Antalya - Turkish Riviera
Bare foot on the sand
Holidays are a thing of the past, but we still remember hot days, warm water and the sun that made our skin brown. Let's go back for a moment to the landscapes straight from the catalogs of tourist offices and let's breathe the sea breeze. Let's take a trip of the imagination to Turkey. Antalya is waiting for us - the city nestled in the bay of the same name, lying at the southern foot of the Taurus Mountains. It is the beautiful and proud capital of the Turkish Riviera .
Antalya is one of the most famous Turkish resorts. Apparently, at the peak of the tourist season, the city's population increases to as much as 2 million people. Therefore, it is not a place made for contemplating the sound of the waves and listening to the squeals of gulls. It is a resort for those who want to live the vacation of a lifetime, have fun until they drop, and enjoy all the entertainment options available. And they have adequate funds for it - on the main pedestrian street of the city, Atatürk Caddesi , there are two rows of buildings with boutiques of renowned companies, and expensive hotels cover almost the entire coast line.
We will definitely not reach the city by train - the resort does not have such a connection. However, we can get there with our own vehicle or use the airport (Antalya airport serves flights to the most important cities in Europe). In the city itself, there is a network of buses to most Turkish cities, and on shorter routes, tourists are served by buses - dolmuş .
Antalya - the pearl of the Turkish Riviera
Tourists who have come to Antalya will not know what to look at at first. He will surely be attracted by a slender building that is a remnant of a former mosque - the Yivli minaret. This is probably the most characteristic building in the city. The second famous minaret, Kesik, is located in the historic part of Antalya, Kaleiçi . The monument of the imperial visit is also noteworthy for visitors to the resort - the Roman Gate of Hadrian, dating from the 2nd century. It stands on the border between the old and new parts of the city, but still looks impressive despite the passage of time. The eyes of the onlookers will certainly linger longer on its three arches decorated with ornaments and columns. It looks most beautiful in the evening when it is illuminated.
Antalya also boasts one of the richest museums in Turkey. The Antalya Museum has the most valuable finds from nearby Perge. There you can admire a collection of sculptures, friezes and steles, huge collections of carpets and fabrics, as well as delicious ceramics. In the lapidarium located in the garden, there are beautiful stone figures of animals and sarcophagi. They are an unforgettable sight among proud palm trees and rich agaves.
Perge and the ruins of the Temple of Artemis
The aforementioned Perge , located 18 km east of Antalya, is the former capital of Pamphylia. It makes a great impression on visitors even today, despite the passage of time and the damage that time has caused. The ruins were inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List in 2009 thanks to their beauty and majesty. In the distant past, there was a strong cult of Artemis in the city - she had a huge temple in Perge. It was not easy for the Apostle Paul to introduce Christianity here. Most of the city and its treasures are still hidden underground, but archaeological excavations are ongoing (started in 1946).
After visiting the ruins of Perge, you can return to Antalya and go on another trip - this time up. After a walk along the coast and between the hills covered with cypresses and pine trees, we will reach Olympos Teleferik , the station of the longest cable car in Turkey. The cable car goes up Tahtali Mountain (2365 m high), and its slogan is "Sea to Sky". The further up you go, the colder it gets, which is beneficial in the summer heat that prevails in the region. While driving, we can admire the majestic rocks in various colors - their raw beauty makes us realize how small and delicate we are compared to the power of nature.
At the top, there is a cafeteria where you can drink tea (served in special tulip-shaped cups) and buy souvenirs. You can also just admire the views. A jagged coastline and outlines of small towns appear on the horizon. An attentive eye will notice the orange roofs of the houses contrasting with the turquoise sky.
A dream among the palms
Antalya is beautiful, but the surroundings are also beautiful. They fully deserve to be known - and that takes time. Therefore, a tourist who is thirsty for impressions and picturesque views is left to find a place to stay. There are dozens of hotels to choose from, including really luxurious, smaller resorts and campsites. If you are interested in the latter option, you can take advantage of the offer of Çıralı Camping , located at the very end of Cirali Bay.
We will pay 30 TL for the stand for the vehicle. If someone prefers to stay in a tent, they will pay 25 TL (for a place for max. 4 people), but if we do not have our own tent, we can rent it for 30 TL. The campsite is surrounded by orange and pine trees, 150 meters from the beach. There are 40 seats waiting for its guests.
This is just one of the many local campsites. Surely everyone will find something for themselves, rest in the picturesque landscape and gain strength to further explore the numerous attractions of the region. It is definitely worth it.
A writer by profession, a passion of a cat. One day he will see what is behind the Urals - good to Vladivostok. So far, when he can, he enjoys the sun of the countries of southern Europe. And it's also fun;)