monastery Isa Tepe, a 19th century house.

    The entire island is lively and colourful, with many restaurants, hotels, tea houses and shops. There are very big well-kept houses, trim gardens, and pine groves, as well as plenty of beach and picnic areas.

    Burgazada It is a smaller and less infrastructured for tourists.The famous Turkish novelist, Sait Faik Abasıyanık lived there, and his house has been turned into a museum dedicated to his work, and retains a remarkable tranquil and hallowed atmosphere.

    Heybeliada ‘Island of the Saddlebag’, because of its shape, is loved for its natural beauty and beaches. It also has a highly prestigious and fashionable watersports club in the northwest of the island. One of its best-known landmarks is the Greek Orthodox School of Theology, with an important collection of Byzantine manuscripts. The school sits loftily on the northern hill, but permission is needed to enter, from the Greek Orthodox Patriarchate in Fener. The Deniz Harp Okulu, the Naval High School, is on the east side of the waterfront near the jetty, which was originally the Naval War Academy set up in 1852, then a high school since 1985. Walking and cycling are popular here, plus isolated beaches as well as the public Yoruk Beach, set in a magnificent bay.

    There are plenty of good local restaurants and tea houses, especially along Ayyıldız Caddesi, and the atmosphere is one of a close community.

    Environment: Wide beaches of Kilyos at European side of Black Sea at 25th km. outside the Istanbul, is attracting Istanbul residents during summer months. Belgrade Forest, inside from Black Sea, at European Side is the widest forest around Istanbul. Istanbul residents, at week ends, come here for family picnic with brazier at its shadows. 7 old water tank and some natural resources in the region compose a different atmosphere. Moglova Aqueduct, which is constructed by Mimar Sinan during 16th century among Ottoman aqueducts, is the greatest one. 800 m. long Sultan Suleyman Aqueduct, which is passing over Golf Club, and also a piece of art of Mimar Sinan is one of the longest aqueducts within Turkey.

    Polonezkoy, which is 25 km. away from Istanbul, is founded at Asia coast during 19th century by Polish immigrants. Polonezkoy, for walking in village atmosphere, travels by horse, and tasting traditional Polish meals served by relatives of initial settlers, is the resort point of Istanbul residents. Beaches, restaurants and hotels of sile at Black Sea coast and 70 km. away from uskudar, are turning this place into one of the most cute holiday places of Istanbul. Region which is popular in connection with tourism, is the place where famous sile cloth is produced.

    Bayramoglu - Darıca Bird Paradise and Botanic Park is a unique resort place 38 km. away from Istanbul. This gargantuan park with its trekking roads, restaurants is full of bird species and plants, coming from various parts of the world.

    Sweet Eskihisar fisherman borough, to whose marina can be anchored by yachtsmen after daily voyages in Marmara Sea is at south east of Istanbul. Turkey's 19th century famous painter, Osman Hamdi Bey's house in borough is turned into a museum. Hannibal's tomb between Eskihisar and Gebze is one of the sites around a Byzantium castle.

    There are lots of Istanbul residents' summer houses in popular holiday place 65 km. away from Istanbul, Silivri. This is a huge holiday place with magnificent restaurants, sports and health centers. Conference center is also attracting businessmen, who are escaping rapid tempo of urban life for "cultural tourism" and business - holiday mixed activities. Scheduled sea bus service is connecting Istanbul to Silivri.

    Islands within Marmara Sea, which is adorned with nine islands, was the banishing place of the Byzantium princes. Today they are now wealthy Istanbul residents' escaping places for cool winds during summer months and 19th century smart houses. Biggest one of the islands is Buyukada. You can have a marvelous phaeton travel between pine trees or have a swim within one of the numerous bays around islands!

    Other popular islands are Kınalı, Sedef, Burgaz and Heybeliada. Regular ferry voyages are connecting islands to both Europe and Asia coasts. There is a rapid sea bus service from Kabatas during summers.

  • Antalya

    Area : 20.815 km² Population : 1.978.333 Traffic Code : 07

    Because of the archaeological and natural riches of the area, Antalya is also known as the Turkish Riviera. The sun, sea, nature and history combine to form a very popular resort, highlighted by some of the cleanest beaches in the Mediterranean. The 630km shoreline of the province is liberally scattered with ancient cities, harbours, memorial tombs and beaches, secluded coves and lush forests, many of which are easily accessible from the city.

    With its palm-lined boulevard, internationally-acclaimed marina, and old castle with traditional architecture, all set amidst a modern city, Antalya is a major tourist centre in Turkey. In addition to the wide selection of hotels, restaurants, bars, nightclubs and shops, the city also plays host to a number of sporting events throughout the year, like international beach volleyball, triathlon, golf tournaments, archery, tennis and canoeing competitions. The Cultural Centre, which opened in 1995, hosts cultural and art events in the fields of music, theatre, and creative arts. The main area of interest in the city is central old quarter within the Roman walls, known as Kaleici, and there are many good museums.

