Antalya is a city where three out of four seasons are spring and the other is summer, where you can ski on a magnificent mountain in the morning and swim in the deep blue waters of the Mediterranean in the afternoon.
When King Attalos first set eyes on Antalya he called it “Paradise on Earth”. Its fertile soil and natural harbour made it favourable for settlers throughout the ages. Therefore Antalya has a rich cultural heritage with many remains of an outstanding history. The Persians, Alexander the Great, the Romans, the Arabs and many more have left their mark on the area over the centuries but no one more than King Attalos of Pergamon who in 159 B.C. gave the region its name Attaleia, which leaded to the modern name Antalya.
In the western part of Antalya one of history’s first major confederations, the Lycian Union, was formed. This league, once the most powerful in the region, had its member states represented by a system of one, two or three votes, depending on the size and importance of the states. Starting from the west end of present day Antalya and stretching to Fethiye in the province of Mu?la, Lycia – the land of light – covered a very large area for those days. To the east stretched the state of Pamphylia, the land of all tribes.
Antalya and its environs enjoyed a golden era in the first and second centuries A.D. reflected in the magnificence and multitude of cities of that époque, like Side and Aspendos in the east and Phaselis, Olympos and Xanthos in the west, just to name a few.
Those days of glory began to fade however during the Byzantium period at the turn of the 3rd century A.D. with the fall of Constantinople.
Later the Arab invasions with their plundering signalled the final demise of these great cities. In 1207 the regions Antalya and Alanya came to be associated with the Seljuk. Antalya changed hands between rules of small kingdoms until the 14th century when it fell to the Ottomans.
Today the city of Antalya is a cultural and tourism hub with much on offer to satisfy the discerning visitor. The region attracts nearly half of the tourists coming to Turkey and the hotels are new and of high standards. The tourism areas east and west of Antalya feature different concepts, there are the two beaches of Antalya itself, Lara and Konyaalt?, the Kundu area is popular for the Theme Hotels and Belek with its 11 golf courses has become an important golf destination of the Mediterranean. While Alanya is well-known for its nightlife and choice of entertainment facilities, Kemer, a small resort west of Antalya, makes its visitors fall in love with its magnificent surroundings and beautiful landscape.
Antalya keeps up with the innovations and developments in the tourism sector while preserving its cultural heritage and the charming Anatolian way of life. Everything relating to history, nature, culture, tradition, shopping and dining exists in this region – combined with the cordial hospitality of the Turkish people.