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Map of Antalya

Antalya is the capital of Turkey's Mediterranean coast with a population of around 1,000,000 people (2012). In 2011, going by the number of arrivals, it was the world's third most visited city - ahead of New York. There were around 11.000.000 visitors / tourists in 2011.

Agriculture, light industry but mainly tourism have made Antalya boom during the past couple of decades and the city is still growing at a fast pace. It caters to both the traditional beach holiday makers and the more adventurous types. It has two beaches, one on either side of the city, and modern amenities and shops in the town centre. Of course there are plenty of historical sights such as Perge, Aspendos, Side, Termessos, Phaselis and Olympos to see in the region for those who like to explore further a field.

History of Antalya

This area has been inhabited for a long time; artefacts from the Karain caves, 25 km inland from Antalya have been dated to the Palaeolithic period. But as a city it is not as old as many other ones in the region.

Attalos II of Pergamum founded the city in the century and it was named Attaleia after its founder. When the kingdom was willed to Rome, Attaleia became a Roman City and the Emperor Hadrian visited in 130 AD. The arched gateway that still stands today, called Hadrians Gate, was built in his honour.

The Byzantines took over from the Romans and they in turn were replaced by the Seljuk Turkes who were based in Konya. They gave the city its current name and also its symbol, the Yivli Minare (Fluted Minaret).

The Ottomans took control of the city in 1391 after the Mongols held it for a while. It remained this way until after WW1 when the Allies were making plans to divide up the Ottoman Empire. Italy got Antalya in 1918 but by 1921 Atatürk's armies had reclaimed Anatolia for the Turks.

Large-scale development of the city began in the 1970s and transformed Antalya from a small town into one of Turkey's largest cities. For the past couple of decades tourism has aided this expansion with visitors from Germany and Russia in particular visiting the city and buying property in Antalya to take advantage of the good weather conditions. With -4C being the lowest expectant tempreture, people from those countries are glad to get away for a couple of weeks to visit Antalya in Winter. Many golfers from all over Europe visit then as well for the same reason.