    Districts: Akseki, Alanya, Elmali, Finike, Gazipasa, Gundogmus, Ibradi, Kale, Kas, Kemer, Korkutali, Kumluca, Manavgat and Serik are all towns in the province of Antalya.

    Akseki After Alanya, Akseki is the oldest district in the province of Antalya, and has an appearance that befits its location in the rugged Taurus mountains, in a forested and very rocky area. The history of Akseki extends back to the Roman era, when it was known as Marla (Marulya), and has been continually inhabited until the present day. The developments in the tourism sector in the Antalya region in recent years have been seen in Akseki as well. The area is well known for the snowdrop flower, and every years sees local and foreign visitors coming every winter to see these flowers breaking through the snow, as the first sign of spring.

    In the Giden Gelmez Mountains, goats are protected and limited hunting is available around the year with the purchase of a license. Another spot frequented by visitors is the trout farming facilities in the villages of Sinan hoca and Gumusdamla. The primary game in the area is mountain goat, rabbit, bear and fox.

    Other areas worth visiting are the Goktepe Highland, Giden Gelmez Mountains, Cimi Highland, Irmak Valley and the 340-metre deep Bucaklan Cave, which has only recently been discovered. Buildings of interest are the Ulu Camii and medreses.

    Elmali

    The exact founding date of Elmali, which is located within the borders of ancient Lycia, is unknown. Excavations to the east at Karatas near the village of Semahoyuk, and to the west in the village of Beyler indicate that the area has been inhabited seen the Bronze Age.

    Throughout history, it has suffered the rising and falling fortune of the Lycian region, being ruled respectively by the Persian, Greek, Roman, Byzantine, Seljuk and Ottoman empires.

    Tumuluses: There are several tumuluses in nearby villages. The first is west of the city in the village of Mugren, on top of which sits a small fortress dating back to the Roman era. Surface-level archaeological research indicates that the area was inhabited in the Bronze Age by various civilisations. Another village in the west, Semahoyuk, has a tumulus but due to the fact that an Ottoman cemetery is located on top of it, no research has been done. The third and largest tumulus is in Beyler, south of the city on the Elmali - Kas road. Excavations conducted here, show that the area has been continuously inhabited from the Bronze Age right up to the present time. The items unearthed in the excavations are exhibited in the Antalya Museum.

    At the east of the city 6 km from the village of Elmali near the village of Bayindir, there are several tumuluses side by side. Artifacts dating back to the 7th century BC were unearthed during the excavations. Now on display in a special section of the Antalya Museum, these findings represent a cross-section of life during that era. A statuette of pure silver and two of ivory bear witness to the fact that the art of sculpture in ancient Anatolia had reached a level of some sophistication.

    Memorial Tombs: There are tombs in Karaburun and Kizilbel. The walls of the King's Tomb in Karaburun, on the Antalya - Elmali road, is decorated with frescoes of scenes of hunting and war. The tomb in Kizilbel is west of the city on the Elmali - Yuvayol road, and is a single room made of limestone blocks.

    Define Described as the Treasure of the Century, this was discovered in 1984, just on the north of Antalya - Elmali road between the King's Tomb and the village of Gokpinar. Consisting of 190 pieces of ancient silver coins, the treasure was smuggled to America by antique treasure thieves. It is still on display in the Boston Museum of Fine Arts as part of a private collection. The Athens Decadrachme, 14 pieces each worth US$ 600,000, is said to be the world's most valuable treasure find.

    Mosques The most interesting mosques in the area include Selcuklu Camii, Kutuk Camii, Sinan-i Ummi Camii, Omer Pasa Camii and medrese.

    Korkuteli Located 67 km from Antalya, Korkuteli is surrounded by Antalya on the east, Burdur on the north, Mugla on the southwest and Elmali and Kumluca on the south. The effects of the Mediterranean climate can be felt here in this region of lakes but the further one goes inland, the more continental the climate becomes with cold winters and hot summers.

    The Alaaddin Mosque 3 km in the west of Korkuteli, only the door of which is still standing. In the same area is the Seljuk religious school which bears the name of its founder and was built by El Emin Sinaeddin of the Hamidogullari dynasty in 1319.

    Gundogmus

    There are numerous ruins of ancient cities in the district of Gundogmus, which is 182 km from Antalya. The important ruins are those of Hagiasophia city, 7 km north of Guzel Bag Bucagi, but no excavations have been conducted here. There are also the ruins of Asar at Sumene (7 km from the city centre), Kese (2 km east of the village of Senir) and Gedfi (11 km southwest of Gundogmus).

