All of the right elements come together to make this sun-drenched Mediterranean town on the Turkish Riviera a major holiday resort. The beautiful crescent bay, dramatic cliffs and jagged mountains contribute to a stunning backdrop. It is an attractive city with shady palm-lined boulevards and a prize-winning marina. In the picturesque old quarter, narrow streets and old wooden houses huddle against the ancient city walls.
Since its founding in the 2nd century B.C. by the Pergamon king, Attalos II, Antalya has been continuously inhabited. The Romans, Byzantines and Seljuks successively occupied the town before it came under Ottoman rule.
The port has always been busy through trade with Crete, Cyprus and Egypt. Since the 1960s, agriculture, light industry and tourism have encouraged the city's rapid growth. Renovations have been carried out over the past few years to restore historical monuments and buildings in the old town, many of which have been converted into charming inns and guest houses.
Although the beaches are out of town, Antalya itself draws visitors who come here to see the old town with its picturesque harbor and the excellent Archaeological Museum. Its outstanding exhibits provide fascinating glimpses into ancient and modern life of the region.
In the surrounding area are additional attractions such as Aspendos, Perge and Side. Their remains of antiquity are considered among the most impressive sites in Anatolia.