Antalya (from Greek:"Attalia") is a city on the Mediterranean coast of southwestern Turkey. With a population 1,001,318 as of 2010. It is the eighth most populous city in Turkey and country's biggest international sea resort.
According to tradition, in the 2nd century BC, the Pergamon king Attalos II ordered his men to find "heaven on earth". After an extensive search, they discovered the region of Antalya. King Attalos rebuilt the city, giving it the name "Attaleia" which later mutated in Turkish as Adalia and then Antalya. Attaleia was also the name of a festival at Delphi and Attalis was the name of an ancient Greek tribe at Athens.
Kaleiçi, with its narrow cobbled streets of historic Ottoman era houses, is the old center of Antalya. With its hotels, bars, clubs, restaurants, and shopping, it has been restored to retain much of its historical character; its restoration has won the Golden Apple Tourism Prize. Cumhuriyet Square, the main square of the city, is the location for temporary open air exhibitions and performances. The city also features sites with traces of Lycian, Pamphylian, and Hellenistic, Roman, Byzantine, Seljuk and Ottoman architecture and cultures. International luxury hotels, such as the Sheraton, stand along the coast above the Konyaalti and Lara beaches.
The area is shielded from the northerly winds by the Taurus Mountains. Antalya has a Mediterranean climate with hot and dry summers and mild and rainy winters. Around 300 days of the year are sunny. Antalya has over 3000 hours of sunlight per year. The sea temperature ranges between 15 °C (59 °F) during winter and 28 °C (82 °F) during summer. The air temperature reached a record high of 45 °C (113 °F) in July and a record low of -4 °C (25 °F) in February. The average air temperature ranges between the low-to-mid 30 °C (86 °F).
This metropolis consists of five boroughs: Konyaaltı (112,647), Kepez (399,006), Muratpaşa (416,576), Aksu ( 45,094), and Döşemealtı (27,995).
Antalya is in south-west Anatolia, on the Mediterranean Gulf of Antalya, approximately 546 kilometres (339 mi) from Ankara, 562 kilometres (349 mi) from Adana, 466 kilometres (290 mi) from Izmir, and 727 kilometres (452 mi) from Istanbul.
The Taurus mountain range of southern Anatolia runs parallel to the Mediterranean in an east-west direction, resulting in the formation of narrow coastal plains surrounded by mountains on three sides and the sea on the fourth. Some parts of the coast feature mountains plunging sharply into the sea, forming small natural bays and peninsulas. Antalya is situated on one such plain where the mountains recede from the shore, consisting of two flat areas formed of travertine rock at a mean height of 35 metres (115 ft); the town center is located on the rocky plain closest the coast, with urban sprawl extending to the Kepezüstü Plain further inland.
Antalya’s signature cuisine includes Piyaz (made with tahini, garlic, walnuts, and boiled beans), spicy hibeş with mixed cumin and tahini, şiş köfte, tandır kebap, domates civesi, şakşuka, and various cold Mediterranean dishes with olive oil. One local speciality is tirmis, boiled seeds of the lupin, eaten as a snack. "Grida" (also known as Lagos or Mediterrenean white grouper) is a fish common in local dishes.
Festivals and events
- A number of sports championships including motor rallies and the 2010 World Weighlifting Championships.
- Antalya Golden Orange Film Festival: Turkey's largest national film festival, last week of September
- International Eurasia Film Festival: International film festival held annually
- Antalya Festival: September
- Mediterranean International Music Festival: October, 6 days
- Antalya International Folk Music and Dance Festival Competition: Last week of August
- Aspendos International Opera and Ballet Festival: June and July
- Flower festival May
Antalya has beaches including Konyaaltı, Lara and Karpuzkaldıran. For winter sports, Beydağları and Saklikent are both natural beauties of the city.
There are a number of mosques, churches, madrasahs, masjids, hans (caravanserai) and hamams (Turkish bath) in the city. Kaleiçi, the harbor, which the city walls enclose, is the oldest part of the city. Kaleiçi features many historic houses with traditional Turkish and local Greek architecture.