    Other places to visit in the area include; Cem Pasa Camii; ruins on top of Sinek Mountain, 15 km east of the city centre between Gundogmus and Pembelik; and the ruins of Kazayir at Tasagir, on the Gundogmus - Antalya highway.

    Gazipasa Situated 180 km from Antalya, Gazipasa is a charming little town with a beach 10 km long, beautiful forests and turquoise blue coves. Iskele, the site of the Koru and Kahyalar beaches, is an important breeding ground of the caretta caretta turtles. Mostly undeveloped up until the present time, Gazipasa is on its way to being an attractive tourist centre with accommodation, recreation facilities, an airport and yacht harbour still under construction, as well as the natural and historical treasures of the area.

    Antiocheia Ad Cragum 18 km east of Gazipasa, and within the village of Guney, these ruins gets its name from the Commagene King Antiochus IV, and are found on the three hills that stretch out towards the sea. It has the ruins of a castle dating back to the Roman and Byzantine era, a column-lined boulevard, agora, baths, victory arch, a church and the city necropolis. The barrel-vaulted memorial tombs with their pre-entrance porticoes are well preserved and reflect a style peculiar to the region.

    Adanda (Lamos) This ancient city is located 15 km northeast of Gazipasa, and was founded 2 km north of the present-day village of Adanda, on the top of a high and steep hill. It is a walled city with a large tower south of the city gate, and among the ruins are a fountain carved into the living rock and two temples. Other significant ruins are the tombs in the necropolis made of single pieces of carved stone. These remains are a good representation of the culture and art of the mountainous Cilician region.

    Nephelis This ancient ruin can be reached by going through the village of Muzkent 12 km out on the Gazipasa-Anamur road and taking the gravel road south for about 5 km. The southern area is surrounded by the sea and steep cliffs. The city consists of the acropolis and the remains of dwellings spread out in an east-west fashion. The only standing structures date back to the Roman and Byzantine periods and include a Medieval Castle, a temple, a musical hall, irrigation system and the necropolis.

    Selinus Located on the slopes in southwest of Hacimusa Creek by Gazipasa Beach, the ancient city of Selinus is one of the most important cities in the mountainous Cilician region. On the top of the hill is the acropolis as well as the walls and towers of a medieval castle, which are fairly well preserved. In the Acropolis, a church and cistern have survived the ravages of time. The other buildings of Selinus are near the beach and on the slopes, among which are the baths, agora, Islami Yapi (mansion), aqueducts and the necropolis. Most of the bones in the Alanya Museum were brought from the Necropolis and allow the workshop in the museum to exist.

    Kumluca Situated on the plane formed by the silt carried down from the mountains by Alakir Creek and Gavur Brook, Kumluca is surrounded by the towns of Finike and Elmali. In the upper reaches of Alakir Creek fed by the springs coming from Onemli Mountains and the Beydaglar Mountains, there are trout and striped mullet.

  • Alanya

    With its vast beaches, historic sites, the innumerable fish restaurants of its modern hotel and motels and its cafes and bars, Alanya, is an outstanding holiday getaway. The first thing that greets the visitor is the 13th century Seljuk Castle, which sits like a crown atop of Alanya Peninsula. Besides the impressive castle, there is the shipyard and the Red Tower (Kızıl Kule) with monumental beauty. All along the road which runs beside the port are latenight cafes and bars and boutiques selling handicrafts, leather clothing, jewelry, handbags and local gourds painted with extraordinary colors. If you like to explore caves, then you must see Damlatas Cave.

    Near the cave is the Ethnography Museum. You can reach by boat to the three other caves: the Phosphorous Cave with its phosphoric rocks, Girls Cave (Kızlar Cave), where pirates held their women prisoners, and Lovers Cave (Asıklar Cave). The cool shade of Dim Brook Valley, 15 km east of Alanya, is an ideal place to get away and relax. The sea all around Alanya is excellent for swimming. Alanya is a paradise of sun, sea and sand.

    History Based on skeletal evidence found between the villages of Bademagacı and Oba northeast of the city, Alanya is believed to have been inhabited in pre-historic times. Alanya was sometimes considered part of Cilicia and sometimes part of Pamphilia. It was later ruled by the Hittites and Romans respectively. In a bad state of repair after a number of invasions and wars, the city was rebuilt by the Romans. In the Byzantine era, Alanya was called Kolonoros, which means the 'beautiful mountain'.

