Turkish Honolulu

By: Tatyana Kogut.

The Turkish staked on the development of travel industry, and were right. It took Antalya only 15-20 years to turn into a beautiful city with semi-stored buildings, parks and direct streets.
Antalya occupies a part of a vast fertile valley, which was called Pamphylia many years ago. Historians say that the city was founded in 150 BC by Attalos II, king of Pergamom. In different periods of time the city was ruled by the Romans, the Byzantine, the crusaders, the Seljuk Turks - all of them left monuments which are impossible to pass by. A walk around Antalya streets early in the morning is a real pleasure. One place to visit is Kaleici district, which starts at a harbour filled with pleasure yachts and boats. The old port was totally restored in 80's, XX century and is very popular with local people and tourists alike. They like walking along small quay, drinking coffee and eating fruit. Another good idea is to slake your thirst with an aromatic mountain tea or local Efes beer. Needless to mention Turkish confectionery.

Don't miss you chance to try baklava, helva or lokum - the diversity is overwhelming. Ask for various sorts of lokum, and you'll be tired of counting. But let's not digress from our topic. Make your way from the port to the centre of Antalya. Lots of souvenir shops are waiting for you there. The prices, as well as assortment, are almost the same everywhere. But bargaining is reasonable. Turkish sellers, like most of the Eastern people, do like bargaining. Go to Kaleici square with its watch tower and a 37-metre Yivli Minare - the city's symbol. Another Muslim monument - Karatay Medresesi (religious school) is standing nearby. Another place of interest is the 17th-century Mosque of Tekeli Mehmet Pasa.

When tired of bathing, go to the city museum - tts worth it. the museum exposition is rich in ancient Greek and Roman statues, jewellery, traditional clothes, ceramics and other things that belonged to local people hundreds of years ago. The museum is located not far from five-star Sheraton Voyager and Falez hotels. The latter houses one of the most famous discos in Antalya, which you can visit after 10 pm. Antalya, like the whole Turkey, guarantees complete safety, thanks to its excellent police and security work.

To discover local nature, go to Karaalioglu Park. After you visit the park, go further along the street, and you will encounter Kesik Minare (Broken Minaret), first erected by the Arabs, then rebuilt by the Turkish. The minare's upper part has burnt down in 1986 - that's from where its name derives.

If you are already dieing of the heat and sightseeing, go to one of local beaches. You can bathe almost in any part of the city - just descend down the stone steps. Those who prefer sandy beaches are advised to go to Lara or Konyaalti, Antalyan suburbs. Little tourists are fond of local aquapark with lots of water entertainment.

And, finally, Antalya offers rather good shopping opportunities, even though sometimes prices are higher than the ones in Istanbul. You will be tired, but full of impressions when you return back to your hotel.

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