Antalya, a city, and the Mediterranean Sea port in southwestern Turkey, is situated on the Gulf of Antalya. Ancient Greek Attalia was founded as a seaport in the 2nd century BC by Attalus II Philadelphus, a king of Pergamum. It was bequeathed to the Romans by his successor, Attalus III Philometor Euergetes. St. Paul, the Apostle, and St. Barnabas embarked from the seaport on their evangelical mission to Antioch. The “Hadrian Gate,” a marble portal of three identical arches, was built to commemorate a visit by the emperor Hadrian in 130 CE. During the Middle Ages, the city was a Byzantine stronghold and a vital embarkation point for troops going to Palestine during the Crusades. It was captured by the Turkish Seljuq ruler Kay-Khusraw in 1207 and soon became the region’s most important town and port. Although it was first occupied by the Ottoman sultan Bayezid I in 1391, its incorporation into the Ottoman Empire was delayed until the late 15th century because of the disruption caused by the invasion of Timur (Tamerlane). In the tripartite agreement of 1917 for the postwar division of the Ottoman Empire among Italy, France, and the United Kingdom, Italy claimed Antalya and its hinterland. Italian troops occupied the district in 1919 but were driven out in July 1921 by Turkish nationalist forces. With a warm subtropical climate and an abundance of ancient sites nearby, Antalya became the gateway to the Turkish Riviera. We spent the whole day in the wonderfully preserved old-city district of Kaleiçi walking through winding lanes with restored Ottoman houses. The old city surrounded by fortified walls wraps around a splendid Roman-era harbor with clifftop views of hazy-blue mountain silhouettes. After the sightseeing, we tried the excellent Dondurma Ice Cream (scoop / 6 TRY), took a tasty dinner at the busy local eatery Can Can Pide (meals between 25-35 TRY) next to popular Pizza Argentina (slice from 29 TRY), and later we had a draft beer at BlackBerry pub (Efes beer – 0,5 l / 50 TRY), We finished our evening in lively open-air pub Filika (Efes beer – 0,5 l / 37 TRY). It was not easy to find some parking in Antalya, so for the city sightseeing we parked near the center in a residential quarter (quiet and safe; taxi to Hadrian Gate – 40 TRY) and for the relaxation at Kula Beach (a simple beach with showers and toilet, Efes beer – 0,5 l / 50 TRY).
Parking location – Antalya (city): 36.881188N 30.726353E (🚻 – nearby coffee shop)
Parking location – Antalya (Kula Beach): 36.849671N 30.822460E (🚿,💦,🚻 – nearby beach club)