    Climate Because of its climate, plants from all over the world can be found in Alanya. Some of the most common are oranges, bananas, vegetables of all kinds, tropical fruits from South Africa and India such as papaya, guava, avocado and a variety of dates and coffees. Alanya has a typical Mediterranean climate with wet humid winters and hot dry summers. The average temperature around the year is 19ºC. The water averages 21ºC.

    How to Get Alanya is 135 km from Antalya. The highway connecting the two cities passes through a number of residential areas and tourist spots. Public buses provide transportation on the route of Alantur, Bus Station-Ulas every ten minutes.

    By Road There is regular bus and minibus service. Bus Station Tel: (+90-242) 513 26 50

    By Air The nearest airport is in Antalya 130 km away. Antalya Airport Tel: (+90- 242) 330 32 33,

    By Rail The nearest train station is in Burdur.

    By Sea The port in Alanya is suitable for large size ships with heavy cargo, which is still being used both for touristic as well as commercial purposes. During the tourist season, there are passenger and cargo services between Alanya and Girne (Northern Cyprus). This is the most important customs port in the Turkish Republic for Northern Cyprus.

    Where to Visit

    Archeology Museum The museum includes certain sections in which archeological and ethnographic works are kept and exhibited. The most ancient work displayed in this museum, is the inscription in Phoenician language dated back to 625B.C. Bronze, marble, ceramics, glass and mosaic finds belonging to Roman, Byzantine periods, an epitaph in Karaman language and coins of Archaic (7-5 B.C century) , Classical Ages, Roman, Byzantine, Seljuk, Ottoman and Republican Periods are exhibited in archeology section. The ethnography section includes Turkish Islamic works of art and traditional belongings, guns, handicrafts, jewels, pots and pans collected from the environs of Alanya. A symbolic section of a traditional Alanya house can also be seen in this part.

    Kizilkule Ethnography Museum Being the symbol of Alanya, this monumental building was constructed in 1226 for military purposes to defend the pier and was one of the unique sample of Seljuk art. After being restored between 1951-1953, the structure gained the function of ethnography museum through the exhibitions of carpets, clothing, pots and pans, guns,etc peculiar to Alanya.

    Alanya Castle Alanya Castle is the only Seljuk’s castle which has been preserved until the present day. In 1225 Selcuk Sultan Alaaddin Keykubat built the castle on top of the Roman ruins. The castle is a treasure chest of history. Inside the castle ramparts there are Agios Georgios Church, Kanuni Sultan Suleyman Mosque, Aksebe Sultan Tomb, the Seljuk Baths, the artisans' shops, the bazaar's storage rooms, the tomb of Zitti Zeynep, the Palace of Sultan Alaaddin, big and small cisterns, a lighthouse and a dungeon.

    The Red Tower The Red Tower (Kızıl Kule) was built in 1226. The five-storey tower is octagonal. The main support structure of the tower also serves as a cistern. The bottom floor of the tower is now an ethnographic museum.

    Leartis-Learti (Mahmutlar Ruins) This city is 22 km from Alanya, has churches, baths, cisterns, residential buildings, a small stadium and theater, temples and streets lines with columns.

    Syedra Ruins The city of Syedra was founded in the 3rd century BC on the top of a hill, between the modern day villages of Kargacı and Seki. Inscriptions found in the portion of the city which was located on the hill and the surrounding area prove that it is an old Roman ruin. The lintels of the monumental city gate are still standing. There are 3 pools in the city which were most likely used as water depots and on both sides of the column-lined streets there are historic structures and mosaics.

    The Port City of Iotape (Aytap) Iotape is 30 km east of Alanya. The modern day highway along the Mediterranean coast goes right through this Roman city. The city was named in memory of King Antiochus' wife, Iotape. The city has a small port measuring 50-100 meters. The most well preserved parts of the city of Iotape are the remains of the old street, the baths, a church, a necropolis and acropolis.

    Selcuklu Shipyard Built in 1228, the shipyard is 56,5 m in length, 44 m in depth and includes 5 rooms. In case of any danger might come from the south, the shipyard has been strengthened by a two storey and two room tower.

    Suleymaniye (Kale) Mosque The mosque, which reflects Ottoman architectural design, is known to have been built in the 16th century on the top of a Selcuk temple. The wooden windows and doors are beautiful examples of Ottoman carvings.

    Emir Bedruddin Mosque Beside this mosque, which Emir Bedruddin built in 1227, is a small minaret made of cut stone. Its pulpit is one of the examples of carving art.

    Aksebe Sultan Mosque Aksebe Sultan is one of the first commanders of Alanya castle.The mosque was made to be built by him in 1230. On the western side of the mosque there is a minaret special to its own architectural style.

