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Places to See (East Coast from Antalya)

Major sights and attractions are included in this guide. East coast of Antalya has fewer historic ruins as well as less forest scenery along the beach.
Perge
Belek
Aspendos
Koprulu Canyon and Selge
Side
Alanya
Mersin- Korykos Castle -Kizkalesi
Tarsus - Antakya (Antioch)

Perge:

This is one of the most important Greek and Roman towns in the region. It is located about half an hour drive from Antalya. The site has many ruins which are well-preserved including the theater, Hellenistic and Roman Gates, and a street with columns.

Belek

Belek is the region where 5 star hotels, holiday resorts strecth along the sand beach. The hotels are hidden within trees and small forests and this adds to the splendor of the region. The region is also the number one place for golfer in Turkey.

Aspendos

This is one of the most important Roman theaters on earth. Occasionally there a classical music concerts, and it is a great feeling to listen to a concert in the middle of the thousands of years of history. The acoustic engineering of the ancient times can once again be admired here.

Koprulu Canyon and Selge:

This is the place for outdoor activist. Rafting in the mountains, watching superb views down below over a Roman bridge ! You can see on our tours page the Koprulu Canyon tours. The Koprulu is a river of crystal clear water, except when it rains. The wide river flows gently through the magnificient landscape of Koprulu Canyon National Park. It is no wonder that this river has become a popular tourist attraction for visitors. Expert rafting guides brief the group on National Park safety procedures , and use of equipment . Participants may choose between an inflatable canoe or raft. Canoes offer a more active rafting trip. No previous rafting experience is necessary. Rafts hold 8-9 people and are manned by a river guide.

You can also see Selge ruins if you take extra time to go up to Selge from the Koprulu Canyon bridge. The Roman city is scattered around the village. The mountain view is wonderful.

Side:

Side is a nice small village where Roman ruins are spread around it. It has nice sand beach along the coast, and there are many hotels and guesthouses catering to the needs of all budgets. The center of the city is small and densely crowded. Marketplace is filled with both Turkish and foreign tourists, mostly from European countries. There are many bars and discos, making the nightlife of the city quite busy.

Alanya:

Alanya is mostly a modern town, consructed in the last decade. It is the favourite place of Scandinavian and German tourists who buy one or two week package to realx by the pool, or the beach in daytime and crowd the bars at night. It has a very busy marketplace, shopping area as well.

There are also many Germans who chose the place as their new home after retirement. And this trend lives on strong.

Mersin- Korykos Castle -Kizkalesi

Mersin does not offer any site worthwhile for the traveler to do the long distance on the way from Antalya. However, for travelers who come to Turkey a second or thrid time, the coast is nice, much less touristy, and there are nice castles and historic ruins along the way.

Korykos castle and Kizakalesi are two of them. Kizkalesi is especially beautiful since it is in the middle of sea a good swimming distance from the shore. The coast is sand beach and the view is very impressive.

Tarsus- Antakya (Antioch):

Tarsus is a modern Turkish city without any charm. But about 2000 years ago it was an important Roman city.

Apostle Paul was born there. The city had been living thousands of years before him. Several famous people have made their way to the city: Alexander the Great, Cleopatra, Julius Caesar...

But none of the great people who honored Tarsus by their presence can be compared with the Apostle Paul in his influence in Christianity. He was born as a jew. Converted to Christianity on the Damascus Road. Later he had to flee from angry Jews for his life to Tarsus.

A gate left from the walled city of the Roman period is known as St. Paul's or Cleopatra's Gate. A section of a main screen leading to the hippodrome has been uncovered.

Antioch is the place where the followers of Jesus were first called Christians. Antioch had been named by one of Alexander the Great's generals, S. Nicator. At the time of Paul, Peter and Barnabas, Antioch had been an important city.

It iis there that Mark Antony and Cleopatra met. Antioch offers some of the best Roman mosaics in the world !

Two of the bishops of Antioch are famous in church history: Peter and Ignatius.

The two sites can be best seen as part of a tour since they are quite far from Antalya.

 
Antalya and the Mediterranean Region Guide, Turkey



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