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05AUG5 Historical Sites in Antalya All History Lovers Must Visit

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Turkey is a country with much to offer from its coasts to its cities. Venture onto their beaches during summer and their ski slopes in the highlands. However, Turkey is also known for its rich culture and history steeped in centuries of tradition taken from ancient Greece, Persia, Rome, Mongolia, Seljuk, and the Ottoman Empire. Each era left its mark that still stands to this day, giving us a chance to see for ourselves a glimpse of a culture that once stood in this ancient city, Antalya.


1. Olympos

Lake in historic district of Olympos in Antalya, Turkey
Source: ToursCE

Olympos, an ancient city rich with natural beauty, history, and beaches was once prone to attacks during its rule under the Roman Empire. The city was abandoned after the Ottoman Empire came into power. Today, there are remains of the ancient city strewn all around; there is an old Roman bridge, a basilica, waterways, and ruined gateways that mark the ancient city’s limits. The Olympos beach is a beautiful place to spend your time. The short beach sees many visitors who sunbathe and swim there.

2. Çıralı

Structure in historical Çıralı, Antalya
Source: Indie Travel Guru

Çıralı is a Mediterannean coast paradise with a sight to behold from every direction you see. It is also not far from Olympos. Pine forests, the sea breeze, and night-blooming jasmine perfectly portray the beauty of mother nature. Both Çıralı and Olympos share the same beach but Çıralı holds a more mysterious detail, the Eternal Flames, that you can witness with a short hike up the Yanartas mountainside. It is a bunch of self-regenerating flames that were said to have come from fire-breathing creatures called the Chimera, according to ancient Romans.


3. Alanya Castle

Beach in historical Alanya Castle in Antalya, Turkey
Source: Mert Kahveci on Unsplash

This fortress by the coast has hosted all sorts of citizens throughout the eras from Seljuk royalties to Ottoman soldiers. Standing on beautiful sands and translucent waters, visitors and locals like to swim in its waters and hide under the shadows of the walls. However, real history can be seen within its walls as it has been turned into a museum of Turkish history. You can walk through the castle walls for a magnificent view of the beach and the harbour, or stride through the streets to see the old architecture without any charge. However, the fee to enter the inner castle, the museum, is 10 Lira or around 1 USD. After exploring the museum, hit the streets to get souvenirs and food, there are restaurants and traditional crafts shops within the castle walls.


4. Elmali

Architectural interior design of a mosque built in historical Ottoman-era, in Antalya, Turkey

Elmali houses the Ömer Pasha Mosque which represents the essence of Ottoman architecture with intricate patterns painted and sometimes carved into the surface of the building. This beautiful mosque built during the Ottoman era is located in the centre of Elmali, a quaint little town with breathtaking scenery far from the coasts of Antalya. Elmali is located at the foot of Antalya’s breezy mountainous region. This is an excellent place to escape the heat of Antalya’s coast and if you are feeling adventurous you can hike up Mount Kizlarsivrisi which is accessible via a dirt track. But be warned, it will be a long hike of 2.2 kilometres if you wish to see the peak of the mountain.


5. Kaleiçi

Historical tower in Kaleiçi, Antalya in Turkey

Kaleiçi is yet another delightful coastal settlement that became home to the Greeks, Romans, Seljuks, and Ottomans. Antalya’s old town is one of the most important sights of memory for ancient Turkey. In the main city, square stands the Saat Kelusi, a clock tower built during the reign of Ottoman Sultan Abdül Hamid II. Opposing the clock tower is an opposing statue of King Attalus II of Pergamon who founded Attalia, Antalya’s old name, around 150 BC. Make sure to visit Tekeli Mehmet Paşa Cami, one of the most important Ottoman mosques in the city and the ruins of the Hadrian’s Gate that once stood as a wall surrounding the harbour city. The city’s ancient Roman harbour is something you must not miss as it carries such a view to behold.


If you’re looking for a beautiful place to stay while exploring Antalya, Doğan Hotel in Kaleiçi, a chateau upon white sands, is a stone’s throw away from many of the grand historical sites that are scattered throughout Antalya.


Plan Your Trip

Use this list to plan your next trip to Antalya, especially if you are a history buff. These sites are not to be missed. The listed locations are popular among locals and foreigners alike for a good reason, and it is time for you to experience them as well. Want to book your visit to Antalya? No trip is complete without accommodation. Start planning your expedition to Antalya by booking your hotel.


Want to learn more about QVI’s Turkish Home Resort? Here’s a video for you!

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