    Alara Inn Built in 1232 by Sultan Alaaddin Keykubat, the Alara Inn is located on Alara Creek which forms the boundary between Alanya and Manavgat, 9 km in north of the sea. The 2000 m² inn is made entirely of cut stone. The guardhouse, fountain, mosque and baths are in mint condition and certainly worth seeing.

    Sarapsa Caravanserai Located on the 15th km of the Antalya- Alanya highway, sarapsa Caravanserai was constructed by Sultan Alaaddin Keykubat's son Giyaseddin Keyhusrev II in between the years 1236-1246 on an area which is approximately 850m².Caves

    Damlatas Cave, Buyuk Dipsiz Cave, cimenici Cave, Dim Cave, Beldibi Cave, Derya Cave

    The Others Important Caves

    Kadiini Cave Situated about 15 km in northeast of Alanya, at a place called catak, the picnic areas in the vicinity bring a liveliness to the area.

    Korsanlar Cave The mouth of the cave, which is approximately 10 m wide and 5-6 m. tall, is big enough to allow boats to go in and out. The dome-shaped interior with its colorful ceiling leads northward into the pitch-black depths of the cavern.

    Lovers Cave The mouth of the cave is about 2 m. above the sea and big enough for a person to get through. The mouth of the cave is adorned with stalactites, stalagmites and columns.

    Fosforlu Cave Having a similar appearance with Korsanlar Cave, Fosforlu Cave can be accessible by boat since its entrance is wide enough. Various hues deep into the sea display superb spectacle.

    What to Eat Because of the local climate there is an astounding variety of vegetable and fruits in Alanya. Besides its vegetable cuisine, some delicious dishes, unique to Alanya, are laba and wedding soup (dugun corbası)

    Sporting Activities

    Rafting

    The river, which offers the best rafting in the area is the Dim Brook which empties into the sea, 6 km east of Alanya. The 'Alraft' rafting facilities found on the river 20 km to the northeast of Alanya offer rafting excursions.

    Mountain Sports Recently there has been quite an interest in trekking and amateur mountain climbing. This interest is mostly due to the mountains of Akdag (2451 m.) and Cebelireis (1649 m.) as they are very suitable places for these sports. Mt. Akdag has been declared as a Winter Sports Tourism Center by the Ministry of Culture and Tourism.

    The Alanya Triathlon This international sports event, which is held every year in October, began in 1991. Broadcasting to the world via Eurosport TV, this non-stop event consists of three separate races: swimming, cycling and running.

    Hunting Because of the area's climate, terrain and vegetation, it has wonderful potential as a hunting area. Because of the rapid decline in the deer population they are now protected and hunting is prohibited but mountains goat hunting is allowed on a restricted basis.

    It is possible to catch almost any kind of fish in Alanya. The main ones are gilt-headed bream, annular bream, swordfish, red gurnard, chub mackerel, shark, rock grouper, red sea bream, whiting, tuna, red mullet and gar.Fish that are encountered in fresh water lakes and streams include striped mullet, bass, carp and eels. In addition, trout are raised in the Dim Brook region.

    Camping There are many places to camp and to park motorhomes in and around Alanya.

    Don't Leave Without Seeing Alanya Castle, the Red Tower and Damlatas Cave, Visiting the museums, Tasting the local fish, Buying a silk scarf

  • Kemer

    Kemer is an important tourism center with green and blue met qualified, resort, restaurant and beach facilities, yacht ports and historical cities.

    Climate Summers are hot and dry, and winters are warm and precipitating.

    How to Get Being road parallel to the coast, allows you to see beautiful panoramas throughout road. There is a transportation chance by minibus from Antalya coaching station alternatively per ten minutes. It is one hour away from Antalya International Airport. Also reaching to Kemer via maritime lines is possible.

    Where to Visit One of the leading attractivenesses of Kemer is, its natural beauty. Sea, forest and mountains are joining at one point. For example, reaching sea waves till pine trees and usage of pine trees as shady spots at beaches is very attractive. Clearance of the sea, green of forest is another beauty in Kemer.

    Presence of Faselis, Olympos like antic regions near to it is another attractiveness. It is possible to reach Faselis and Olympos from Kemer by maritime lines and road. Recently organized safari tours to Sogut Cuması, Altinyaka Dere Village like high places can also be mentioned among regional attractiveness.

    Caverns are also other attractiveness within the region. One of these caverns, Beldibi cavern is 27 km in south west of Antalya, and at shore. Ruins of prehistoric ages are found. Another valuble to see cavern is Molla Deligi cavern, and present on eastern slope of Mount Tahtalı, which rises at west of Kemer. You can only reach to this cavern by foot from Asagı Kuzeydere or Tekirova villages on Kemer - Kumluca highway. You should walk 3.5 - 4 hours from both villages.

