The Turkish Riviera is a popular tourist destination for Turkey lovers. On the southern coast you will find cozy seaside resorts on the Mediterranean Sea. Think of well-known places such as Antalya, Lara, Side, Belek, Alanya and Kemer.
The subtropical climate ensures that you can enjoy pleasantly mild temperatures even during the winter months. Besides sun, sea and beach, the Turkish Riviera offers a remarkable amount of historical sights and culture. The Greek and Roman origins have left a fairly impressive legacy here. In ancient cities such as Perge, you can walk in an open-air museum, as it were. The Turkish Riviera is also an area where you can find a vibrant nightlife, there are more than enough shopping areas and where young and old can enjoy themselves in the luxurious resorts. If you are a bit more sporty, you can also enjoy yourself. There are many different excursions offered, for example rafting, visiting cities, waterfalls, fishing expeditions and walking or cycling tours. After all, the diversity of the Turkish Riviera is part of its popularity.
Top 10 sights of the Turkish Riviera
Not far from the Turkish city of Antalya lies the historic heart of Pamphylia. Perge is one of the best preserved cities of classical antiquity. The city was founded about a thousand years before Christ and eventually grew to a considerable size. Today, there are special historical sites to discover in Perge, which confirm all kinds of stories and periods. There are remains to admire of an ancient Roman theater, a bathhouse, the temple of Artemis and an acropolis.
#2. Antalya (Old Town)
According to bridgat.com, the city of Antalya is certainly not an unknown tourist destination on the Turkish Riviera. For many years now, thousands of tourists have been welcomed in Antalya for the beautiful beaches, the delicious food and of course the historical sights. Antalya has a particularly beautiful city center with, among other things, Hadrian’s Gate, the beautiful Yivli Minare Mosque, the Hıdırlık Kulesi tower and the wonderfully green Karaalioğlu Park. The old center of Antalya is referred to as Kaleiçi.
As with the city of Perge, Aspendos was also an important place in Pamphylia. The historical sites on the Eurymedon River confirm that a Roman theater was built in Aspendos around the second century. It could seat about 20,000 people. In addition, there are also ruins to admire of a basilica, an aqueduct, water towers, a market square and a fountain. Today, the ancient theater hosts the annual ‘Aspendos International Opera and Ballet Festival’.
The current town of Demre, on the southern coast of Turkey, used to be better known as Myra. The city of Myra was a thriving place thanks to the grain trade and none other than Bishop Saint Nicholas. Our Sinterklaas has its origins in the Turkish city of Myra. The basilica of Nicholas ‘Aya Nicola Kilisesi’ is nowadays not much more than a ruin. A monument to Saint Nicholas can be admired at the front. Another impressive piece of Myra’s history are the rock tombs on the coast, the Myra Acropolis and the lovely Andriake beach.
#5. Antique Side
Between the new center of Side and the beaches of Side is antique Side. This is the place where Side was founded in the seventh century BC. Side soon became one of the most important trading cities of Pamphylia. The remains of ancient Side can be admired for the most part for free. To visit the most beautiful part (the theater of Side) you have to pay an entrance fee. Whoever does this will not be disappointed with what he/she sees. The theater is one of the best preserved ancient theaters in Turkey. A piece of ancient Side lies in the modern center, such as the remains of the Temple of Apollo. This is a beautiful place to enjoy the sunset.
#6. Higher Düden Falls
North-east of Antalya are the Düden Falls. The higher Düden waterfall lets the water crash down about twenty-eight meters. The green surroundings with the sunlight reflected in the blue-green water provide an almost fairytale setting. The most beautiful pictures are even taken from behind the waterfall. Because there is a cave behind it, it is possible to take a look at the Düden river from this side. Eventually the water disappears via the Taurus Mountains and the lower Düden Falls towards the sea. From the port of Antalya ‘Kaleiçi Yat Liman’ several boat trips depart daily to the Düden Falls.
#7. Alanya Castle
On a peninsula, high above the city, Alanya Castle can be seen from afar. The medieval castle ‘Alanya Kalesi’ was built in the thirteenth century on the remains of Roman fortresses. As part of the defenses, the red-brick Kızıl Kule Tower was also later built. This tower has become the symbol of the city of Alanya. Alanya Castle is open daily and can be admired partly from the inside. The finds within the castle can be seen in the Archaeological Museum. This Antalya Museum is located at the foot of the hill.
#8. Köprülü Kanyon National Park
According to many, the most beautiful park in Turkey will be the Köprülü Kanyon National Park. The park, which was founded in 1973, has no less than 366 square kilometers. Within this park you will find the Roman ‘Olukluköprü’ Oluklu bridge, the Koprulu Canyon, villages like Beskonak and Bolasan, ruins of temples, a theater, Artemis and of course a lot of natural beauty. The Koprulu river is also excellent for rafting, fishing or just to cool off.
#9. Göynük Canyon Less
than thirty kilometers from Antalya, you can take wonderful walks along the Göynük Canyon. The color palette within the Göynük Canyon area is truly phenomenal. The ever-flowing water of the Göynük River has created beautiful gorges, coves and caves over the years. The clear water invites you to take a cooling dip and for an adrenaline rush you can even enjoy a naturally formed slide in some places. Göynük Canyon is very popular with nature lovers, rafters, hikers and peace seekers.
Many kilometers of beautiful beaches can be found along the Turkish south coast. This is the main reason for many tourists to visit this part of Turkey. One of our personal favorites is Ölüdeniz, which has a beautiful blue lagoon. Popular beaches include Side, Antalya, Belek, Alanya and Marmaris. Many beaches now have long queues of all-inclusive hotels. A nice exception, for example, is the beach at Patara. No construction is allowed at this beautiful sandy beach, so that its natural beauty has been preserved.