Mediterranean Holidays: 6 Favorite Historical Sites in Antalya, Turkey

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Published: 04th January 2011
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Antalya or ancient Anatolia is one of the most beautiful holiday destinations on the Mediterranean in Turkey. Not only can you bask in the sun and enjoy the pristine beaches and the views of the majestic Taurus Mountains, there are many outstanding historical sites you can visit that encapsulate all that the area has to offer.

Here are a few suggestions of the best historical sites to visit while in the Antalya region:


Aspendos has one the best preserved Roman Theaters in Turkey. The theater was built by Marcus Aurelius and dates back to 155 A.D. The theater is still used today for performances. Every mid-July to mid-August, you can enjoy the Aspendos Opera & Ballet Festival. You can go early and explore the ruins of the city and then step back in time and enjoy a dramatic performance in the ancient theater. It is an amazing experience you will not forget.


Kekova is the area of the ancient Lycian city, Simena, which is partially submerged underwater due to an earthquake in the 2nd century A.D. You can take a boat trip or if you want a little more adventure, you can kayak through the clear turquoise water to view the sunken city, then head over to the village of Kale and explore the ancient castle which was the Crusaders outpost of the Knights of St. John. It is prohibited to swim through the ruins of the sunken city, but there are areas designated to snorkel and swim in the sparkling waters of the Mediterranean Sea.


Hike about 30 minutes up to the ruins of Termessos, located about 1000 meters up in the Taurus Mountains of Anatolia. Enjoy breathtaking views from the theater where you can see Antalya and the Mediterranean Sea on a clear day. Explore the city ruins of Hadrian’s Triumphal Arch, the gymnasium, the agora, cisterns and beautifully decorated sarcophagi scattered throughout the site. Termessos is best known for being one of the cities that Alexander the Great could not conquer in 333 BC due to its impenetrable location on top of the mountain. This is truly and extraordinary site.


Perge, founded around 1000 BC is located about 9 miles east of Antalya. Ancient Perge was one of the most beautiful and richest cities of ancient Pamphylia. The Apostle Paul was recorded twice in the Bible in the book of Acts to have gone through Perge. Perge is famous for its Temple of Artemis as well as its well preserved site.


Phasaelis is an ancient Lycian city that dates back to 700 BC. Enjoy a day exploring the small ancient city and then take a swim in the blue waters of the Mediterranean. Are you looking to take a day trip by boat from Antalya? You can book a boat tour that will stop in the harbor of Phasaelis where you can jump in the sea, enjoy the pebble beach and a day of relaxation.


The award winning Antalya Museum boasts of having all of the most important artifacts from the historical sites in the Anatolian region. It is one of Turkey’s largest museums and illuminates the rich history of Mediterranean region.

Whether you are a history buff or just interested in seeing a few sites in the Anatolian Region while you are on holiday, you can visit these favorite historical sites and learn a great deal about the rich heritage of this land and enjoy yourself while you are at it.

Dania Lee Demirci is a Travel Specialist for Dos Plumas Travel, a leading American owned tour operator located in Antalya, Turkey. For more information on how you can start planning the trip of a lifetime, visit Dos Plumas Travel's website at

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