    Ancient Cities

    Phaselis It is at 58th km of Antalya - Finike road. It is also possible to reach Phaselis city by maritime lines, which is 15 km away from Kemer.

    It is thought that one of the eastern coastal cities of Lycia, Phaselis is one of the commercial cities of Hellenistic Age of 6th century B. C. It becomes a bishop center during Romans. Thick walls of eastern port of Phasellis, composed of three ports, are still in good condition. Western port, whose front and western parts are remained under sands is appropriate for having a swim.

    Most parts of the ruins, which are on ground in Phaselis are remained from Roman period. These ruins are; port, castle walls, Zeus Temple, King Antonius Caravella road, also twenty lined theater ruins. Peninsula's throat part composing street is marvelous. It begins from south port and reaches to city gates.

    It is thought that it is also used as a stadium from time to time due to width and shortness of this street. Because history writes that two important athletism competitions are performed within Phaselis.

    There are two temples near to Agora. One of them is constructed for the sake of "Athena Polias", which is a highly important goddess for Phaselis. Other one is for the sake of "Heista" and "Hermes". There were bronze made spear of Homer's mythological hero, Acchileus within Athena among these temples.

    Building ruins, a church as well as houses of bishops among these ruins can be faced at sides of the street. Aqueducts, which are covering the water needs of the city, are constructed with Roman style and still in very good condition.

    There is also a museum, in which some ancient pieces of art excavated in Phaselis. Also here is drawing attention as an ideal promenade and beach place, composed of a shallow bay, fine sands and a forest, and mountain, sea besides historical beauties.

    Olympos It is between Kemer and Adrasan. After passing Phaselis, a plate on Antalya - Kumluca road, shows Olympos road. cıralı is an ancient coastal village beside Olympos. The city, which is found on 2nd century B. C. is emptied in 6th century. Famous Bellerophontres - Chimera war is made here. An hour of walking on a tight and uneven slope coming from a river bed after cıralı will bring you to Chimera's unique natural ambient. Chimera is known by the natives as "Yanartas" due to continuously burning natural gas, which is coming from mountain.

    Sports Activities

    Jeep Safari Daily jeep safaris from Kemer to Toroslar, are organized by the expert agencies, on this subject.

    Bicycle Tours Tourism agencies are organizing bicycle tours on routes at Kemer's environment.

    Horse Riding There is horse riding possibility with horse riding teachers in the stables within resort facilities at Kemer and its environment, in case of requirement.

    Yachting Kemer Yacht Port is serving a qualified service to the yachters. Blue tours, first founded in Kemer, is giving the possibility to see bays and ports between Kemer and Kas, antic settlements and natural beauties.

    Don't Leave Without Visiting Beldibi Cavern, Faselis and Olympos antic city, Staying in wooden houses in Olympos, Seeing the fire burning for centuries in cıralı, Participating to Jeep safari and Blue Tour, Going for swimming in their beautiful beaches.

  • Belek

    A truly paradise for tourists on the shore of the Mediterranean in the midst of its own pine forests. Belek's natural beauty was discovered in 1984 and the region was proclaimed the "Belek Tourism Center". In later years, Belek became what it is today, a paradise on earth, thanks to cooperation between the Belek Tourism Investors Association and the Tourism Ministry.

    The Belek region on the Mediterranean coast is located 30 kilometers on the east side of Antalya province. Recently it was chosen by the Tourism Ministry to be a tourism model not just for today's tourist, but also for the tourist of the next thousand years. Belek!... What a tourism paradise!.

    The region has 32 four or five-stars hotels and first-class holiday villages and five golf courses. All of the facilities that have been designated first-class provide an ideal atmosphere for families and meticulously offer many opportunities and services aimed at pleasing their guests. All the facilities offer floodlit tennis courts, indoor and outdoor swimming pools, completely equipped health and fitness centers, play areas and many more possibilities. Belek hoteliers are proud that Belek is the new face of Turkish tourism.

    GOLF Golf courses; In planing the course, the architecs took into special account the wishes and expectations of Europen golfers. The perfect sight of the golf courses present the wonderful panorama and landscape of the neighborhood while providing the golf players with terrifie golf pleasure and struggle.Some annex fields are being planned for the development of the golf facilities. There are daily, even hourly tours from all resorts and holiday villages at the neighborhood to the golf field and bookings are available via these tours and clubs.

    Winter average daily temperatures are - October 28 C° - November 21 C° - December 16 C°, - January 15 C° - February 16 C° - March 18 C° - April 22 C°.

    The golf facilities enable individuals and groups to play throughout the twelve months of the year including the winter sunshine period that averages over six sunshine hours a day. Records show over 300 days of sunshine annually for the region.

    ECOLOGY Twenty-nine of the 574 different plants in the region are endemic and only live in this unequalled atmosphere. Belek is also a bird paradise as well where the camouflaged owl can be tracked 12 months of the year and is the symbol of the Belek region and where 109 different bird species including the Tyto Alba live.

  • Side

    MANAVGAT - SIDE Manavgat, the district of Antalya city is a touristic center, where history and nature are within each other and all kinds of touristic activity can be performed.

    How to Get Connection of Manavgat province with other centers is only maintained by road. Bus companies within province are maintaining transportation to other cities and provinces from Antalya at west and Alanya at east. Bus companies in Manavgat and Side coaching station, are increasing their bus voyages according to tourist number, which increases during summer months. Alternative minibus voyages are organized from province to Manavgat Waterfalls, Side, Sorgun like visitable places.

    Where to Visit

    Manavgat Waterfall Waterfall, which is 3 km. north of Manavgat province, has the same name as province. It composes a valuable to see panorama with its high flow on a wide area although it falls from an amazing height. Just near to the waterfalls, you can picnic in the nature and can eat fresh fish in surrounding restaurants.

    Museums

    Side Museum Hamam of the antic agora, remaining from 5th and 6th century A. D., against the agora, which belongs to Roman Period, is restored on 1960 / 61, and turned into a museum.

    Most of the pieces of art exhibited within the Museum, are the findings revealed during the excavations performed between 1947 and 1967 in Side antic city by Prof. Dr. Arif Mufid Mansel. From Hellenistic, Roman and Byzantium Period; inscriptions, gun relieves, Statues, torsos, tombs, portraits, ostotexes, amphorae, altars, tomb stalls, column heads and column pedestals, which are the copies of Greek originals, built in Roman Period, are being exhibited.

    Antique Cities

    Side Side, which is 7 km. away from Manavgat, is an ancient settlement center. Side, which is mentioned by historians as founded in 1405 A. D., had met with the reigns of Lydian, Persian, Alexander The Great's, Antiogonous's, Ptolemaioses, respectively beginning from the second half of VIth century A. D. After 215 A. D., The city, which is improved under supervision of Syrian Kingdom, and turned into a science and cultural center, had left to Bergama Kingdom on A. D. with Apameia peace, then had protected its independence with Eastern Pamphilya region, and reached to a great richness and prosperity with a huge commercial fleet.

    It entered under Byzantium reign after Roman reign after 78 B. C. Side, which was a Bishop center during Vth and VIth centuries, had lived its greatest times during these years.

    Main gate of the city, which has a unique labor, is between two towers. There are two main streets in Side province. These streets are samples of columned streets of Ancient Age. After passing city gate, flat stones adorned area is the starting point of this street. There are columned porticos beside both sides of these streets, and shops behind them.

    There is a "Nymphaeum", biggest historical fountain of Anatolia, against city gate, outside ramparts. A wide pool place is below this foundation. You can reach to a monumental structure, passing through a street after theater. This building with dimensions of 100x100 m., is an agora which is the Bazaar area of the city, surrounded by porticos and there are shops at three sides of it. There is a Gymnasium, surrounded by porticos and composed of three halls, on the street, south side of the Agora. In the main street at North - south direction, there is an arched structure, constructed during Roman Period. Importance of Side city's theater, in connection with architecture, is its construction on arched places instead of a slope of a hill like other roman theaters.

    Theater, which is composed of three divisions, cavea, orchestra and scene, is the biggest and most monumental one among Pamphylia theaters, and has a capacity of 20.000 spectators.

    There are wide cemeteries outside of Side's ramparts, and most important one of these, Western Necropolis, is 1,5 km. away. There are also temples and aqueducts in Side. Most important ones of the temples are Athena, Apollon and Men temples. Water of side is brought from Dumanlı source, within Oymapınar Dam Lake, approximately 25 km. away. This water transportation system is composed of ten aqueducts, of which some of them are two layered. Biggest one is near to Oymapınar and has 40 specs.

    A huge Roman Hamam is turned into a museum, and hosts for most beautiful archeological pieces of art collection of the region. The city, which is reigned by Seljukians during the 13th century, Hamitogulları and Tekeliogulları during the 14th century, and finally Ottoman Empire during the 15th century, was not a settlement during this period.

    Although most parts of the city ramparts, which are holding structure and characteristics of Roman and Byzantium periods, has been demolished today, nearly all of the ramparts at land side had remained.

    Selge You can reach to Selge, which is an ancient mountain city, near to Kopru Stream (Eurymdon) at south slope of Toroslar, 35 km. north of Serik, from a 14 km. stabilized road with steep bends after Koprulu Canyon National Park. There are engraved rocks, coverin whole slope of the mountain and similar to Fairy Chimneys at Goreme on the road passing from koprulu canyon, which is very rich in connection to natural beauty.

    The city, which was belong to Psidia and then taken into Pampheylia territories, had been reigned by Lydia, Persia, Alexander the Great and Roman governments, respectively.

    The theater with 5 gates and 45 stairs at north, is an important monument. At the south of rock engraved theater, stadium and gymnasium, and at west a Ionian type temple, whose ceiling is adorned with eagle décor, draws the attention. At the south of the stadium, there are Fountain and Agora. At the north of the ramparts lying southwest of the city, Artemis and Zeus monuments as well as necropolis present.

    Seleukia This antique city, which is 23 km. northeast of Side, and one hour away from Sinler Village by foot, is founded by Selevkos. There is a very beautiful natural appearance of the antic city, which is especially adorned with pine forests. From the city, which is placed on a hill, you can see all plains and sea. Two storey agora, basilica, cistern and sewerage system can be mentioned as the sign of development of the city. Mosaics, which are revealed during the city excavations, are exhibited in Antalya Museum today.

    Etenna Etenna, which is 29 km. north of Manavgat, is founded on the hill, is at the upper part of today's Sırt Village. At the top of the city, it is thought as a bishop center during Byzantium period, there is an Acropolis, which is composed of terraces surrounded by ramparts, and at the best preserved and highest slopes of the city. There is a Herron (a tomb for an exalted person) at the south of the city. Basilica, agora, church, hamam and cisterns are important historical ruins other than these.

    Alara Caravansaray When you go 9 km. to the west after Manavgat, you can reach to Alara Caravansaray. It is constructed in 13th century, by Seljukians for maintaining commercial connection between capital city of south coasts, Alanya and Konya. This maintained the people, who were traveling with caravansaries and merchants for spending the night and rest securely and comfortably.

    High Plateaus There are lots of plateaus on the Toros Mountains, which is divided into two by Koprucayı Valley.

    Most important ones are Guglenpınar and Beloluk Plateaus, Avanos Beligi, in Tefekli Region, Gucer Plateau, Kesikbeli, Akcaalan Plateau, Topalceviz, Alıc and Demre Plateaus, Dumanlı Plateau as well as at the feet of the Bozburun Mountain İkiz Plateau. Most of the villagers are going to the plateaus for summer.

    National And Natural Parks Koprulu Canyon National Park

    Sports Activities

    Jeep - Safari Tourism agencies in Antalya, Kemer, Side and Alanya are organizing Jeep Safari tours to Toros mountains. Daily tours are beginning in the early hours of the day, and continue till to the night with experiencing Offroad emotion.

    Horse Riding There are wide areas for horse riding in some hotels with English, Arab and Haflinger horses. Horse riding and jumping courses are performed for hourly or daily visits. Meanwhile, tours through river or to mountains are organized for minimum three days and maximum seven days.

    Rafting Koprucay, Manavgat and Dragon rivers, as well as Cehennem Stream are perfect routes for rafting. Don't Leave Without Visiting Side Ruins and Museum, Seeing Manavgat Waterfall, Eating trout.

  • Lara-Kundu

    Lara is a district of Antalya city. It is famous with Lara beach, one of the longest sandy beaches in Turkey. Lara is homing to many themed 5 star hotels, mainly in the Kundu area. Most of the hotels are replicas of famous monuments around the world which has led to the area being nicknamed "Las Vegas in Turkey".

    The sandy Lara Beach lies roughly 12 km to the east and has a blue flag. The beach begins east of Antalya's cliffs, just past the Lower Duden Waterfall and east of the waterfall a point of land extends into the Gulf of Antalya. Restaurants, hotels and other services host visitors who swim mostly from platforms and docks. The real sandy beach starts on the east side of the point and extends for several kilometers. Most parts of the beach are surrounded by de-luxe 5 stars hotels. Lara Beach is very easily reachable from the center of Antalya even with public transportation. The visitors can expect the best of Turkey's new Mediterranean Riviera, with a great beach lapped by crystal blue waters and a whole range of exhilarating water sports and superb hotels.

    Holidays in Lara Beach certainly give the opportunity to make the most of the sun and sand formula and also classic sea, with a touch of luxury, modern, sightseeing and sizzling nightlife thrown in. Lara has become popular for its crystal clear water just 10 years ago and developed very fast with tourism. In this area many hotels were built in last 10 years. Today, Lara region is one of the most popular touristic areas in Turkey with fascinating sandy beach and crystal clear water.

özel ders şehirlerarası nakliyat istanbul evden eve nakliyat panax